Tech Tuesday: Android Basics – Buttons and Ports


Most Android devices have a bunch of things in common. They have a place where they can be plugged in to charge, there’s a way to turn them on and off, control the volume, and most have a huge touch screen! 

The power button

Most tablets and phones have two or more exterior buttons – the power button is usually the smallest.

To turn a device on either quickly press the power button or hold it down to turn the device on. If your device is already on, tapping the power button turns off the display. Holding the power button down will either give you an option to turn it off or, if you hold it even longer, will force your device to shut down (not recommended unless something isn’t working).

Volume Buttons

The volume buttons are usually placed beside one another or they’re one long button.

They can control volume contextually. If you’re listening to music the volume button will control the media volume. Depending on the version of Android you’re using you can press the button to access a menu with each volume type listed to make changes. It looks like this:

The touch screen

The touch screen is basically one big button. Tapping the screen with your finger (also called a short press) will open apps or select things. A long press (hold your finger down) will give you more options like rearranging icons or uninstalling apps.

The charging port

Devices all have a charging port.

Make sure you’re trying to plug the right charging cable into your device. Not every USB connector is the same. New phones and tablets tend to charge with a USB-C cable. Older versions used mini and micro USB.

Headphone jacks aren’t that common anymore. If you don’t have bluetooth headphones you can buy an item called a “dongle” to make it compatible with different accessories including wired headphones.

Dongles plug into the charging port so make sure you get the right adapter!

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