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2. Consider Insurance

6. Connect to the Internet and (or) Your Network

Once you've tested your hardware, and your screen orientation is the way you want it, the next step is to connect to the Internet and (or) any network you have. If you have Wi-Fi only, then you need to establish a Wi-Fi connection using your computer or a wireless router. (In my previous article I talked about how you can create a virtual router using a USB wireless adapter and Windows 7.)

If you're using a wireless carrier to connect with the Internet, such as using 3G service, then your Tab will connect automatically. If you're using your Galaxy Tab to communicate with your company on the road, and they use another mobile operator, then you can connect to your company's network using your Tab, provided you get the login information from your network administrator.

Your company may also operate a virtual private network (VPN), which is a "tunnel" that lets you and only a select few others who can log in collaborate on the Internet. You'll need to get the VPN setup and login information to do this. Refer to Chapter 2 in My Samsung Galaxy Tab to learn how to set up 3G and VPN connections.

7. Check for Operating System Updates

Google is updating Android all the time, and there are different versions used for different devices: Android 2.2 (Froyo) for the Tab 7.0 and Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) for the Tab 10.1. When you're connected to the Internet, your Tab checks with Google to find out whether there are any updates and if there are, your Tab installs the update automatically.

You can check the latest version of Android (called Firmware on the Tab 7.0) and the build number by opening the Settings window and then tapping About Tablet. On the Tab 10.1, the list of options in About Tablet includes Software Update so you can update Android automatically or manually, and you can also check for new updates manually.

8. Change Your Wallpaper

Aside from the icons, the background wallpaper is the one visual feature that you notice right away when you turn on your Tab. The Tab 7.0 changes wallpapers for both the home screen and the lock screen (the screen with the lock icon that first appears when you turn on your Tab). The Tab 10.1 gives you a little extra functionality by allowing you to set separate home and lock screen wallpapers (in most cases).

On the Tab 7.0, just press the Menu button and then tap Wallpaper. Then you can select a wallpaper thumbnail from the gallery of pictures you have stored on your Tab, live (animated) wallpapers, or from the default static wallpaper gallery.

On the Tab 10.1, there are a couple of ways to change wallpaper. The most direct way is to hold down your finger on a blank area of the home screen until you see a screen with thumbnails of your home screens at the top and tabs at the bottom. Tap the Wallpapers icon and then choose from the gallery, live wallpapers, or static wallpapers. If you select from the gallery or a static wallpaper you can choose whether the wallpaper applies to the home or lock screen. (The live wallpapers apply to only the home screen.)

If you want step-by-step instructions in the book, turn to Chapter 3 of My Samsung Galaxy Tab.

9. Password-Protect Your Tab

Unless you're never going to take your Tab anywhere with you and you're the only person using it, you should password-protect your Tab to protect data on your Tab from people who may want to use it without your knowledge or in the case of loss or theft.

When you password-protect your Tab, you'll have to type in your password the next time you see the lock screen instead of simply dragging the lock icon.

A text password isn't your only option. You can also enter a PIN (like you do with your ATM card) or you can draw a pattern with your finger that you'll need to replicate on the lock screen every time you log in. Refer to Chapter 3 in My Samsung Galaxy Tab to learn more about these other options—and things you can do when you lose your password.

10. Find Software Apps

Your Galaxy Tab comes with a lot of interesting stuff pre-loaded, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to see everything that your Galaxy Tab can do, you need to shop for software apps in the Android Market.

But which ones are the ones you really need out of the thousands of apps in the Market? That's the topic of my next article.

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