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Tips Helpful Tips (for Newbies)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by burgertime, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. burgertime

    burgertime Android Enthusiast
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    I know there is a "qeustions" thread but it might be a good idea to have a tips thread for n00bs so here goes...Also please let me know if there is anything that needs to be added. This is probably going to be more of a general thread for users moving to Android or Android users who are less than technical.


    Moving contacts over from your old Android Phone to the Photon (only if your google account does not move over contacts)

    **IMPORTANT NOTE**: using this method I am almost 100% sure you need a SD card in your phone


    This is actually pretty simple. I'll share how I did it, although there might be an easier way:

    First get an app like UiA Backup (LINK HERE) After downloading it on your phone you will have the option to make a CSV file with the phone contacts. Once you do this make sure to send it to yourself in an email. Once you have sent it open it in Excel or another Excel like program. Copy the files and then go to the CSV to VCard converter (LINK HERE) follow the directions and post the CSV information. This will create a VCard for you from that CSV. Now copy the VCard data and open Notepad (in windows7 just hit start and search Notepad) paste the data in to Notepad and go to save it. When you name it be sure it uses the extension vcf this means when you name it, it should look like this "contacts.vcf". once you've done this, send yourself an email with the vcf file you've just saved.

    Now make sure you've download a browser such as Dolphin HD browser (LINK HERE) this will allow you to download the VCard you sent yourself. Download the file and make sure it saves on your SD card (this should be the default). One you have downloaded the VCard you will need to open up your Contacts app. Once it's open hit the button on your phone on the far left which has four open squares and one closed one, this pulls up your settings. Next hit the "Import/Export" option that has an arrow going up and down. Then select "Import Contacts From", this will be the first option. It will then ask if you want to import from the SD Card or the SIM card, choose the SD Card. It will then automatically select the vcf file and start uploading.


    Remember that if you had Facebook contacts in your old phone that it will also import those when you create the CSV file.


    Stop Auto Sync (google) and remove Facebook Contacts

    This is a cross post from another thread:

    It's pretty simple to turn off auto sync. Click on the little square on your home screen that pulls up all of your apps go to Settings than go to Accounts. From here you can select gmail and uncheck the sync option.

    To Remove facebook contacts it's also pretty simple. Again click on the little square to pull up your apps. Choose contacts, hit the far left button on your phone that has the four little squares. This will pull up more options, choose the "display options" and select facebook, simply uncheck "all contacts". This should remove your facebook contacts. You can also do the same for gmail.

    Also just to add I think to stop they sync of facebook just click on the social media widget (what shows your facebook contacts are saying on your home screen) hold down on it until you see a little trash can at the top, drag it to the trash can. This will not delete it forever it will simply stop it from running and syncing all the time. I would suggest hitting the square on your home screen to pull up the apps find the "social networking" app click and hold on to it and place it on your home screen. Then you can just open it when you want to

    How to toggle 3g data on and off (All credit goes to user Bandage)

    Ok so those of you who own the Photon have probably noticed Motorola buried the Data Toggle option deep in menus were not used to finding them in. None of the current Toggle / Widget apps support access to this menu with a single click.

    EarlyMon (Android Forums) pointed out a free Toggle App, that with some exploration and trial I was able to come up with a work-around that allows a single press Data Toggle.

    Here's a quick tutorial:

    1. Download Widgetsoid2.x and install.

    2. Long-press on Home Screen, and select "Widgets"

    3. Scroll down to Widgetsoid Switcher 1x1

    4. 1st option on the toolbar down on the bottom is "Network" select that.

    5. Select "Mobile Data"

    6. Next go to Theme...and customize the look you want for the toggle.

    7. Select Apply on lower menu bar

    8. A menu will pop up asking if you want to "Edit Global Preferences"...Yes

    9. The first Tab from top is "Data Toggle Mode"

    10. Select "Root Toggle"

    11. Press your BACK key...and it will return you to your Home Screen.

    Done... There's your Data Toggle!

    **USEFUL APPS** click on the name of the app for the link

    Semi Silent Pro - This app is a paid app but it allows you to set certain contacts to always ring when your phone is on vibrate. For business users this is extremely useful if you have an important phone call you are waiting for. There is also a free version.

