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25 Essential Tweaks to Perform on Your New Android Phone (Updated for 2012)

By Ryan Whitwam

Get your phone set up the right way with this essential checklist, especially if it's a Galaxy Nexus!

With any new smartphone, there is a bit of setup to be done. With Android, users can tweak every minute detail of the device to get the best experience. There’s no reason to go hunting around the Internet for all the best tip and tricks for your new Android phone. We’re here to bring it all together for you.

Whether your device is still on Gingerbread or you’re rocking the latest and greatest Android 4.0, we’ve got you covered. This step-by-step guide will help you get that shiny new Android phone up and running in no time.

1. Prepare Your Google Account

Before you get in too deep playing with your new toy, get your Google account settings into shape. Head over to your Google Contacts on a computer, and get rid of all the email addresses you don’t need. Pay special attention to contacts that lack a phone number, and add it if you have one. You can also make groups for easier sorting on your device.

If you’re using an Ice Cream Sandwich device, you might consider manually adding a higher-resolution image to your favorite contacts. There are a lot of places in the new OS that contact images are shown off in a big tile-based UI. If the users have used a tiny image for their profile pic, it’s going to look a little busted on the phone.

As for Gmail, we still suggest that you add a filter for Android Market purchases, although the way you go about this has changed. Each time you buy an app, book, video, or MP3 from the Market, Google emails a receipt. Since that mail ends up on your phone, you don’t want to be bothered with an email each and every time.

Head to the Gmail settings, and go to Filters. At the bottom choose to make a new filter. You’ll only have to fill in the “from” field in this first box. The address for these receipt emails changes from time to time, but right now it’s “noreply-android-market@google.com.” On the next page, just choose to automatically mark these emails as “Read” when they come in. You might also consider automatically labeling it as a receipt for easy access later. You may also use the "from:" modifier in the search box to pull up the same filter options.

Lastly for your initial setup, get a Google Voice number if you don’t already have one. Unfortunately, this service is still US-only. Sorry to our international friends; feel free to skip ahead. Everyone else, go to the Google Voice site and get an account, then choose a number. You will have to associate the account with an mobile existing number, which Google Voice will then call to confirm. Just like that you can get voicemail transcription, call recording, cheap international calls, and free SMS.

2. Secure your phone

As soon as you start up your new device, head into the settings and find Location & Security, but sometimes it’s just called Security. The default locking mechanism is Slide, which is just a gesture-based lock that anyone can operate. Android has always had a few more options, and some versions add in more goodies here.

On Froyo and later, you can set up a PIN, password, or pattern lock. The pattern lock is a hallmark of Android. You have a grid of nine dots, and you draw a line intersecting at least 4 of them. That pattern must be entered each time you unlock the device. It is a fairly secure lock, but PIN and passwords are a little more robust.

Starting with Android 4.0, there is a new face unlock feature that uses the front-facing camera to identify the owner of the phone, and unlock. As a backup, the system will also have you set a PIN or pattern lock as a backup in case something goes wrong with the face ID. We’ve found face lock to be very accurate, but you can also go back to the Security menu to further train face unlock. Try training it both with and without your glasses, or with various stages of beard growth for the guys out there.

3. Configure Google Voice Voicemail

More likely than not, your carrier’s voicemail system stinks. They may even want to charge you a few bucks extra each month for visual voicemail. If you have a Google Voice number, no problem. On the phone, go to the call settings and find Vociemail Service. The default will be the carrier service, but you can just change that to Google Voice. On AT&T and T-Mobile (and indeed most GSM carriers), this change will go through automatically.

Verizon’s system won’t process the change automatically, so you have to head over to the Google Voice site on your computer and manually set up voicemail in the phone settings. It will provide you with a code to set up conditional call forwarding, which is basically what the Google Voice app does automatically on other carriers.

Sprint users have a unique deal where all the calls and voicemail can be routed through Google Voice on the carrier level. Very little setup is required on the Google Voice site.

However you go about doing this, remember that call forwarding is usually not available on pre-paid plans, so you’re out of luck there.

4. Use Google+ to save your snapshots

Your new phone probably comes with Google+ pre-installed, and if you’re on Ice Cream Sandwich, it even asks you to sign up if you don’t already have a profile. Even if you don’t intend to post on Google’s social network, we suggest you set up an account to save your pictures in the cloud.

