So you picked up an Android device as a holiday gift—or you're going to pick one up yourself before the new year, because your contract's up or you're going without a contract. That is great news. There are lots of places to get tips on getting the most from your Android device, but none will be so quick and instantly rewarding as these 5 things I have listed here.
There are 5 more to come in Part 2. These first 5 are the most instantly helpful to making your phone handy and useful on a day-to-day basis.
Note: This is a revised and updated version of a quick-start guide included in my book, The Complete Android Guide, which I am desperately overdue in updating. Enjoy the fruits of my procrastination!
1) Install Google Voice
It might already be installed, but if it isn't, grab Google Voice now and head to voice.google.com to sign up. Even if you don't plan to change your number and use Voice for all your calls and texts, its computer-transcribed voicemail, call recording, and other helpful uses are worth it.
2) Set up your work email
If your work email is run through Google Apps, an Exchange server, or another common corporate system, you should be able to head into your Settings, scroll down to Accounts, choose "Add account," and pick Email to start getting your email delivered right to your phone. If not, you might have to ask your work IT to give you the proper setup information: IMAP server, SMTP server, your username (which could be a short nickname or a long version, with the @company.com included), and the password. And, actually, I recommend you try out K-9 Mail for your work mail, as it is a more powerful and reliable non-Gmail app than the built-in Email app.