Setting Up a Mobile Device

We’ve already noted that there is a wide variety of mobile IT devices available. The majority of them are manufactured by Apple, for example the iPhone and the iPod, and run the iOS operating system.  Others run the Android operating system, which was developed by Google and is  supported by a number of different manufacturers, notably Asus, Samsung and HTC.

There are other options, for example Blackberry devices, manufactured by RIM, or devices running the Windows Mobile operating system. In this course we’ll focus mainly on the Apple and Android devices, but you should keep the others in mind. The features we discuss will be common to most devices, but there will be differences between devices. You can find out what specific features are available on your own device by reading the manual.

Many Apple devices have restrictions placed upon them by the manufacturer. The process of removing these is known as jailbreaking. If anything goes wrong during the jailbreaking process the device can become unusable and is described as bricked, because it’s about as useful as a brick.

Many Android devices have access to some features disabled by the manufacturer or supplier. These features can be restored by a process known as rooting, but again, if anything goes wrong during the rooting process, the device can become bricked.

Once you have removed your new mobile IT device from its box, there are several things you’ll need to do before you can use it. First of all, you are going to need to charge the battery. Then you might want to select accessibility features, for example turning up the volume for someone who has a hearing impairment or adjusting the screen brightness or font size for someone who is visually impaired.

You’ll need to insert the SIM (Subscribe Identification Module) card, supplied by your service provider. The original SIM cards were the same size as a credit card but most Android devices now use a mini-SIM card, while most Apple devices use a smaller micro-SIM  The iPhone 5 uses an even smaller nano-SIM. You may want to set a keyboard lock or password to prevent others from using your phone. You’ll also need to configure network settings, for example, making sure that you sign on to the right network by default.

You may also want to configure some aspects of the user interface, such as displays, menus, sub-menus, toolbar, icons, buttons etc. to make sure that they suit you. You can also personalise ring tones, set up shortcut keys and/or voice activation, adjust the volume and change the appearance by selecting colour schemes or background images. You can also set the date, time and language.

You should also give some consideration to health and safety issues, such as avoiding Repetitive Strain Injury(RSI) or damage to hearing and realise that while you are using the device you may have reduced awareness of your surroundings and others near you – this can increase the risk of accidents to yourself and others.

Next: Starting Up and Shutting Down