In the Google+ app, head to the settings and go to photo settings to activate Instant Upload. If you are on a tiered data plan, we would suggest that you enable Wi-Fi only uploads. The Wi-Fi setting exists for pictures and videos separately. That way your images won’t eat into your data cap while out an about; they just upload the next time you’re on Wi-Fi. Similarly, you can turn on battery uploads to only allow uploads when you’re plugged in. If you’ve already taken some images, tap Upload Now to get everything into Google+.

Storage is unlimited and free for phone uploads, but images will be cropped to a maximum of 2048 pixels wide on a side, and videos will only be saved if they are 15 minutes or less. You might lose a little resolution, but it’s still more than enough to share online. You can’t argue with the price, either.

5. Kill carrier bloatware on Android 4.0

This bit is for Android 4.0 only. Depending on the phone you have, there might be some apps you’d rather not have to deal with installed on your phone. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that they aren’t going away, and if you forcibly remove them from storage, ROM updates might not work properly. With ICS, however, you can at least disable them for good.

Go into the main system settings, and open the Applications menu. Head over to the All apps tab, and find the offending software. When you open the details page, it should have a Disable button right at the top. It takes just a second and the app will be removed from your app drawer. Any processes associated with the app will also be killed for good.

Users of older phones are probably going to have to root to do this (more on that later), but check to make sure the crapware is not uninstallable in that same menu. Sometimes these apps are separate from the ROM itself.

6. Get your music into the cloud

Google debuted Google Music last year, and it’s tightly integrated with Android. Being an Android user, you ought to take advantage of it. Go to the Google Music site, and grab the Music manager software. Once installed on your computer, it will upload your entire music collection to the cloud for streaming. It might take a day or two, but it’s best to get it done early.

Once you’ve got your content saved, you can also buy new music from the Android Market and have it automatically saved to your Google Music account. All that music is visible in the Android Music app, as well. You can stream any of it with an Internet connection, and from within the Music app, you can save tracks for offline listening.

Google Music can accept up to 20,000 tracks from your computer, so it’s ideal for large collections. You never need to worry about keeping a lot of music on your device again. It’s easy to sync favorite tracks and stream the rest.

7. Data monitoring is a must

As we march slowly into an uncertain mobile future, tiered data plans are more and more common. Some carriers that claim unlimited access are not telling the whole truth either. If you’ve got a 2, 4, or 5GB cap, you might hit that ceiling over the course of a month. So It’s a good idea to set up data usage monitors on your phone.

If you’re running Android 2.3 or earlier, grab 3G Watchdog from the Android Market. There is a free version with basic tools, and more advanced paid version for $3. This app runs as a service in the background and counts all the bytes you use. 3G Watchdog arrays your data on handy graphs, and can predict usage if you have the Pro version. It ties in with APNdroid to shut off data at certain thresholds if you like.

On Android 4.0, Google introduced a native data monitoring interface that is easily accessible in the main system settings. Just set up your billing cycle, and you’re off to the races. Users can set a threshold for warnings, and if one chooses, a hard limit where data will be cut off. There are sliders on the graph such that you can see what your usage has been like between any two dates. Below the graph is a nice list of apps organized by individual data usage. We have found this part to be much more accurate than 3G Watchdog was.

8. Ringtones

It’s a small thing, but still something that we do from time to time. What better way to make sure people know that you’re a unique and beautiful snowflake than to have a ringtone or notification that exemplifies your personality?

There are two ways to go about getting custom ringtones on your Android phone. Your first option is to download Ringdroid from the Market. Using this app, you can clip any audio file on your phone, and save it as a ringtone or notification sound. This app is a mainstay of the platform, and you should keep it around just in case. Unfortunately, it has yet to be updated to Android 4.0, and does not currently work.

Your other alternative is to find the audio file you want, and edit it on your computer with a program like Audacity. Take the resulting file, and save it as an MP3 to the phone’s SD card. If the file is in the Ringtone root directory, it will be detected as such by Android. Same goes for the Notifications folder.

9. Make navigation shortcuts and cache your maps

The Google Maps and Navigation experience on Android just keeps getting better. If you’ve got an Android phone, be sure to make ample use of this awesome feature. One way to make sure you’ll use it is to add navigation shortcuts to the home screen for fast and easy turn-by-turn directions.

