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How to Use Mini Apps on Your Galaxy Tab 2

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Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean, contains seven Mini Apps that you can use to perform quick tasks and get information about your Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Eric Butow gives you a tour of all seven Mini Apps and shows how to edit the Mini Apps menu bar.
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Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean, contains seven Mini Apps that you can use to perform quick tasks and get information about your Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. This article gives you a tour of all seven Mini Apps and how to edit the Mini Apps menu bar.

At the right side of the Notification Bar in Android 4.1 on your Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, tap the up arrow icon to open the Mini Apps menu bar that appears above the Notification Bar, as shown in Figure 1. These Mini Apps are small apps that pop up on your screen so you can get information and perform tasks quickly.

Figure 1 Five Mini Apps appear within the Mini Apps menu bar by default

The Mini Apps menu bar stays on your screen even when you do other tasks on your tab, so you can access a Mini App whenever you need it. You can close the menu by tapping the down arrow at the right side of the Notification Bar.

Although there are seven Mini Apps, you can see only five Mini App icons in the menu at one time. You can view all Mini Apps by swiping to the left and right within the menu bar.

When you open each Mini App, a window appears with an arrow in the upper-left corner of the screen that you can tap if you want to open the full version of the app in the entire screen.

For example, if you tap the arrow in the Calendar Mini App you'll open the full Calendar app on the screen. You can close the window by tapping the Close icon (it looks like an X) in the upper-right corner of the window.

The following sections go into more detail about how to use each Mini App; then you'll learn how to edit the Mini Apps menu.

(c)Alarm

When you tap Alarms in the Mini Apps menu, the Alarm window appears and informs you that there are no alarms set up. Tap anywhere in the window under the menu bar to set an alarm. The alarm setup popup window appears, as shown in Figure 2, and reflects the current time.

Figure 2 The current time appears in the pop-up window so you can create an alarm

You can set the time in three columns within the window, from left to right:

  • Hour: Tap the up and down arrows that appear above and below the hour number to move forward and backward one hour, respectively.
  • Minute: Tap the up and down arrows that appear above and below the minute number to move forward and backward one minute, respectively.
  • AM/PM: Tap the up and down arrows that appear above and below AM or PM to change the time of day.

When you finish setting the alarm time, set the alarm and close the Alarm window by tapping the Done button. You can view the alarm you set by opening the Alarm Mini App again; the alarm appears below the menu bar in the window.

(c)Calculator

Open the Calculator Mini App by tapping the Calculator icon in the Mini Apps menu. The Calculator window opens as shown in Figure 3, so you can start entering your calculations. As you type, you'll see the numbers appear in the calculation box at the top of the screen.

Figure 3 You can delete a number or operator you entered by tapping the Delete button that appears to the right of the multiplication button and above the subtraction button

You can display a history of your calculations by tapping the down arrow below the calculation box to expand the box to fill the window. Swipe up and down within the box to view the history. You can clear the calculation history by tapping Clear above the calculation box and to the left of the Delete icon. When you're finished viewing the history, display the keypad again by tapping the up arrow that appears below the calculation box.

(c)Calendar

View the current calendar month and appointments for the current day by tapping the Calendar icon in the Mini Apps menu. The current date is highlighted with a gray background and a blue circle. In Figure 4, the highlighted date is Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Figure 4 Tap another date in the calendar to view events for that date; dates with events have small squares within each date box

If events are associated with a date, different-colored squares appear at the bottom of the date box that corresponds with the color code you have associated with the event. For example, a red dot indicates an important event.

Events for the selected date appear in the events area below the monthly calendar. If there are more than two events for that date, you can swipe up and down within the events area. If you want to view other months, swipe up and down within the calendar to go backward or forward in the calendar. You can return to the current date by tapping the Today button above the calendar.

If you want to add a new event to a selected date, tap the date in the calendar and then tap the Add icon that appears at the top of the Calendar window to the left of the Delete icon. You can type the event name in the Event window and then add the event to the calendar by tapping the Done button.

(c)Email

When you open the Email Mini App for the first time, the Mini App window opens and prompts you to add a new email account by tapping in the window. After you tap in the window, the Set Up Email page within the Email app appears so you can add your new email account (as you learned to do in Chapter 6 of My Samsung Galaxy Tab 2).

