How To Use A Tablet: A Guide For Beginners

Introduction

In the age of technology, we need to always have access to the online world, or we will fall behind. Taxes are done online, work is all done online, and even your doctor is sending you emails now.

Man using tablet

Our lives are run by the internet, and while it is convenient, we get to a stage where mobile phones and laptops just aren’t always enough. This is when tablets come into play. They are a nice middle ground between mobile phones and laptops.

They come with the games that a mobile phone can have, but the functionality of a mini-laptop.

If you are new to tablets, don’t worry. They may seem intimidating but if you have a mobile phone, you’re already halfway to knowing how they work!

What Is A Tablet?

What Is A Tablet

A tablet is essentially halfway between a mobile phone and a laptop. It’s exactly the middle point in size between a phone and a laptop, it has most functions a phone can have, and most functions of a laptop.

You can send emails, have a Zoom call, write a book, read a book, take selfies, play games, search the internet, fill out spreadsheets, message friends, use social media and much more.

Tablets are also touchscreen, so it can make things much easier for you too as there is no need for anything else, although a stylus can be useful for more delicate things.

Tablet Definition

You can think of a tablet as being a small, handheld, touchscreen computer. While they are smaller than a laptop, they also tend to be bigger than a smartphone too.

They take the features that a laptop has, and the features that a mobile phone has. It is essentially a hybrid of the two. A perfect combination of both technological devices merged into one. However, this does not mean that they function the same as either of these.

In fact, tablets function in their own way entirely.

How They Work

Tablets are powered by a rechargeable battery much like both mobile phones and laptops. You will be able to use it to store files on it, contact friends and family, and you can even watch films and TV on it too.

They will have the same hardware makeup as a typical desktop computer or a laptop, but instead they are built to be more mobile. You can transport them around with you, and they are much lighter, so it is easier to do so than it is with a laptop.

However, unlike laptops, they also have sensitive screens, so they will also be touchscreen, and you should not treat them like a laptop when it comes to screen functionality.

You will be able to access the internet on them as long as you have Wi-Fi, just the same as you will with a laptop as well. You can do your online banking on a tablet, but you can also play Candy Crush, Farmville, or update your social media.

Unlike laptops, tablets have the capacity for LTE or 4G. This means you can connect to the internet from anywhere in the world. Like a mobile phone, you can switch between 4G or Wi-Fi at your convenience.

How To Use A Tablet

How To Use A Tablet

They sound pretty useful, don’t they? For people who do not need a laptop for their jobs, tablets can take their place, and are often more affordable, easier to carry around, and being more versatile, are simply easier to use.

So, how do you use a tablet?

Well, honestly, it’s pretty easy, but if you are not tech-savvy, it can be a bit daunting at first. That being said, if you have managed to set up a mobile phone before, or a laptop, you should do just fine in setting up a tablet, as the process is very similar, as is the way they work.

Step 1: The Basics

In order to get a tablet running, you should familiarize yourself with their technology. Now, we are going to assume that you are using an android, as the name for an Apple tablet is an iPad. iPads are a specific brand of tablet. They are similar but run in different ways. So, we will assume you have an android tablet.

Understand the home screen, lock screen, how apps work, your app storage and more.

You also want to understand how the long-press works, which will open the shortcut menu, the dock (row of apps at the bottom of your screen), the shade (notification banner) and settings.

You may also want to get to grips with how the ‘Ok Google’ function works too, it is the android version of Siri.

Step 2: Connect To Your Wi-Fi

Connecting to the internet on your tablet will be a lot like connecting to the internet on a mobile phone. Wipe down from the top of your screen. This will open up the notifications shade, listing shortcuts to things like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, brightness and so on.

Long-press on the Wi-Fi option, which you will find in the top left corner, and it should take you to your settings. Slide the switch, so it turns green to enable Wi-Fi. Now you will need to find the Wi-Fi network you wish to connect to and input the password.

You should also be able to access this straight from the settings. But, who doesn’t love a shortcut?

Step 3: Download Apps

What would a tablet be without apps? You need to get those. You can simply use the app drawer for this. You will find it at the bottom of your screen. Here is where you will find the ‘Google Play Store’ application.

Open in and tap on the search bar, and search for the app you seek. One of the first you should get is your Google account, or your email account, as it will make it easier to sign in to other apps later on.

