If you've just bought a great new Android phone, you'll want to start using it as soon as possible.
You'll see that it's not hard to get the initial set-up and configuration to get it ready to use, and we'll guide you every step of the way.
From connecting your Google account, to making sure your phone is protected against unauthorised access, we're going to talk through everything you need to know about setting up your new Android phone. You'll have it set up and ready to go in no time.
In this guide, we'll rely on setting up a Motorola phone, as its interface is pretty faithful to the standard version of Android provided by Google. Some of the steps and phone screens shown may vary slightly on devices of other brands, but the process will be basically the same.
The configuration process
On the first screen you will see when you start your Android phone, you will be asked to choose the language in which you want to see the interface. You will need to select the language of your choice, then hit the Start button on the same screen, and you will be taken to the main setup process. Most of the subsequent screens that appear can be skipped with the Skip button if you do not wish to do so at that time.
The next step will ask you to insert your SIM card, if you haven't already done so, and then it will tell you to connect to Wi-Fi by selecting the name of the network you want to connect to and entering the password. Obviously, having the internet is essential if you want to download apps, connect your Google account and update your phone's operating system.
You will then be offered the option of copying apps and data from another Android phone. There are usually two options for this: you can either sync your Google Account details and installed apps from your old phone, if you still have it, over Wi-Fi; or you can restore an existing backup from Google Drive (provided you have a copy in the cloud). We've delved into this part of the setup later in this guide.
If you prefer to set up your new phone so that it starts from scratch, without copying any data, select the No copy option. You will also be prompted to sign in with a Google account, which is required for you to access the Play Store and get apps. In addition, some typical system apps such as Gmail, Photos or Google Calendar will be downloaded or updated, even if you are not copying data from a previous phone.
Once you're signed in, Google will ask if it can track your location, collect diagnostic data, and back up your phone's most important information to Google Drive; this includes apps, app data, call history, contacts, device settings (such as Wi-Fi passwords), and your text message (SMS) history.
If you accept this backup, you won't lose your data if your phone is lost or stolen, and it will also make it easier to set up your phone the next time you get a new one, as you can make use of the app and data restore feature mentioned above. You can see all the devices you are signed in to with your Google Account from this link.
Next, it's time to set up the security aspects: you'll be asked to set up a PIN code that will be required to unlock the screen, and you'll also have the opportunity to set up fingerprint recognition and face unlock, provided your new phone model has these features. It is important that you set up at least one of these screen lock/unlock methods to protect against unauthorised access.
Once you've done that, there are just a few simple, optional steps left, such as activating the Google Assistant (if you want to use it), adding an additional email account to Gmail (in addition to the main Google account you synced at the beginning of the setup), changing the interface fonts or wallpaper, and choosing which extra Google apps you want to install right away (for example Google Home, for managing other devices like the Chromecast, or Google Keep, for taking notes).
At this point, you've pretty much finished setting up your new phone and it's ready to use. You may get a few more screens, for example, some brands offer you to sign in with a specific account related to the manufacturer to purchase other apps.
As you can see, it's a pretty straightforward process. And if you normally use the Google cloud, it's even easier, as your apps and services will be hosted there, so no matter which device you sign in on, you'll be able to instantly access your emails, contacts, calendars, photos, videos and files.
From Android to Android
Google has tried to simplify the process as much as possible when switching from one Android phone to another. So by simply using the same Google account on both devices, the previously more complex tasks will be done almost automatically, thanks to Google's services and apps (such as Google Drive).
As mentioned in the previous section, you will be offered the opportunity to copy your data and apps from your old Android phone during the setup process. In case you don't want to transfer all the clutter and apps from your old phone, and prefer to start from scratch, you can of course skip this step. But be aware that this is the only time you will be able to do so - if you don't copy the files during setup, you will have to reset your phone in case you want to do so in the future.
If, on the other hand, you do want to transfer the data from your previous phone, you can basically clone it over Wi-Fi if you still have your previous phone. Or, alternatively, you can restore an existing Android backup from Google Drive to your new device and get more or less the same result. In either case, all the necessary instructions will be displayed on the screen.
Of course, before you can make use of the Google Drive restore option, you must first have backed up your previous phone to the cloud. However, we recommend that you make use of backups as a general rule, as it's really useful when you change phones and you won't lose all your data if you lose your phone. Every time you start a new Android device, you will be asked if you want to activate this backup, but you can also set it up at any time by going to your phone's settings under System->Advanced->Backup.
From Apple iOS to Android
The ease with which you can switch from an iPhone to a new Android phone will depend on a couple of factors: how much you've already immersed yourself in Google's app ecosystem, and how much Apple data you want to transfer to your new Android.
If you're already using apps like Gmail, Google Keep, Google Maps, Google Photos and Google Docs on your iPhone, then you can simply sign into these apps on your new Android phone, as we did in the previous section.
On the other hand, Apple Music also works on Android, and Gmail can be set up so that you can use your Apple iCloud email addresses. Apple calendars and contacts can be exported so you can use them on Android.
Some parts of the Apple ecosystem, as mentioned above, are less difficult to transfer. The best thing to do to copy photos and videos is to install Google Photos on your iPhone and sync everything to the cloud before switching to Android. One downside to this process of switching from iPhone to Android is that your iMessages will be lost, unless you have access to an iPad or Mac where you can still check your conversations.
Google Drive also allows you to copy contacts, calendars, photos and videos from an iPhone to an Android; Google provides instructions for that in the setup process for your new phone.
In conclusion, while you won't be able to transfer absolutely everything if you're coming from an iPhone, you will be able to copy quite a few things, and, as we said, if you're already using Google apps on your Apple device, the process will be much easier.photo: wikimedia.org
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