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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 sounds individually. While you're in an app, tap the Menu key and select Options or Settings. If the app offers notifications of any type, you should see a way to set the sound, to wanting to use only a certain portion of a song - say, the catchy chorus that starts 45 seconds into a Sfavourite tune - grab the free RingDroid app from the Android Market. With this, it's easy to edit MP3s so that you can get the exact clip you need.

LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

Most Android devices come with an LED indicator. By default, this usually flashes different colours to alert you to a missed call, to new email, or to a new text message. But you can make it do much more. Missed Call, a free app, harnesses the LED

select whether it'll be accompanied by a vibration, and to choose whether it'll add a visual alert to your notification panel.

You can use any of these options to customise how you want to be notified about different events. You might, for example, want to hear a sound and get a vibration when new email messages arrive on your personal Gmail account, but receive only a visual notification without any sound when messages arrive in your work email inbox.

The same principle can be applied to text-messaging, Twitter apps, Facebook apps, or practically any other service for which there are associated alerts.

to expand your device's notification functionality by making the light flash in specified colours when particular events happen. You could program it to flash orange when you miss a call from your boss and purple when you miss a call from your partner. You can even set flashing LED colours to alert you to calendar items and other customisable events.

MAKE ANDROID DO THE WORK

Personalisation doesn't just mean making your Android device cooler, it can also make your life easier.

g HD £311:23 AM

Q Ringtones

Silent

Beat Box Android

Caffeinated Rattlesnake

Captain's Log

Dear Deer

Don't Panic

▲ Widgets for all kinds of purposes are easily added to your home screen

Don't Follow - Alice in Chains

AAC, 44100 Hz, 0 kbps, 263.50 seconds

A The RingDroid app lets you cut your desired ringtone out of an audio track

Got an annoying relative or coworker who can't take a hint? Route their calls directly to your voicemail and they'll never disturb you again. Just make sure you've entered the offending person's information into your contacts list, then open their profile and press the Menu key. Select Options and select the tick box for Send calls directly to voicemail.

You can control more closely how your phone handles calls and other tasks by installing FoxyRing, free from the Android Market. This app allows you to set custom parameters based on your location. You could have your phone always switch to silent when you're at the local cinema, for example, or to vibrate-only when you're at the office. FoxyRing also allows you to set 'sleeping hours' during which your phone won't ring at all.

For even more robust options, consider two paid-for apps: Setting Profiles and Locale. Available in the Market for $4 and $11 respectively, these let you set your phone to do all sorts of things based on conditions such as location, day and time or battery status. The apps can alter everything from advanced sounds to power settings, and even perform complex actions such as opening other programs when preset conditions are met.

NAVIGATE IN STYLE

Depending on your device, using hotkeys to navigate the operating system might save you some time. Android has a built-in set of keyboard shortcuts, but you can also create your own. From your home screen, tap the Menu key and select Settings. Next, choose Applications and then Quick Launch to set hotkeys for any app.

When it comes to web navigation, you're not stuck with Android's default browser. Third-party alternatives offer powerful extra functionality. Try Dolphin Browser (free from the Android Market, or $5 for a licence to remove in-app adverts) for options such as multitouch zooming, gesture-driven control, and seamless link-sharing to social networks.

As for file navigation, you can browse an Android device like a computer using a file manager such as Astro, free to download from the Market. This lets you browse through your phone and memory card directories and move files at will.

AUTOCOMPLETE YOURSELF

Last but not least, a word on Android's autocomplete technology. This can do much more than merely suggest words as you type into the Search box; it can also help you by filling in the phrases and proper nouns you use most often when entering text.

The secret is to edit Android's custom dictionary. Tap the Menu key from your home screen and go to Settings, Language and keyboard, then select User dictionary. Try adding your name, your street address, or any phrase you find yourself typing often (for example, 'I'm in a meeting - will call you back when I can'): from now on, those terms will pop up in the autocomplete list as you start typing them.

Iffijej 11:26 AM

Q Choose color

Add Current Location

Location name:

1 Wori<l 1

Radius:

J 400 Meters

o

Silent & no vibration

A Apps such as Missed Call use the LED light on your device for notifications

A FoxyRing is a free app that will select ring modes according to your location

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