40 Tips and Tricks for Android Users

Last Updated Dec 17, 2009 3:23 PM EST

I recently had the chance to play with Verizon's Droid, arguably the flagship Android phone. I liked it, but found the user interface a little unintuitive. Too bad I had to send it back before reading PC World's Master Google Android: 40 Tips and Tricks.

Among other things, the list covers various UI tweaks and features that, quite frankly, escaped my notice. Here's a sampling:

1. Make the most of your space by using widgets--dynamic programs that operate right on your home screen. Simply hold your finger on any open space, and then select Widgets from the pop-up menu. Widgets come in a huge variety of sizes and functions, so search the Android Market to find what works for you.

2. Prefer not to be bothered by a sound every time an e-mail arrives? Head into Gmail's Settings menu and set its ringtone to Silent. You'll still see new-message alerts in the notification panel at the top of your screen, and you can always pull the panel down to get detailed information. You can configure text messaging and other alert-generating apps the same way.

Suffice it to say, if you own an Android phone (and for anyone not interested in the iPhone ecosystem, I highly recommend one), this is seriously useful batch of tips and tricks.
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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.