I’ve recently started using a Google Nexus 7 tablet, so thought I would share useful tips – especially relating to how I setup the Android tablet. If you have a Nexus 7 tablet, this is a blog post to bookmark and revisit from time to time, as once in a while I will update the blog post with new tips.
Last updated: 4th October 2012
Using the Google Nexus 7 tablet to read books.
I love my Kindle e-ink reader, and I would never use this tablet as a permanent replacement! However there are times, when I don’t want to be carrying around two devices, so it was important for me to be able to read ebooks on this device.
One of the best applications for reading on the tablet is the ‘Moon+ Reader’, which you can download via the Google Play store. I’ve not brought the pro version, but I am quite happy with the free version of the application. The application supports epub, mobi and txt files amongst other formats. There are plenty of great books available from Project Gutenberg to enjoy, which you can read via the ‘Moon+ Reader’ mobile app.
Here is how I made the font size larger in Moon+ Reader:
- Open an ebook to read.
- Touch the screen once just above the bottom grey bar, to bring up an icon bar.
- Select the far right icon that looks like a cog, and on the next screen select ‘Visual Options’.
- Now you can change the font size, scale and line spacing, amongst other options.
Note: It took me a few attempts to bring up the icon bar mentioned in list item 2.
How to download books to the Nexus 7 tablet
If I have not used the Amazon store, and have an ebook I got from Project Gutenberg, I then plug the usb cable into the tablet and transfer the file from my laptop computer to the Moon+ Reader book directory.
However I also download free books from the Amazon store to my kindle. To read Kindle books I do the following:
- I visit the Amazon website via the Google Chrome web browser and log into my Amazon account.
- I select a free book I wish to read and then at the purchase stage, I tell it to download to my tablet.
- I then open the Amazon Kindle application that I had already installed, and logged into with my Amazon account.
- I then click the top right icon in the Kindle application, which looks like three blocks upon one another.
- Finally I select ‘Sync & Check for items’, and it downloads the book(s).
How I read newspapers on the Google Nexus 7 tablet.
I’ve installed the ‘Opera Mobile’ web browser via Google Play store. I’ve created a bookmark folder for newspapers, to enable me to quickly find my favourite newspapers. The newspaper websites I’ve added are:
Note: On some newspaper websites I can ‘pinch and stretch’ the font size using my fingers.
How to take a photo or record a video clip on the Google Nexus 7 tablet.
The software to use is called ‘Camera Launcher for Nexus 7’ by MoDaCo and it can be found in the Google Play store. It is a very small application, and I’ve not had any problems using it. The software enables you to easily take a photo or record a video clip. The Google Nexus 7 tablet only comes with a 1.2MP camera, so it isn’t high quality. It has a few basic options, including zoom. Remember it is a ‘front’ facing camera, so better suited for taking photos of yourself! I am not going to use the Nexus 7’s camera as a replacement for my digital camera.
The games I play on the Google Nexus 7 tablet.
There are many free and paid for games to be found in the Google Play store. I’ve only installed free games and so far I’ve enjoyed:
- Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space
- Bad Piggies (the pigs from Angry Birds!)
- Cut the Rope
- Jetpack Joyride
X-Plane and Bombshells, I would only play when I am at home as they are more involved games, and involve you moving the tablet around to control the planes. X-Plane is similar to Microsoft’s Flight Sim, and if you remember Super Nintendo’s ‘Star Fox’ or the P.C.’s Afterburner or F16, you might enjoy Bombshells. All the other games are ideal to play for a short while, when you just want a short distraction, such as on a train or at lunch.
Using Skype on the Google Nexus 7 tablet.
It is straightforward to use Skype on the tablet. Again you can download this via the Google Play store. Even though the webcam is low quality it worked okay and the webcam picture wasn’t ‘jerky’ when moving around. I noticed that when Skype recommendations were sent from another person’s skype account, they didn’t appear. Other than that I found a video skype call was fine.