I don’t believe it’s our lack of intelligence that allows new technology to sometimes dumbfound or frustrate us, but our lack of time. Of course teenagers can out-tweet us, but they have way more time to devout to figuring this stuff out.

If I had someone doing my laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and vacuuming, I’d be the Social Media Empress.  Alas, I work in Catholic ministry, so I do all that, plus homeschool my three kids!

So how will I keep one step ahead of (or at least in line with) my kids with regard to technology? Is there an app for that? You can also read that, "Is there an app to show me how this crazy smart phone or tablet works?"

One word:  tutorials.  They don’t actually have an app (at least in the Android market) for that, but online help does exist.  Here are a few sites I found to be informative, easy to read, and very helpful!

Use My Droid

Use My Droid

Honestly, I thought the logo explained this tutorial site perfectly:

It playfully bills the Use My Droid tutorial videos (found on the “Wall of Videos” tab or on their YouTube channel) as the non-nerdy alternative.  From what I saw, I’d have to agree.

You will find great stuff such as Tutorial Videos, Text Tutorials, Tips, Searchable Index by Subject, and even a tab that helps you learn how to best use their site!

Android for Dummies:  What Every Android User Should Know

This article promises to “…discuss features which will help beginners to become familiar with their Android handsets and to get hold of it.”  The very first paragraph gives the user a little background on the relationship between Google and Android.

I have to be honest, I knew none of this when I first logged on to “The Play Store” (Android’s App, Music, Magazine, Movies & TV, and Books store). I had no idea how the whole purchasing process happened.  It was like the Google Fairies took care of it all.

In hindsight (aka reality), since I had already set up a Gmail account – and the way technology is created today - it literally walked me through the process, without too much thought on this end user's part.

I found the paragraph on installing apps reassuring, especially for an app newbie.

*Just a quick side note, this article was written before the switch five months ago from the Android Market to the current Play Store, so where the instructions say “Market” insert “Play” and they are completely relevant again.

This was a great overview, and makes a smart starting point for new (and even veteran) Android users.

5 Things You May Not Know About Google Play

The C/net website, in particular the vast “How To” section, covers everything from computers to photography; the web to smartphones – and all technologies in between!

For Android users, Google Play (formerly Android Market), is the place to shop for all your media needs.

*Side note – Media can be downloaded directly from websites in some instances. The Play Store is not your ONLY resource for music, apps, etc.  While this article was posted back in March, 2012, if you are new to the game, it is still relevant for you.  I’ve been “with my phone” since February, 2012, and reading these five items definitely made me that there was still an awful lot I didn’t know, that I didn’t know!

If all this new technology periodically (or consistently) frustrates you, then being able to ‘Google’ or ‘Bing’ will truly be your lifesaving device.  The answers to all your technology questions are out there for the asking in article (written) format, or in video or audio format.

My sons have introduced me to a plethora of “how to” tutorial videos available on YouTube  – I say introduced, but it is more like insisted I explore YouTube, and stop asking so many questions.  I am glad that I did, because I don’t think we ever get too old to revel in a triumph of figuring something new out on your own.

Whether you are someone who likes to read directions, or needs to be walked through visually, step by step, the internet tutorials and articles can definitely help you master your Android device.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2012 Allison Gingras