On Android 2.3 and earlier, long-press on the home screen and choose Shortcuts. Scroll down until you find Directions and Navigation. When you add this, Android will pull up a dialog that asks for an address, name, and type of directions you want. Checking the turn-by-turn box will automatically send you into navigation mode when pressed. On Android 4.0, the only difference is where you find the option. Shortcuts have been merged into widgets with Ice Cream Sandwich, so just head to the widget tab in the app drawer to find the same Directions and Navigation item.

next, you should cache your local maps so you will have access to them offline. This will help you save bandwidth, and could be useful for finding your way sans data connection. Go into the Maps app, and go to the Labs section in the settings. here, you need to activate Pre-caching Maps. Then go to the map view, and long-press in the center of the area you want to cache. Tap on the bubble that comes up, and one of the options should be "Pre-cache map area."

10. Join your social media contacts

Android is fairly good at figuring out who’s who in your contacts list, but if a name or email address is different, things might not get associated correctly. Take a quick look at your contacts app (or People on Android 4.0), and see if all the data and profile images are there. If anything seems to be missing from Twitter, Facebook, or Google, tap on the contact, and use Menu > edit.

Strangely, on this screen you need to hit menu again and choose Join, or Join Contacts. The next page will find suggested contacts for you based on the display names. If that’s the sticking point keeping your friends from showing up properly, just hit menu (yes, again) and choose Display Options. Enable all contacts, and you can scroll through to find the contact you need to merge.

This is mostly the same on Android 4.0, except that it should automatically show all your contacts if the phone is unsure what listings you might want to merge.

11. Set up owner information

On Android 4.0, your People app has an entry at the top of the contact list labeled “Me”. This is the local profile that is used throughout apps on the phone. Depending on your settings, this might have been populated for you, but if not, it’s important that you set it up. The profile picture and data here are used to fill forms and avatars often. In previous versions of Android, a similar but more limited system exists. Some apps call for a profile photo, but won’t have one unless you make a contact entry for yourself called “Me”.

A similar system in Android 4.0 is called Owner Information, but it’s not so prominently displayed. Head to the main system settings, and find the Security sub-menu. Here you will see Owner Info as an option near the top. If you head in here, you can input any text you want to show up on the lock screen.

Technically, you could use it to make a little joke, but it’s smarter to put contact info in so if your phone is found, a third-party can contact you without needing to unlock the device. This is especially important if you use patterns or PINs to lock your device. We just have a name and email address on the lock screen, but you could even put an alternate phone number.

12. Set Adobe Flash to on-demand

For as long as Adobe Flash is still available on the Android platform, your should take this one step to make your browsing experience better. When Flash content loads, it tends to drag down the page slightly, and also increases loading times. If you’re on a tiered data plan, Flash will also cause you to burn through more bytes.

What you’re looking for, is On-Demand mode. This way you can still load Flash content if you like, but it won’t render on its own whenever a page loads. In your browser settings on a Gingerbread or earlier phone, just scroll down until you see the setting for Enable Plug-ins. Tap it and choose On-demand. On Android 4.0 devices, the settings are broken down into sections. Go into Advanced, and find the same option mentioned above.

13. Customize your dictionary

Unlike some other platforms, you can dig in and build a custom dictionary of words that will appear as suggestions and corrections on your Android keyboard. This is especially helpful if you work in a technical field or you just use a lot of technical lingo, and being a Tested reader, we’re sure you do.

Go into your main system settings and find the Language and Keyboard sub-menu. On ICS devices the menu is called Language and Input, but your manufacturer might have called it something else similar. Select User Dictionary, or Personal Dictionaries (again, depending on version), then use Menu > Add, or hit the plus button at the bottom to create new entries.

While using your device, you will also have the opportunity to add words to the dictionary. As you type, words that are not recognized can be added to the dictionary on Android 2.3 by tapping on the word as typed in the suggestion bar twice; once to confirm the spelling, and again to save it. In Android 4.0 and later, you can simply tap on a word with the red spelling alert underline, and a list of suggested changes will pop up. At the bottom there will be an option to Add to Dictionary.

14. Get the essential apps and utilities

Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time to load up on some apps to make your phone more useful to you. Here are a few of our favorite Android apps.

Astro or AntTek file managers: There are times you will need to poke around in your Android phone’s file system, and both of these apps will help you do it in style. Astro is a robust app that includes extras like app extraction/backup, and task management. The interface is a little clunky, and we’re not fans of the new look. AntTek is slick with a slide-out temporary space for moving files around. It also looks great. Both apps have free versions with ads, but the full version will cost a few bucks.

