How To: Just Got a New Android Phone? Here's All the Apps & Info You Need to Get Started

Just Got a New Android Phone? Here's All the Apps & Info You Need to Get Started

If you were a particularly good little girl or boy this year, Santa might have finally brought you that cool new smartphone you've been wanting. Or perhaps you just took advantage of a great sale and treated yourself to a new gadget this holiday season—totally justifiable, and surely a well-deserved gift.

No matter how you got your new Android device, you'd be well served to learn a few tricks to help get the most out of your phone or tablet. In addition to that, you probably now have an old Android that could be put to good use instead of just shoved in a junk drawer. So to help you with all of this, we've compiled a list of our favorite apps, tips, and tricks that every Android user should know.

Completely New to Android? Learn the Basics in No Time

If you're completely new to Android, there's plenty to learn about your awesome new smartphone. It can be intimidating at first, so we created a series of tutorials called Android Basics that will walk you through the important aspects and give you a better understanding of how everything works.

The following link serves as our Android Basics landing page, so bookmark it if you have the chance. The topics are arranged in logical order like a school curriculum, so it starts at the beginning with "How to Install Apps," then progressively covers more difficult topics as you learn.

Essential Apps to Get You Started

Next, let's talk about apps. If you previously used an iPhone or iPad, you should know that some of your favorite iOS apps are not available on Android. But that's just a minor hurdle, because there are plenty of great alternatives, as well as apps that you can only get on Android, and we've covered both at the following link:

But let's say you just got a new Android tablet. Even if you're familiar with Android already, many apps just aren't optimized for bigger screens. So to help you take full advantage of the larger display on your new device, we created a list of all the best tablet-optimized apps on the Play Store:

Two of the hottest phones this holiday season are Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL. If you were lucky enough to get one of these bad boys for Christmas, there are a bunch of Pixel-exclusive features that you might not know about. So to make sure you're not missing out on awesome functionality, hit up the following guide:

What to Do with Your Old Android Phone

Before you get too caught up with the ins and outs of your new smartphone, you should take a second to come up with a plan for your old Android device. Instead of just sticking it in a drawer to be forgotten about, one great way to put an old smartphone to use would be to turn it into a dedicated Chromecast remote:

Another great use for an old smartphone would be to turn it into a live security camera for your home or office. There are several apps that can do this, but we've covered your best option at the following link:

Help Set Up a Smartphone for Family Members

If you're the tech support person in your family, you can expect a few troubleshooting calls in the coming weeks when family members start having issues with their new devices. If you'd like to get ahead of this problem, we've written a guide on how to make Android as user-friendly as possible with a few small tweaks. This one would be particularly useful if an elderly family member just got their first smartphone, so check out the full guide below:

Hot Deal: Set up a secure second phone number and keep your real contact details hidden with a yearly subscription to Hushed Private Phone Line for Android/iOS, 83%–91% off. It's a perfect second-line solution for making calls and sending texts related to work, dating, Craigslist sales, and other scenarios where you wouldn't want to give out your primary phone number.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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