08.3-Customize and configure your Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 devices to suit your needs-2014-07-29

Today’s most powerful, most flexible and most reliable mobile operating system is Android Kit Kat 4.4.2. This has been confirmed by numerous reviews. Why not take full advantage of its power? This article present selection criteria’s for Android Apps, identify the major Android Apps suppliers, suggest “must have” Apps, show how to regroup your Apps by categories, and highlight how to customize and configure Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 to satisfy your needs and increase your productivity.

Have you upgraded from Android KitKat to Android Lollypop 5.0? 

If so, you must instead read article 08.5-Customize and configure your Android Lollipop 5.0 smartphones and tablets to take full advantage of the new functionality-2015-04-25 .

NOTE: After reading this article, master this unparalleled functionality available on the Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones and tablets by learning how to customize them to meet your specifics requirements. You should find all you need in the following series of articles: FROM 12.01-Part 1-Introduction on the unparalleled functionality of the Samsung Galaxy Note products-2014-11-30   TO  12.07-Part 7 on the unparalleled functionality of the Samsung Galaxy Note products-Note Edge Functions-2014-12 -21 .

Operating System Definition

The operating system is the software that makes computers, smartphones and tablets work and give them their functionality and their personality. (To learn more about what an operating system is, please read:     04.1–What is a computer?-2012/01/16).

IMPORTANT WARNING

You should have noticed when you install an App from Google Play or other Apps suppliers that you are ask to accept a list of “access permissions” that you must agree to in order for the App to install. Most people click “YES” without questioning what they’re accepting. THIS CAN BE VERY RISKY because with this agreement you put your trust with the supplier that he will not misuse these permissions to your detriment. Be careful because some could use this access to introduce armful functions or access critical information. Therefore, to minimize your risks you must adhere to a set of criteria’s before installing Apps.

Criteria’s you should follow to avoid potential troubles

  1. Only download Apps from Google Play:  Google Play pre-selects the Apps and the suppliers following a set of criteria’s they must comply to. This is not an absolute guaranty but it is important to weed out the risky suppliers. Google Play will disqualify and exclude a supplier that is found irresponsible.
  2. If you must download an App from a supplier other than Google Play, make sure it is from a trustworthy supplier. For example: you can download an App from your bank, your broker, a major store like Amazon, or similar trustworthy suppliers. DO NOT download Apps from any non-trustworthy source.
  3. Select Apps from market leaders, such as: Google, Apple, Microsoft, AVG, Mobile Systems, Dropbox …
  4. Select Apps from large companies you trust. Large corporations have too much to lose if they would mistreat your information. They also have procedures and knowhow to prevent malware. This way, you minimize the possibilities of finding ourselves in trouble.
  5. Limit your Apps suppliers. For example, if several Apps do the similar functions, select the App that has a good rating from a market leading supplier you already know, and limit the number of Apps suppliers.

Major Android App’s suppliers

Below is a partial list of major Android Apps suppliers. Access each App in Google Play, evaluate and decide if you may need this functionality, than decide to install it or not:

Google Apps: Google Play, Gmail, Calendar, Google+, Hangouts, Maps, Google Earth, Google Search, Google Chrome, Play Music, Play Movies & TV, Play Books, Play Newsstand, Play Games, Drive, QuickOffice, YouTube, Chromecast, Photos … Please read the following article for more info on Google Apps: 07.2 – The Google Universe-2013-06-24

AVG: AVG AntiVirus, AVG Cleaner, AVG Vault, AVG Zen …

Mobile Systems: OfficeSuite Pro, Oxford Dictionary, Quick PDF Scanner, QuickSpell, QuickWrite…

Samsung: Action Memo, Alarm, Evernote, Help, KNOX, S Voice, Scrapbook, SideSync 3.0, SketchBook for Galaxy…

Microsoft: OneDrive, OneSync, Microsoft Office,

Dropbox: Dropbox, Dropsync Pro (from TTXAPPS),

HP: HP ePrint,…

Facebook: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram,…

Twitter…

Must have Android Apps

Google Apps – A good number of Google Apps are a must for most Android users and many come pre-installed on your devices. Make sure to activate and use them. Please read the following article for more info on Google Apps: 07.2 – The Google Universe-2013-06-24

Google Play: Google app to access and download most Android supported apps.

