The latest versions of Google Android's mobile operating system, 'Froyo' and 'Gingerbread' both offer speed and a spiffed up user interface. We've got 31 power tips to help you get the most out of your Android smartphone.

The latest versions of Google Android's mobile operating system, 'Froyo' and 'Gingerbread' both offer speed as their main selling point. However, each has also come a long way from the original Android and spiffed up the user interface (Gingerbread in particular).

However, with great power comes great confusion. Although these editions of the Android OS make your smartphone more feature-rich than before, it's not always obvious how to take advantage of the improvements.

Read on for a comprehensive list of the most compelling new features, plus tips and tricks. These items are specific to Froyo/Android 2.2 (which released last summer and runs on many phones) as well as to Gingerbread/Android 2.3 (which came out in December and is currently available with the Samsung Nexus S).

And if your smartphone is running Gingerbread, then you're in luck - the tips for Froyo also apply to you.

Android 2.2 Froyo tips and tricks

1. Store apps on your SD Card
For owners of older phones with little on-board storage for applications, this feature is huge. Provided that the developer of an application allows it, you can move the application to your SD Card. Go to Settings, Applications, Manage Applications, and then click the app you want to move. You will see an option called Move to SD Card. Click it, and your app will move over, and nothing will be lost. (You can move it back to your phone's built-in storage later if you want, by clicking Move to Phone in the same place.)

2. Chrome to Phone
If you use the Chrome browser on your desktop, this add-on is a must-have. (You'll also encounter a version for Firefox called Fox to Phone, but it comes from a third-party developer.) First, install the Chrome to Phone extension in your Chrome browser; then, from the Android Market, download and install the Chrome to Phone app on your handset. Afterward, if you run across a web page you like, you can click your new 'Chrome to Phone' button in your browser to send it instantly to your phone. You can also highlight a phone number and click the button, and the number will open in your phone's dialler. Or send directions, and they'll open up in Maps on your phone. If you highlight some text, it will copy to your phone's clipboard, ready for pasting.

3. Get Flash
Android versions 2.2 and newer support Adobe Flash in the browser. First, you may have to download Flash from the Android Market (search for 'Flash Player 10.1'). It's great to have this option. Some web pages that are loaded with Flash can really slow down your phone, however.

4. Block automatic Flash loading
Luckily, you have a way to set the browser so that it doesn't automatically load Flash content. From the browser, tap Menu, More, Settings and scroll down to Enable Plug-Ins. Click that, and then select On Demand. Then restart the browser. Now when you reach a page with Flash content, you will see a box with an arrow in it; tap it to activate that piece of Flash content.

NEXT PAGE: Better multitasking

  1. Get to grips with the latest version of the OS
  2. Better multitasking
  3. Gingerbread tips and tricks
  4. Gingerbread keyboard tips