Setting Up My Android Smart Phone

A little while back I wrote about apps and tips for my Samsung Infuse 4G from AT&T. And then a few weeks ago I had to wipe the phone and start over (turns out I didn’t, but I was impatient, lesson learned).

As I started setting up the phone anew, I realized I really needed to think this through more than I had. First thing I did was clean up my Gmail contacts, because I synched those with the phone and up until that point they were email only. I wrote about how I did that here.

I’ve liked GoLauncher, you simply hold your finger on the screen and it jumps to edit mode. I make my home page the place to locate my utility apps. I put the Accuweather widget across the top, then have AVG Anti-Virus, Astro File Manager, Smart Compass, Airdroid, Calendar, Settings, Task Manager, Flashlight, Camera, Clock, RedLaser, and the Play Store.

Swiping right I locate all my shortcuts to direct phone and text my closest friends and family, plus Glassboard. Per Adams (see link about contacts above) you’ve got 10 folks tops.

Right again is my “junk drawer”, a place to throw apps like CamScanner, Quick Office, Convert Me, GPS Status, Go BackUp, ScoreCenter, Music Player, Calculator, Pandora, Play Music, Gallery, Amazon Kindle, US Army Survival Guide, and Google Sky Map.

Swiping left of home, I first have all my social network apps: Foursquare, Yelp, Around Me, Bump, Twitter, Slices, Hootsuite, Facebook, Goodreads, Chess.com, Gmail, G+, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Left again and I have my curation tools: America’s Economy, AppCenter, AppsFire, Droid of the Day, Evernote, Drive, Voice Search, Grill-It, Google Reader, Currents, Flipboard, Google Search, WordPress, Tumblr, YouTube, and Buffer.

I’ve been trying to keep it to a total of five pages, but Go allows you to add more, which is a nice option.

Since the phone is Android, I synch with Gmail and Calendar, which is great because I can access these mobile or desktop browser. Airdroid also allows me to manage the phone via my browser and to text through the browser if I’m on my laptop or desktop and don’t want to mess with the touchscreen (big thumbs, small buttons).

I also have my G+ instant upload activated, which sends all of my photos from my phone to G+ and then asks me how I want to share them, if at all (Public or to select circles).

For those not understanding or blasting Google for any number of reasons, the reality is Google provides functionality of both Twitter and Facebook with G+ (not to mention SEO).  I get photo sharing. I also have email, calendar, and tasks (ie Outlook or Lotus Notes). I have documents and cloud storage in Drive (Office, iCloud, Box, etc). Content curation and sharing is through Reader and Currents. And, oh yeah, search. All of this is available on any computer or device with an internet connection.

Google is putting together a pretty amazing platform at a time when Facebook is taking a hit on its stock and privacy and Twitter is upsetting many with its 3rd party restrictions. Apple will always have its fan-boys, but Google is the new Microsoft+ so much more.

The only major draw-back I see with Google is its slow adoption of third party development in G+, which I wrote about here, but it is coming.

I’m loving my Android phone (and yes I do have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and iPod via work so I do use both regularly) and am excited about where this is headed even if it isn’t ‘overnight’ the company is making big strides for the enterprise it has become.

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