Sep 25, 2020

I received my Pixel 4a yesterday, and this is my first Android smartphone ever. Since 2013 I have only owned iPhones and looking at my Pixel 4a interface, I feel a bit lost. So many options! This is great and very exciting, but also intimidating.

No doubt that I will learn by trial and error, but can you direct me to a good and detailed guide for Android 11 newbie?

Thank you very much
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Welcome to Android Forums Jacques Wegier! :)

One thing to keep in mind is that Android allows much MORE than that other OS. More choices, more customization, more ability to control your environment, etc. Plus we've had things, like widgets, FOREVER that iOS has just now introduced as 'brand new.' :rolleyes:

You can make your device look and feel exactly how you want. Don't like cluttered home pages filled with icons? Get rid of them! Want to group icons a certain way? Use your multiple home screens for that.

Using a third-party launcher--as many of us do--can add even more versatility to your device. I use ADW, others prefer Nova or something else. If you'd like to see some cool things you can do with ADW, have a look at this thread. You'll note that I'm a minimalist, with absolutely NO CLUTTER on my main home screen.

That's another thing: home screens. On Android we can have several of them; I don't know about iOS. But if you're new to that concept, feel free to ask any questions you may have about using them. Or anything else! :D
Sit down and take the time to look through the Settings menu on your Pixel. Go through each item one at time, and keep in mind a lot of menu items have their own sub-menus and there a lot of contextual options (things that change depending on how other settings are selected). The Settings menu will, by intent, be a direct interface to your particular phone model -- the issue being different phone models have different features and hardware configurations. So your Settings menu will be similar to any other Android device, but will also have notable differences. (i.e. Pixel phones use a clean, as is version of Android, Samsung phones tend to include a lot of branding so there are added and altered menus.) Get familiar with your phone's Settings menu and you'll be more familiar with your phone's features.

And take a look into Settings menus of your apps too. Their defaults are typically set to be 'low friction' and neutral. In your Pixel, a good example is the default Camera app, an app Google paid special attention to, with features that correspond to the unique camera module itself -- take advantage of its benefits and optimize the app's Settings to your needs.
... Apple can optimize its hardware and software because it's a closed system with almost all the initial development and manufacturing processes. With the Android platform, it's a matter of the software has to be much more adaptable and configurable as it needs to able to run on a much wider array of less defined hardware configurations. The Pixel camera is a rare instance where the software (Camera app) and hardware (camera modules) are a matched pair.
yep, what he said.png

Welcome aboard, Jacque.
just wanted to say welcome to AF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

there really is no guide per se for android at least not on the web. they do have books on android. but really the best info would be this forum and like you said by "trial and error".

to personalize your phone, @MoodyBlues has some great suggestions, but i would recommend the Nova launcher over ADW.....but that is a personal taste......been using that launcher since android 2.2 (Froyo....frozen yogurt). try it out and if you like it, get Prime which is the full paid version of the launcher. it offers more customization as well as more options.

looking forward to seeing you around the forums here.
Welcome @Jacques Wegier. I think the best advice i can offer is something you'll never hear your mother say ... "play with it!" :eek: ;) :D

Seriously, just tap on stuff and see what it does. Swipes, long-presses, gestures, etc. will all do something. The three little dots or three bars are all contextual menus and setting options in android. Get used to them since they are ubiquitous. And most important, when you get frustrated (and you will) step away from it for a few minutes and enjoy a refreshing beverage while you ponder the privilege of having first world problems.

I'd also recommend learning Android as a task-based project. Think of how you most used your iPhone and then figure out the way it's done on Android. I guarantee you will like the way Android does certain things and hate others, but when you hit those walls, we're here to give you a gentle shove over them and show you that the grass is really greener on the other side (because we spread on the fertilizer pretty thick).
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would recommend the Nova launcher

Before I received my Pixel 4a, I have already read a bit about these alternative launchers, I will definitely try Nova right after being more acquainted with all the menu items, the sub-menus and all the setting options.

. ... "play with it!" :eek:

That's what I have been doing since this morning ;)

Things are clearer now. After a few hours playing with my Pixel, I start to feel at home and enjoy the freedom.

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Is it possible to remove the names under the apps icons on the Home Screen, or is it something that only a Launcher like Nova can do (which I will install later today, anyway)?
I don't believe the Pixel Launcher has that option. Nova, ADW and others certainly do. One of the best benefits of a custom launcher is to be able to backup your configuration (not just content). If you need -- or want -- to reset your phone for any reason, with a launcher backup you can get back to your exact configuration in just a few minutes, rather than wasting an hour moving things around from the defaults.
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