Android Smartphone Basics Everyone Should Know

Android Smartphone Basics Everyone Should Know

SIM and SD cards
They are often confused with one another, and since they have very different functions, it’s important to know the difference.

A SIM card is provided by your phone company (Verizon, Tracfone, AT&T), usually for free, and contains information such as your phone number and contacts. It is usually quite small and white in color.

A Micro SD card can be used in most smartphones and is for storing things like photos, music, videos and documents. Micro SD cards can be purchased almost anywhere, including Walmart, CVS, and even eBay. These cards come in sizes like 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB.

If your phone has a removable back, the SIM and SD card slots can be found by removing the back from the phone. Otherwise, a small drawer located on the top or side of the phone holds the SIM and SD cards. A special key is required to open this drawer and must be included with the purchase of the phone.

The home screen
The home screen is similar to the desktop of a computer. This is the main screen you’ll use the most, and your phone returns to it every time you press the home button. More screens can be added to the right or left of the home screen and can be accessed by swiping in either direction.

Apps installed from the Play Store will automatically appear on the home screen. It is also possible to drag apps from the app drawer to the home screen or from one screen to another.

Your smartphone uses applications (apps) to perform thousands of functions. These apps like to send notifications to keep us informed. YouTube, for example, will notify you of a newly uploaded video that you might like. While the weather app will send weather-related notifications and your messaging app will show you messages as you receive them. Swipe the notifications to the right to clear them or click “clear all”.

Notification bar
The notification bar is located at the top of the screen and usually shows the time, current battery level, and Wi-Fi/data strength. The notification bar can be expanded by swiping down. When expanded, quick settings such as WiFi, data, location and Bluetooth are revealed.

App drawer
The app drawer is where you can find and launch any of your phone’s apps. It can be accessed from the bottom of your home screen (or any you’ve added) in one of two ways:

Clicking on the circle icon (usually white) with several holes or dots
Swipe up

Home, Back and Recent keys
The home button will take you back to the home screen from any screen or app and is located at the bottom center of all smartphones.

The back key will return you to the previous screen. Hitting back twice will exit the app.

The recent key reveals all open applications. Swipe apps to the right to exit and close, or click “close all” to close all open apps. This is quite important as improperly closing an app will slow down your phone significantly; especially since several are left open.

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