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Android Tips

Date Written: May 2012

The latest version of the Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), combines both the phone and tablet operating systems. Not only does it help with compatibility on all Android devices, but it also offers some new features as well. Here are 5 tips for the new Android ICS operating system.

  • Voice Commands - Everyone knows about Siri with Apple, but Android has actually had voice commands for quite awhile. Voice Actions let you call friends, send emails, get directions, set alarms, and perform several other common tasks by simply speaking into your phone. To activate Voice Action commands, tap on the microphone that appears in the search bar on the top of your home screen. Then speak the command into the phone. For more information about Voice Action commands and some examples of what you can do, click here.

  • Swipe to Close Apps - Android 4.0 offers a new and intuitive way to close apps that are running on your device. Tap on the multi-task button on your device and you will see a list of all running apps. To close an app, simply swipe the icon for that app to the left or right.

  • Android phone showing the voice command screen
  • Browser Tips - The stock web browser that comes with ICS is actually quite good and is a big improvement over previous stock Android web browsers. With the browser open, long press on the back button to bring up your Bookmarks, History, and Saved Pages.

  • Also, add Quick Controls to give you more space for your browser and easy access to your browser controls. Open the default web browser and tap on Menu > Settings > Labs > Quick Controls. Now simply slide your finger from the left or right edge of the screen to bring up a quick control panel. Here you can access the tabs you have open, the url bar, and menu.

  • Notification Bar - In ICS, there are a few new features involving the notification bar. First, you are now able to access the notification bar from your lock screen. When you get a notification, you can swipe down on the notification bar without unlocking your phone. This will save you a couple seconds each time.

  • Also, you now have the ability to dismiss a notification with a swipe of your finger. When a notification appears in the bar, simply swipe your finger left or right to dismiss it.

  • Take a Screenshot - Previously with Android, in order to take a screen shot on your phone, you would need to root your phone and then install a separate application in order to capture the screenshot. Now with ICS, you can easily take a screenshot by holding down the Power button and Volume Down button. You can find the screenshots in the gallery on your device.

This list contains just 5 of the cool new tricks with Android’s newest operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. Google is currently in the process of rolling out ICS to several Android devices.


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