Basic Activities on the Nexus 7 Tablet - dummies

Basic Activities on the Nexus 7 Tablet

A cat’s life isn’t difficult, and neither is your Nexus 7 tablet life, as long as you know how to do some basic duties on the Home screen. Like the cat, you have only a few duties to know about.

How to start an app on the Nexus 7 tablet

It’s blissfully simple to run an app on the Home screen: Touch its icon. The app starts.

  • Not all apps appear on the Home screen, but all of them appear when you display the All Apps screen.

  • When an app closes or you quit the app, you’re returned to the Home screen.

  • You can leave an app at any time by touching the Home icon.


  • Start an app in a folder by touching the folder and then touching the app icon.

  • App is short for application. It’s another word for program or software.

How to work a widget on the Nexus 7 tablet

Like app icons, widgets appear on the Home screen. To use a widget, touch it. What happens next depends, of course, on the widget and what it does.

For example, the YouTube widget lets you peruse videos like you’re flipping the pages in a book. Touch a video to view it.

Other widgets do interesting things, display useful information, or give you access to the Nexus 7’s features. Widgets are downloadable like apps.

How to review notifications on the Nexus 7 tablet

Notifications appear as icons at the upper-left corner of the Home screen.


To review them, pull down the notifications shade by dragging your finger from the top-left part of the screen to the bottom.


Touch a notification to deal with it. What happens next depends on the notification, but most often the app that generated the notification appears. You might also be given the opportunity to deal with whatever caused the notification, such as a calendar appointment.

You dismiss individual notifications by sliding them to the right.

To dismiss all notifications, touch the Dismiss All icon.

When you’re done looking, you can slide the notifications shade up again: Touch the notifications shade handle and drag your finger up the screen. Or, if you find this process frustrating (and it is), touch the Back icon at the bottom of the screen.


  • If you don’t deal with notifications, they can stack up!

  • Notification icons disappear after they’ve been chosen.

  • Dismissing certain notifications doesn’t prevent them from appearing again in the future. For example, notifications for app updates continue to appear, as do calendar reminders.

  • Occasionally, status items appear on the notifications shade. These items cannot be dismissed.

  • Some apps, such as Facebook, don’t display notifications unless you’re logged in.

  • The Nexus 7 plays a sound, or ringtone, whenever a new notification floats in. You can choose which sound plays.

How to visit the All Apps screen on the Nexus 7 tablet

The app icons you see on the Home screen don’t represent all the apps in your Nexus 7. Those icons aren’t even apps themselves — they’re shortcuts. To see all apps installed on your Nexus 7, you must visit the All Apps screen. To do so, touch the All Apps icon on the Home screen. You see the first panel of the All Apps screen.


You can find any additional apps by swiping the All Apps screen to the left. Continue sliding panels to the left, and you begin to see the widgets available for use on the Home screen. Or you can choose the Widgets category.

As you install apps, they’re added to the All Apps screen. New apps are inserted alphabetically, which means that any time you add an app, the All Apps screen is re-sorted. That makes it difficult to locate apps by memory, so you should place the apps you use most often on the Home screen.

How to review recent apps on the Nexus 7 tablet

You probably use the same apps over and over on your Nexus 7. You can easily access the list of recent apps by touching the Recent Apps icon at the bottom of the touchscreen.


When you do, you see a pop-up list of the apps you’ve most recently accessed.


To reopen or switch to an app, choose it from the list. Otherwise, you can hide the Recently Used Apps list by touching the Back navigation icon.


  • Many Android apps don’t quit when you choose to do something else, so in a way the Recent apps list works like a task manager: Choose an app from the list to switch to it.

  • You can switch to a recent app any time you see the Recent icon. You don’t have to be viewing the Home screen to use this feature.

  • For the programs you use all the time, consider creating shortcuts on the Home screen.