So you just bought a new smartphone and you don’t know where to start. Sounds familiar? As you may or may not already know, there’s a number of apps that should be installed as soon as you turn on that brand new device. Whether you already had a smartphone and you simply upgraded to a newer model or this is your first time owning a smartphone, there are several steps you need to follow to set up your Android smartphone. There are also a couple of essential apps that you have to install to make the most out of your new inseparable companion.

First things first, let’s set up your smartphone’s basic parameters. Just keep in mind that the tips that we offer here may vary depending on your smartphone’s brand and customization capabilities unless we’re talking about an Android. In other words, certain features’ names may change depending on the brand. However, we essentially teach you the basics and the most important steps to take from the moment you turn on your new smartphone for the first time.

Set up your Android smartphone

If you just bought a new smartphone and you’d like to save or transfer the data that’s stored in your old smartphone, tap on Settings > Accounts > Google > Choose your e-mail account > Synchronize account. These simple steps will ensure that your data is synchronized to your new smartphone using your Google account. Fast and convenient.

Next, it’s time to choose a language. Once that’s done, search and connect to a WiFi network and start a Google session using your e-mail address and password. These steps will help you synchronize your data. If you don’t have a Google account, you can simply create one. Keep in mind that your Google account serves as a fundamental axis for your smartphone and it’ll also help you access your e-mail account, save your contacts and your pictures.

Once the basic configuration is done, let’s proceed to what’s really important: customizing your smartphone. The first thing to do is to set up the security features like a fingerprint detector or lock pattern for your screen. You can also change the wallpaper, widgets, keyboard, sounds and download your favorite apps so you can access your data or social networks.

android orientation header How to set up your Android smartphone and must-have apps

Must-have apps for Android

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is one of the most powerful and complete launchers available for Android smartphones. It allows you to set up every single aspect of your smartphone so you can turn it into a more productive and useful device. Plus, you can achieve a sleeker look than simply using a lot of the customization layers that are pre-installed by default.

If you’ve changed from one brand to another (from EMUI to MIUI or from Oxygen to EMUI, for example) Nova Launcher is the best way to get accustomed to your new smartphone without having to worry about a single thing. It includes all kinds of customization options, configurations, shortcuts, styles, etc. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best launchers in the market and one of the first apps you should install as soon as you start using your smartphone. [Download]


AirDroid could be really useful if you just bought a new smartphone and you had a bunch of pictures, apps, and contacts saved in your old one. AirDroid connects both your smartphones by starting a session with the same account and sending the content that you need from one smartphone to another: pictures, songs, videos…

You can also connect your new smartphone into your computer and forward any or all your data. Plus, this means you can also control your smartphone using your computer. AirDroid is definitely one of the apps that you should install in your new smartphone so you can easily migrate all your data. [Download]

ASTRO File Manager

If you want to manage absolutely everything that happens in your smartphone, you need a good file explorer that allows you to organize files and control every detail in your smartphone. ASTRO File Manager is a useful tool that lets you work with the local content stored in our smartphone as well as manage your files stored in the cloud, whether they’re in Dropbox or Google Drive.

It’s totally possible for your smartphone to include a default file browser but we recommend ASTRO File Manager because it’s one of the most complete and useful options. This app will keep all your information readily accessible and organized. [Download]

Simple Gallery

All smartphones include their own picture gallery but not all of them (depends on the brand and layer) are easy-to-use, useful or convenient. Simple Gallery is a really user-friendly app that lets you create folders inside your gallery so you can organize your pictures and videos. Plus, you can edit pictures using the app and organize them or group them to your liking: recently taken, alphabetical order, with or without subfolders, place a specific folder at the beginning of the gallery…

There are a bunch of galleries available out there, but Simple Gallery is one of the most basic and easy-to-use. This is a great option to install in your smartphone if you don’t like Google Photos. [Download]

Google Translate

Your new smartphone is very likely to include Google Translate as a standard app. If it doesn’t, then it should be one of the first apps that you install in your new smartphone. This is by far the best translation app available for Android. It can recognize practically any input and output language.

Google Translate doesn’t just let you translate messages by typing them on the app, it actually lets you translate conversations and even images in real time by using your smartphone’s camera. This is a must-have for your smartphone because you never know when you might need it. [Download]


All the information available in one app. Blogs, newspapers, or any other specialized media source can be registered on Feedly. Feedly is a very easy-to-use newsreader where you can add your favorite sources and keep all the information in one app. You’ll view the news in real time.

Feedly lets you choose among the most popular media sources as well as little known or personal blogs so you can follow a specific news reporter or author. You can organize files or labels and synchronize your sources using your smartphone, tablet or even access the browser using your computer. [Download]


WhatsApp comes preinstalled in a lot of new Android smartphones. If it’s not, then wait no longer. This messaging app includes millions of users around the world and is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your partner, friends, family members, and co-workers, at any given moment.

The interface is already widely popular and allows you to send messages, files, pictures, videos and voice messages. You can also place calls and video calls either individually or in groups. The app is a must-have because it’s present in practically every single smartphone in the world and it is no doubt one of the first apps that you’ll install in your new smartphone. [Download]


Most people use their smartphones to take pictures and Snapseed is one of the most complete Android picture editors out there. You can add filters as well as perform more professional looking retouches with tools that allow you to control all kinds of parameters.

You can access and modify the light, brightness, contrast, saturation, and shadows in your pictures. Snapseed also lets you modify the size, frame or perspective and includes a precision brush that you can use to modify any part of the image, no matter how small it is. [Download]

Google Tasks

Google Tasks is one of the most basic and user-friendly apps that you can use to organize your tasks. It is also one of the most effective ones. You can create categories and notebooks as well as add tasks. This app is perfect if you want to add, edit or manage your tasks and separate them by folders such as work, personal or doctors appointments.

Google Tasks is very user-friendly. All you have to do is add your task, including the details and assign a date. If you want to mark a task as done, simply tap on it. It’ll also automatically synchronize with all the devices included in your Google account (like your smartphone or tablet). [Download]


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