23 Useful Places to Go When You Need Android Help
One day, out of the blue, my slick red coffeemaker pumped out only half of our morning wakeup fuel. I jiggled the coffeepot. Nothing. Hmm. I decided to try again the next day before entering panic mode.
The next day, I turned on the coffeemaker and 15 minutes later, the coffeepot remained empty. Jostled it. Zippo. I took out the coffee filter with the grounds to test it with nothing but water. It refused to fill the pot. It didn’t need descaling because we did that on a regular basis. But I gave the descaling feature a shot. And that wasn’t working either.
I headed to the manufacturer’s website to look at its manual, FAQ, and knowledgebase. Turns out, I already tried every suggestion. Next, I did an online search in case someone else has experienced the problem. I’d say that someone else would have the same problem more than 90 percent of the time.
Search didn’t yield much other than Amazon’s product discussion. The problems weren’t identical, but I had tried the posted suggestions.
Android smartphones and tablets can have hiccups a little more often than a coffeemaker. We all use our devices differently. We load different apps. Our calendars and contacts could range from a handful to thousands of entries. Some of us text often. Some of us take lots of photos and keep them on the phone. Some of us make a lot of phone calls.
That’s a lot of variables. And it can make it a challenge to solve problems when turning it off and on doesn’t work. At this point, we’re not desperate enough to do a reset to return the phone to its manufacturer’s settings. (If you do, be sure to back up your phone first.)
According to Forrester, 72 percent of customers prefer to solve their problems on their own. That’s not surprising because self-help is often faster than calling or emailing and waiting for a representative to get back to us.
Forums can be one of the quickest, easiest places to get help with Android problems. However, not all forums are worth your time. We’ve run into a couple of bad forums that had malware, junky messages, or messages that blatantly and constantly promoted products. Generally, these forums are active enough that you may receive a reply within an hour depending on the nature of your issue.
Before posting, see if someone else has had the problem first. Members get frustrated when they see an already answered question asked again.
These resources are split into three groups: General Android resources, manufacturer resources, and service providers.
General Android resources
- Android Authority
- Android Forums
- Reddit Android Questions
- Talk Android Forum
- XDA Developers
Your device’s manufacture may have manuals, drivers, FAQ, knowledgebase, other support information, and contact details posted on its website.
Phone and service providers tend to add their own apps and tools on their devices. These forums tend respond the fastest because they have employees working around the clock to answer questions.
- U.S. Cellular
- Verizon Wireless
Many Android-related apps and products have their own communities. Do a search for the product name with “Android” and “Help” to find answers.
My coffeemaker? I had to go to the bottom of the barrel to contact the company. After a few exchanges, I received a replacement. All is right with the world again.
What other resources do you go to for Android support?