Understanding How Android Works : Home screens

AndroidOSOne of the great features of Android is the multiple screens available on your phone or tablet to place app shortcuts or widgets so you can easily access your frequently used apps, but sometimes managing them can be a chore. How your phone or tablet home screens look is often dependent on your  brand of phone or version of Android. One problem in particular can cause users confusion.

Here’s two of the common questions I get asked about Home screens:

1. How can I change my home screen on my Android phone? When I press the Home button I get a different screen to the right (or left) of the original home screen. Why is this and how can I fix it?

This one caught me recently too, I’m not sure how mine changed, but here’s how to fix the problem. If your phone runs JellyBean use this method to change the Home screen back to the one you want:
From any screen tap the Back button to show all the screens as thumbnails. Then tap the small ‘house’ at the bottom of the screen you want as your home screen. Then tap Home and all will be well again.
On earlier versions of Android, try this – press Home twice to show all screens. Move your special home screen to the center by pressing it until its movable then put it in the centre. Of course, if your phone or tablet uses a custom launcher there will be a different method. You will need to open the launcher app itself and check the settings in there.

2. How can I change the wallpaper on my Android tablet or phone?
On later Android versions this has become more complex than it used to be in my opinion, however once you have done this a few times it gets easier. To set a wallpaper for your home screen firstly, tap and hold on the screen (but not on a widget or app shortcut). On the standard Android screen, you will get the wallpaper selection menu but if the tablet or phone is running a non-standard or customised interface you may see a differnent menu with other choices, including shortcuts and widgets. Either way, choose the Wallpaper option from the menu.

You will see three options for wallpaper, they are:

Gallery: Choose an image from the Gallery app on your device. You can choose from images stored locally on your tablet or phone, maybe some you have taken with the camera or images copied from websites or similar sources.
Live Wallpapers: Live wallpapers are animated backgrounds for your home screen. Your Android device will include a few basic live backgrounds, but many more are available from Google Play. Like all apps be aware that many are ad-supported so read the terms before downloading one.
Wallpapers: This option displays the pre-installed wallpapers already installed on your device.

Simply find the wallpaper you want and save it to set it as your new wallpaper. Remember that Android wallpapers extend across all home screens so as you scroll left and right your view of the wallpaper changes so I try to choose one that has interesting content in the centre of the image.



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About the Author : Andy describes himself as "an older geek" and has been assisting seniors with understanding technology for many years. He is involved with his local seniors computer club and believes that seniors appreciate assistance from those of a similar age group.

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Thanks, Andy
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