Search for your app, and a list will come up. Click on the one that you want and click ‘install’, it will now start to download, and now we just wait.

Step 4: Removing Apps

We cannot promise you will love every app you download, so you want to know how to get rid of them too!

If you decide you no longer want an app, open the drawer on the bottom of your screen and open the settings icon. Then find ‘Apps & Games’. Open this and a list of your installed apps will come up. Scrolls down until you find the app that you want to delete, tap on it, and its page will open.

You will get two options. ‘Force Stop’ and ‘Uninstall’. Click on ‘Uninstall’. It will ask if you want to uninstall it, click ‘yes’ and now it is gone.

Step 5: Organizing Apps

If you want to organize your apps, this is easy enough. Ensure you are on the tablet home screen first. Click on the app you want to move, doing a long-press. It will enlarge slightly, and may vibrate if you have the vibrate setting on. Then you can drag it across the screen to a different location.

 You can add a new page to your home screen by long pressing an app and moving it, dragging it over to the right side until a new blank page opens up. Then drop the app onto that page.

You can access each of these pages you create on your home screen by swiping left to right and vice versa. You can also add folders and more!

Step 6: Taking Photographs

Taking photos on your tablet is just like doing so with your mobile phone. First find the camera application on your home screen or in your app drawer.

Then select your capture mode, it will offer you a photo mode automatically but will offer other options, including the video option. Point the camera of your tablet at whatever you want to take a photo of, just like you would your phone.

Note that just like with a mobile phone, you can use a rear facing camera, or the front facing camera. Then press the camera button to capture the image.

Step 7: Creating A Passcode

Creating a passcode can be brilliant for security. Open your app drawer or find your settings. Scroll down to find ‘Lock screen & password’. Click on this. Do note, some tablets will have this option tilted ‘Security’.

Click on ‘Screen lock’ near the top of the page. You will then be offered the chance to select the type of password you want to use. You can use a pin of numbers, a pattern, which you draw, or a password. Without any of these you will be able to unlock the screen with only a swipe.

Then you will need to set your code, password, or pattern, following the instructions on your screen. Confirm when prompted to do so, and then it is done!

Different Uses

Different Uses

There are many different uses for a tablet. As we have already told you it is like having both a mobile phone and a laptop all in one. This makes it very useful for many people as it functions as both.

Although you cannot use it for phone calls or texting, as it is not associated with a phone number, it features all the other functions of a phone, and most of the functions of a laptop.

Here are some examples of what you can do!

Spreadsheet Work

If you often use spreadsheets, be they for work, budgeting, taxes, or whatever else. You can use spreadsheets on a tablet.

Download an app like Microsoft Excel, and you can use your tablet to do all your spreadsheets.

It can be easier when doing something like this to have a stylus, as it will make it easier to select the boxes properly. However, spreadsheets have never been quite so easy to use.

You do not need a clunky, big laptop lugged around with you to get everything done, instead you can very easily just use your tablet, type up your spreadsheets, and do so anywhere, on the train, on a bus, in a hotel, the bath, anywhere.

You just need the right app!

Movies & TV

You can also watch movies on your tablet too. Download the Netflix app, or the Amazon Prime Video app, and you can watch a whole movie on your tablet!

However, we do recommend being vigilant over the device’s charge. Most tablets can deal with a whole movie just fine. However, some older generations may struggle, especially if it is a long movie. If you’re using a pre-owned tablet, check to see if the battery is damaged and be sure to check the battery life.

Web Surfing

Just download the application of your choice, and pick the movie that you want and enjoy! This is an ideal option for parents traveling with kids, popping a movie on the tablet makes it much easier to keep the kids happy on long journeys.

The same goes for TV as well. While you might not be able to get easy daytime TV on your tablet, but as long as the channel has an app, you will be fine. You can download Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and many more different apps for watching TV shows on your tablet.

There are so many available, we are certain you will find the show that you are after will be available on one of the many apps you can download to watch TV shows on.

However, even if some shows are not available via a TV app, there is always YouTube. There are way more TV shows available on YouTube, although some do cost to watch.

Business

Business

Most businesses are run through apps anyway, and so will all the apps that are available for businesses now, you can basically run most business communications through a tablet.

You can get organizational tools such as Monday.com, Spreadsheet, and more. You can get company channels like Google chats, Slack, and so on.

