10 Things to Remember for Your Galaxy Tab S - dummies

10 Things to Remember for Your Galaxy Tab S

By Dan Gookin

For your Galaxy Tab, some things are definitely worth remembering. Out of the long, long list, here are ten good ones that you should definitely remember for a rainy day. . .or any other day.

Summon a recently opened app

An Android app doesn’t quit. It stays running until it’s bored and shuts itself down, you turn off the Tab, or you force it to quit. In the meantime, you can easily switch between running apps by pressing the Recent button. Choose an app: Presto! It’s on the screen.

  • The Recent list of apps is obviously important, otherwise Samsung wouldn’t have put the icon right below the touchscreen.

  • If you need help remembering how the Recent button works, think of it as the same thing as the Alt+Tab key combination in Windows.

Make Quick Settings

Shortcuts exist for many of the common things you do on the Galaxy Tab. Especially for those items that can be turned on or off, you’ll probably find a Quick Setting.

To view the Quick Settings, pull down the notifications shade. The Quick Settings icons march across the screen, left to right; scroll the icons left and right. Tap the Grid button in the upper-right corner of the screen to view all the Quick Settings at once.

Use dictation

Dictation is such a handy feature, yet most users constantly forget to use it. Rather than type short messages or search text, use dictation. You can access dictation from any onscreen keyboard by touching the Dictation (microphone) icon. Speak the text; the text appears. Simple.

Lock the orientation

It’s nice to be able to rotate the tablet, alternating between portrait and landscape orientations. Some apps look good one way; others, the other way. The rotation lock feature prevents the apps from switching when you don’t want them to: The screen stays fixed in whichever orientation it was in when you set the orientation lock.

To set the rotation lock, pull down the notifications shade. In the Quick Settings area, locate the Screen Rotation item. Touch it to lock orientation. Touch it again to unlock.

Use keyboard suggestions

Don’t forget to take advantage of the suggestions that appear above the onscreen keyboard while you’re typing text. In fact, you may not even need to type much text at all: Just keep tapping a word in the list presented. It’s fast.

To ensure that suggestions are enabled, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the General tab.

    On the Tab 4, tap the Controls tab.

  3. On the left side of the screen, select Language and Input.

  4. Tap the Settings icon to the right of the Samsung Keyboard entry.

    The icon is found on the right side of the screen, similar to the one shown in the margin.

  5. Ensure that the Master Control by the Predictive Text option is in the on position.

Avoid things that consume lots of battery juice

Three items on your Galaxy Tab suck down battery power faster than a massive alien fleet is defeated by a plucky antihero who just wants the girl:

  • A bright display

  • Bluetooth

  • Navigation

It takes a lot of power for the tablet to give you a nice, bright touchscreen, so don’t make the screen any brighter than you have to. If possible, set the brightness to Auto. That setting saves a lot of power.

Bluetooth requires extra power for its wireless radio. The amount isn’t much, but it’s enough that you should consider shutting it down when battery power gets low.

And while you may not be using navigation that often, it does use a lot of power. The Tab’s GPS radio is being read and the network accessed to provide current information. Further, the display is on all the time, which causes perhaps the fastest battery drain possible.

Make phone calls

Okay, so it’s not a phone, but your Galaxy Tab lacks a native capability to use the cellular system for making phone calls. Even so, with apps such as Hangouts and Skype, you can make phone calls and even video chat with others.

Keep up with your schedule

The Calendar app can certainly be handy, reminding you of upcoming dates and generally keeping you on schedule. A great way to augment the calendar is to employ the Calendar widget on the Home screen.

The Calendar widget lists the current date and then a long list of upcoming appointments. It’s a great way to check your schedule, especially when you use your tablet all the time. You might consider sticking the Calendar widget right on the main Home screen.

Snap a pic of that contact

Here’s something many users forget: Whenever you’re with one of your contacts, take the person’s picture. Sure, some people are bashful, but most folks are flattered. The idea is to build up your Contacts list so that every contact has a photo.

When taking a picture, be sure to show it to the person before you assign it to the contact. Let her decide whether it’s good enough. Or, if you just want to be rude, assign a crummy looking picture. Heck, you don’t even have to do that: Just take a random picture of anything and assign it to a contact. A plant. A rock. Your cat. Just keep in mind that the tablet can take a contact’s picture the next time you meet up with that person.

Enter location information for your events

When you create an event for the Calendar app, remember to enter the event location. You can type either an address (if you know it) or the name of the location. The key is to type the text as you would type it in the Maps app when searching for a location. That way, you can touch the event location and the tablet displays it on the touchscreen. Finding an appointment couldn’t be easier.