Below is a list of forty tips, tricks, and shortcuts for the Google Nexus 7 tablet, from basic getting started tips for the beginner to hacks and ROMs for advanced users. Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section too!
The Basics – Getting Started
1. Nexus 7 Guidebook – The Nexus 7 Guidebook contains a lot of useful information for getting started with Google’s new tablet. It comes pre-loaded on the Nexus 7 and is located in the Google Play Books app.
2. Screen Rotation – By default, the Nexus 7 is locked in portrait mode. You can switch to auto-rotate by pulling down the notifications menu at the top of the screen and tapping the rotate icon to the right of the date. Note that the homescreen doesn’t support landscape mode, however (see #11 and #38 to fix that).
3. Notifications – Pulling down the notifications menu at the top of the screen grants access to the button for the Settings Menu, the time and date, and a list of all your recent emails, events, activities, app updates, etc. Tap a notification to access it, swipe left to remove it from the list, or hit the button in the upper right corner to close all notifications. Sounds for notifications can be changed in Settings > Sound > System. The volume of notifications can be set separately from the master volume by pressing the settings button next to the on-screen volume slider. Turn off notifications by going to Settings > Accounts > Sync.
4. Widgets – The homescreens can display widgets, bookmarks, individual ebooks, folders for certain apps, and a lot more (it all depends on what apps you have installed). Widgets are located in the widget section of the app drawer. By default the homescreen shows a large Google widget. You can remove it and any other widget simply by long-pressing and dragging to the remove icon at the top of the screen. You can also re-size many widgets by long-pressing and then adjusting the blue lines that appear.
5. Folders – Android supports creating folders on the homescreen to group apps, bookmarks, and ebooks together. Simply hold and drag an icon onto another. You can also name the folders.
6. View Available Storage Space and RAM – Since the Nexus 7 has limited storage space, you are going to want to keep an eye on the available space from time to time. Hit Settings > Storage. To see available RAM go to Settings > Storage > Apps > Running.
7. Uninstalling Apps – The easiest way to uninstall an app is to press and hold the app icon from the list of apps in the app drawer and then drag it to the top of the screen where it says uninstall. If it only shows App Info and no uninstall option is available, then it is a system app and can’t be uninstalled. However, if you drag the app to where it says App Info you’ll have the option to disable the app.
8. Lock Screen – It’s a good idea to go into Settings > Security to configure a lockscreen to make your tablet secure. You can set a password or pattern or even set the Nexus 7 to wake up by showing it your face. For added security you can set it to open when you blink your eyes so a photo will not unlock the screen.
9. Font Size – The font size can be adjusted in Settings > Display > Font Size. There is also a secondary setting for large text in Accessibility > System.
10. Wallpapers – Long-press on any open space on the homescreen to bring up the wallpapers menu. Android has live wallpapers, static wallpapers, or you can use your own photos and pictures or some downloaded from the internet.