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How to Set Up Your New Android Device in 4 Steps

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Tips and Tricks: Customize your Android home screen and more
Android Setup - Widgets

Android Setup - Widgets

Screenshot by Melanie Pinola

After you set up your device's security and download some essential apps, you'll probably want to customize the phone or tablet so your favorite apps and information are at your fingertips. Android offers a ton of customization features, including the ability to add dynamic widgets. Here are the basics of customizing your home screen and device:

  • Your Android device comes with several home screen panels. Swipe right or left to access the other ones.
  • To remove an app from one of the screens (but not delete it entirely), tap on the app and hold it for a few seconds (i.e., long press) until you see a trash can icon at the bottom of your screen. Drag the app to the trash can to remove it.
  • To add an app to one of the screens, tap the Applications icon and then long press the app you want to add. Drag it to the panel you want to place it on.
  • You can add folders to a screen too. Long press an empty area of the screen and select Folders. Depending on your system, you may be able to set up not just a new basic folder to contain your apps, but also specific folders such as All contacts or Recent documents. Move apps into a folder by dragging them to it.
  • To add a widget, shortcut, or change the wallpaper, long press as above on an empty area of the screen. Widgets can contain dynamic information, such as weather, news, a clock, and more. Shortcuts are quick links to an app, a contact, a bookmark, settings, and so on.
  • My Color Screen is a great resource to find beautiful Android homescreens shared by others--and learn to create your own customized versions.

There's a whole lot more you can do with Android, but this basic setup guide should get you started. Enjoy your new phone or tablet!

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