Many folks are switching from their old smartphones or even their Blackberries and iPhones, to the most popular phone OS in town, that is Android. If you've just purchased your first Android phone, read on as we have some handy tips for you. If you still haven't moved on to the droid yet and are a bit wary about making the switch, don't worry, just go through our earlier article in which we've outlined some great tips that'll help you choose the best Android out there.


So, without much ado, here are 10 things to do after buying your first Android phone:

1. Link your Google account
Android is an OS that works best if you link it up to your Google account. If you don't have a Gmail account, go sign up for it at gmail.com. Once you've created your first Gmail account you can link it to your Android phone to enable amazing features like synchronization, social check-ins and much more. Once linked, just set up Gmail to check your mail in the background. Be careful though, if you set Gmail to check all the labels in your account, it will have a heavy impact on your droid's battery life. The best option here is to switch to priority inbox in Gmail and set that as the default inbox on your phone. This will have minimal drain on your battery life and you won't miss out on any important mails.

2. Check for Updates
When compared to other mobile operating systems, Android has a much faster release cycle. Hence, the moment you turn on your fresh new droid, chances are that there will be an important update waiting for you. This is the best time to update since you don't have much data on your device, and if something goes wrong, you won't have much to lose. Having said that, it is always a good idea to do a little research about the update first. In rare cases, some people face a lot of problems after updating their phones. To update your phone, go to settings -> About Phone -> Check for System Updates.

3. Configure Wi-fi, 3G
If you have completed both the aforementioned steps, then you must already have configured your Wifi or 3G settings. Assuming you have, it is always better to turn off Wifi when not needed as it drains your battery way quicker than you expect. Also, keep an eye on your 3G connection as service providers charge a lot for data these days. To monitor your 3G connection, use the app 3G Watchdog. This free application will let you keep an eye on your 3G data transfers and will let you know if you've exceeded your monthly quota.

4. Sync Contacts
Instead of storing all contacts on your SIM card, move them over to the phone memory. Add some additional info about them and enable syncing. This will backup all your contacts to your Gmail account.

5. Install some apps
The Android marketplace comes with thousands of great apps to choose from. Many of the apps are free, while some are priced around 0.99 to 2.99 USD. Depending on the quality of application, the prices may vary. For a start, I'd suggest you install some free apps first. If you don't know which ones to go for, take a look at our earlier article where we've listed 10 of the best free applications for Android.

6. Drop some widgets on your home screen
Spruce up your empty home screen by dropping some nice widgets onto it. To start adding widgets, long press anywhere on your home screen and select the Widgets option from the menu.

7. Install some games
Though the Android marketplace doesn't have as many games as the Apple app store, there are a lot of great games you can install on your device that will leave you oblivious of the world around. You might want to check out our roundup of the best puzzle games for Android.

8. Install an antivirus software
Android, despite being Linux-based, is quite prone to malware and viruses. To be on the safer side, make sure you have the best antivirus installed. Here's a list of some great antivirus solutions for Android.

9. Backup your droid
Better be safe than sorry. Make sure you have your droid perfectly backed up beforehand. Don't fret too much about the whole backup process. Just take a look at our definitive guide to backing up your droid.

10. Make it your work machine
Android does everything, including your presentations, spreadsheets and word documents. Install these cool office apps on your droid and finish your reports like a boss!


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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