Galaxy S II: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla

Galaxy S II: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla continues the missing manual series tradition of providing a comprehensive guide to emerging technology – technology generally in dire need of just such instruction. The Galaxy S II benefits from Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on Android Gingerbread. As such it’s currently at the pinnacle of the android field, offers a superb screen and speedy response. Nonetheless, as with other Android devices there’s much hidden power and without instruction most users will not benefit from many features without a guide to lead. Enter the missing manual.

This missing manual is chock full of useful advice presented as side notes and callouts and makes liberal use  screen shots and photos. The manual approaches the use of the phone from a basic to advanced level moving from standard operations such as making a call to use of the addresss book to syncing with desktop devices and the cloud. Each section deals exhaustively with the options available to the user and the comprehensive index allows the guide to be approached as both a tutorial approach and also a pure reference source. The manual is extensive and one of its strengths is that it leaves few stones unturned. It is specific to the Galaxy SII so it has approximately 90% applicability to other Android users and obviously even more so for other Samsung Android users.

The target audience ranges from new users who are starting to learn how to use their first smartphone to those who may be migrating from a different operating system. There is clear value for existing users who have already gained familiarity with their device but have left areas untapped. It’s always surpassing how many users haven’t started to tap the Android app marketplace. This manual offers a great tour of the app ecosystem and provides copies advice on how to manage apps once you start to add them to your Galaxy.

My only personal quibble would have to be with the fact that it is written from the perspective of an AT&T user and this creates some rather slanted advice. However, this is of marginal importance, but one simply wonders why this very single provider information is put into an otherwise universally relevant guide.

I would recommend this missing manual warmly for nerd users of the smartphone and equally to those wanting to maximize their Android experience.

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