So many businesses have taken to using applications to run company information now. This is because a majority of online computer based applications have a mobile friendly counterpart, making it easier for companies to stay on top of things at all times.

Even if you are an independent business owner, most applications you will need to run your business, you can do through the ease of your tablet.

Drawing

The artists out there will all be happy to hear that drawing is something that you can also do on tablets. Even if you are not an artist, you can find many applications where you can just doodle your worries away!

However, for the artist in you, there are apps you can use to create stunning artwork via your tablet alone. Although, it is recommended to get a stylus for this as using your fingers can be great, but it’s harder to see what you are doing with fine line work.

It can save on the painstaking use of a pen and paper, and the marks left behind when you erase something. Tablets don’t have that problem!

Gaming

Gaming is something that so many people use their tablet for. Much like mobile phones, they are absolutely jam-packed with games that you can play.

You can play easy stressless games that help you wind down, you can play difficult games, gambling games, or games that are reminiscent of console gaming!

There is a whole world of gaming available inside your tablet. We will warn you though, they can be very addictive, and with how many there are, you can so easily get hooked on playing them!

There are also mindfulness games, and games for training your brain, and even improving mental health and aiding in better sleep. Take your pick, there is something for everyone!

Reading

Reading can be so therapeutic, but some people just don’t enjoy picking up a book, or find going out to buy a book tedious. Some people love paper books, but it is not for everyone. This is why reading using a tablet can be better for some.

You may worry about the light on your eyes, but most of these devices will allow you to put a soft light setting on, so that the blue light does not interfere with your eyes or disrupt your sleep.

You can read online novels, or ebook versions of popular books, fact or fiction. You can get a Kindle just for this, but a tablet will do just the same.

Note-Taking

Many of us love to take notes on a regular basis, we take notes for our shopping lists, we take notes for packing for trips and vacations. Sometimes it is a to-do list, passwords, or numbers and information we need to remember.

Many tablets, like many phones, will come with a ‘notepad’, or similar option installed. If not, you can simply search in the app store for a ‘notepad’ app or ‘notes’ app that will serve this purpose.

With a tablet, you can go completely paperless as you use the digital version of a notepad. Along with the standard functionality of writing down important information, your tablet can also remind you of your calendar events, help you organize your work or school notes, and highlight important information.

In an attempt to reduce waste, a lot of people (especially Gen Zs), prefer to have an automated, easy-to-edit, digital version of their notes.

Photo Editing

Like many of the other app options we have discussed, there are endless tablet options for photo editing. If you want to edit a photo you have taken there are countless applications available.

There are ones such as snapseed which can give your photos retro aesthetics, there are other apps which can turn your still photos into moving images, or GIFs, you can edit them to improve focus on one thing, or even to totally remove aspects of a photo.

Do note, however, that some of the best photo editing apps will charge, but there are still plenty you can get for free. Your tablet may also be able to accept the installation of bigger pieces of software like Adobe, although we still believe it is best that is left to laptops and PCs.

Send Messages

Many tablets will allow you to send messages. You can use apps such as telegram, and WhatsApp to connect with people you know if you know their phone number. However, the most common form of messaging these days is via social media.

You can install Facebook Messenger, Instagram direct messenger, Twitter, Twitch, Discord, and so on.

Sending messages has never been easier. While you cannot text someone like you do from your phone, there are so many ways you can message the people you know.

Even if they are not social media savvy, applications such as Skype are almost universally understood now, and you can message on that app too!

Video Calls

Much like with messaging now, everything has a video call option. Skype, Zoom, Google Meets, are all commonly used video call applications often used in office environments.

However, you can also use Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Direct as these also have video call options too.

WhatsApp and Telegram are also fitted with video call options. Apps are getting smarter now, and most messaging applications allow you to voice call and video call people using them.

Gone are the days when MSN and Skype were the only video call options. What’s better? All the apps mentioned above are free and are compatible with every tablet!

Web Surfing

Surfing the web is brilliant, and it has opened our world up so wide. We can learn anything we want to in mere seconds nowadays. Tablets make this even more accessible.

What if you are away from home, your laptop is at home, and your mobile phone just lost battery, you can use your tablet if you desperately need to know why cats meow, or what the first 17 numbers of Pi are.

