Cheat Sheet

Android Tablets For Dummies

If your new Android tablet intimidates you, all you need is some gentle handholding and careful explanation to get the most out of your device. This Cheat Sheet provides that information — plus tips, tricks, and other useful information that help make your Android tablet experience a pleasant and productive one.

Android Tablet Home Screens

You'll find several Home screen pages on your Android tablet for a total of anywhere from five to seven Home screen pages, depending on the tablet:


4 Android Tablet Navigation Icons

Android tablets feature common icons for using the Home screen and various apps. These Navigation icons are often found at the bottom of the touchscreen.


13 Common Android Tablet Icons

Various icons appear while you use your Android tablet. These icons serve common functions in your apps, as well as in the Android operating system:


7 Android Tablet Touchscreen Operations

It takes a certain finesse to work a touchscreen. Here are some common operations you can perform by using your fingers on an Android tablet's touchscreen:

Action Description
Touch The simplest way to manipulate the touchscreen is to touch it. The touch operation is similar to a mouse click on a computer. Generally, you're touching an object, such as an icon or a control. A touch may also be referred to as a tap or press.
Double-tap Touch the screen twice in the same location. Double-tapping can be used to zoom in on an image or a map, but it can also zoom out. Because of the double-tap's dual nature, I recommend using the pinch or spread operation instead when you want to zoom.
Long-press A long-press occurs when you touch part of the screen and hold your finger down. Depending on what you're doing, a pop-up menu may appear or the item you're long-pressing may get "picked up" so that you can drag (move) it around. A long-press might also be referred to as touch and hold in some documentation. Moving an icon or another object is a long-press drag.
Swipe To swipe, you touch your finger on one spot and then drag your finger to another spot. Swipes can go up, down, left, or right, which moves the touchscreen content in the direction you swipe. A swipe can be fast or slow. It's also called a flick or slide.
Pinch A pinch involves two fingers, which start out separated and then are brought together. The effect is used to zoom out, to reduce the size of an image or to see more of a map.
Spread The opposite of pinch is spread. You start out with your fingers together and then spread them. The spread is used to zoom in, to enlarge an image or see more detail on a map.
Rotate A few apps let you rotate an image on the screen by touching it with two fingers and twisting them around a center point. If you have trouble with this operation, pretend that you're turning the dial on a safe.

7 Android Tablet Tricks to Remember

Become an Android speed demon. Here's an assortment of handy, time-saving tricks for you to keep in mind while you use, abuse, or excuse your Android tablet:

  • Dictation! You can speak into the tablet as an effective and quick alternative to using the onscreen keyboard.

  • Quickly switch between two or more programs by using the Recent Apps icon found at the bottom of the Home screen.

  • You can add icons and widgets to the Home screen pages.

  • An Android tablet can make phone calls, but you must first install the proper app. For traditional phone calls, Skype is a good idea. The Google Hangouts app can be used for video chat.

  • Use the various Search icons to look for things on the tablet, on the Internet, or in a specific app.

  • When downloading updates or new apps, or for faster web browsing, activate the tablet's Wi-Fi.

  • Use Google Now to control the tablet with your voice or search the Internet.

Android Tablet Help and Support

If you happen to find yourself in serious phone trouble, here's a smattering of trusted places to check out for help with your Android tablet:

Cellular providers

Tablet manufacturers

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