Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Samsung Galaxy Tablet 2 10.1

In yesterday's post I mentioned  the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and that I was interested in creating some custom icons for it. Not long after writing the post I figured it out and have discovered a few more things. I thought I would write a bit about the Tablet so that anyone in the process of looking for a tablet will have a basic idea of the pros and cons of this one.

It's crazy how many devices people have in their homes these days. As well as having a family computer to share with others and a laptop, I decided to get a tablet. Why? well, originally I was against touch screens, but then I really got into music, art and a few other things and thought that maybe there was a site I could use or a free program I could download, but all I got was links to apps and you can't add apps to your laptop. There were also a few games that people have been playing on their tablets that I wasn't able to play on my laptop. Then the tablet I wanted came on sale and I guess curiosity just got the better of me.

^This is a picture of what my home screen looks like. Notice that I don't have any bright coloured app shortcuts on the page, but instead have some pretty squares that colour coordinate with my background? That's because I customized the icons. You can do this by downloading an android app called 'Icon Changer'. It's a free app that you download. Once opened you can click on a program that comes up in the list and replace the picture shown with a picture you have saved on your tablet (Note: you must find or make these yourself) and then a second shortcut will be created on your home screen. You then delete the old shortcut and voila!

Also, notice my lovely Lana Del Rey background? it took me a while to find something online that wasn't horribly pixelated. I found that I had to go for something that was originally quite large and that was landscape orientated where the main focal points of the image lay somewhere in the centre. Anything too high or too low will get cut off by the tablet. I also found that saving the image and then changing the wallpaper by clicking on the home screen was easier to customize as you could stretch the borders to fit more onto the screen. Selecting an image and choosing the 'Set as Wallpaper' version almost always looks pixelated because the borders are made really small.

^ Here is an enlarged picture of my icons. There is a lock and key for settings, a picture from 'Mirror Mirror' for internet, A picture of ink and a quill for Polaris, camera pictures for camera apps, a gift bag for play store, a fountain for Tumblr, a 'G' for Goodreads and a Typewriter for Blogger. As you can see I have also started a 'Printerest' account. Click Here to visit my Printerest. 

One of the great things about my Galaxy tab 2 is the ability to customize things. You can change so may things on your home screen just by downloading an app. There is an app for pretty much everything and if they aren't free they are normally pretty cheap. I think the main purpose of having a tab is to get access to the great collection of free apps. 

My tablet only has a 3 mega pixel camera which isn't a huge issue for me seeing as I already have an actual camera and I don't mind a vintage (low mega pixel) look photo at times, but it can limit you to some of the apps that require a focus function. Barcode scanning apps are a no-no if your tablet doesn't focus. I've downloaded the Roidizer app for taking faux Polaroid pics though, because the lack of mega pixels works in my favour there.

Sometimes the quality of sound or picture in an app depends more on the app than the actual tablet. I have downloaded a few different recording apps such as 4-tracks Lite and Tape Machine to record some acoustic guitar and the Tape Machine one was far better quality. 4-tracks lite made my guitar sound electric electric though and the static-y noises were really loud in the recording.

Some apps created for internet sites like the Printerest App and the Blogger App are created for easier use on the tablet while other apps like the Tumblr app seem to loose functionality. I don't know if there is a way to fix it, but at the moment I am considering deleting it, because I am having great difficulty getting any pictures to load and GiFs don't work. Youtube takes an awful long time to load too. If I'm really bent on watching a video I will save it to my watch list and go to my laptop to view it.

Forget the apps though, some of the stuff that's already loaded on the tablet is pretty helpful. There a few different story book programs loaded on for mums with young children and you have access to news, weather and GPS widgets. There is also a fairly decent picture editor and a program called Polaris Office which is highly compatible with Microsoft Office programs like Word and Excel. 

One thing that annoys me about the Android store - like many online stores- is the inability to use Paypal. You can buy giftcards for it though, like you can on Itunes, so I guess I might just have to get one of those so I can download a few apps that don't come in Free versions. Things like font creators and wardrobe organizers. 

^This is an example of a faux Polaroid made with Droidizer. The app allows you to take pictures (or download them from a folder and to select "films" or rather filters to change the appearance of the picture. You can choose from a number of different fonts to write on the Polaroid with including this one (my favourite) which is a permanent marker font. The only thing I dislike is that the white Polaroid frame doesn't seem to change much throughout the changing of films, not does the text colour. I would like to see the app get upgraded so that the font colours dark brown and dark grey could be used and that the frame could be more dis-coloured or have a bit of a shadow, so that when I blog it, it can easily be distinguished from the background.

My tablet doesn't have a USB port so I need an adapter to store items on USB. I don't mind though, because the area the charger plugs into is at the bottom of my tablet in the middle and if there was a USB it would stick out awkwardly. The USB in the picture is one that my boss bought for me to use at work. Unfortunately the  USB didn't fit properly in the computer as the computer had a lip on it that stuck out right near the USB plug. So, my boss let me have the USB stick. It glows red when plugged in.

One thing I dislike about my tablet is that it automatically saves pictures and that it doesn't allow you to re-save to the same file name. Ultimately I know that I am going to be spending a lot of time deleting or transporting files to USB because my photos are going to fill up pretty quickly. I can see benefits to this though, because I have been guilty of deleting things or not saving things that I do need.

Do you have a Tablet? What type do you have? And, can you recommend any good apps for a reading, writing, crafty girl like me?

Your Favourite Blogger,

No comments: