Just getting started with your Android phone or know somebody who is? Want a better understanding of Android’s features? Check out The Complete Android Guide, a comprehensive and free wiki-style site, ebook and paperback guide to Google’s smart phone system, written by yours truly.
During an episode of the This Week in Google podcast a little less than a year ago, co-host Jeff Jarvis described Android as an “operating system by easter egg”. It rang true — both to Gina Trapani, the other regular on TWiG (and, of course, Lifehacker’s founding editor), and to me, obsessively tweaking and messing with my G1. I started writing a book that tried to explain all the little details of Android, and now it’s available.
What makes me most excited about the book is that The Complete Android Guide is available in the same way that Gina and Adam’s Complete Guide to Google Wave is — same publisher, same model. There’s a free wiki-style site for browsing, commenting and contributing edits and new sections, which we’ll incorporate into future editions. The approved edits and sections are rolled into DRM-free PDF and ePub files for reading anywhere you’ve got a screen. And for those who like paper or want a non-digital guide to help them explore and learn about their phone, there’s a paperback book.
What’s in the book? Well, you can see for yourself, but the elevator pitch is that it covers both the very basics of the phone and provides some handy tips and little-known fixes for more experienced users. The main chapters walk through the whole experience, from first turning on your phone and setting up your accounts to learning the nitty-gritty of browsing, camera settings, Gmail and email management, home screen organisation and the like. You’d be surprised how many things are in, say, the Navigation app that you didn’t see before. Beyond the walkthroughs, the book’s filled with tutorials and primers on syncing media, fixing annoyances, battery saving, keyboard shortcuts and more.
Android is a moving target, of course, so whenever Android or Google’s main apps get an update, I’ll add it to the site, and the books will see regular updates too. In the meantime, you can follow @completeandroid on Twitter. During this launch week, you can DM that account and you’ll receive back a discount code for book purchase. It’s been eye-opening to detail Android for a full book, and I hope Android owners find it just as informative.