Motorola’s impressive DROID Turbo smartphone runs great from the moment you pull it out of the box thanks to the nearly stock Android 4.4 KitKat software, and soon Android 5.0 Lollipop. However you’ll want to make a few immediate changes to be better prepared, more secure, achieve better performance and enjoy the best experience possible.
The DROID Turbo was announced and released late last year, hitting Verizon shelves in November and instantly being popular for its big Quad-HD display, massive battery, and impressive 20 megapixel camera. If you just got one, here’s some steps to enjoy it to the fullest.
Everyone is different when it comes to how they use their smartphone, and what for, but below you’ll find 5 essential tips to help you get started with the Turbo. With Android 4.4 KitKat everything is bright and fluid, the lockscreen is smarter and easier to interact with, and information is a tap or voice command away with Google Now, but you’ll still want to make a few of these important changes.
The average user will find that out of the box Google’s improved Android 4.4 KitKat to better serve you, the user. Instructions will walk you through the initial boot process and what everything does like never before, improved over previous versions of the OS, and everything is easy to understand and navigate. However, it still doesn’t recommend users set up a passcode lock, pattern, or any other security after signing into Gmail, and their life. We want better security, data usage limits, battery saving additions, and many more, so here they are. Android 5.0 Lollipop has some new stuff, but the Turbo hasn’t been updated at the time of writing this guide.
While Android is great at going through the first few steps, signing in and syncing your Gmail, and generally getting started it forgets one key important feature. Security! It takes about 30 seconds to set up a passcode or pattern lock, and your device will be protected from prying eyes or in case of loss/theft, and here’s how.
Simply slide down the notification bar and head into settings, or find the gear-shaped icon from the screenshot above in the application tray.
Settings > Security > Screen Lock > and select Pattern, PIN, or even Face Unlock
From this same menu you’ll be able to also enable lockscreen widgets, which we’ll talk about below, and even add owner info to the lockscreen as well. We used @GottaBeMobile, but others might put their email should the device be lost. Once you set a PIN you’ll see additional options in this menu for time before lock, and things of that nature, so your not constantly typing in a pin every singe time you use the device. I found 5-10 minutes is ideal.
While we’re talking about security it’s also worth nothing two other things. One being to enter the Google Play Store and under settings enable password protection for purchases. This ensures a lost device won’t incur charges, nor will kids accidentally buy a bunch of games or apps. At the same time, head to the Android Device Manager and prepare the device for those services. This will allow you to call, lock, or even erase the device if it’s lost, missing, or stolen.
Set Mobile Data Limits
We all wish we had unlimited data from carriers, but sadly that’s becoming less and less of an option. As a result many users have 2 or 4GB data plans, or even a pay-as-you go plan for their smartphone. The DROID Turbo with fast 4G LTE and a big Quad-HD display can churn through data if you’re browsing the web, viewing YouTube and Netflix, or installing large games like Asphalt 8.
Before you go over your data limit and get additional charges from a carrier, you’ll want to quickly set a mobile data limit for the device. You’ll do this by heading into:
Settings > Data Usage > Enable Mobile Data > Set Data Limit
From here you can slide the bars to your specific days in which your plan begin/ends, and even see what’s taking up the most data. You can cycle through previous months, and even enable WiFi tracking in settings. As a reminder, this may not be 100% accurate with carrier data limits, so use caution. However, we’ve found it to be extremely accurate in the past. The settings menu inside data usage can also be used to enable data roaming, restrict background data usage and more to keep your device under control.
Enable Backup and Restore
Google offers a backup and restore feature for smartphones and tablets that’s decent with Android 4.4 KitKat, and you’ll want to make sure it’s enabled. It gets even better with Lollipop, but this will do for now. A quick swipe into the Backup & Reset option in settings will give you the rundown. During initial startup of your device, you may have restored from your Gmail account, but whether you did or not, you’ll want to enable backup on your new DROID Turbo.
Not only will this backup data, WiFi passwords, and other information, but the automatic restore will even replace the settings and app data when an app is reinstalled. From custom settings to game progress and more. This has improved lately with Google Services Framework, and is better than ever with Android 4.4 KitKat. We strongly recommend backing up your new DROID Turbo. This will save you work if it gets lost, stolen or broke, and when you upgrade to something better in the future.
While the DROID Turbo packs one of the biggest battery options inside of any smartphone available in the United States, coming in at 3,900 mAh, everyone can appreciate efforts to get longer battery life.
Screen brightness, sleep time, and location settings are the three key areas we wanted to focus on for battery life. For starters you’ll want to head in and choose screen brightness. Many opt for auto-mode, but that will make the screen fluctuate so much, especially outside, that it can in turn make the battery die faster. I use somewhere around 25-30% myself, which is hard to judge from a slider, but go ahead and turn it down. You don’t need the screen to be a spotlight, and your battery will thank you.
Settings > Display > Brightness (and don’t forget to set the “sleep feature” I use 1 minute, default is 30 seconds)
Disabling things like animations in the developer settings can improve battery, but change how things look while using the device, so we’ll skip that. The second thing you see above is location settings. This is new to Android 4.4 KitKat, and will help you better control what uses location services, and when. GPS for Maps, Google Now, and Facebook kills data. Personally I turn all location services off, except for the essentials.
Settings > Location > Mode > and select Battery Saving
High accuracy is the best, but Google Now has worked wonderfully for me with the battery saving mode enabled instead. The phone will still use WiFi and mobile networks to determine location, and GPS won’t be fired up and draining your battery. These are just a few tips of many. Give them a try.
Enabling things like Google Now will help you get more content at your fingertips faster, Motorola Migrate and Assist are both great apps that users can enjoy. Ones that have tutorials on first boot to help you understand them. And be sure to use Moto’s display features for quick notifications, and even Attentive Display in settings. This keeps the device from dimming or turning off while you’re looking at it. It’s a neat little feature many don’t know about.
In the end though everything is up to the user, and everyone has different needs and preferences. The few changes outlined above will improve the overall experience with your new DROID Turbo, while also keeping it safe and secure in case of an accident or theft. You’ll be able to use the device with comfort, restore data and apps if needed, and get better battery life than you expected. They are simple and easy to do, so give it a try and enjoy.