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Basics of the Nexus 7 Tablet Home Screen

The main base from which you begin your exploration of the Nexus 7 tablet is the Home screen. It’s the first thing you see after unlocking the tablet, and it’s the place you go to whenever you quit an app.

To view the Home screen at any time, touch the Home icon (shown below) found at the bottom center of the tablet’s touchscreen.

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The Nexus 7 Home screen

Have a look at a sample Nexus 7 Home screen (pretty, hm?):

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Here are several fun and interesting things to notice on the Home screen:

Notification icons: These icons come and go depending on what happens in your digital life. For example, new icons appear whenever you receive a new e-mail message or have a pending appointment.

Status icons: These icons represent the Nexus 7’s current condition, such as its battery status or Wi-Fi network signal strength or whether an alarm is set or Bluetooth is active.

Widgets: A widget is a teensy program that can display information, let you control the tablet, access features, or do something purely amusing.

App icons: These little pictures represent the apps (applications) installed on your tablet. They’re stuck on the Home screen for convenient access. Touching an app icon opens, or runs, the app.

Wallpaper: The background image you see on the Home screen is the wallpaper. It can be changed.

All Apps icon: Near the bottom center of the Home screen is the All Apps icon. Touching this icon displays the All Apps screen, which lists all apps installed on your Nexus 7.

Favorites Tray: The lineup of icons near the bottom of the screen contains six slots for popular apps.

Folder: Multiple apps can be stored in a folder. Touch the folder to see a pop-up window listing all the apps. Touch an app icon to start.

Navigation icons: Special symbols are found at the bottom center of the Home screen, as well as in quite a few apps. The symbols identify icons you touch to activate common Nexus 7 features.

The Home screen shown is not the preconfigured Home screen that comes with the Nexus 7. That’s because:

  • The Home screen is entirely customizable. You can add and remove icons from the Home screen, add widgets, build app folders, and even change wallpaper (background) images.

  • Touching a part of the Home screen that doesn’t feature an icon or a control does nothing. That is, unless you’re using the live wallpaper feature. In that case, touching the screen changes the wallpaper in some way, depending on the wallpaper that’s selected.

How to access multiple Home screens

The Home screen is more than what you see. It’s actually an entire street of Home screens, with only one Home screen panel displayed at a time.

To switch from one panel to another, swipe the Home screen left or right. Two panels dwell to the left of the main Home screen panel, and two panels to the right.

When you touch the Home icon, you return to the last Home screen panel you viewed. To return to the main, center Home screen panel, touch the Home icon a second time.

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The navigation icons

Anchoring the bottom of the Nexus 7 Home screen are three navigation icons. These icons are used to control the tablet, considering that the device lacks the necessary physical buttons.

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These navigation icons are found at the bottom of the screen almost all the time. Sometimes they may be dimmed or hidden, replaced with a faint dot. In that case, touch the dot replacing the navigation icon to activate its feature.

The navigation icons always appear in the order Back, Home, and Recent.

In addition to the navigation icons, you find other common icons used on the Nexus 7:

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