Google's Android operating system for phones is definitely a moving target. During the production of this book's first version, the latest Android version available on a cutting-edge phone jumped from 1.6 to 2.2. In that time, too, phones made by HTC and Motorola became exceedingly popular, and modified versions of the Android interface, HTC's "Sense" and Motorola's various "Blur" versions, have become the de facto standard for what a new Android buyer sees. Different phones have seen updates at very different paces, with some phone owners still loaded with Android 1.6 and wondering if they'll ever see a ping from out of the sky about a new version ready for downloading.
This guide was written with the newest version of Android in mind, running on Google's own Nexus One phone, though that changed from Android 2.1 to 2.2 somewhere in the middle of the text. It was also conceived, at first, as focusing on a "stock," unmodified Android interface, though the significant differences in the HTC and Motorola home screens, and particular apps, are covered. In short, we tried to look forward and diversify throughout, but especially where a difference might matter.
Google’s Android operating system is amazing in the breadth of what it can do, and the many ways it can be implemented on smartphones. That also means that there may be many powerful features that you haven’t yet discovered, and a bit of confusion as to why your phone doesn’t look like the phones you see in other people’s hands. That’s why The Complete Android Guide was created. It’s a comprehensive run-down of everything your phone can do, written from the perspective of the curious user. With screenshots, step-by-step instructions, and explanations of how everything fits together in plain English, new Android users will unlock their phone’s potential, and journeyman ‘droid fans will pick up some new tricks. As Android changes and updates, so does this guide. The Complete Android Guide is updated as soon as possible after new Android versions arrive on phones and tablets, and major variations are covered, like Motorola’s Motoblur and HTC’s Sense UI. When new, cool apps come out, we include them in the extended features. You’ve got a 21st century phone, and a how-to guide should at least try to keep up.