    Agile Lock - If you do not like the current Moto Blur lock this will give you the Sense 3.0 lock. Again this is a paid app there is of course a free version but it is not the Sense 3.0 lock.

    PDA Net - This is a free easy to use app for your Android phone so you can tether your 3g/4g/WIFI connection to your PC. This means you can use your PC to surf the net so long as your phone is getting reception. In order to use PDA Net you have to have it also installed on your PC (CLICK LINK HERE). Check instructions on how to use PDA Net (CLICK LINK HERE)

    Launcher Pro - This is Launcher that is very popular. It will replace Moto Blur which many users do not like.


    ES File Explorer - Great free file explorer for Android, this really comes in handy when you need to move files inside your SD card with out having to plug into your personal computer.

    MuteCamera - This is a paid app that allows you to mute the shutter button on the camera. Comes in handy if you are annoyed by the sound of the shutter or need to take stealth photos of crazy people in Wal-Mart or a New York Subway.

    Astro File Manager - Another great file manager, this one allows for app backup so you can pull over your apps from another phone.

    From EarlyMon, "On Astro backups - apk files run AND install. When you restore from Astro, a righteous re-install happens.

    Another cool thing about Astro is that it can allow your browser to download files it might not otherwise. Follow the Astro preference note on its use and note that is browser dependent. If all else fails, Firefox will do downloads.
    "

    Spare Parts Plus - (Free) Some apps do not scale to fullscreen on qHD screens (which the Photon has). Again from EarlyMon, "Uncheck Compatibility Mode if checked, reboot".

    SMS Backup and Restore - This free app will backup your SMS text messages in an XML format on your SD card so you can either move them to another phone, or restore your messages should they get lost. Remember though if you have to be sneaky you might not want your text messages backed up ;)
     

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  2. Godfather13

    Godfather13 Android Enthusiast
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    Since every Android user has to have a gmail account, couldnt you just sync your google account "gmail" before you turn your old phone off (under settings > account > sync)? Then when you turn your new phone on and enter in your gmail acct all your contacts are already there.

    Thats all I did and it worked perfectly. No need for any backup apps or anything like that. Just quick and easy. Unless Im forgetting something???
     
  3. burgertime

    burgertime Android Enthusiast
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    I tried that, and it didn't work for me. Maybe because most of my contacts weren't setup as google accounts?
     
  4. Godfather13

    Godfather13 Android Enthusiast
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    Hmm, if I remember correctly when you add a new contact on Froyo it will ask if you want to save it as a "phone" contact or a "google" contact. But even still, Im sure theres a way to transfer them all into a google contact and then sync it. But if there is I dont know it.

    I didnt have everyone as a "google" contact in my rooted Hero, but everyone somehow transfered over to the Photon when I sync'd my gmail up. Pure luck maybe?
     
  5. simcha

    simcha Android Enthusiast
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    I've been careful to save all my contacts as Google contacts. When they sent me a new Epic to replace the old Epic I just synced my contacts from google and all my contacts came to the new phone. However in a day or so, something strange happened and all of the phone numbers were wiped away both on Google and on my phone. All of the names were there and the numbers were gone. Sprint was clueless as to how this happened.

    This time I'm making sure I have a vcf file on my sd card. All you have to do on the Epic is to open up contacts, go to settings, hit import/export, choose export to external sd card, hit ok, and it's done.

    Won't a vcf file carry my contacts to the Photon on my sd card if Google blows up on me again?
     
  6. burgertime

    burgertime Android Enthusiast
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    Yes it should, I was having the same problem. Periodically my Evo would just wipe my contacts with no reasonable explanation, which is why I had a backup CSV file. All you have to do to carry over the VCF is do the last step in that little tutorial I had.

    Also when I activated my Photon the only numbers I had in there were facebook contacts...not sure why but I guess google sync on my Evo didn't like me.
     
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  7. skep

    skep Well-Known Member
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    I've had 5 or 6 different Android phones, no exaggeration. I've never had to transfer over contacts, just as godfather said, I added ALL my contacts to my GMAIL account, and each new contact I add, I add it to "Google" not "Phone". This way, each time I get a new android, I load in my Gmail account info, and all of the information loads automatically. Couldn't be easier!
     
  8. drexappeal

    drexappeal Android Expert
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    Making this a sticky.
     
