[Note: I had written and saved as draft in June of 2012, but failed to publish, so slight revisions based on an additional month of usage are included.]
Not too long ago I finally upgraded my personal phone from a Blackberry to Samsung Infuse 4G on the ATT network. I went with Android primarily because I have a work issued iPhone and iPad and wanted to have a different platform for personal. I also am an admitted Google fan and like the open nature of the platform as opposed to Apple’s closed model.
After using it in a general way for a while, I thought I might as well really dig in and make the most of my new phone. The following are a list of Tips and Tricks I found online:
- Notifications Panel: touch the top of the screen, you’ll see a tab appear, pull it down and the notifications panel will appear. (Thanks Samsung)
- Phone Reboot: holding the volume up and power button simultaneously for 5 seconds will reboot your phone (very good to know if, like me, you use Otterbox to protect your piece of glass – thanks CareAce).
- Speed Dial: select phone icon, menu bottom (far left), the click on Speed Dial and add the contact and phone you want to include (thanks again CareAce).
- Lock: Settings, Display, Screen Timeout and for me a shift from 30 seconds to 2 minutes made a huge difference.
- Lock: Settings, Location and Security, Change Screen Lock, you then have some options, I found the pattern (you have to touch four points) is much easier than swiping.
Apps I’ve added and a few notes if necessary:
- AccuWeather, you want to have hourly weather available on your phone and this is my preferred outlet.
- AVG Anti-Virus, you simply can’t assume because it is not a PC it won’t have a virus. I’ve trusted AVG on the PC, so I’m doing the same on mobile.
- Cosmos, utility for battery management, system cleaner, etc
- Go Launcher (Go SMS Pro, Go Store, Go Themes, and Go Widgets) I mostly got this to customize the the screen and it works well for me.
- Google SkyMap, the amateur astronomer in me loves this app.
- Red Laser, a good bar code scanner.
I’ve also added many of the social sites/services I participate in including, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.
What I’ve found is that for the most part these all work well, but when we were in Orlando and NYC I had instances when my geo location was not registering -in, immediately, it typically would kick-in, but if it took too long, it simply wasn’t worth the time to try to make it work and I skipped checking-in altogether.
G+ local in NYC was very helpful, as was YELP, Around Me, and Foursquare.
I’ve had one or two instances when my phone has locked up and I’ve had to either have a hard restart or take the battery out, but it has been rare maybe two or three times since getting the phone, and I pretty much leave it on all the time.
I have noticed that I have to be careful with battery level as it seems to drop faster than my iPhone (though I use them in very different ways), but all in all I’ve been extremely pleased with this phone.