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How to Activate Your Android Tablet

The very, very first time you turn on your Android tablet, you’re required to work through the setup process. It’s a must, but it needs to be done only once.

The specifics of the setup-and-configuration process differ from tablet to tablet. For example, some tablets may prompt you to sign in to services like Dropbox. Tablets on certain cellular networks may require you to run specific setup apps, which you’ll read about during the configuration process. Generally speaking, however, the process is similar on all tablets.

It’s a good idea to read through these steps first, and then turning on the tablet and working through them afterward — the process goes kind of fast, and the screen may dim if you spend too much time waiting between steps:

  1. Turn on the tablet by pressing the Power/Lock key.

    You may have to press the button longer than you think; when you see the tablet’s logo appear on the screen, the tablet has started.

    It’s okay to turn on the tablet while it’s plugged in and charging.

  2. Answer the question that’s presented.

    You’re asked to select options for some, if not all, of these items:

    • Select your language

    • Activate the tablet on the cellular network

    • Choose a Wi-Fi network (can be done later)

    • Set the time zone

    • Sign in to your Google account

    • Add other online accounts

    • Set location information

    When in doubt, just accept the standard options as presented to you during the setup process.

    To fill in text fields, use the onscreen keyboard.

    You can’t screw up anything at this point; any selection you make can be changed later.

    Having a Google account is important to the setup process.

  3. After each choice, touch the Next button, or large triangle icon.

    The Next button might appear on the screen, labeled with the text Next, or it might appear as a triangle button, shown in the margin.

  4. Touch the Finish button.

    The Finish button appears on the last screen of the setup procedure.

The good news is that you’re done. The better news is that you need to complete this setup only once on your Android tablet.

After the initial setup, you’re taken to the Home screen.

  • You may find yourself asked various questions or prompted to try various tricks when you first start to use the tablet. Some of those prompts are helpful, but it’s okay to skip some or to select the Do Not Show Again check box.

  • Location settings relate to how the tablet knows its position on Planet Earth. Keep all these items activated to get the most from your Android tablet.

  • It’s not necessary to use any specific software provided by the tablet’s manufacturer or your cellular provider. For example, if you don’t want a Samsung account, you don’t need to sign up for one; skip that step.

  • By setting up your Google account, you coordinate with your new Android tablet whatever information you have on the Internet. This information includes your e-mail messages and contacts on Gmail, appointments on Google Calendar, and information and data from other Google Internet applications.

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