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Another Android smartphone upgrade

Upgrading my smartphone has never been an easy task for me. Probably because I get so familiar with the way it operates. But there are times when you just have to bite-the-bullet and go for it. So, here's my recent experience upgrading my Android smartphone.

Another Android smartphone upgrade

So, I had purchased my Droid 4 about three and a half years ago, and it worked just fine for the first couple of years. Then it started having battery run time issues and had to be charged every night.

I had thought about just getting a replacement battery and that would fix the problem. But this was one of those devices that the manufacturer had glued the battery in-place.

Replacing the battery meant I would have to carefully pry out the old battery, making sure not to puncture the battery casing. Have you ever seen what happens when you puncture a lithium-ion battery? It's right up there with the exploding battery issue.

So, when my Droid 4 could not hold a charge for more than a couple of hours, I knew it was time for a change. But when I tried to get the back cover off of the Droid 4, I found that the battery had swollen to 150% its original size, it was now time to get a new smartphone.

I took a look at what my carrier offered for smart phones. I had three (3) requirements; a removable / replaceable battery, a micro SD card slot and it had to be inexpensive (damage from accidentally dropping it is a major concern).

So, I ordered a new Samsung Galaxy J3 and prepared for the move. Even though the battery in my Droid 4 was malfunctioning, the device itself was still functioning properly. As soon as I got the new Samsung J3, I started the process of upgrading my smartphone.

  1. First thing I did was backup everything I wanted to keep from both internal storage and the micro SD card. I had to turn on USB debugging to do this. Even though I am going to move the existing micro SD card to my new phone, I still want to back up the data (photos, music, etc.) I have on it.
    View of my Droid 4 inside of Windows 10 File Explorer
    Since this will be the third phone I am using this micro SD card with, I may just reformat it just to get rid of any junk I don't need.
  2. I powered off my existing Droid 4 and removed the micro SD card. Since the battery had started to bulge out, getting the back cover on or off was extremely hard. But with a little finesse, I was able to do it.
  3. I tried to connect the new phone to my existing phone carrier's network. What was supposed to be simple turned out to be a little more complicated, but not much. For a day, in my spare time, I tried powering off my old phone and then powering on the new phone. All I keep getting was an error about not being able to connect to a server and to please try again later. I was in no hurry but I finally called the support number listed on the error screen. After confirming the order number, my new phone finally was able to make connection and started to function properly.

After setting up all of my different accounts (Gmail, email, etc.), all that was left was to install all of my apps using Google Play. This one took a little time to figure out, as I wanted to install the same apps on my new phone that were on my old phone, but there did not appear to be a clear way for me to do it. I did finally come across how to do it.

How to install apps from one Android device to another using Google Play

  1. Bring up Google Play in a browser on your computer (sign-in if you are not already).
  2. On the menu on the left-side of the page, left-click on Apps.
  3. On the Apps menu click on My apps.
    View of installed Android apps listed by device on Google Play
  4. Pull-down the All Apps menu and select your old device.
  5. Left-click on the app you want to install on your new device.
    Google Play app information dialog box
  6. In the lower right corner of the app information you will see a button that says Installed. Left-click on it and bring up the app installation dialog box.
    Google Play app installation dialog box
  7. On the app installation dialog box, you need to choose a device to install it to. When you pull-down the device menu, you will see that there is only one device that you can install it on. Left-click on your new device and then left-click on Install.

Switching from one Android smartphone to another

I know that change is good, but sometimes I just fear it. Case in point is my smartphone. I really liked my original Droid; it was small enough to fit in my pocket and did everything I needed it to do. But it started to show its age and newer Android apps wouldn't run on it, so I decided it was time to get a new phone. And the move was really quite easy.

The biggest problem I was facing was the installation of my apps. Some of them were installed before Google created the Android Market, now known as Google Play. I had sync 'd my old Droid with my Google account, so some of my apps were shown as installed inside of Google Play. And there was a couple that was not and I would have to manually install them.

Both of my Droids appear in My Devices in Google Play
Both of my Droids appear in My Devices in Google Play

Since my Droid survived so long (over four years) I decided to go with a newer version, the Droid 4. First thing I did was to add the Droid 4 to my Google account and then go over to Google Play. It was now listed in my devices and I could install apps on it. I went to Apps > My apps and all of my apps showed up.

Apps show they are installed but not on what device
Apps show they are installed but not on what device

But when I selected one, it would show it as installed, but didn't show what device it was installed on. It was when I clicked on the 'Installed' button that I was given a list of my devices to choose from. From there it was pretty easy to get the apps I had on my Droid installed on my Droid 4.

When installing Google Play apps you have a choice of which device
When installing Google Play apps you have a choice of which device

Next thing I had to do was to get my photos, music, etc. off of my Droid and on to my Droid 4. Everything was on the micro SD card in my Droid and since the Droid 4 did not come with a micro SD card, I just powered off both devices and moved my existing 16 GB micro SD card from the Droid to the Droid 4. When I started up the Droid 4, all of my data was found. I simply connected my Droid 4 as a mass storage device to my computer via a USB cable and was able to move files in between the internal storage and the micro SD card.

List thing I did was manually install the apps that were not listed in Google Play. Once that was done I had to do some configuration on the apps I had just installed. This took the most time of all. But when it was all done, my Droid 4 was ready to go and working great.

Play movies, read a book or listen to music from the cloud with Google Play

Last year Google introduced the Android Market for Android apps and later Google Music for streaming music. Recently Google added a couple of more products to their catalog and combined them with the Android Market and Google Music. Now you can stream not only music, but your favorite movies and books from the cloud with Google Play.

Introduction screen for Google Play
Introduction screen for Google Play

With Google Play, you can watch a movie, read a book or listen to music on multiple platforms. You can access your movies, books and music from any browser with an internet connection. To view movies, books and listen to music on an Android based device, you'll need the Play Movies, Play Books and Music apps from Google.

The main screen for Google Play
The main screen for Google Play

Remember that you have to have a gmail account to gain full access to Google Play. Here's a quote from their site:

Play Anywhere

All your entertainment in one place
Google Play is your one-stop shop for all your favorite entertainment. With over 450,000 apps, millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies, Google Play has something for everyone. Before you decide what you want, sample a song or book for free, view app ratings, reviews, and screenshots, or watch a movie trailer. Google Play is a more connected, powerful experience.

The power of the cloud
How cool would it be if your entertainment was just available anywhere? Now it is. Buy a book on your Android phone and read it on the web at play.google.com. Buy a new album on your Android tablet and listen to it on your desktop at work. Rent a movie online and watch it anywhere on your phone. That’s the beauty of the cloud. You can read, listen and watch all your favorite content anywhere you want. No software required and no wires or syncing needed, and the best part - Google Play cloud is free to use.

Share what you love
Discover, shop, enjoy, and share music, movies, books, and apps anytime, anywhere. When you discover an amazing song, a nail-biting thriller or memorable movie, the first thing you want to do is share it with your friends. On Google Play sharing your favorite entertainment just got easier. You can easily share posts about your favorite books, music, movies, games or apps to your circles on Google+, email, or text message in a single click.

For more information on Google Play, just follow the links below.

Google Play
Google Play Features

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