Book Review: 'Droid 4 For Dummies' Essay

Introduction to Droid 4 For Dummies

Droid 4 For Dummies was written by Dan Gookin. Dan Gookin has written more than 100 technical books and many Dummies titles.

He covers the basic and advanced features of the Droid 4 in this book, adding his unique sense of humor sprinkled in among the graphics and instruction sets.

Highlights of the Book Droid 4 For Dummies

The Droid 4 For Dummies has abundant cross-references within the book. For example, when the first chapter discusses the Browser app, it has a link to Chapter 8 on how to browse the web using the Android phone. In the introduction to the Home screen, it has a link to Chapter 15 on changing the wallpaper next to the description of what wallpaper is. Droid 4 For Dummies even has links within the same chapter for those who are reading about the Apps menu in the introduction and want to go straight to the “App Menu” section.

The Droid 4 For Dummies ebook has excellent color images and labeling to identify parts of the screen and how to use the touch screens. Droid 4 For Dummies is full of useful tips, such as the fact that you must unlock the phone before you can pull down the status bar to view the notifications. The book often offers users multiple ways to accomplish something, such as different ways to typing on the Droid 4 or switching to dictation mode.

He warns readers that deleting contacts in the Droid that come from Google Gmail and Yahoo accounts will delete this person from both your online address book and the Android 4 address book.

He reminds readers that the camera on the Droid 4 is on the top right, so you can make direct eye contact with the person or see the other person but not both at the same time. He suggests using the Wi-Fi for connecting the Droid 4 to the internet to lower your phone bill, especially if using the 4G connection. Unless you have the Droid For Dummies free download, that tip alone is worth the purchase price of the book.

The Droid For Dummies book does a good job of giving clear images of the icons on the Droid 4 and their meanings. The icons are large enough to be easily visible on an ebook reader as well as in the print version of the book. Mr. Gookin gives readers three free and legal sources of music for the Droid 4 in addition to the Google Play Store.

The writer informs you how to find apps that you paid for previously and installed on your computer for free installation on the Droid. The author tells you how to fix common problems like when the Droid 4 combines contacts with similar names in the address book that are actually different people. He goes into detail on how to set up email and text messages on the Droid.

The author even includes the link to Gmail’s help for forgotten passwords in the section on setting up the Android to connect to your email account. Droid 4 For Dummies covers advanced topics like setting up Google Talk and Skype on the Droid 4.

Disadvantages of Droid 4 For Dummies

Droid 4 For Dummies is often nonchalant, not always as serious as a technical book should be. For example, he states that you should read the orientation section in the Droid 4 Tour instead of sitting there frustrated. The joke about the Droid 4 keyboard being shrunken down from full size by the same machine in the Fantastic Voyage is probably lost to most readers.

In the section on receiving a call, he adds in a joke that your assistant says the bomb squad is minutes away and you have to defuse a bomb by yourself. The author admits the joke is cheesy, after a note that people have suggested that he write humor and he retorts that he already does. In Chapter 10, he says that technology will make us too reliant on digital servants, and most will be evil spawns of our good intentions. Then he suggests that we rely on the Droid 4 today to get there more quickly.

There are QR codes and mentions within the book promoting various games and apps for sale. You can’t use the QR codes when reading the ebook version, and the ads throughout the book are distracting from the text. The author refers to his other books on occasions, but typically within context. For example, he links to his “Android Phones For Dummies” and the Maps app in the section on using maps with the Android 4 address book.


In summary, Droid 4 For Dummies is a good introduction to the topic if you don’t mind the author’s attempts at humor and the overtly commercial aspects of the book.