All you need is a browser. Typically, this will install with the device, however, sometimes you will need to install it. The number one browser is definitely Google Chrome, however, some like different ones with heavier security such as DuckDuckGo.

Social Media

Let us not forget the place we often all get lost and spend hours a day scrolling our lives away. Social media is something that we cannot help but love. We can see how our friends are doing, check in on people we were in school with, and share our lives with the world.

As much as it can be very toxic, it is a part of our lives now, that many of us would feel lost without.

Social media apps are free, and you can download them as endlessly as you want to. Tablets are also better than phones for this as well, as they have bigger screens so give a clearer image too.

Benefits Of Using A Tablet

Benefits Of Using A Tablet

We have kind of already told you so many of the benefits in telling you all that these medium-sizes, travel-easy devices can do. But, we won’t stop there. We want to make sure that you know exactly what to expect when you buy a tablet.

So, before you send you off to enjoy your new tech device to its fullest, and explore all the many things you can use it for, let us explain what its benefits are.

There are many benefits, and some you may not yet have realized. They are more useful than they seem.

Portability

Let’s say you have a work meeting, and you will need access to company documents, but do not want to take your laptop all the way there. You can’t use your phone because it will look rude.

What do you do? Take your tablet with you!

Tablets are light, portable, and easily transported. So you need not worry about lugging around a heavy laptop, and with such ease, you will go into your meeting in a good mood.

This also makes them really suitable for travel, vacations, and traveling bloggers who need internet access, but a laptop is too heavy, and a phone is too awkward.

Affordable

One of the best things about tablets is that they are kind of like mini laptops, but they are also cheaper.

Of course, one of the reasons is that they lack the massive hard drive that a laptop has, and they won’t have as much internal storage space available either.

It is literally a middle ground between a mobile phone and a laptop, so you can expect a good tablet to cost around the same amount as a phone would, but less than a laptop.

So, if you need something that can do most of what a laptop can do, but you do not want to pay the amount it costs for a laptop, then a tablet is probably the best choice for you.

Multitasking

Tablets, like phones and laptops, will have apps and windows that you can open and close easily. This means that you can do many things at once. You can be in a Zoom call and have a spreadsheet open. You could also have a meeting and play solitaire at the same time if you wanted.

They allow you to do multiple things at once, which in the busy, hectic day and age in our lives is extremely important and matters a lot to a great deal of modern workers.

It is able to multitask in the same way that much technology is now, as technology has been crafted around our need to always be able to do whatever is needed, and fast.

Multiuse

Multiuse

As well as being multitasking capable, tablets are also multiuse. However, this is also something which can be said about many technological devices these days. Phones, tablets, and laptops are generally very versatile now.

You can go from reading emails, to playing an online game, to working, and even skyping with distant relatives.

You can check your social media, and then keep an eye on the stock market, or look up vacations or homes to buy.

There are many things you can do with a tablet, as you can with a mobile phone or with a laptop. However, a mobile phone can be too small for some things, and a laptop too big. A tablet is just right.

Stay Connected

Staying connected is extremely important in the modern world. Technology has become vital and we are now living in an age in which we need to always be available online. It is nearly impossible to be social and functional in modern society without it.

With a tablet, not only can you do all the things that you need to like work, manage emails and so on, but you can stay connected with friends and family from all over the world with ease.

Even if you live thousands of miles away from mom, you can easily talk to her every day in a video call with no problems, and with the bigger screen of a tablet, it is better than to use your phone.

Staying connected is so important, so make sure you do, and get a tablet.

Easy To Use

Finally, let’s finish up with the best point of them all. They are easy to use. Tablets do not have a difficult set-up, and it is so easy to know where everything is, and how to work it.

There is no complex system of keeping documents, and most of what you need will be stored in app folders. Everything will have a neat icon, and if anything goes wrong, you can simply look in the settings to find your answer.

It is not complex, and you do not need to have thousands of buttons, or a mouse to work it, just your fingers.

This is one of the best parts of having a tablet, it is just easy.

Summary

tablet

No matter how bad you typically are with technology, tablets are really easy to set up, to use, and to enjoy. They can have so many uses, and you can have them just for relaxation and fun, or for work, or even both!

Anyone can work a tablet, from a child to an OAP and everyone in between. There are no rules on how to use a tablet, and all you need to work it is your fingers (or a stylus).

Founder & Chief Editor | + posts

I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.