Android For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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You don't have to live with the unbearable proposition that you’re stuck with only the apps that come preset on your Android’s home screen. Nope — you’re free to add your own apps. Just follow these steps:
  1. Visit the home screen page on which you want to stick the app icon, or launcher.

    The screen must have room for the app icon.

  2. Touch the Apps icon to display the apps drawer.

  3. Long-press (press and hold) the app icon you want to add to the home screen.

  4. Drag the app to the home screen page, lifting your finger to place the app.

    A copy of the app’s icon is now placed on the Home screen.

The app hasn’t moved: What you see is a copy or, officially, a launcher. You can still find the app in the apps drawer (see below for more on this), but now the app is also available — more conveniently — on the home screen.
  • Not every app needs a launcher icon on the home screen. I recommend placing only those apps you use most frequently.

  • The best icons to place on the home screen are those that show updates, such as new messages, similar to the icon shown. These icons are also ideal to place in the favorites tray.

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  • You can add apps to the home screen also by choosing the Apps command from the home screen menu. Often this command merely skips over Steps 1 and 2 in this section; you still have to long-press the icon and drag it to a Home screen page.

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Finding apps in the apps drawer

The place where you find all apps installed on your Android phone is the Apps drawer. Even though you can find launcher icons (app shortcuts) on the home screen, the Apps drawer is where you need to go to find everything.

To view the Apps drawer, tap the Apps icon on the home screen. This icon has a different look to it, depending on your Android phone. Here are some variations on the Apps icon, though more varieties may exist.

Apps icon varieties.

Apps icon varieties
After you tap the Apps icon, you see the Apps drawer. Swipe through the pages left and right or up and down across the touchscreen.

To run an app, tap its icon. The app starts, taking over the screen and doing whatever magical thing the app does.

  • As you add new apps to your phone, they appear in the Apps drawer.

  • Some phones allow you to create folders in the Apps drawer. These folders contain multiple apps, which helps keep things organized. To access apps in the folder, tap the Folder icon.

  • The Apps drawer displays apps alphabetically. On some phones, you can switch to a non-alphabetical viewing grid. With that feature active, it’s possible to rearrange the apps in any order you like.

  • For apps that you use all the time, consider creating launcher icons on the Home screen.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Dan Gookin has been an author, editor, ghostwriter, and a public official. He's written more than a dozen Dummies books on technology, with a special focus on PCs, the Android operating system, and Microsoft products. And in 1991, he was the author of the very first Dummies book, DOS For Dummies, which started the whole enterprise.

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