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  9. busted bones

    busted bones Android Enthusiast
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    I had 60 numbers saved to my phone originally by dumb mistake and I spent days trying to figure a way to transfer them back to my google contacts but couldnt so I finally caved in about it and wrote them all down by hand and re entered all of them into my phone.
     
  10. busted bones

    busted bones Android Enthusiast
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    As for the OP I think this is a useful post in case something somehow happens so that I cant sync with google.
     
  11. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    We found some apps didn't scale full screen on qHD but that Spare Parts +, free in the Market, will solve this.

    Uncheck Compatibility Mode if checked, reboot.
     
  12. Godfather13

    Godfather13 Android Enthusiast
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    Does Spare Parts+ fix this automatically once its installed? Is it like a "install and forget about it" app or do you have to specifically do something with the apps that dont scale correctly?
     
  13. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    It accesses hidden system settings, so you do it once and walk away.

    If an seems not set for high res it will not go full screen.

    Problem is that Android is too conservative and may force apps to run at low res that don't need to.

    This setting I suggest has no known downsides.

    Try Radar Now, free in the Market, for an example of an app definitely needing a high res update.
     
  14. blindman13

    blindman13 Well-Known Member
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    Exactly the same thing happened when my girl got an Epic. That thing would not stop wiping her contacts...even google couldnt stop it...had to go.
     
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  15. djmiked

    djmiked Newbie
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    Forgive the newbie. I just purchased a Photon and I'm coming from an original Samsung Instinct. I have all my contacts sync'd with the sprint server. is there a way to get them onto the photon through sprint?
     
  16. busted bones

    busted bones Android Enthusiast
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    Alright, maybe I misread astros capabilities for restoring apps or I'm missing something. I backed up all of my apps on Astro from my EVO but cant seem to recover them onto my Photon. Anyone have a guide or something?
     
  17. drexappeal

    drexappeal Android Expert
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    I've never really used Astro for backing up apps (always have used Appbrain because it links to the market).

    I have recently switched to Astro as far as being able to view files on the sd card (interior and exterior). From what I saw, there is a default directory that's set up where all the apps would've been stored on your sd card. This is the default that's listed on my Photon right now:

    /mnt/sdcard/backups

    That said, I'm assuming, if you followed the directory path you'd find your apps there? I'm also assuming they'd all be in the form of apk's, but not positive.
     
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  18. twospirits

    twospirits AF's janitor
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    Whats the difference between Spare part Plus and Spare Parts Plus Pro?

    TS
     
  19. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    The dev is only looking out for us, so there are no ads.

    The Pro version allows a way to contribute to the dev for showing the love.

    He asks as an alternative to just give it 5 stars or consider his other apps. (assuming it's a he)

    ~~~~~~

    On Astro backups - apk files run AND install. When you restore from Astro, a righteous re-install happens.

    Another cool thing about Astro is that it can allow your browser to download files it might not otherwise. Follow the Astro preference note on its use and note that is browser dependent. If all else fails, Firefox will do downloads.

    I manage multiple browsers using Choose Browser.

    I highly recommend Boat Browser Mini, fwiw.
     
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  20. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    Use copy / paste to transport the /sdcard/backups/apps folder from your 4G to the same place on your Photon.

    In Astro, menu, Tools, Application Manager / Backup, tab on upper right, select and install.
     
  21. busted bones

    busted bones Android Enthusiast
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    I wasnt under mnt. I was wondering why when ever I found a astro file nothing was in there.
     
  22. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    Sorry for my bad instructions above.

    Standard Android usually equates /sdcard with /mnt/sdcard automagically.
     
  23. burgertime

    burgertime Android Enthusiast
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    I'll add to this when I get off of work today. I plan on adding ES File Explorer, MuteCamera, Astro and Spare Part Plus.
     
  24. pjr99

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    Just abandoned my EPIC and moved on to the Photon......it Rocks....so far.

    2 Qs.......
    1. How the heck do I get the battery cover off w/o breaking it?
    I will goto to the store if necessary.
    2. Mind appears to not have come with a Micro SD card....prob that is the way they ship. If so, I'll insert my 16gb and upgrade later to a 32gb.

    Thx,
    Phil R
     
  25. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    SMS Backup is another great must-have tool for a lot of people.
     
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