Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A tablet for Christmas

So, your loved ones have taken the numerous hints you have been given, and have purchased you a shiny new tablet for Christmas, what do you actually do with it?

Once you switch it on, and have a play with it, you need to immediately change two settings, in order to stop you throwing the confounded object out of the nearest window!

For Apple products, tap the settings icon (picture of a cog), tap Display & Brightness, and adjust the screen brightness to a comfortable setting. Then select the General setting, and scroll the screen down until you see the Auto-Lock feature. Tap this to amend to, say 5 minutes.

For Android devices, the Setting icon is usually a square icon, with three sliding switches indicated inside.  Tap this icon, and select display – and then select both brightness and Sleep in order to adjust.

As tablets are marketed as having impressive battery life, it is logical that they leave the factory with settings to give the optimum battery life – so the screen brightness is set low, and the devices are set to go into standby after 2 mins of inactivity – which can be frustrating as you just put it down for a second to grab another mince pie!

Now, you have played about with it – got it linked to your house broadband (remember that those passwords are case- sensitive), you are now keen to join the world of Apps!

To start downloading Apps, you first of all need to register with the App Store for Apple, or Playstore for android devices.

The Playstore is actually Google Playstore for Android, so to sign in to the Playstore, you need to sign in with your gmail address as your username, and the password for your gmail as your password. If you do not have a gmail email address, you will need to set one up.

For the Apple Store, you need to set up an Apple ID, by going to the App store, selecting a free app, and the device will ask for your Apple ID – SELECT Create an Apple ID, follow the on screen instructions . When you're asked for payment information, choose None as the payment type.

You are now ready to get some Apps =you can flick through those selected, or search by name using the search box provided (look for the magnifying glass symbol).

Here is a selection of useful Apps for you to try:

BBCi player – To catch up with all the shows you miss whilst sleeping off the turkey, also load all the other channels, such as 4OD, etc.

Boat Watch – This App utilizes the GPS connection on your tablet to show you what boats are out at sea, anywhere in the world.

You could also load Flightradar24 Free, which you hold it up to the sky and it tells you what all the airplanes you can see are, where they are going, how high, how fast, the pilot’s name and what’s in the sandwiches (well nearly).

Similar apps are available to show you the name of the stars, or even the location on the International Space Station up above (ISS Spotter).

Spotify and Shazam are two popular Apps for music lovers.

7 minute Workout is a good App for getting rid of the overindulgence on the Yule log, and there are a number of exercise Apps out there.

The most popular Apps being loaded at present are YouTube – well worth getting to know, whether you search for videos of cyclists riding flat out down a mountain in Ffestiniog, or the 1979 Penrhyndeudraeth Carnival  which is a blast from the past, even if just to be amazed at the cars people used to drive!

Only after you have explored some of the above Apps should you allow yourself to be drawn into the strangely addictive Apps such as Candy Crush Saga (allowing grandma to have a go at this may ensure the sherry bottle gets some peace though).  Logos quiz starts off as a casual quiz but will have all the family racking their brains.

All the above Apps are just a taster for you to get a feel for your device, and start to search for more Apps. There are news Apps (Daily Post is a nice one), game Apps, shopping Apps – there are no limits to what is out there!

Do remember that those of you with an Android tablet need to consider looking for an Antivirus , I advise looking at free ones such as AVG, as recent reports say they are just as good as paid for ones.

Also remember that your tablet is able to surf the Web, so have a go at finding new Web sites. Gwynedd Council have just updated their Web page, and not only can you check for the next refuse collection to take all you Christmas wrapping paper away, you could also use their site to link to web cameras that allow you to see the weather on top of Snowdon, or how the surf looks on Hells Mouth – all part of your get fit campaign while you have a few days off, well, maybe next year!

Finally, for the jokers amongst you, there is an app called Crack My Screen, that gives an image to look as if you have already broken your new toy – the look on the faces of those who have given you the tablet will be priceless – just what Christmas is for!

For further information or to book a place on a course in Gwynedd, contact:

Daniel Richards, Get IT Together – Gwynedd, Project Coordinator

Email: daniel.richards@citizensonline.org.uk

Telephone:  07854 690 529

Get IT Together in Gwynedd is supported by BT’s Connected Society programme, BT’s commitment to help people right around the world gain the skills and confidence they need to join the online community and Communities 2.0, Gwynedd Council, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd.


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