Kill Power Suckers
Some applications (such as Facebook, Google Maps, and Twitter) drain more battery power than others. Shut them down if you are not actively using them. Go to Settings > Applications > Running Services > Running Apps > Stop.
Switch Between Apps Fast
No app is an island; hop between the last six applications used by pressing and holding the Home key.
A Toolbox for Calls
Android phone makers offer various tricks for handling calls. For instance, the myTouch 3G Slide lets you create and edit customized auto-texts, such as “In a meeting, call you back.” The Droid X can be set to automatically redial numbers that fail to connect. See what call tools your phone offers by selecting Settings > Call Settings.
Add a Contact to the Home Screen
Add people you call most to your home screen for one-touch dialing. Long press the home screen > Shortcuts > Contact.
Some carriers pre-install apps on Android smart phones for added revenue. Get rid of that annoying bloatware. Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications. Select a specific app, then tap Uninstall. Just keep in mind that some apps can’t be deleted.
Name That Folder
Folders are useless unless you know what’s saved in them. Leave yourself a hint by giving that manila icon a title. Open a folder, long press on the title bar, and enter a headline.
Update Apps Automatically
Updates to your favorite apps can be released as often as each week. Be sure your applications are up-to-date by installing updates from the Android Market automatically. Launch the Android Market > Menu > My Apps. After you choose an application, click Allow Automatic Updating.
Group ‘Em in Folders
Some Android phones offer up to seven home screens, but if all that wall space gets cluttered, group your apps into folders to free up space. Long press on the home screen and select Folder under Add to Home Screen.
Make Your Phone a Digital Clock
Turn your home screen into a clock complete with time, date, local weather, and settings for brightness and battery settings. Download and install Alarm Clock (free). To use your phone as a nighttime clock, set the display to stay on at night even as your phone is charging. Settings > Applications > Development > Stay Awake.
Add More Widgets to Your Home Screen
Android home screens always include a few widgets out of the box, but many of your favorite apps (including Facebook, Shazam, and YouTube) have widgets of their own. Long press on the home screen > select Android widgets. Then choose from the list of options.
The Google Translate app can translate spoken English to Spanish and spoken Spanish to English. Download the app from the Market, then launch it and tap Conversation Mode. Then speak into the phone and listen as it speaks your words in the other language. For now, this app only works with English and Spanish, but it’s pretty impressive.
Launch Settings Options Faster
Get direct access to GPS, Wi-Fi radio, and display settings. Long press on any of the home screens. Then choose either Android widgets, Shortcuts, or—if your device uses a customized Android interface (HTC Sense, Motoblur, or Samsung Galaxy)—choose the widgets associated with that interface.