How to Get the Most From My New Tablet?

by David Weedmark Google

    If a PC's like a Volvo, then a tablet's like a Porsche. They both get you where you need to go, but driving the Porsche is more fun. A new tablet is exciting; it's a clean slate waiting for you to make it your own. Reliable Internet access is a must for most tablets, as downloading files and getting news updates requires it. Some apps, like email, news and multiplayer games can't be used if you're offline. If you don't have regular access to Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection for your tablet, tethering to your cell phone is a viable option. Otherwise, it's important to select apps that allow offline access to files.

    Online Anytime

    Accessing the Internet is an important part of getting the most from a tablet. Even if your tablet connectivity is limited to Wi-Fi, there is no reason to limit your Internet access to your home or the coffee shop. Most smartphone plans give you an option to tether your 3G or 4G mobile phone to a tablet, giving you access wherever your phone has data service. If you don't have a smartphone, or if your wireless plan makes it too expensive, you can also get an air card like the Novatel Wireless MiFi or Sierra Overdrive Pro.

    Portable Library

    Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Books and Apple iBooks each give you access to thousands of e-books that you can take with you anywhere and read on your tablet. Today, most of these online bookstores are cross-platform, meaning that even if you have purchased e-books on another device, you can still upload them to your tablet. Most public-domain classics can be found for free on services like Kindle, or downloaded from Project Gutenberg directly to your tablet.

    Work and Productivity

    Regardless of what kind of computer you use for work, there are few types of files that can't be edited on a tablet, or that you might find more convenient to use on a PC. Services like Apple iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive allow you to store files online and work on them on either your tablet or computer. You can also sync your email with your tablet, import calendars and set up reminders for important events on the tablet. Make sure to check out productivity apps designed specifically for a tablet that can also make your work easier. Evernote, for example, is a free app available on a variety of platforms that can help you manage notes, to-do lists and other files.

    Fun and Games

    Even the most productive worker needs to be kick back and relax. A large variety of movies and videos are also accessible from a tablet through online stores or services like Hulu and Netflix. Windows tablets of course have XBox built in already. Many other games developed for consoles or computers also have apps available for tablets, including those by prominent developers like EA or Zynga.

    About the Author

    David Weedmark's articles have appeared in dozens of publications since 1989, including "The Windsor Star" and "The Ottawa Citizen." As well as being a technology consultant, he is the author of several books, including "The Tanglewood Murders." Weedmark studied English at the University of Toronto.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images