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10 Tips and Tricks for Gingerbread

There aren’t many of people in the world right now that can actually utilize this list, since Gingerbread is officially only on one device, but why not get it out there to help prepare everyone anyway?  This is a list of tips and tricks that Google has released for those with Android 2.3 and that need a little help becoming an Android power user.

  • Visual cue for scrolling: When you are in a scrollable list (like your Gmail inbox) and you reach the end of the list it shows an orange hue—a visual cue that you can’t scroll anymore.
  • Notification bar icons (Wi-Fi, network coverage bars, etc.): Turn green when you have an uninhibited connection to Google, white when you don’t. Hint: if you’re in a hotel or airport using Wi-Fi, the bars won’t turn green until you launch the browser and get past the captive portal.
  • Voice actions: Tell your phone what to do by pressing the microphone icon next to the search box on the home screen, or long press the magnifying glass. You can tell it to send an email or text message (“send text to mom, see you for pizza at 7”), call someone (“call mom”), navigate somewhere (“navigate to pizza”), or listen to music (“listen to Mamma Mia”).
  • Find things you’ve downloaded from your browser: Your downloads are now neatly collected in a Downloads manager, which you can find in the apps drawer.
  • Turn a Gallery stack into a slideshow: In Gallery, when you are looking at a stack of photos, put two fingers on the stack and spread them. The stack spreads out and the pictures flow from one finger to the other, a moving slideshow that lets you see all of the photos.
  • Walk, don’t drive: Once you’ve gotten directions within Google Maps, click on the walking person icon to get walking directions.
  • Easy text copy/paste from a webpage: To copy/paste from a webpage, long press some text, drag the handles around to select the text you want to copy, and press somewhere in the highlighted region. To paste, simply long press a text entry box and select paste. Gmail is a bit different: you need to go to Menu > More > Select Text.
  • Turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot: Go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Tethering & Portable Hotspot. (You may have to pay extra for this feature.)
  • Look at Maps in 3D: With the latest release of Google Maps, you can now look at 3D maps. Tilt the map by sliding two fingers vertically up/down the screen, and rotate it by placing two fingers on the map and sliding in a circular motion, e.g., from 12 and 6 o’clock to 3 and 9.
  • Cool shutdown effect: When you put the phone to sleep, you’ll see an animation that resembles an old cathode tube TV turning off.

You can find more info, plus some of Google’s favorite apps over at their blog.

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