Give Your Tablet A New Lease Of Life (Part 2)

10/15/2012 5:42:59 PM

Get directions

You might not be aware of this, but your Android tablet comes with a magnificent and entirely free – satellite navigation application, which you can use to get from A to B in car. The beauty of this app is that, combined with a tablet with a large screen, it makes reading the maps an absolute breeze, even if you’re sitting in the back of a car. The beauty of this app is that, combined with a tablet with a large screen, it makes reading the maps an absolute breeze, even if you’re sitting in the back of a car.

Description:  Google Maps Navigation (Beta)

 Google Maps Navigation (Beta)

The satellite navigation app can also be used with Android’s built-in voice control, so just say where you want to go and it’ll take you there. Thankfully, all Android users are catered for because it works with Android 1.6 and upwards. If it’s not already present on your device, just go to Google Play and search for ‘Google Maps With Navigation Beta’.

Upgrade your tablet

One of the most useful things you can do with your older Android tablet to give it a new lease of life is to upgrade the operating system to a later version. If you’re starting out with Donut 1.6, then you’re pretty much out of luck unless your tablet happens to be highly specified in the hardware department.

Those with later version, such as Éclair 2.1 are starting off with a much better base for upgrading to a later version. You can perform the most minor of updates – going from 2.1 to 2.2, for instance –simply by checking in your Settings area for system updates that come directly from the manufacturer of your tablet.

Otherwise, if the update isn’t available (your particular carrier might be holding back the update, for example) or if you wan to jump up the evolutionary scale a few more notches, you can install a custom update ROM specifically for your tablet. We can’t tell you which one to go for because it’s impossible to tell you which version of a ROM to download to go with your manufacturer – you will need a specific firmware update otherwise it won’t work. The best advice is to head on over to and look for the exact ROM that goes with your chosen device.

Be warned though – you will need to follow the installation instructions of a new ROM right down to the letter because if you don’t, there’s a chance that your tablet could stop working altogether if the software is incorrectly installed on your tablet.

Root your tablet

Upgrading your tablet OS to a newer one as mentioned above is one example of rooting, whereby you gain full control over what you want your tablet to do and how it should look. You can find out how, to root your Android tablet on dozens of websites, but one of the best places to find guides is the XDA Developers forum ( Again, you’ll need to find the guide that applies to your particular tablet. Once you do find it, rooting can be quite a straightforward process and it unlocks a whole range of potential upgrades.

From here on there are pretty much no limits to what you can do with your tablet – you will be able to install apps not normally available to locked tablets, such as overclocking the CPUto its full potential with SetCPU (; or optimizing your tablet’s use of memory with AutoKiller Memory Optimiser ( There are all manner of performance-related improvements, so rooting is something you should consider if you crave a little bit of modification. Remember to follow the instruction carefully though – there’s a small chance that something could go wrong if not. It’s also worth bearing in mind that rooting the OS will void your tablet’s warranty.

Automatic backup

The latest version of Apple’s iOS enables you to automatically back up your iPad over Wi-Fi, and Apple is proud of its new feature, which makes this procedure quick and painless. Android features a similar backup method, although instead of backing up to iTunes it uses Google’s cloud backup facility. By default your tablet should e set to back up all your settings whenever you’re connected; it not you need to go to Settings > Privacy and tap the box next to ‘Back up my data’.

If you want to protect the entire contents of your device, you could manually copy everything from your tablet to your computer by connecting your tablet via a USB cable and dragging and dropping everything to a folder. But that’s a bit archaic isn’t it? A better way is to use an app such as MyBackup Pro ( which enables you to schedule online backups so that your tablet automatically backs up practically everything – photos, apps, contacts, emails and more – to the cloud.

Video chat

So your tablet isn’t a phone – so what? That doesn’t mean you can’t call your friends or family for a nice chat. Provided your tablet has a front-facing camera, you can use a video-chat app, such as Fring (, which is completely free. The great thing about this app is that you can call up to three other people at the same time, so it’s good for arranging a global meeting. The quality of the video adjusts to your connection, so if it’s 3G, quality suffers, but you should still get streaming without any annoying transmission delays.

Make the most of your tablet

Save battery life

Save battery life

If you find that your tablet’s battery life keeps unexpectedly draining away, use Battery Booster ( to find the source of the extreme juice-drain. This app also offers ways of saving the battery life on your tablet – for example, turning certain battery-hungry functions off when the power level gets low.

Type with a swipe

Type with a swipe

Swype ( is a brilliantly simple app that will instantly improve your typing speed. Instead of pressing letters to type out whole words, you simply swipe across the keys to create the words instead, making text entry seriously fast and easy. Unfortunately, Swype is only available for Android tablets running version 3.0 or later.

Find good Wi-Fi

Find good Wi-Fi

If you’re the kind of person who travels a lot and tries to connect to numerous Wi-Fi hotspot, Wifi Analyzer ( could be an invaluable tool for you. It shows you the strength of any Wi-Fi channels nearby, as well as how many people are connected to it. It’s also great for checking the strength of your home network around the house.

Go rooting around

Go rooting around

If you’ve decided to root your Android tablet, the world is your oyster as far as Android apps are concerned. AutoKiller Memory Optimizer ( is just one of the many great programs available to you, and it offers increased speed and lower battery consumption by optimizing any apps that are running.

Most View
Adobe Photoshop CS5 : Advanced Selection Techniques (part 2) - Calculations Command
Grouptest Headphones: $150-$210 - Phone Home (Part 4) - Grado SR60i
BlackBerry Z10 - A Contender For The Best Smartphone (Part 2)
Panasonic Flagship Camcorder HC-W850 Review
Iphone SDK : Working with the Address Book Database - Person Photo Retriever Application
Windows Tip Of The Month – October 2012 (Part 2)
NUC Intel Review - A Small But Promising Desktop PC (Part 2)
Windows Server 2008 : Using ntdsutil - Performing an Authoritative Restore, Removing a Domain Controller from Active Directory
The Archos 101 XS - Media magnetism
Canon Powershot G15 With Immaculate Photos And Superb Controls
Top 10
SQL Server 2012 : Validating Server Configuration (part 2) - Evaluate the Policy, Using the Central Management Server
SQL Server 2012 : Validating Server Configuration (part 1) - The Need for a Policy, Create Policy on a Local Server
SQL Server 2012 : Encryption (part 2) - Certificate-Based Encryption, Transparent Data Encryption
SQL Server 2012 : Encryption (part 1) - Encryption Primer, Password-Based Encryption
SQL Server 2012 : Auditing in SQL Server (part 3) - Database Audit Specification Object, User-Defined Audit Event
SQL Server 2012 : Auditing in SQL Server (part 2) - Server Audit Specification Object
SQL Server 2012 : Auditing in SQL Server (part 1) - Auditing Objects, Server Audit Object
Sharepoint 2013 : Introducing jQuery for SharePoint developers (part 2) - Understanding jQuery methods,Understanding jQuery event handling
Sharepoint 2013 : Introducing jQuery for SharePoint developers (part 1) - Referencing jQuery, Understanding the global function, Understanding selector syntax
Sharepoint 2013 : Introducing JavaScript for SharePoint developers (part 3) - Creating custom libraries