So you have a new Android smartphone. Maybe it’s the Google Pixel or the latest model from Samsung, Motorola, or OnePlus. Whichever one you choose, you’ll want to get it up and running as fast as possible.
Setting up a new Android smartphone used to be rather tedious and labor intensive, but if you have Android Lollipop, Marshmallow, or Nougat, there are ways to avoid manually downloading your favorite apps one at a time or building your contact list all over again.
First, there’s Tap & Go, which uses NFC (near field communication) to transfer data between your new and old phone.
All that’s required is that your new phone runs Lollipop, Marshmallow, or Nougat and that your old phone has built-in NFC, which came to Android phones in 2010. If your old device doesn’t have NFC (or you just don’t have it handy), a second option enables you to restore selected apps from any of your registered devices. Of course, if you choose, you can still set up your Android device from scratch.
Google Pixel owners have yet another alternative, using an included quick switch adaptor. Just connect the new and old devices, choose what you’d like to transfer, and you’re ready to go. You can connect the adapter to devices running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later and iPhones running iOS 8 or later.
Android Tap & Go
When you start up your new device, you have the option to use Tap & Go.
Just enable NFC in both phones and tap the backs together. The data, including your Google accounts and apps from your old phone, will begin transferring to the new one. If you use Google Now, this process will also restore your home screens.
Restore From an Old Android Device
What if your old phone doesn’t have NFC?
During set-up, if you skip Tap & Go, you can choose the restore option, which enables you to choose which of your devices you want to restore from, and what, specifically, you want to carry over to the new phone. You can restore any Android device associated with your Google account.
Start From Scratch
You can also make a fresh start, and simply “set up as new device,” if you’d like to install your apps manually. If you have synced your contacts with your Google account, those will carry over once you sign in.
Once you’ve installed your apps, you should check for updates on built-in apps, such as those from Google. Next, you’ll want to set-up Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and then customize your notifications.
Should You Root Your New Phone?
Next, you should consider whether you want to root your phone. If you have the OnePlus One, there’s no need; it already runs a custom ROM, Cyanogen. Rootingmeans you can access advanced settings on your phone that are typically blocked by the manufacturer. When you root your phone, you can remove “bloatware” (unwanted apps installed by your carrier) and download apps, such as Titanium Backup, that require root access.
Now that you have the software covered, it’s time to think about the hardware.
Do you need a case? You can protect your smartphone from drops and spills and be stylish at the same time. What about a portable charger? Investing in one means you don’t have to worry about being low on battery life when you’re on the go, and you can usually use one to charge multiple devices. If your new phone has wireless charging built in, consider buying a wireless charging pad. Some device manufacturers, including Samsung, sell these, as well as many third-party companies. Instead of plugging in, you can just place your phone on the charging pad.
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