Nexus Tablets For Dummies Cheat Sheet
The Nexus 7 is a complex piece of electronics — delightful, inspirational, intimidating. You want to get the most from the device by understanding the Home screens, icons, and touchscreen. A few tricks will help you make using the Nexus 7 even more straightforward, and it helps to know who to contact when your device just isn’t cooperating.
The Nexus 7 Home Screens
The main Nexus 7 screen is called the Home screen. There are actually five Home screen panels, each of which can be adorned with icons, and widgets.
The Nexus 7 Icons
The Nexus 7 features navigation icons at the bottom of the touchscreen. You use the icons to manipulate apps or to control the Nexus 7.
In addition to the icons, other buttons festoon the screen, not always available but providing a solid consistency among the various apps. These buttons are explained here:
|Add||Add or create a new item. The plus symbol may be used in
combination with other symbols, depending on the app.
|Close||This icon is used to close a window or clear text from an input
|Dictation||Use your voice to dictate text. On the Home screen dictation is
used with the Google Search function.
|Edit||Touch to edit an item, to add text, or fill in fields.|
|Expand||Enlarge the app to fill the screen.|
|Favorite||Touch the Favorite icon to flag a favorite item, such as a
contact or web page.
|Menu||This icon displays the menu for an app. It’s often found
in the upper-right corner of the screen, though occasionally it
shows up in the lower-right corner.
|More||This teensy icon appears in the lower-right corner of a button.
Touching the icon displays a pop-up menu.
|Refresh||Touch this icon to fetch new information or to reload.|
|Search||Search the Nexus 7 or the Internet for some tidbit of
|Settings||This Settings icon is used to adjust options for an app.|
|Share||The Share icon allows you to share information stored on the
tablet via e-mail, social networking, or other Internet
|Sync||Touch this icon to synchronize information, such as updating
data shared on the Internet.
Basic Nexus 7 Touchscreen Operations
The Nexus 7 touchscreen makes using the device a snap. Here are some of the common operations you can perform using your fingers on the Nexus 7’s touchscreen:
|Action||How to Do It and What It Does|
|Touch||The simplest way to manipulate the touchscreen is to touch it.
You touch an object, an icon, a control, a menu item, a doodad, and
so on. The touch operation is similar to a mouse click on a
computer. It 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, use 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 keep
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 after a
long-press. Long-press might also be referred to as touch and hold
in some documentation.
|Swipe||To swipe, you touch your finger on one spot and then drag it to
another spot. Swipes can go up, down, left, or right, which moves
the touchscreen content in the direction you swipe your finger. A
swipe can be fast or slow. It’s also called a flick or
|Pinch||A pinch involves two fingers, which start out separated and
then are brought together. The effect is used to zoom out, allowing
you to reduce the size of an image or 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, allowing you to enlarge an image or see more detail on a
|Rotate||A few apps let you rotate an image on the screen by touching
with two fingers and twisting them around a center point. Think of
turning a combination lock on a safe, and you get the rotate
Nexus 7 Tricks to Remember
You’ll get more done quickly on your Nexus 7 if you know a few tricks. Here’s an assortment of handy time-saving tricks to keep in mind while you use, abuse, or excuse the Nexus 7:
Dictation! You can speak into the Nexus 7 as an effective and quick alternative to using the onscreen keyboard.
Quickly switch between two or more programs by using the Recent Apps button found at the bottom right of the Home screen.
Remember that you can add icons and widgets to the Home screen panels.
The Nexus 7 can make phone calls, but you must install the proper app. For traditional phone calls, Skype is a good idea. The Hangouts app can be used for video chat.
Use the various Search commands to look for things on the Nexus 7, on the Internet, or in a specific app.
Nexus 7 Help and Support
For whatever reason, something might go wrong with your Nexus 7. When things get really tough with your Nexus 7, you’ll need to contact Google for help: