Newbie Questions for First Time Smart-Phone Buyer - Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
I bought a cheap unlocked Viewsonic "viewphone 3" to try and see if I like the utility of a smart phone. This will be replacing an old razr that I only use for talk and text. I'm currently off contract with AT&T and plan on eventually trying the pay as you go Simple etc. (something on the T-mobile network) variety of monthly plans... I intend to only talk and text with this new phone (NO DATA PLAN AT ALL) but I will be using it to connect to the net via WiFi (check email, weather, etc) when its available.
The phone has shipped but I have not received it yet... And this may sound like a bunch of dumb questions (because they are), but I am that unfamiliar with exactly how to proceed when the phone arrives so here it goes:
When the phone arrives, I will just be putting my AT&T SIM into it and using it until I swap to a pay as you go plan (I have not selected one yet)... But I would like to try it on my current carrier and get a feel for the phone... I need to turn the mobile data access off, as on my current plan data is expensive (since I don't have any data)...
Can I operate the phone and start changing settings to block mobile data without putting in my SIM card and "going live" (to avoid being charged)? Or do I have to put the SIM card in to gain access to everything and then try and figure out how to switch off mobile data while I'm potentially incurring charges? Would I damage a brand new phone by trying to power it up without a SIM card installed?
After that is settled, I'd appreciate opinions on how to do the following or where to find information on the following:
I would then like to turn off everything I don't need, change the settings that will conserve battery power and allow the phone to function as fast and efficiently as it possibly can for a 800mhz single core while using minimum battery power. And I don't want to go about this through rooting it or with an app killer, I would prefer (at least initially) to just do it myself item by item and not root it as I'm obviously not that advanced quite yet. But for starters, what are the critical settings that I need to look at and change right off the bat to maximize the usefulness of the limited hardware? And what is the best way to go about setting permissions, etc?
Will I then need an antivirus or firewall? And if so, who makes the best free mobile antivirus? I like AVG but is their mobile security any good or even necessary?
What is the safest source to download apps from?
Essentially, is there a "Welcome to Android for Dummies" quick start page somewhere?
Go to settings-wireless and disable mobile data, data roaming and Bluetooth. This will help conserve battery.
You can always download apps from the Google play store, but google does no curation of their app store and there are a few documented cases of malware making it into the play store. If you have an Amazon.com account, you can download the Amazon App store. Amazon curates their app store which greatly reduces the risk of malware making it into their app store.
Re: market. Use common sense. Check out number of downloads, reasonableness of permissions, and reviews. Get appbrain app first. It's created a "concerns" section on each app to show if permissions are unreasonable.