Guide to Android 4.0The purpose of this guide is to help those who are newbies to either Ice Cream Sandwich or the latest Google Android operating system, known as Jelly Bean, to navigate through the many features offered on their device. For those who have been using an older version of Android, some of what I will be covering may sound familiar, but it will also cover several new features that should help previous users take full advantage of the added features.

My concept for this guide began when a friend of mine purchased an upgrade to ICS and couldn’t find his Contacts list. This man is extremely intelligent but not particularly intuitive when it comes to electronic devices, so I simply had to show him that the new name is People. This is simple stuff for some, but not for others.

Cut, Copy and Paste

Another simple variation occurred with the cut, copy, and paste icons. Google implemented a change in icons with ICS and Jelly Bean, which is pictured below. The unfortunate fact is that the icons sometimes have text descriptions present and sometimes they do not. For example, when I am using an application called Pulse, only the icon appears and, since they are not the standard icons used for years, it can be confusing to the everyday user. Here are the descriptions of the icons:

Guide to Android 4.0

From left to right the icons are Copy, Cut, Paste, Select All, and Share. Of particular interest to me was the Share button (in Jelly Bean), which allows the option to post an article or other material directly to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

How to Sideload Applications

Sideloading is a term for when the user allows an application from a third party to be installed on their device. This option has been basically the same since version 2.3, but there are many users who are unaware of how it is used. What it basically means is that you are going to install an application from an unfamiliar site — one other than the Google Play Store or the Amazon Android Store. Here is the problem with third-party applications:

  • The application could potentially contain a virus or malware.
  • The application may not function properly.
  • The application may not be compatible with ICS or Jelly Bean

However, if you like to live life on the edge and find an application that you absolutely cannot live without, here is how to allow the application to be installed on your device:

  • Open Settings.
  • Open Security.
  • Locate the Unknown Sources tab, then find the box that gives you the option to allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store and check the appropriate setting.

How to Use the Sound Search Feature in Jelly Bean

Another feature that Google has introduced is its own Sound Search that is similar to applications such as Shazam and SoundHound. The main difference between these applications is that, once Google Sound Search identifies a song, you are taken to Google’s store to buy the song or album.

To set up the Sound Search widget, do the following:

  • Open the Application drawer.
  • Look toward the top of the screen and you will see Apps and also Widgets. Click on Widgets.
  • Scroll through the list of widgets until you come to Google Sound Search.
  • Hold down the Google Sound Search icon and drag the widget to your home screen.

This neat little feature is easy to use since all you have to do is click on the widget to activate the application. Then simply hold your device up to where the music is being played and, once the song is recognized by the application, you will be taken to the Play Store for further action.

How to Install a Live Wallpaper on Your Jelly Bean Device

Last, if you are one of the minions forced to answer phones or sit behind a computer all day, this may be just the thing for you. Live wallpaper is an animated image that replaces the standard, non-animated image that comes standard on an Android device. In fact, some of these live wallpapers are also interactive and, in certain circumstances, will even respond to gestures. So, if you are lonely or bored, you may choose to install a live wallpaper on your Jelly Bean device.

To install a live wallpaper, just follow these directions:

  • From any home screen, just long press on any free space on the screen until a pop-up menu appears.
  • Click on Live Wallpapers.
  • You will then be presented with a list of live wallpapers that are available for installation to your device.
  • Once you find the live wallpaper you like, just click on Set Wallpaper and you are good to go.

I hope that this guide will assist you in the enjoyment of your Android device. I know that I have found both Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean to be excellent operating systems and I have optimized their features to the hilt. However, as I have noted, there are differences between the two systems. The basic one between the two is that Jelly Bean has what is called Butter, which actually makes some operations on the Android system smoother.

With all this being said, one must simply admit that Android has improved dramatically from its humble beginnings and we can only hope that it will continue to do so. What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source: Google Android 4.0 support

Source: Google Android 4.1 support

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by drukelly