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Get around on your device

Some of this information applies only to devices running Android 5.0 and higher. If your device is running 4.4 or lower, the Menu icon looks like this More. If your device is running 4.3 or lower, the Settings icon looks like this Settings.

Tips for commonly used features

Here are some tips to get you familiar with your Android device. They'll help you with the basic features you're likely to use often.

Use and customize your Favorites tray

Every Home screen shows the Favorites tray at the bottom of your screen—it's a quick way to get to your apps. You can customize what apps you want in your Favorites tray:

  • To remove an app: In the Favorites tray, touch and hold the app. Drag to another part of the screen and release.
  • To add an app: Touch and hold an app, then move it into the Favorites tray and release.

Get around with navigation buttons

At the bottom of every screen, no matter what you're doing, you'll always find these 3 navigation buttons:

  • Back Back: Opens the previous screen you were working in, even if it was in a different app. Once you back up to the Home screen, you can't go back any further in your history. If your device is running Android 4.4 or lower, your Back button looks like this .
  • Home Home: Opens Home. If you’re viewing a left or right Home screen, opens the central Home screen. If your device is running Android 4.4 or lower, your Home button looks like this .
  • Overview Overview: Opens a list of thumbnail images of apps and Chrome tabs you’ve worked with recently. To open an app, touch it. To remove a thumbnail from the list, swipe it left or right. If your device is running Android 4.4 or lower, your Overview button looks like this .

If you don't use these buttons often, they may shrink to dots or fade away, depending on the current app. To bring them back, touch their location on your device.

Control your settings in the Settings menu

On the All Apps screen Apps menu available from the Favorites tray, notice the Settings icon Settings. This brings you to the Settings screens for your device, where you can adjust things like network, sound, and account settings, among many others.

In Android 5.0 and higher, you can search the Settings app to find what you need quickly. Simply touch the search icon at the top of the screen and type in your search term.

Swipe down from top of your screen for Quick Settings

In Android 4.2 and higher, you can use Quick Settings to easily access Wi-Fi settings, change display brightness, and more. To open Quick Settings, swipe down from the top or top right corner of any screen. Learn about what you can do with Quick Settings.

Search using your voice and "Ok Google"

At the top of the screen you'll find Google Search, which lets you search your phone or the Internet. Touch Google to type your search terms, or the Microphone icon microphone icon to speak them. You can also say "Ok Google" and your query on any Home screen for Nexus 5 or the main Google Now screen to activate a voice search or perform an action.

Use the menu icon to get help

Many screens in apps and settings include a Menu icon More. Touch it to explore additional options, often including a Help item that provides more information about that screen.

Change Google Now and Search settings (Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 devices)

To manage settings for Google Now and Search on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 6, touch and hold any empty space on a Home screen, then touch Settings Settings. Learn more about these settings and how to manage them on your device.

Use gestures on your device

Gestures let you interact with your device by touching the screen or items on the screen in different ways.

Commonly used gestures
  • Touch to select: To select or activate something on your device, touch it.
  • Touch to type: To type something—such as a name, password, or search terms—just touch where you want to type. A keyboard will pop up that lets you type into the field.
  • Touch and hold items: Touch and hold an item on the screen and don't lift your finger until it responds.
  • Drag items: Touch and hold an item for a moment and then, without lifting your finger, move your finger on the screen until you reach the target position, then lift your finger. You can move apps around on your Home screen, for example, by dragging them.
  • Swipe or slide: Quickly move your finger across the surface of the screen without pausing. You can slide a Home screen left or right, for example, to view your other Home screens.
  • Double-tap to zoom in or out: Quickly tap twice on certain pages, such as a webpage or map, to zoom in. Double-tap again to zoom out.
  • Pinch to scale: In some apps (such as Maps and Chrome), you can scale what's on the screen by placing two or more fingers on the screen at once and pinching them together (to reduce) or spreading them apart (to enlarge). In some apps, you can double-tap and then drag up or down to enlarge the scale of an image. 
  • Rotate the screen: The orientation of most screens—including Home screens—rotates with your device as you turn it. To lock or unlock the screen's vertical orientation, swipe down from the top of the screen to get to Quick Settings, then touch the auto-rotate icon Auto-rotate.

Send feedback about your device to Google

This information applies only to devices running Android 5.0 and higher.

You can easily send feedback about your device to Google from the Settings app. This information is used to improve Google's products and services for everyone.

To send feedback from your device, follow these steps
  1. On your mobile device, open Settings Settings.
  2. Under "System," tap About phone or About tablet > Send feedback about this device.
  3. Type your feedback in the message.
  4. If you want to include your system logs in the report, check the box next to "Include system logs." These logs are helpful to Google if you're reporting a technical issue.
  5. Tap Send Send. Your message, system information, and email address (if you're logged into your account) will be sent to Google.

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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