BACK versus HOME
I would like to highlight one other key area that can be confusing at first; the difference between the HOME
button and the BACK
button. At any point, when you are running an application you can return to your home screen by simply pressing the HOME
button. When you press the HOME
button, understand that the application you were in does not “close” or “shutdown” like some other smart phones. The application is still running in the background. If you were to click that applications icon again, it would re-open and you would be presented the last screen you were on when you pressed the HOME
button. For example, let’s say you were in the Browser application and you were checking the scores of your favorite team. You decided to do something else, so you pressed the HOME
button and went to the home screen where you changed your music. Then you go back into the Browser and you’ll have the same website with the scores for your team right there. Think of it like minimizing a program on your desktop computer. It’s not closed, just out of the way for a while until you want it again.
button works a different way. It can be setup to do a number of different things, depending on the application, but in general, the BACK
button can be used to exit and close an application. If you know you are done with that application and you don’t want it running in the background using up memory and battery, you want to press the BACK
button to close the application. Let’s say you are once again checking scores in the Browser application and the game finishes, so you decide to close the browser. You can press the BACK
button to exit the Browser. It is now closed and not running in the background. If you open the Browser again, it will be a new session and the home page will be presented.
I mention this because with smart phones having multiple applications running at once can be a memory and battery hog. Choose wisely if you wanted to simple press the HOME
button or the BACK
button. If you get too many applications running in the background, things will get slow and your battery will drain quickly. With Android 2.0+, Google introduced a new section in the system settings page called “Running Services”. This allows you a quick view of what applications are running, just in case your Droid starts to get sluggish like a wet sponge. From that section, you can kill any application you no longer want.
Below are links to some phone user guides. They will have details that are specific to your device, which I’m not covering here. I will update this page as Android evolves."