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How to use your Android tablet at work

Paul Mah | Jan. 7, 2014
Tablets offer long battery life and portability, so why not ditch your laptop in favor of a tablet? Here, then, are some tips for using an Android tablet in the office -- and beyond.

Allocate time to configure individual apps properly. For example, many cloud-centric apps such as Evernote and Simplenote will need to be individually configured. Others, such as OneNote for Android, can function in standalone mode but offer greater convenience when paired to a SharePoint or SkyDrive storage location. Finally, Web browsers (Chrome or Firefox) should be set to sync with their desktop cousins.

Finally, there's one important security matter that most overlook when repurposing BYOD gadgets for work: Setting up a password lock should be non-negotiable, given the sheer amount of personal and work information stored on a typical tablet. It may also be a good idea to encrypt the contents of both the Android tablet and its external SD card.

Ultimately, it's necessary to embrace cloud services in order to realize the full benefit of using a tablet. As such, using a tablet for work may not be suitable for users with strong concerns about data privacy or those restricted by compliance rules.

Using an Android Tablet for Work Means Developing New Habits
Once your tablet is configured, it's time to get to work. And make no mistake about it: Using an Android tablet in the office requires changes in how you work. Part of the reason is the absence of intuitive multitasking capabilities, as well as the smaller display. Significantly, the Android user interface assumes the use of one app at a time.

For its part, Samsung hasattempted to emulate the PC experience by engineering the capability for apps to run side by side on selected smartphones and tablets. The Dual Screen View feature is generally of limited utility, though, as the UI elements occupy a large portion of the screen's real estate.

Dual Screen View mode on the Samsung Note 8 can be quite useful.

Not all changes are necessarily negative. For one, be prepared for the joy of using a computing device that powers up instantaneously and launches most apps in a split-second. Just like you have your favorite apps on the desktop, you'll soon find - and easily launch - your favorite Android tablet apps.

As it is, though, don't expect to hit the ground running the day after making the switch to an Android tablet. Getting used to the interface will take some time.

Accessorize Your Android Tablet With Keyboards, Cases, Chargers
Like it or not, serious content creation requires a physical keyboard. Peripheral makers realize it, too - which explains why there are no shortage of tablet-optimized portable keyboards. While any keyboard with Bluetooth should work fine, one inadvertent disadvantage of the variety of Android tablets out there is that there are fewer keyboards (and accessories) designed specifically for a particular tablet.


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