[Q] Apps,Enabling GPS and others Q's

I know I'm well behind but recently I got my first smartphone and I can't believe how I've been without it since they were made available. I've plumped for the HTC wildfire as it fits my budget and its small size makes it very pocketable.

I've been playing around with various apps and installed "Where's my droid" so that if it gets lost/stolen I can turn it off silent and hopefully track it. However, reading something yesterday I became aware that changes to Android means that apps can no longer directly change system settings meaning that if the GPS is off, I can't track it. (Edit: yet it seems google navigation can do this?)

Is this correct and is there any other way I could implement a safeguard such as this in case the phone goes missing?

A few other queries I have:
> Can the messages widget be used as a more traditional inbox/outbox/drafts? I'm struggling to get my head around it!

> And I've been playing about with swype on another users phone but it won't work on mine due to the QVGA res, I've settled for slideit demo for now but it doesn't seem to work seamlessly, does anyone have anything to add to this?

> Lastly, my Dad (who isn't great with tech) purchased the same phone, apart from the user manual is there a "HTC for Dummies" youtube tutorials channel or anything similar I can point him at? I don't fancy adding another item that I need to maintain to the long list.

Hopefully at some point I can also work out a good way of utilising a speed camera and POI database for google navigation so I can replace the bulky tomtom unit!
Thanks in advance.

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