Gmail: install Gmail first to open or access your Google account. Several other Google Apps and functions gravitate around Gmail: Contacts, Tasks, Google+, Hangouts, Dictionaries … Get your email instantly via push notifications, read and respond to your conversations online & offline, and search and locate any email. Gmail also lets you: Manage multiple accounts/View and save attachments/Set up label notifications. Please read the following article for more info on configuring Gmail: 07.1–How to configure Gmail?-2012/01/19

Calendar: displays events from each of your Google Accounts that synchronizes with your Android devices. You can also: Create, edit, and delete events/View all your calendars at the same time, including non-Google calendars/Quickly email all event guests from a notification with a customizable message.

Google Search: the industry standard for searching the internet.

Google Maps incorporating Street View and Google Earth: most comprehensive and reliable map app on the market. Provides: comprehensive, accurate maps in 220 countries and territories/Voice-guided GPS navigation for driving, biking, and walking/Transit directions and maps for over 15,000 towns and cities/Live traffic conditions, incident reports, and automatic rerouting to find the best route/Detailed information on more than 100 million places/Street View and indoor imagery for restaurants, museums, and more/Google Earth for detailed pictures of the earth with 3D grounds and buildings representation for a growing number of cities.

Google Chrome (Browser): top rated efficient mobile internet browser.

Google Drive (Cloud): a quality Cloud service in support of most Google’s Apps. For more information on Cloud services, please read the following article at: 06.03 – Cloud services – Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive – 2012-12-25

YouTube: the industry standard for video clips.

Chromecast: the cheapest way (U$35 for the device) to convert your TV into a Smart TV for access to Netflix, for example. For more info, please read the following article at: 14.1-Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player (From Google). The best there is for the price and ease of install and use!-2013-11-01

Samsung Camera: for taking pictures and videos.

Samsung Gallery: for storing pictures and videos.

Dropbox (Cloud): the premier Cloud service used by the most Apps suppliers as their preferred Cloud service for storing backups and other files. For more information on Cloud services, please read the following article at: 06.03 – Cloud services – Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive – 2012-12-25

Dropbox Carousel: for accessing all your photos on all your devices.

Microsoft OneDrive (Cloud): important Cloud services supporting Microsoft Apps and more. For more information on Cloud services, please read the following article at: 06.03 – Cloud services – Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive – 2012-12-25 NOTE: SkyDrive is now called OneDrive.

AVG Zen: install AVG Zen first and open an AVG account with user ID and password. This app will serve as the central hub for your AVG apps. Keep track of all your household’s PC’s, laptops and Android smartphones & tablets for better protection, improved performance, and enhanced privacy.

AVG AntiVirus Security: Free, top-rated, real-time anti-virus and anti-theft protection for Android™ devices. AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android™ protects you from harmful viruses, malware, spyware and text messages and helps keep your personal data safe. One of the best in my experience!

AVG Cleaner: Get more space – clean junk cache files and unwanted apps. Get more performance and extend battery life. Reduce data usage – view & remove apps by mobile data usage. Let it run automatically – daily/weekly auto-clean.

AVG Vault: lets you encrypt, store and hide your most private/secret digital valuables on your device. Whether you have pictures to keep private, credit card details or personal IDs to protect or a whole host of other files, you can lock them encrypted where only you can access them using a personal password.

eWalletGo: a very useful encrypted password storage App to securely keep all your password and other critical confidential info. Backup files are on Dropbox. I have been using this App for several years.

Easy Backup: backup App for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets,…).

HMA! (Hide My Ass) Pro VPN: the world’s premium VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. It reroutes your internet connection via their own servers to hide your personal connection address for privacy and security.

OfficeSuite Pro Suite: preferred App for Microsoft compatible Word, Excel and PowerPoint document creation and editing with full Cloud (Dropbox) storage and retrieval. A must for serious Office type work! –  April 2015 UPDATE: Now that Microsoft Office is available on Android and iOS, if you are familiar with the Windows Office products, you can minimize your learning curve by implementing Microsoft Office 365 Personal on all your devices for a monthly fee of U$6.99. For this monthly fee you get:

  1. Microsoft Office 365 on ONE PC or MAC, with the following Office Apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.
  2. Microsoft Office Mobile on ONE tablet and ONE
  3. Online versions of Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
  4. Offline storage to your PC.
  5. 1 TB of online storage on OneDrive (Microsoft Cloud) to save documents, photos, videos … and access them from anywhere on any of your devices. For one user.
  6. 60 minutes/month of Skype calls to mobile phones in 8 countries and landlines calls in 60+ countries. For one user.

