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Regular Android Phone Maintenance

There are only two basic tasks you can do for regular maintenance on an Android phone: Keep it clean, and keep important information backed up.

    Keeping your Android phone clean

You probably already keep your phone clean. You might use your sleeve to wipe the touchscreen at least a dozen times a day. Of course, better than your sleeve is something called a microfiber cloth. This item can be found at any computer- or office-supply store.

  • Never use ammonia or alcohol to clean the touchscreen. These substances damage the phone. Use only a cleaning solution specifically designed for touchscreens.

  • If the screen continually gets dirty, consider adding a screen protector. This specially designed cover prevents the screen from getting scratched or dirty but also lets you use your finger on the touchscreen. Be sure that the screen protector is intended for use with your specific phone brand.

  • You can also find customized cell phone cases, belt clips, and protectors, though these add-on items are purely for decorative or fashion purposes and don’t even prevent serious damage if you drop the phone.

    Backing up your Android phone

A backup is a safety copy of the information on your phone. It includes any contact information, music, photos, videos, and apps you’ve recorded, downloaded, or installed, plus any settings you’ve made to customize your phone. Copying this information to another source is one way to keep the information safe, in case anything happens to the phone.

On your Google account, information is backed up automatically. This information includes your Contacts list, Gmail messages, and Calendar app appointments. Because Android phones automatically sync this information with the Internet, a backup is always present.

To confirm that your Google account information is being backed up, heed these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, touch the Launcher button.

  2. Choose My Accounts.

  3. Choose your Google account.

  4. Ensure that a green check mark appears by every option.

    When no check mark is there, touch the gray square to add one.

If you have more than one Google account synchronized with the phone, repeat these steps for every account.

    Updating the Android system

Every so often, a new version of your phone’s operating system becomes available. It’s an Android update because Android is the name of the phone’s operating system.

Whenever an automatic update occurs, you see an alert or a message appear on the phone, indicating that a system upgrade is available. You have three choices:

  • Install Now

  • Install Later

  • More Info

Go ahead and choose Install Now and get it over with — unless you have something (a call, a message, or another urgent item) pending on the phone, in which case you can choose Install Later and be bothered by the message again.

You can manually check for updates: From the Settings screen, choose About Phone, and then choose System Updates. You might also check for the Software Update item on the Settings screen. When your system is up-to-date, the screen tells you so. Otherwise, you find directions for updating the system.

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