How to Manage Your Android Tablet Apps - dummies

How to Manage Your Android Tablet Apps

The Play Store app is not only where you buy apps for your Android tablet — it’s also used for performing app management. This task includes reviewing apps you’ve downloaded, updating apps, organizing apps, and removing apps you no longer want or that you severely hate.

Reviewing your apps

To peruse the apps you’ve downloaded from the Google Play Store, follow these steps:

  1. Start the Play Store app.

  2. Choose My Apps from the navigation drawer.

    Touch the Play Store app icon to view the navigation drawer.

  3. Peruse your apps.

Your apps are presented in two categories: Installed and All. Installed apps are found on your tablet; the All category includes apps you have downloaded but that may not currently be installed.


Touch an app to see details. Touch the Open button to run the app; the Update button to update to the latest version; or the Uninstall button to remove the app.

  • While viewing an app’s details, you can activate automatic updating: Touch the Action Overflow or Menu icon and choose the Auto-Update item. When a check mark is by that item, the Auto-Update feature has been activated. Not every app features automatic updating.

  • Uninstalled apps remain on the All list because you did, at one time, download the app. To reinstall them, choose the app from the All list and touch the Install button.

Sharing an app

When you love an app so much that you just can’t contain your glee, feel free to share that app with your friends. You can easily share a link to the app in the Google Play Store by obeying these steps:

  1. In the Google Play Store, choose the app to share.

    You can choose any app, but you need to be at the app’s Details screen, the one with the Free or price button or the Details screen on an app you’ve installed.

  2. Touch the Share icon.

    A menu appears, listing various apps and methods for sharing the app’s Play Store link with your pals.

  3. Choose a sharing method.

  4. Use the chosen app to send the link.

    What happens next depends on which sharing method you’ve chosen.

Your friends receive a link. They can touch that link on their Android device and be whisked instantly to the Google Play Store, where they can easily install the app.

Updating an app

Whenever a new version of an app is available, you see it flagged for updating. Don’t worry if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the My Apps screen; apps in need of an update also display the App Update notification, shown in the margin.

To update an individual app, view its Information screen: Choose the app from the My Apps screen. Touch the Update button, and then touch Accept to download the new version. Or, from the list of installed apps, touch the Update All button to update a slew of apps at one time. That step still involves touching the Accept button for each app.

The updating process often involves downloading and installing a new version of the app. That’s perfectly fine; your settings and options aren’t changed by the update process.

  • Look for the App Update notification to remind yourself that apps are in need of an update. You can choose that notification to be taken instantly to the app’s screen, where the Update button eagerly awaits your touch.

  • Check for updates when a Wi-Fi connection is handy. There’s no point in using the mobile data network when you don’t have to.

Removing an app

It’s also perfectly okay to remove redundant apps or ones that just annoy you, such as when you’re trying to find a decent music-listening app and you end up with a dozen or so that you never use.

Remove an app by following these directions:

  1. Start the Play Store app.

  2. Choose My Apps from the navigation drawer.

  3. In the Installed list, touch the app that offends you.

  4. Touch the Uninstall button.

  5. Touch the OK button to confirm.

    The app is removed.

The app continues to appear on the All list even after it’s been removed. That’s because you downloaded it once. That doesn’t mean, however, that the app is still installed.

  • In most cases, if you uninstall a paid app right away, your credit card or account is fully refunded. The definition of right away depends on the app and is stated on the app’s Description screen.

  • Removing an app frees a modicum of storage inside the tablet — just a modicum.

  • You can always reinstall paid apps that you’ve uninstalled. You aren’t charged twice for doing so.

  • Some apps are preinstalled on your tablet, or they’re part of the Android operating system. They cannot be removed.

Stopping an app run amok

Sometimes, an app goofs up or crashes. You may see a warning message on the touchscreen, informing you that the app has been shut down. You can shut down apps that misbehave or those you cannot otherwise stop. Follow these steps:

  1. Touch the Apps icon on the Home screen.

  2. Open the Settings app.

  3. Choose the Apps item.

    This item might also be called Applications or Applications Manager. On Samsung tablets, it might be found by first choosing the General tab.

  4. Touch the Running tab.

    Or you can swipe the screen left or right until the list of running apps appears.

  5. Choose the errant app from the list.

  6. Touch the Stop or Force Stop button.

    The app quits.

Using the Stop or Force Stop button is a drastic act. Don’t kill off any app or service unless the app is annoying or you are otherwise unable to stop it. Avoid killing off Google Services, which can change the tablet’s behavior or make the Android operating system unstable.