Shush in action

Shush: This is a great little utility that lets you set timers on your phone’s silent mode. This way you can turn off the ringer, and make sure it comes back on later. The best part is that you just silence the phone normally and Shush pops up, making the process super-easy. This is a free app.

Any.DO: Everyone needs a to-do manger, and Any.DO is our current favorite. This app has a really nice clean look, and uses gestures to control crossing off items. You shake the phone to clear old tasks. If your task involves calling a contact, there will be a handy dial button linked to the task. There is a widget that lets you mark things as done from the home screen, too. This one is free.

Evernote: Having a cloud-connected device in your pocket is the perfect opportunity to jot down a quick note or idea. So you’re going to need a note taking app, and there is nothing better than Evernote. The interface has improved dramatically over the last year and it supports photo, text, and audio notes. Evernote is free up to 25MB in monthly bandwidth, which is a lot of notes.

Awesome Drop: As its name suggest, Awesome Drop is indeed awesome. This app provides a quick and easy way to get files onto your Android device without plugging it in. The Awesome Drop site uses HTML5 drag and drop to upload files to your phone, which you associate with a throwaway account via a PIN code. Awesome Drop is free.

15. Pick up the best games

It’s not all business around here. So grab these excellent games to pass the time.

Shadowgun: This is an intense third-person shooter with great controls, good voice acting, and stellar graphics. Most stages are based around running for cover, and popping up to tag the baddies. The game scales well to a variety of phone specs, and isn’t too expensive at $4.99.

Fruit Ninja: Look, this is a simple game, but it’s also fun. Fruit flies up, and you slice it in half with a quick swipe. What’s not to like about that? The game is smooth on almost any phone, and there is a special HD version for Tegra 2 devices. The basic version will run you $1.

Sprinkle: This might be the single best game on a mobile device. Sprinkle is a physics-based puzzler with not a hint of birds. You have to use a fire-fighting hose to put out the flames threatening the homes of the good people of Titan. There are some really excellent water physics, and the game looks incredible. We are constantly blown away by the clever level design. $1.99, but we would have paid more.

Apparatus: This is not a game for everyone, but in the interest of getting a good mix, we’re including it. Apparatus is a sandbox game where you have to build some insane Rube Goldberg-esque machines to get a ball into a basket. There are levers, ropes, motors, and so much more. You can also just build anything that comes to mind in free-play mode. Apparatus is $2.45 in the Market.

Battleheart: Get your team together and head out for adventure in Battleheart. This game is part real-time strategy and part RPG. Your band of four units can level over time, find new gear, and learn new skills. Can you make it through each stage with everyone still alive? You’ll have the opportunity to find out while enjoying the challenging gameplay and vibrant cartoon-style graphics. $2.99.

16. Set up Market updates and security

The last Android Market refresh really altered the way updates are handled on devices. The Market can update apps in the background or just notify you. Open the Android Market, and go to the settings menu. As long as you are on the most recent build, you should see a number of checkboxes in the general tab. We would suggest that you enable automatic updates, but also make sure to toggle on the Wi-Fi only updates.

With these settings, your device will occasionally check in with the Market to see what requires an update, and if you are on Wi-Fi, your apps will be updated in the background. Apps that have changes in permissions have to be manually updated, but if you leave Notifications checked in the settings, you will be alerted to this.

Also part of the last round of market updates was the ability to lock your market with a PIN code. To set this up, go back to the Market app settings and scroll down past the general section to User Controls. You’re going to want to set a PIN first, but make sure you will remember it. There is no going back after this but completely resetting.

The PIN lock will keep your important settings from being changed without the code. So content filtering stays where you set it, and more importantly, you can require the PIN for purchases. No more worries that your little ones will buy 20 apps accidentally.

17. Sync Chrome bookmarks in Android 4.0

Your Google accounts can be used to sync bookmarks to the Android 4.0 browser, and this should take very little setup. In your Account and Sync menu, check to make sure the Google account you want synced has the Sync Browser box checked. For the time being this is just for bookmarks, but in the future it might include more data.

From your desktop Chrome browser, go into the settings, and go to the Personal Stuff tab. he first option should be to sign into Chrome with your Google account. When you do this, do not encrypt everything. It's find to leave passwords encrypted, but there is a bug in the Google sync system that will prevent encrypted bookmarks from being synced. The sync will fail on the phone, and you won't be given an explanation.

