How to navigate through your Android device [Android 101]

Picking up an Android device for the very first time? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s out brief guide on how to navigate through your Android.

KEEP IN MIND: Not all Android phones are the same. Some will have more steps required to complete each task, others will have less. At AndroidGuys, we will do our best to walk you through each task as well as we can.

Home screens

Home screens

When you power on your Android device (and you’ve gotten passed the set up process), you’ll likely see a few pages that look something like this. These are called “home screens”. They hold all of your most used apps, folders, and information to be referenced as easily as possible. Home screens can be customized however you’d like them to be, whether cluttered with useful information or completely bare.

To navigate through different pages, swipe from the right or left side of your screen.

Page counter

page counter

On every home screen will be a page counter. On the phone we’re using for this demo, the pages are indicated by dots.

App drawer

app drawer collage

The app drawer is a unique feature to Android devices. It can be accessed by pressing the button, usually indicated by a few rows of dots. As you can see from the photo below, all app drawer buttons look different from one another.

The app drawer houses all of the applications that are installed on your device. This way, you can still access an app when it isn’t taking up room on your home screen. To add an app from the app drawer to your home screen, simply press and hold it, and let it go in an empty spot.

Dock Collage

Pictured above are the docks/app drawers from differend devices – HTC, LG, Nexus 5, Samsung, Sony (top to bottom).

Notifications

notification collageTo access your notifications, pull down from the very top of your screen to view your notification shade. Notifications can be swiped away if you don’t need them anymore. More on notifications here.

Folders

Folder collageFolders are a great way of customizing your home screen. On most phones, drag and drop an application on to another to create a folder. You then have the ability to rename it, reorder it, or remove apps from it. More on folders here.

Navigation bar

Nav bar collage

Pictured above are the navigation bars from different devices – HTC, LG, Nexus 5, Samsung, Sony (top to bottom).

Towards the bottom of the screen is what’s known as the “navigation bar”. Most devices feature a back button (arrow), home button (house), and a recent apps key (boxes stacked on one another).

  • Back button – Brings you back one page from wherever you are in the device
  • Home button – Brings you back to the home screen from wherever you are in the device
  • Recent apps key – Pulls up a list of recently used apps (used mainly for quick app switching)

Notice that the second to last navigation bar (Samsung) doesn’t use on-screen buttons. Samsung choose to put their buttons below the screen on almost every device. But don’t worry, they work basically the same as every other device out there. We’ll explain more on that later.

When it comes to home screens, that’s just about it. Play around with your Android device, and have fun customizing it!

Still having trouble? Head to the comments and we will do our best to help you out! If there is anything you would like to suggest to AndroidGuys or to any other readers, feel free to use the comment section below!

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