When you finish adding your email account, the Email app appears on the screen with the latest messages. Open the Email Mini App again to view all the messages in your account, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 The list of email messages is ordered from newest to oldest, and the newest message you received appears at the top of the list

Each message contains the message sender name, the date the message was received, and a brief description of the message. Messages you haven't read appear in white boxes, and read messages appear in gray boxes. Tap on the message in the list to open the Email app and read the message on the screen. You can refresh the list by tapping the Refresh icon that appears to the left of the Close icon.

(c)Music Player

The Music Player Mini App plays songs that are stored within the storage/sdcard0/Samsung/Music folder. (You'll learn how to find that folder and others on your Tab 2 in the upcoming "Navigating My Files on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2" article.) The list of songs in the folder is sorted from newest to oldest, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 The newest song that was added to the Music folder appears at the top of the list

If you don't have any songs in the Music folder, the default song, "Over the Horizon," appears in the list. In the title bar at the top of the window, tap the Play button (the triangle in the box) to view an image associated with the list. Return to the list view by tapping the list icon (the three dots and three lines) in the title bar.

Tap the song title in the list to start playing the song. At the bottom of the window, you'll see three icons that allow you to (from left to right) move to the start of the song, pause playback of the song, or move to the end of the song. The volume slider bar appears above the song list; you can change the volume by sliding the circle in the bar to the left or right to decrease or increase the volume.

(c)Task Manager

You can view two more Mini Apps in the menu by swiping in the Mini Apps menu bar from right to left. One of those Mini Apps is the Task Manager, in which you can view your currently active applications and manage the memory on your Tab 2. When you tap the Task Manager icon in the Mini Apps menu bar, the Task Manager appears, as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7 The Active Applications section is open by default and shows all the active applications you have open on the Tab 2

Each active app is represented by a thumbnail image; the name of the app appears underneath the image. Close the app by tapping the X button in the upper-right corner of the thumbnail image. You can close all active apps by tapping the End All button in the lower-right corner of the Task Manager Mini App window.

In the upper-right area of the window (just below the Close icon in the menu bar), you can view your memory status by tapping RAM Manager. The RAM Manager section shows you how much memory your Tab 2 is currently using. You can also clear inactive and background processes from memory by tapping the Clear Memory button at the bottom of the window.

(c)World Clock

If you want to know what time it is in another city in the world, it's easy to find out using the World Clock Mini App. After you tap the World Clock icon in the Mini App menu bar, the World Clock window opens as shown in Figure 8. It shows the current time for your time zone and lists a large city that is close to you.

Figure 8 The World Clock shows the time for the city of San Francisco since I live in northern California

Tap the Search Cities box above the global map and type the name of the city you want to view. As you type, a drop-down menu appears with cities the World Clock Mini App thinks is closest to the city you want. When you find the name of the city in the list, tap it. The city appears underneath your current city in the list so you can see the time difference between the cities.

You can add another city by tapping the Search Cities box again and repeating the process. The city you added appears at the bottom of the list, and you can view all the cities you added by swiping up and down within the list.

(c)Edit the Mini Apps Menu

All seven Mini Apps appear in the Mini Apps menu bar by default. If you want to remove a Mini App from the menu, open the Mini Apps menu bar and then tap the Edit button at the left side of the Notification Bar. The Mini Apps window appears above the Mini Apps menu bar, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9 The World Clock shows the time for the city of San Francisco since I live in northern California

All the apps in the window are grayed-out; this indicates that all the Mini Apps are available in the Mini Apps menu bar. Remove a Mini App from the menu bar by tapping the Mini App within the menu bar. The associated Mini App image in the window is brighter and the Mini App disappears from the menu bar, as shown with the Calculator app in Figure 9.

You can add the removed Mini App back to the menu bar by tapping the Mini App in the window. For example, if you tap the Calculator Mini App you removed in the window, the Mini App appears at the far right of the menu bar. When you're finished making changes to the Mini Apps menu bar, tap Done in the upper-right corner of the window.

Now that you've been introduced to Mini Apps, enjoy using them to make daily life with your Tab 2 easier and more productive.

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