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The First 5 Things I Do When I Buy A Phone

Started by Cory Streater ,

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Cory Streater #1

Cory Streater
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Posted Jun 20 '13 @ 4:46 PM

1. Don't Let Sales Associates Install 3rd Party Apps.

Actually, I purchase all of my phones online now.

However, I've heard more stories (usually from Verizon customers) that sales associates take it upon themselves to install 3rd party apps (usually task killers) from Google's Play store.

Hard reset your phone if this happens: Settings > Apps > Backup & Reset.

A hard reset restores your device back to the state it was in when it left the factory.

Just like any computer, you have the right to decide what does and doesn't get installed on your smartphone.

2. Download The User Manual.

Smartphones rarely come with a hard copy of the user manual. Pull up the support page for your device and download the PDF version.

Many manufactures also offer interactive tutorials. For example, Samsung has a pretty awesome interactive Galaxy S4 tutorial that guides you through basic phone functionality, screen customization, email configuration, connectivity, and more.

3. Circumvent The Manufacturer/Carrier App Trap.

Carriers and manufactures typically add additional applications and services atop Android. During the initial setup of your device, you may be prompted to create additional accounts and/or sign in to services in order to use them. You can bypass these prompts by tapping the home button.

Examples:

Verizon's Backup Assistant: "is a service that saves a copy of your device's address book to Verizon's website. If your device is lost, stolen, damaged or replaced, Backup Assistant restores your saved address book to a new device wirelessly."

Gmail already has you covered on this one. If you choose to sign into backup assistant, your phone will be enabling an unnecessary, power hungry, memory hog of a service that's impossible to get rid of without doing a hard reset.

Samsung Hub: "A central marketplace designed to provide access to a variety of mobile content, such as games, books, music, and videos. Samsung Hub works in conjunction with your Samsung account, so all purchases of content are linked to the Samsung account you signed in to on your device. You may also be able to access some content on other Samsung devices that support Samsung Hub."

The Google Play store is light years ahead of Samsung's Hub. Check it out, and make an informed decision as to which one best suits your needs.

Motoblur: "A push-based service focused on social networking, developed by Motorola. Motoblur includes a variety of widgets which combine various social networking portals such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter as well as other services (news or weather reports) all in one place. Feeds and data are regularly pushed to these widgets."

Once again, there are better options in the Google Play store.

4. Control Google Apps Synchronization.

The default Google account synchronization options assume you want to sync with all Android enabled Google services. To disable synchronization — for one or more services — open the settings screen, choose the desired account, and toggle the check boxes to your liking.

Default sync settings:

gmail_sync_before.jpg

Customized sync settings:

gmail_sync_after.jpg

You will need to repeat this process if you add additional Gmail accounts.

5. Maximize Battery Life.

Avoid live wallpapers. Live wallpapers look awesome, but they require additional CPU time. I have yet to use a live wallpaper that didn't impact battery life by less than 25%.

Choose WiFi over carrier connectivity — particularly LTE networks. If WiFi is unavailable, turn it off.

Fine tune account and application synchronization settings. I have 3 Gmail accounts, an Exchange account, and several location based apps that utilize a combination of GPS and network connectivity. When I'm sitting in front of my desktop, I really don't need all of my email accounts syncing real time, so I use a widget to toggle synchronization as needed.

Turn off haptic feedback. By default, every Android phone vibrates when you tap the screen. There are typically two or more haptic feedback settings that control this behavior.

Settings > Sound > Vibrate on Touch.

Settings > Language and Input > Keyboard Settings Icon > Vibrate and Keypress.

Since you're in the settings menu, you might as well explore opportunities for additional power saving options. Screen brightness, account settings, notification options, etc..
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Jerrod #2

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Posted Jul 28 '13 @ 6:50 PM

Good advice.....Guess I am late to the party cause I never thought to check the sync screen...I just let everything rip.

Is there a good widget that will control syncs or is the standard system power widget good enough?



Lee Bo #3

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Posted Jul 29 '13 @ 6:02 PM

Excellent advice.

 

However, I would add #6:

 

ROOT IT!!


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dmmarck #4

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Posted Jul 29 '13 @ 7:31 PM

Excellent advice.

 

However, I would add #6:

 

ROOT IT!!

 

Your post reminded me to unlock my new Nexus 7.  Thank you :).


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creccaj #5

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Posted Jul 30 '13 @ 5:23 AM

This could honestly be broken down into 2 categories - Stock Nexus devices (N4, N7 1 or 2) or Retail phones like the GS4, HTC One etc.  For Nexus type devices:

 

  1. Unlocked Device - Why unlock first?  It wipes the device so might as well get this step out of the way first
  2. Root Device - Most of the time this will be the same step as unlock but some people unlock and don't bother rooting.  I do it simply because it takes another  minute or so.
  3. Set up Google Accounts and configure my sync options that I want.
  4. Download all my apps that I want, I don't like using the Restore feature on a new phone, would rather download them as I need them.
  5. Set up Titanium Backup - Create backup of applications that I know I will want/need when I start flashing :).

 

Pretty basic steps really for Nexus line devices but retail phones are much different:

  1. Go through initial setup, skipping everything except Google sync.
  2. Go to application manager and freeze/disable all applications that are considered bloat (if your on Verizon, sorry usually this is disabled)
  3. Unlock and root my device if there is a method.  Why do this 3rd and not 2nd?  If there is no unlock/root method might as well start to set up the device.
  4. Clear all sync settings of carrier/phone bloat so that only Google syncs or other email services you need
  5. Download apps from Google play.

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Cory Streater #6

Cory Streater
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Posted Aug 5 '13 @ 2:59 PM

Good advice.....Guess I am late to the party cause I never thought to check the sync screen...I just let everything rip.

Is there a good widget that will control syncs or is the standard system power widget good enough?

 

 

I personally think the standard widget is good enough. I know there are tons of options in the market though. 



Lee Bo #7

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Posted Aug 5 '13 @ 4:48 PM

 

Excellent advice.

 

However, I would add #6:

 

ROOT IT!!

 

Your post reminded me to unlock my new Nexus 7.  Thank you :).

 

Glad I could help.


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malik1994 #8

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Posted Nov 10 '15 @ 10:28 AM

really nice and whats privacy there?