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Managing your Android Tablet

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While I’ve been resting after my inguinal hernia repair operation I’ve had the chance to really get to grips with my Android tablet, to tweak it so it runs efficiently. A conversation with a friend on Facebook encouraged me to share something of my experience in the hope that I might help others.

The first step is to get an app to clear out the junk which accumulates and slows the processor. On my PC I use the excellent CCleaner by Piriform; they also have an Android app, but I’ve found Clean Master to be much better at the job (available in Google Play store). The app also frees up RAM memory to aid overall efficiency, there’s a useful one-touch widget to free up storage space and memory; you simply drag and drop widgets to where you want them (this one’s especially useful on the quick access bar that appears on every home screen).

While on the subject of essential apps; make sure you have an anti-virus app installed, one to check for malware (there are lots of nasties out there trying to gain access to your tablet), as well as one to wipe your data remotely if your device is lost or stolen. This remote wiping facility is actually built in (as far as I can tell) but I’ve also downloaded and installed Android Device Manager as this links to your Google account. AVG provides a great free anti-virus app, and I’ve supplemented this with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in order to provide a second level of protection (both firms are on the cutting edge of PC security).

Physical storage for all your apps and data comes in the form of internal built-in flash memory (this might be 8, 16 or 32GB for example) and space on an external SD card (which, strictly speaking, is internal as in a digital camera, but it’s referred to as external because it’s removable). When you buy an external SD card, give some thought to the size you might need. One thing to remember if you use the BBC iPlayer to download programmes is that you can only save them to the built-in storage, this is because they can only be played using the device that downloaded them. So if you plan to watch a lot of BBC programmes on the move, make sure you buy a tablet with plenty of internal storage.

A simple way of freeing up internal storage is to move apps to the ‘external’ SD card; although before you begin, you should consider the following: Firstly, not all apps can be moved; and secondly, the widgets of some apps may not work if moved. The simple answer is not to move apps with really useful widgets; Dropbox and Evernote are two examples (and, in the case of the latter, it’s better to store data internally for security reasons). To move apps, simply go to [Settings] and [Application Manager], select the app you want to move, tap, and that’s all there is to it. If the option is greyed out you won’t be able to move it. You can also free up space by disabling built-in apps that you don’t need, although you should always uninstall any updates to the app before disabling. It should also go without saying that you shouldn’t fill your tablet with too many apps (as these will inevitably slow it down), so uninstall any that you don’t use anymore.

Well, I think that’s enough to be going on with, but one final thing: I guess much of what I’ve said applies to Android phones as well, and the following applies to all tablets and smartphones: when you charge these devices it’s a good idea to restart them, that way they’ll have a good chance of getting through the day without them letting you down. It’s a good habit to get into. I hope all of the above is helpful, please feel free to post comments or ask questions.

Written by John Ager

October 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

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