Once that's done, your bookmarks should populate in a separate tab from the local ones. Any changes will be reflected on all your connected browser.

18. Try some alternative keyboards

Swiftkey X

Truth be told, we quite like the Android 4.0 keyboard, but you won’t be able to see that in its full glory until your device is updated, or you pick up an ICS phone. In the meantime, it’s time to look at some of the alternative keyboards in the Android Market and elsewhere. Everyone ought to first take a look at the free Swype Beta. You’ll need to catch the Swype site on a good day to get into the beta program, but they usually leave it open these days.

With Swype, you just trace a line that passes through the letters of each word, and Swype figures out what you mean. It’s usually uncannily accurate, and there are a ton of shortcuts built into the interface. It’s a little bit less accurate for tapping out non-dictionary words, but you shouldn’t have to do that too much. Since this is not in the Market, it’s a little bit of a pain to install. For some users, Swype is amazingly fast and accurate, but others still prefer tapping, and there is an option for that as well.

The folks at SwitfKey have been refining their Android text entry offering for the last few years, and in 2011 we saw SwiftKey X drop, and it’s really excellent. The keys are responsive, and the prediction algorithm is scary-good. It remembers what you type over time, and combines that with your content in Gmail, SMS, Facebook, and Twitter to learn the words you use. If that last bit is a little too weird for you, just know that it’s optional. We also like the plethora of settings included with this little wonder. The full version of SwiftKey X is $3.99 in the Market.

19. Try some home screen alternatives

On most Android phones, the maker of the device, like Samsung or HTC, has decided to apply its own software layer to Android. At this point, most devices are able to handle this modification without too much detriment. Some interfaces like Samsung’s TouchWiz have even added some useful features like native screenshot capture and a power bar in the notification pane. On balance, you might be happier with a lighter-weight replacement home screen. If you’re using a stock ICS phone, you’re probably in a good place already, but feel free to experiment.

LauncherPro has been a long time favorite home screen that offers features like variable grid layouts, transition effects, and scrollable widgets. Swiping from screen to screen is very fluid, and the dock at the bottom of the screen is totally customizable with unique icons and notification popups. The full version of LuncherPro with all the widgets costs $3.50, but even the free edition is great.

Another choice is ADW and ADW EX. The EX version is a paid, non-open source app that will run you about $3. Both of these apps are smooth home screen replacements with a lot of options. Whereas development of LaucherPro seems to have slowed, ADW is forging ahead and has even started adding support for Honeycomb, and some limited ICS features. This app includes scrollable widgets, theming, and gesture-control. Definitely check out the free version to get a feel for it and compare to LauncherPro.

20. Design the perfect home screen

One of the truly awesome things about Android is the freedom it gives you to set up the perfect home screen with widgets and shortcuts. It’s easy to go off the deep end and fill up all the available space with bells and whistles, but we suggest being logical about it. Try to keep like apps together, and place related widgets near each other. Perhaps you want to keep calendars, email, and to-do content to one side of the main screen, and media/games to the other side.

The center home screen panel is where you should keep your most important widgets and apps. Basically, anything that you want to glance at often. We like to have weather and system stats on this panel, but maybe you want to have sports scores. Watch for rotation lag on keyboarded devices, and laggy scrolling on all phones. Most devices should be fine, but a misbehaving widget can cause a multitude of issues.

On Android 4.0, the home screen is much more flexible with new and improved folders. Just drop an app icon onto another and you have a folder. You can have up to 16 apps in each folder, and it is even possible to rearrange the apps within the folder. Because this is so easy, you should try to work folders into your home screen design. Folders can also live in the launcher dock at the bottom of the screen so they area available everywhere.

21. Make settings more easily accessible

Android 4.0 removed the menu button for the home screen, and that sometimes makes it seem awkward to reach the settings. You don’t want to open the app drawer every time, so here’s what to do. First, get the settings “app” from the app drawer, and put a shortcut on the home screen. Next, Go to the widget section and find the Settings Shortcut 1x1.

When you place this on a home screen, you will be asked to choose a destination from a list of about a dozen. There are options like Data usage, battery, apps, display, and Wi-Fi settings. This makes it very simple to get to important areas that might be a few levels deep in the settings with just one tap. The shortcuts can also be put in a folder for easy storage. See above for more on that.

On older versions of Android, you can do something similar with an app called AnyCut. The interface is a bit clunky, but you can actually make custom shortcuts to anything on the phone. Unfortunately, a lot of these are labeled only as esoteric system functions with no explanation, making it tough to find the right things.

