As a keen user of Android I’ve been thinking about how I can help out other Android users. I’m not a developer, so I can’t build a brilliant app or game, but there are other problems that Android users face, and helping people solve these problems might be just the thing I’ll be able to help out with!
What problems? Well, just think back about what you struggled with, or wished you knew, when you first bought your Android phone. Depending on your skill level and available time there are various different ways to help out (some easier than others). No matter which route you pick, you’ll be helping someone!
Review Apps on the Market
Reviews on the Market are pretty prominent – and so they should be! That is, when they’re filled out properly. It’s so annoying as a user to see comments like “suxs” or “doesn’t work”; I can’t imagine how it feels to a developer that’s put so much effort into building something.
It doesn’t take much effort to provide some quick yet helpful feedback, whether positive or negative – just be sure to specify what doesn’t work, or what exactly you don’t like. Your rating should also make sense. I go by the following guide:
5 stars: Excellent app; exactly what I want, with a few small annoyances.
4 stars: Excellent app; exactly what I want, with a few more evident annoyances.
3 stars: Good app; can do what I want, but could be improved.
2 stars: It installs, but I’ve uninstalled it; terrible app in need of vast improvements
1 star: Scam, not as advertised at all; advert-ridden piece of junk.
While it’s not a perfect system, it works well in my experience.
Android can be imposing for new users, or users who are veering off the common road of stock Android. You’ve probably stumbled across a problem, and spent a while looking for a fix; once you’ve found it, you may as well document it somewhere online – perhaps on a forum or your blog. Google will no doubt find and display it to the next person who comes across this problem.
WordPress.com and Blogger both give you all you need to create a simple blog for free: perfect for sharing your Android tips if forums aren’t your thing. It’ll require some work to get your posts in front of the people who need your help, though Google does provide relevant help to people. It#s a rewarding experience, and if you enjoy running your own blog enough you could put in extra work to gain some financial benefit too!
Supporting Users on Twitter
I’m a strong believer that working smart, as well as hard, provides better results for all, and helping users on sites you already frequent makes things easier for you. As well as that, the more convenient something is, the more like it is to be carried out.
So, instead of signing up to different forums to help people with their Android problems, you could simply search for people needing help on Twitter. I’ve had varying degrees of success with this; I thought there would be a popular hashtag but I haven’t been able to find one. #androidhelp, perhaps.
Helping With Hardware
There have been times this year when the Android community has swayed the decisions of big phone manufacturers by signing petitions and refusing to buy certain pieces of hardware. While this probably isn’t something we’ll have much success doing individually, with more and more people using Android every day the number of people complaining could potentially add up to five or six figures!
Much like reviewing apps on the Market, a quick review highlighting your experience with your phone would really help potential buyers. Mention issues with the phone, as well as the positives! You don’t owe it to the manufacturer to write a biased review; a quick honest review could help countless people as these reviews are generally in a prominent place on the selling page on the carrier’s website.
No reviews here.
I’m still not sure what new ways I’ll be trying to help out Android users; for now I’ll give them all a try, with a possible post in a few months to start up discussion on this topic again after we’ve all learned from our experiences.
Do you already help out Android users? Maybe a few friends recently bought Android phones, did you help them out? If you have any other tips please let everyone know in the comments!