How to Use an Android Tablet

Android tablets are digital slates running the Android operating system. They can be used for multiple purposes like: checking e-mails, playing games, watching videos, and listening to music. It can also be used as a camera or camcorder. However, an Android tablet is a bit different from an Android phone. Not only is the form-factor different, the user-interface is different too.


  1. Image titled Use an Android Tablet Step 1
    Set up your Android tablet. You'll need a Google account to download apps via the Google Play Store.
  2. Image titled Use an Android Tablet Step 2
    Understand the functionality of the three-basic touch-capacitive keys. These basic control keys are used for controlling applications and other basic commands:
    • The home button: This is used to jump to the home screen of your Android device. If pressed in between another activity (game, or application), the OS puts the activity in the background. Using this button will, usually, not shut down any application or game; instead, it will run in the background.
    • The back button: This is used to go to the previous page or activity.
    • Multi-tasking button: Android tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and higher will have a multi-tasking button (parallelogram-shaped button). Tapping this button will give a list of all applications running in the background. Swapping a running application to the left or right (in the multi-task screen) will close the application. This is particularly useful to clear RAM and speed up the device.
    • Older Android tablets may have a Menu (or settings) button (represented by three parallel horizontal lines). This button gives the user access to additional options for particular apps. This button is not found on devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean out of the box.
  3. Image titled Use an Android Tablet Step 3
    Check the version of Android your tablet is running on. Different tablets run on different versions of the Android OS. The Android version can be found in the About Tablet section of the settings panel.
    • Most tablets run on Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or higher.[1] The latest version of Android is Lollipop (5.0.x). Generally, the higher the version of Android, better will be the device performance.
    • Some older tablets run on Android Honeycomb (3.x). Honeycomb was a tablet-specific version which wasn't available for mobile phones running on Android.
    • The OS version gives a brief idea of the features packed in a tablet. For example: Tablets (and phones) running on Jelly Bean version have Google Now[2] (voice-assistant service by Google) in-built.
  4. Image titled Use an Android Tablet Step 4
    Download applications. Google Play Store has a vast collection of tools, applications and games that will make your Android experience much better.
    • Download an office app that will help you view and/ or edit documents. Most Android tablets come with an in-built document viewer. If you want to download a free office editor for Android, try downloading the Kingsoft Office application.
    • Try using your Android device to take notes, add calendar events and get directions.[3] It can be used for various other activities too.
    • Try installing wikiHow's Android application that contains our huge collection of how-to articles!
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    Customize your Android. Google's open source Android OS gives you the power to customize your device.
    • Make custom Android smart actions. Setting up smart actions will carry out specific activities when specific conditions are met. Smart actions can be customized to suit your needs. Note: Smart actions may not be available on all devices. However, you can download similar apps from the Google Play Store.
    • Adjust Screen Timeout. The screen timeout time can be a drain on the battery, especially if it is too long. Setting up a screen timeout is the one of the best ways to save power while your tablet is on.
    • Create your own wallpapers, widgets, etc.
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    Speed up your device. Speeding up your device can be done in a number of ways[4]:
    • Update your version/ firmware. Device manufacturers roll out updates occasionally to fix bugs, reduce lags, and improve performance. Be on the look out for updates for your device.
    • Download a task-killer and anti-virus applications. Some devices come with an in-built task manager while most don't. Task manager will allow you to close the apps that are running in the background (and use up RAM). Anti-virus application will keep you safe from any external threats.
    • Remove unneeded widgets from the home screen. Widgets are useful to quickly access important apps or get information. However, unneeded widgets use up a lot of processing power and will slow down your tablet.
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    Configure Sync options. Syncing is an efficient way to transfer data like pictures, videos, contacts, messages, emails, and more, between many devices (including your PC). To configure synchronization options for apps or accounts, go to Settings -> Accounts & sync.[5]
    • Sync your Gmail emails, contacts, calender with Windows Outlook or other accounts.[6]
      • Set up Gmail in Microsoft Outlook. Set the server type to IMAP. Set the incoming mail server to and outgoing mail server to Enter log-in information (Gmail username and password). Under "More Settings", open the Advanced tab. Set incoming server to 933 with SSL encryption and your outgoing server to 587 with TLS encryption.[7]
      • Set up Gmail in Mozilla Thunderbird. Mozilla Thunderbird is a cross-platform open-source email client. To set up Gmail in Thunderbird, first, enable IMAP in your Google account settings. Open Thunderbird and go to Tools -> Account Settings. Add a new mail account; and input your name, email-address and password. Thunderbird will automatically try to configure your Gmail account for Thunderbird.[8]
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    Back-up your data. Back up your data to your computer, mobile phone or an external storage. You can also try backing up on the Google Cloud.


  • Try downloading a file manager that will allow you to access external storage easily.
  • Switching off your device completely will clear temporary data and the device will run faster.
  • Set up a pattern lock for additional security. To set this up, go to SettingsLocation & Security.


  • You can also try rooting your device for extra functionality and superior control over your device. However, be warned that if you proceed carelessly your device may be bricked, in which case it just becomes an expensive paperweight.
  • Installing Custom ROMs might give you additional features, but they will void your warranty and could affect the device's performance. If this is not done correctly, it could cause irreversible damage to your device.
  • The path for setting up the steps might vary, depending on your manufacturer and Android version.

Things You'll Need

  • Android tablet

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Categories: Featured Articles | Android | Tablet Computers