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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