How to Manage Apps on Your Samsung Galaxy Tab S

By Dan Gookin

The good news is that you really don’t have to worry about managing apps on your Galaxy Tab. The Android operating system deftly handles that task for you. The bad news is that occasionally you may need to delicately dip your big toe into the app management sea.

Updating apps

App updates happen all the time. They’re automatic. Occasionally you’re called upon to perform a manual update. How can you tell? An Updates Available notification appears. Here’s how to deal with that notification:

  1. Open the Play Store app.

  2. Tap the Side Menu icon to view the navigation drawer.

    The Side Menu icon appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. You may have to tap the left arrow icon a few times before you can see the Side Menu icon.

  3. Choose My Apps.

  4. Tap the Update All button.

  5. If prompted, tap the Accept button to acknowledge the app’s permission.

    You may need to repeat this step for each app in need of an update.

The apps are individually updated. You can view the progress in the Play Store app, or go off and do something else with your Tab.

  • Yes, you do need an Internet connection to update apps. If the connection is broken, the apps update when the connection is reestablished.

  • Tap the Stop icon on the My Apps screen to halt the updates.

  • Most apps are automatically updated; you need not do a thing. The updates do generate a notification icon. Feel free to dismiss that notification.

Uninstalling an app

There are many reasons to remove an app. It’s perfectly okay to remove redundant apps, such as when you have multiple ebook readers that you don’t use. Whatever the reason, follow these directions to uninstall an app:

  1. Start the Play Store app.

  2. Tap the Side Menu icon to view the navigation drawer.

  3. Choose My Apps.

  4. Tap the Installed tap and swipe to locate the app that offends you.

  5. Tap the Uninstall button.

  6. Touch the OK button to confirm.

  7. The app is removed.

The app continues to appear on the All tab on the My Apps screen even after it’s been removed. After all, you installed it once.

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

  • You can’t remove apps that are preinstalled on the tablet by either Samsung or your cellular provider. There’s probably a technical way to uninstall the apps, but seriously: Just don’t use the apps if you want to remove them and discover that you can’t.

  • One way to avoid apps you don’t like is to place them into an Apps screen folder.

Choosing a default app

Every so often, you may see the Complete Action Using prompt.

The Complete Action Using question is posed.
The Complete Action Using question is posed.

Multiple apps are available that can deal with your request. You pick one, then choose either Always or Just Once.

When you choose Always, the same app is always used for whatever action took place: composing email, listening to music, choosing a photo, navigation, and so on.

When you choose Just Once, you see the prompt again and again.

My advice is to choose Just Once until you get sick of seeing the Complete Action Using prompt. At that point, after choosing the same app over and over, choose Always.

The fear, of course, is that you’ll make a mistake. That’s okay. Your tablet has options for mistakes too.

Clearing default apps

Fret not, gentle reader. The settings you chose for the Complete Action Using prompt can be undone. For example, if you select the Gmail app, you can undo that choice by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. On the Tab S, tap the Applications tab; on the Tab 4, tap the General tab.

  3. Choose Default Applications from the left side of the screen.

  4. Tap the Clear button by the default app.

  5. For example, if you Choose Gmail, you’d tap the Clear button by the Gmail item.

After you clear the defaults for an app, you will see the Complete Action Using prompt again. The next time you see it, however, make a better choice.

Shutting down an app run amok

It happens. Sometimes an app goes crazy and just won’t stop. Although Google tries to keep unstable apps out of the Play Store, not all technology is perfect. If you need to smite an errant app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Applications tab on the Tab S; on the Tab 4 tap the General tab.

  3. On the left side of the screen, choose Application Manager.

  4. Swipe right to left to view the Running tab.

    The Running tab shows only those apps currently running, which includes the crazy app you want to stifle.

  5. Tap the app’s entry in the list of running apps.

  6. Tap the Stop or Force Stop button.

  7. If you see a warning, tap the OK button to stop the app.

Only stop an app that you truly cannot stop any other way.

If the app you want to halt appears as a launcher icon on the Home screen, you can pull a shortcut to skip the first five steps above: Drag the launcher icon up to the App Info item atop the Home screen. Then you can quickly tap the Stop or Force Stop button.

The problem with randomly quitting an app is that data may get lost or ­amaged. At the worst, the tablet may become unstable. The only way to fix that situation is to restart the device.