Like Microsoft Windows or Apple’s Mac OS for desktops and notebooks, Android is now a powerhouse operating system for smartphones and tablet computers. As with any OS, there’s a learning curve for the beginner, and some tips and tricks to making it a more productive and efficient experience may even elude the more practiced Android user.
What’s that little airplane icon doing floating around on my Android screen? Is it a flight simulator game calling you for Captain Sully adventures? No, not quite.
You may affectionately call this the Alec Baldwin feature, since it’s designed to stop transmissions on cellphones and Android devices while on board an aircraft. Flight attendants may still balk that you’re using the mode, but there’s another good reason to use it. Since it ensures there are no signals going to and from from your tablet, battery life is conserved. Activating this function, even when you’re not sharing space with Mr. Baldwin or playing Words with Friends with him, helps a device’s power consumption and improves battery life.
Using a smartphone – with a 3G or 4G data and voice plan – means you are most always connected, but there are times you may want to resort to a Wi-Fi hotspot or your network at home. The bottom line to searching for wi-fi is that it taps out battery life in a really big way. If you’re going to be reading an ebook, listening to music or watching a movie on internal storage, there’s no reason to have Wi-Fi humming along stealing precious battery juice.
There’s even easier ways to boost a battery. Only listening to music? Turn off the screen. If you’re in a well lit area, lower the brightness. Minimizing a back lit screen helps save battery life. Battery extender apps claim to extend battery life by monitoring unnecessary apps, but mostly use so much power, they counteract whatever good they may do.
The dirty little secret about tablet handling is just that – as you touch the screen, it gets dirtier and dirtier. Fingerprints love a tablet screen, but don’t fret, you can clean that screen.
Tablets utilize a special coating to resist fingerprints and grease, well that’s the idea. The importance of this is to not use an actual cleaner – like say Windex – or you’ll wipe away the protective coating. Don’t use a solvent. The best and cheapest way to keep a tablet free of smudges and fingerprints is by using a microfiber cloth. These can be purchased in any drugstore and are gentle, yet effective in keeping your work and viewing surface clean and clear.
As you load more applications or apps into your Android tablet, things will get a bit cramped. Most have around 256mb of internal memory to 512mb. This doesn’t seem like much, but Android apps are far more space efficient than Windows programs. Still, after awhile, things can get cramped and that may mean a slowdown in app response time or even load time.
Occasionally apps may not load quickly – or even at all – on your first boot. Don’t panic. Simply wait a few moments, or reboot the system, and all should be fine. If this happens a lot, considering uninstalling old or unwanted apps.
No matter how much you love using an Android tablet on the go, there’s always time to take things a bit easier. Using a stand, especially when doing something serious or time consuming, makes all the difference in work productivity and comfort. It’s also a real variable in ergonomic care of your body. People are becoming so accustomed to using mobile devices daily – and for many hours – they’re not taking precautions to avoid injury. A stand can make viewing angles better and take the strain off your hands and arms from holding a tablet for too long a time.