NOTE: Buy and implement Microsoft Office 365 Personal on your PC first, then download it from Google Play on your Android devices or iTunes store on your Apple Devices.

Scoop.it: great App to publish and read on-line professionals and businesses posts. Scoop.it will automatically screen and email you the posts for your areas of interest. Very useful to follow topics of interest!

MagicJackGo: for very low cost home phone service anywhere you have a high speed internet connection and free phone calls from anywhere around the world to Canada and the USA. For more information on this unbeatable phone service, please read the following article at: 13.4 – Powerful low cost telephone services-2014-07-15

FreeZone: to identify free Wi-Fi services close by while away from home or office.

FlightAware: for tracking flights while you or someone else is traveling to know actual departure and arrival times.

TripAdvisor (City Guides Catalog): for valuable free city guides with visitor’s reviews.

My Medical: for storing and easy access to all your personal confidential medical and emergency info.

How to regroup your Apps by Categories

The first step in organizing your Apps on your Android devices is to group them by categories. Below you will find my grouping by categories. You can also use the Google Play categories which I find less pertinent for daily use. My Android Apps categories, in alphabetical order, are:

Apps Stores: Google Play Store, Samsung Galaxy Apps Store,

Blog Sites: WordPress, Today’s Personal Computing,

Business/Finance: Quicken 2014 (Accounting), E*Trade (Brokerage), BofA (Banking), TC2000 (Stock Charting), Yahoo Finance,

Cloud: Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive,

Communications: FreeZone (Wi-Fi), MagicJackGo, Microsoft Skype, Samsung e-Meeting, WebEx,

Entertainment/Media (Radio/TV/Video/Books): Music, Google Play Music, Easy 93.1 (Radio), Netflix, Google Play Movies & TV, Hulu Plus (TV), HBO GO, Google YouTube, Samsung WatchON,  Google Play Books, Video,

Food/Restaurants: Open Table, Yelp,

Games: Solitaire, Google Play Games, Samsung Group Play, Samsung PEN.UP (Game),

Internet Apps: Google Chrome (Browser), Microsoft Explorer (Browser), Photon (Browser), Google Search,

News/Magazines: La Presse+, BusinessWeek+, NY Times, Scoop.it, Flipboard, Google Play Newsstand,

Office: Microsoft Office Mobile, OfficeSuitePro, Docs, Sheets, QuickWrite, QuickSpell, Quick PDF Scanner, Oxford Dictionary, Evernote, Google QuickOffice, Calculator, Samsung Action Memo, S Note, S Translator, Samsung SketchBook for Galaxy,

Photos/Camera: Samsung Camera, Gallery, Carousel, Scrapbook, Google Photo,

Products: GoPro,

Encrypted: eWalletGo (Secured Passwords), AVG Vault (Secured Personal Info), My Medical (Secured Medical Records),

Security: AVG AntiVirus, HMA! Pro VPN (Virtual Private Network), Samsung KNOX (corporate security),

Shopping: Amazon, Barcode Scanner, La SAQ,  

Social: Gmail, Contacts (Gmail feature), Google+, Google Hangouts, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,

Sports: GolfNow (Golf Booking),

Suppliers: Rogers App Zone, Rogers One Number, XFinity WiFi,

Tools: Brightest Flashlight, Bubble (Phone Level), World Clock, Samsung Alarm

Travel/Tourist: Google Maps, Google Earth, Trip Adviser City Guides, FlightAware, Beat The Traffic, TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor Montreal, TripAdvisor Paris, FreeZone (Wi-Fi Locator),

Utilities: AVG Zen, AVG Cleaner, Easy Backup, HP print, Samsung SideSync 3.0, Remote PC, Google Keyboard, Samsung S Voice, Samsung Help, Google Voice Search, Google Settings,

Weather: TWN (The Weather Network/Météo Media), AccuWeather, SailFlow (Boating Weather)

Customize and configure your Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 devices to satisfy your needs and increase your productivity

Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 offers the most customizable Lock and Home/Launch screens functionality. You can choose the Lock screen wallpaper (background picture when the device is locked), choose the Home/Launch screens wallpaper (background picture once the device is unlocked), group apps within screen Folders, and insert and position widgets on Home/Launch screens.

