Set the right tone

Personalise your ringtones and other Android system sounds As well as adjusting the default sounds, you can customise ringtones and notifications for specific people or programs. To change the ringtone associated with a particular person, open their profile in your Android device's contacts list. Press the Menu key, then tap Options and Ringtone. Whatever audio file you select will now play as the ringtone only when that person calls you. Most programs have similar options to alter notification...

Social networking and IM

It's easy to keep up with your social networks on your Android device. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all have official apps to download free from the Android Market, each with a range of notification options. Third-party Twitter apps such as Twidroid, Swift and Seesmic offer alternative approaches. There's also support for all the major instant messaging (IM) platforms. Google Talk is preloaded on most devices, while apps such as Meebo, free from the Market, let you use this and other IM...

Spot the difference

While Apple's mobile operating system has plenty of strengths, an Android tablet such as the Tab could have an advantage in numerous areas. Apps Apple's App Store may have more items, but Android lets you install what you like. With no pre-approval, there's no censorship of content. Tethering Android opens up the potential to hook up your laptop to a 3G tablet and use its interne connection without having to pay extra. Flash Love it or hate it, Flash is a big part of the web. iPad can't display...

The Android Market

Google's online store makes it easy to find and buy the appsyou need espite its excellent operating WM system, your Android phone is ultimately only as useful as the apps installed on it. Whether you're looking to play games, manage media or find new ways to organise your life, apps are the tools that can make it happen. Android's official app store is the Android Market. While the open nature of Google's platform allows you to download apps from anywhere (several other app download sites...

Pintail

Pintail helps you to locate your phone. Or you can use It to share your location with selected friends and family. And It's very simple to use. Pintail is an app for finding lost Android phones. When you send an SMS message to yourself, with your chosen personal identification number, from another phone, Pintail texts you back the location of your own device. It's that simple. Setup is easy type a four-digit PIN into Pintail, close the app and you're done. You can now text 'Locate ' to your...

Info

Introducing Why an Android-based smartphone or tablet is a smart - and very popular - choice Getting to know Take a tour around the operating system and learn its handy built-in features Music, video and Use Android's capabilities and add-ons to make the most of your media anywhere Beyond the Secure your device, consider root access, and use apps to make free phone calls Android Read our reviews and take your pick from an ever-growing number of programs Android We test a broad selection of the...

Step by step file management

1 Install a file manager Android doesn't come with the type of file manager you're accustomed to on your PC, so you'll miss the ability to browse through documents, move around or delete media stored on your memory card and organise your email attachments. Fortunately, there are plenty of third-party file manager applications you can add. We like Ol File Manager, a free download from the Android Market. 2 Browse your memory Once installed and launched, the application can browse the contents of...

Utilities

The screen backlight on most Android phones uses an awful lot of battery-power. Though you can globally tweak the timeout that turns off the backlight, in some circumstances you just don't want it to go out. Maybe you're using an app while driving, or you might have an app that loses data or switches off altogether if the phone happens to lock up its screen while the app is running. For those times, there's KeepScreen. The KeepScreen app lists all of the installed apps on your phone then, with...

Managing files and documents

Android doesn't come with a file browser or editor but help is at hand 11 play and no work makes your smartphone an expensive toy. But with the help of a wide selection of professional-grade mobile apps from the Android Market, your Android device can get down to business. Here's an overview of some of the best apps for viewing, creating and editing business documents on the go. You have several ways to move files onto, off and around your Android phone. The easiest method is to connect your...