Google Nexus 7: quick start tips

If you’re a first-time tablet owner, learning to use the Nexus 7 can be surprisingly challenging. It is, in many respects, very different than a computer.

While the tips listed below will give you a jump-start on using the Nexus 7, let me emphasize the importance of reading and referring to the 106 page Guidebook. If you haven’t already, download the free guidebook from the Google Play store.

Two good places to start reading are: Jelly Bean tips (page 3) and Basic editing (page 50).

The touchscreen

The touchscreen is made for, well, touching. You can use your fingers or a stylus made for capacitive touch screen devices.

Basic navigation gestures

  • Navigate forward and backward – Swipe left to right to move forward and right to left to go backward.
  • Scroll – Slide two fingers in any direction.
  • Zoom – Touch the screen with two fingers and pinch them together to zoom out. To zoom in, spread your fingers apart.

The Home screen

The Home screen is where you place cons for frequently used apps such as email, calendar, word processors, games and a host of other things. You can arrange a Home screen until your heart’s content. Lightly touch and hold an app icon to place it where you want on the screen. To delete an icon from a Home page, touch and drag it to the top of the screen where it says X Remove. It’s important to note that removing an app from a Home page does not delete/uninstall it.

Favorites tray

The Favorites tray is where you place six of your favorite apps, or folders of apps. Tapping the icon in the center of the Favorites tray gives you access to all apps and widgets on the tablet. To move an icon to a home page, lightly touch and move it when one of the home pages show.

Favorites tray and navigation buttons

Navigation buttons

Directly below the Favorites tray are the navigation buttons. They are always available at the bottom of the screen to get you back to the Home screen.

  • Back – Opens the previous screen you were working in; when using an app, the back button returns you to previous screens.
  • Home – Opens the Home screen. Swipe left or right on the Home Screen to view other home screens.
  • Recent apps – Displays a list of thumbnail images of recently used apps. It’s similar to the History feature on an internet browser. Tap a thumbnail to open the program. To remove a thumbnail from the list, swipe it to the left or right. Or gently hold it down and select “Remove from list.”

Create home screen folders

Slide an icon quickly and drop it on another icon to create a folder. Double click the folder to access its contents and name or rename it. Folders can contain more than two apps.

Screen rotation

Screen rotation is disabled so all screens stay in the vertical position unless you change the setting. Swipe down from the top bar to access the notification shade, then tap the small icon with the lock and arrows around it. All screens will automatically rotate except the home page.

Important note: Android 4.1.2 update started rolling out on October 10th. In addition to bug fixes, the updatethankfully adds Landscape mode for the Home page. Your tablet OS will eventually be automatically updated by Google.

Copy and Paste

Highlight text – double tap a word to highlight it. You can also long-hold a word. Two sliders appear. Move the sliders to the right and/or left to highlight more text you want to copy or cut. When copied, in the next application either use the paste command, or press and hold a text field. A tab will pop-open that says “Paste.”

Other commonly used icons

Menu icon – look for this symbol that appears in most apps. Tap to access menu information. Sometimes the icon appears near the bottom of a page, other times you need to swipe or touch the top of a page to have the menu and other settings icons come in to view.

Settings icons – change all types of settings that affect your tablet, your personal information and your privacy and location settings; turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, check the RAM, the amount of storage you’ve used, adjust the sound and display, etc. The white icon on the right is always in the right side of the upper notification tray. Swipe the tray down to access settings so you don’t have to close the program you’re currently using.

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. Gail Bjork says:

    Danny, so glad to hear that the information was helpful. Things like cut/copy and paste are quite different than the method on a computer. I plan on sharing more of these types of tips as I get a handle on them.

  2. Danny says:

    I’ve had an Android phone for 9 months, but I’d never learnt how to cut/copy and paste.
    So thanks for this.