Choosing the Home/Launch screens wallpaper (background picture)

  1. Click “Settings”.
  2. Choose “Device” at the top.
  3. Choose “Wallpaper”.
  4. Pick “Home screen”, “Lock screen” or “Home and lock screen”.
  5. Select “Gallery” or “Photos” to display your own photos or “Wallpapers” to pick from Samsung’s wallpapers.
  6. Pic one and “Set wallpaper”.

Adding an App icon or a Widget to your Home/Launch screens

  1. Click on the Apps icon (Small squares icon).
  2. Choose “Apps” top left for icons, OR choose “Widgets” top right for widgets.
  3. Scroll between screens.
  4. Pick and hold the icon/widget you want to bring to a Home/Launch screen and release it on the location you prefer.
  5. To add a new Launch screen, move the icon/widget you want on the empty screen with a plus sign “+”, at the bottom, and release it there: a new screen should appear.
  6. You can reposition an icon/widget anywhere by holding it and dragging it to where you want it to be, and releasing it.

Creating Apps Folders on Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 Home/Launch screens

  1. Hold your finger on an App icon until “Create Folder” appears in the top left corner.
  2. Drag the App icon on top of “Create Folder” and drop it there.
  3. Enter the folder name: the name of a category of Apps, as shown above.
  4. Once completed, the App folder will display on the screen with the category name.
  5. Then, move and drop the other Apps that fall into this category on top of this new category folder. They will be incorporated into the folder as soon as you release (drop) the App icon on top of that folder.
  6. Position each App folder on the Home/Launch screens, at a location you feel will make it easy for you to access. I have sequenced mine alphabetically.

Creating Apps folders will allow you to reduce to a minimum the number of home/launch screens you have to browse to find and start the app you are looking for.

Picture of my Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet Home screen

Within the categories folders on my tablet home screen, I was able to incorporate ALL the 75+ Apps I use regularly. This means that on ONE home screen, in addition to having a summary display of my latest emails and daily calendar, I can readily access any of my 75+ Apps, without having to scroll away from my home screen. What a useful Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 feature!

Screenshots1

Pictures of my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone Home/Launch screens

Within the categories folders on my phone home screen plus two launch screens, I was able to incorporate ALL the 75+ Apps I use regularly. This means that on only THREE screens, in addition to having a summary display of my latest emails and daily calendar, I can readily access any of my 75+ Apps. What a productive Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 feature!

Note3-All3-1

7 Responses to 08.3-Customize and configure your Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 devices to suit your needs-2014-07-29

  1. Bert Wayland says:

    Normand —
    You continue to amaze and fulfill a huge need……. Congratulations!

  2. mandy says:

    Hi do u still recomend avg ? Theres so much out there im confused and not really a techie .. avg pro on my tablet but cm security on samsung s5mini ..friends say avast another says trust go ..help ?

    • There are several good security products on the market: AVG, Avast… In answer to your request and to learn more about why I recommend the AVG products, read the following two articles.
      1. After you read the 02-Approach article, you will understand how I go about selecting products. I have 50 years of experience in the computer industry and this approach is conservative but proven.
      2. After you read the 15.1 – Implementing computer and mobile device security-2014-10-02 you should understand why I recommend the AVG products.

  3. Mark Hazlett says:

    Why ccant I use sky go on my KitKat 4-42

  4. Renee V. says:

    I have a Tracfone LG Ultimate 2, Android 4.4.2. When I hold my finger on an app icon, I do NOT get “Create Folder” as an option, only “App Info” and “Discard.” But there are pre-created folders with icon groups already on my screens. Is there another way to create a folder so I can create my own groups of icons?

    • Sorry it took me a while to answer! One VERY important factor you need to be aware of is that the Android software, including version 4.4.2, is “OPEN SOURCE” software. This means that each manufacturer modifies and adds their own proprietary functions to the original Google Android version to give the functionality they want to EACH of their smartphones. Even, all Samsung’s devices do not offer the same functions. I notice some differences between my Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and my Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet. To know if the desired function is available and how it works on your Android 4.4.2 smartphone, you must contact the manufacturer. It may be that the Tracfone LG Ultimate 2 you own does not offer this functionality.

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