22. Root your phone

You by no means have to do this, and it may actually cause some issues if you have to swap your device, but gaining root access to your phone opens a whole world of possibilities. With root, you can run very low-level apps and services, alter main UI elements, or even install custom ROMs. Be aware, this also makes it much easier to break things.

In the case of most phones, a root exploit will be developed fairly quickly. It may just be a one-click exploit, or it may require a little command line work with ADB on a computer. This functionality is really only officially supported for Nexus devices. Nexus phones can be rooted by running a fastboot OEM unlock through ADB, and flashing the super user binary to the device.

To find out how to root your device, you may have to slink around places like XDA or RootzWiki forums to see what the latest is. Most companies will patch root exploits in updates, so unless you install custom ROMs, or block updates, you have to stay on top of things.

23. Backup your phone (with root)

Backing up is as good an idea now as it was last year. If you've decided to root, make sure one of the first things you do is backup your entire phone. To do this you need to have a custom recovery installed, like Clockwork Mod. This enables you to do a nandroid backup of the entire phone so you can restore it if things go sideways.

We don’t recommend you bother with backing up things like contacts, bookmarks, or apps. These are all handled by the Google cloud as long as you leave the backup checkboxes filled during start up. All this data should come back any time you log into a new, or newly reset Android phone.

You might, however, consider backing up app data if you’re rooted. Developers can set a flag to have the app data backed up and restored automatically, but most don’t. Titanium Backup is a great app for this and it can be used for a ton of other things too. Android apps that you’re worried might not be available in the future can be backed up as APK files that you can install on any phone. We’ve always used Astro File Manager for this, but there are other apps out there. Non-rooted phones can do this as well.

24. Automate your phone

One of our favorite things about Android is the power it gives developers to hook into all parts of the system, with your permission of course. Nowhere is this made better use of than with automation apps like Tasker and Locale. These are apps that we love deeply, and you should get one of them on your phone at once.

Locale is a very mature app that uses a plug-in ecosystem to extend its basic functionality. The app comes with triggers like location, time, and contact calling. You will use these to create situations that you can use to trigger different actions. Locale can do things like turn Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on and off, change the brightness, change the ring/ring mode, and shuffle the wallpaper. There are also a number of other apps in the Market that come with Locale plug-ins, as well as stand alone plug-ins. Locale is $3.99 in the Market.

Whereas Locale is a guided experience, Tasker is the “choose your own adventure” of Android automation. Tasker uses a somewhat convoluted series of menus to create situations, but you’ve got a huge number of options. Everything from accelerometer state, to location, to whether or not you have headphones plugged in can be recognized by Tasker. With a little coding magic, Tasker can even do more exotic things like pull down weather and read it to you, or load directions and map them automatically. Tasker can use Locale plug-ins, but to get the most out of it you need to get familiar with its inner workings. Tasker is a bit more expensive at $6.49.

25. Analyze your battery consumption

It’s been real, hasn’t it? At this point you’ve tweaked and modded your phone to the limit, and now it’s time to take a step back and see what you’ve got to work with on a daily basis. Android is much better at managing tasks and keeping the battery from draining than it once was, but there is always a chance that something you installed or changed isn’t working right, so let’s check.

After the device has been unplugged for a little bit, the first place to go is the Battery Use menu. On Android 2.3 and earlier, this is hidden in the Phone Info menu in the main system settings. On ICS and later, it has been given a more prominent place in the settings under Battery. This list will show you how much juice each process has used. The percent displayed is not a percent of total power, but the percent of what has been used so far.

On Android 4.0, this menu offers a little more information when you tap on one of the processes listed. Android will show you the time the app has been in the foreground, and the amount of time is has kept the phone awake. This is also known as wakelock. If an app is keeping the phone from sleeping for very long, it might be causing undue battery drain.

Another app you can use to check for battery drain issues is CPU Spy. This handy utility will record your CPU history, so you can see how long your CPU has been at each performance threshold. If it’s not in deep sleep for the vast majority of the time, you have either been using it a lot, or an app has gone rogue. Take a closer look at the Battery menu, and start uninstalling newer apps until you have things under control.

Once your battery situation has been verified as good, it’s time to just start enjoying the phone secure in the knowledge that you’ve done everything you can to make it the best it can be. What are your favorite tips for setting up an Android phone?