21 Jun 2010

Android tips

I see that many Android users have difficulty in discovering features that are available in their devices.  In this post I am going to share some commonly unknown features/functionality of Android software.
  1. This is a question I have been asked several times by my friends who use Android.  How would you delete or forward a single message in an SMS conversation?  Long press is the answer.  Long press the message you want to delete or forward and you will get a menu that will let you do it.
  2. Android's built-in SMS app will not autocomplete phone numbers of your contacts that are not marked as "mobile".  Not everyone has correctly categorized phone numbers in their contact list, and it could be a pain.  There are two ways to solve it: 1. correctly classify mobile phone numbers as mobile numbers in your contact list; this can be hard to do.  2. Use a third-party app like Handcent SMS for messaging.  Handcent SMS lets you configure if you want to see non-mobile numbers while composing SMS.
  3. Let's say you have a phone without a physical keyboard.  You are in some UI where there is no text entry field, but you want to type something.  For example, imagine you are seeing your contacts list, and you want to find a contact by typing the contact's name.  (It's faster than scrolling and finding it.)  What you can do is long press Menu button, and that will bring the soft keyboard.  Now type the first few letters of the contact to filter the contact list.
  4. You know that all your Google Talk chat history is available in Gmail.  But did you know that you can search your chat log from within Android's Google Talk app itself?  When you are in Google Talk app, press the Search button and enter your search query.  This will show all chats that match your search query.  Opening a result would show you the chat log in the same way Gmail does.  You can even reply to that chat by email or chat from there itself.  This can be extended to other apps too.  Any app's search functionality can be activated by pressing Search key when you are in that app.  You press Search button when in home screen, it brings the regular Google search (or phone search in 2.2/Froyo and above).  You press Search button when in Gmail app, it brings the Gmail search box.
See also: Android tips #2.


    1. this is super useful! can you also tell me how to forward a contact number to someone? long pressing doesn't work there.

    2. @Nags: Open the contact you want to share and select Menu > Share. You can share the contact via Gmail, bluetooth, etc. But there doesn't seem to be an option to send contact details as SMS.

      However, there is an app called ContactSender in the market. That works only on Android versions 1.1 to 1.5. Donut, Eclair, Froyo phones cannot use it.

    3. Hello......
      i am using HTC Google My touch....
      android OS......can u please help me regarding its GPRS setting for Idea
      and Airtel......

      My emailID nani.chaos@gmail.com

      Thank You....

    4. @Nani: You will have to add an APN with the following configuration:

      Name: any name
      APN: airtelgprs.com
      Username: 91<your 10-digit mobile number>

      Leave all other fields with their default values.

      See http://blog.manki.in/2009/06/gprsedge-configuration-for-android-g1.html for directions for adding an APN.

    5. Thank you and the thing is i have used vodafone in my mobile before and was able to use net but now i am using !DEA and i am not getting settings for it ......
      please help me with this also.. thank you