Explore Widgets in Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Tab 2: Part I
Chapter 12 of My Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 contains an introduction to widgets and shows how to add a widget to your home screen in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on your Galaxy Tab 2. Now that Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is now available for the Tab 2, this article takes you on a tour of the widgets that come preinstalled on your Tab 2.
Access the Widgets screen by tapping the Apps icon in the upper-right corner of the screen (horizontal orientation) or in the lower-right corner of the screen (vertical orientation). In the Apps screen that appears, tap the Widgets menu option, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1 The Widgets option appears in the center of the menu at the top of the Apps screen
The first page of the Widgets screen appears as shown in Figure 2. There are a total of eight widget pages as indicated by the dots at the bottom of the screen, which appears below the monthly calendar on the first widget page.
Figure 2 Six widgets appear on the first page in the Widgets screen
Each widget on the page contains the name of the widget, the size of the widget (width by height in number of grid spaces), and a thumbnail-sized graphic that shows you how the widget will appear on the home screen.
A list of widgets and their functions appear by page in the following sections. View each page by swiping left and right on the screen.
The first page of the Widgets screen shown in Figure 2 includes the following widgets:
- Application Monitor: Opens the Task Manager screen so you can see all active applications, view downloaded apps, and manage memory and storage.
- Book: Opens the Google Play Books app and shows you a list of all books you've downloaded.
- Calendar: Displays a small calendar for the current day that shows a brief list of your appointments that day.
- Calendar (Mini Today): Shows a larger version of the Calendar widget that shows appointments for the current day.
- Calendar (Month): This calendar shows you the entire current month and lists all your appointments each day. Tap the date to open a larger view of your appointments for that selected day.
- Clock (Funky): An analog clock with large letters that displays the current time.
Figure 3 shows a list of widgets on the second page, which include the following:
- Clock (Modern): Shows a modern-looking analog clock that displays the current time.
- Contact: Displays a contact that you connect with often. After you add this widget to a home screen, the Contacts window app opens so you can select the contact you want to add to the widget. After you select the contact and tap the contact name within the home screen, a contact window pops up and contains all the information in the contact record.
- Contact (smaller version): When you add this widget to your home screen, the Contacts window app opens so you can select the contact to display in the widget. After you select the contact, the picture of the contact appears on the home screen. Tap the contact picture to open the contact window.
- Digital Clock: Opens a digital clock that shows the current time and date.
- Directions & Navigation: Opens the Directions & Navigation app so you can enter your destination address from your current location and get turn-by-turn directions.
- Dropbox Folder: Places a Dropbox folder link on your home screen. You have to open the Dropbox app and log in before you can add this widget. After you log in, you can select the folder to which you want to link in the Create Shortcut window.
Figure 3 The second page of the Widgets screen allows you to view clocks, see contacts, access the Directions & Navigation app, and open a Dropbox folder
The third page of the Widgets screen contains the following six widgets:
- Dual Clock (Analog): Shows times in two separate cities as analog clocks. This widget is very similar to the Dual Clock widget shown on pages 257-259 in My Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.
- Dual Clock (Digital): Shows times in two different cities as digital clocks. The current date appears below the time for each city.
- Email: Shows the most recent five email messages that are aggregated from all your inboxes. After you add the app to a home screen, set up the Samsung Email widget app by tapping the widget.
- Game Hub: Opens the Game Hub app.
- Gmail: Shows the most recent three messages you received in your Gmail inbox. When you add the app to a home screen, the Choose Folder window appears so you can select the folder that contains messages you want to read. After you tap the folder name, the most recent messages within that folder appear on the home screen.
- Gmail Label: Adds a Gmail Label, which acts as a shortcut that opens a Gmail folder. When you add the app to your home screen, the Choose Folder window appears and asks you to select a Gmail folder. The Name Label Shortcut window appears so you can accept the folder name as the shortcut name or type a new name. Tap Done in the window to view the Gmail Label widget on the home screen.
Figure 4 The third page of the Widgets screen includes two kinds of clocks, a Game Hub shortcut, and widgets for reading your email messages
The fourth page of the Widgets screen contains Google-specific widgets:
- Google Now: Displays basic Google Now app information such as a brief weather forecast and information about your next appointment. Open the Google Now app and get more information by tapping the widget on the home screen.
- Google Play Books: Opens the most recent book you read in the Google Play Books app. The cover of the most recent book you read appears in the widget icon.
- Google Play Music: Plays the next song in your Google Play Music playlist when you tap the Play button in the Google Play Music widget. Open the Play Music app by tapping the thumbnail-sized image on the left side of the widget.
- Google Search: Adds a transparent Google Search box to the home page; this widget box appears on the main home screen by default.
- Google Search (smaller version): Adds a smaller white Google Search box to the home screen.
- Google+ Posts: Displays your latest Google+ posts within the widget. Open the Google+ app and view the most recent post by tapping the widget in the home screen.
Figure 5 Shortcuts to various Google apps and services appear on the fourth page of the Widgets screen
The fifth page of the Widgets screen contains the following widgets you can add:
- Media Hub: Displays the latest movie and television shows in the Media Hub within several categories. Tap the widget to open the Media Hub app.
- Memo: Allows you to write a new memo that will be easily accessible on your home screen. When you add the memo to the home screen, the Memo window appears so you can type your memo. After you save the memo, the memo icon appears on the home screen so you can open it quickly.
- Mono Audio: When you tap this widget on the home screen, the Tab 2 plays audio in mono (one speaker) mode instead of stereo (two-speaker) mode. Tap the widget again to turn mono audio playback off.
- Music Hub: Shows the latest music within several categories in the Music Hub app. Tap the widget to open the Music Hub app and shop for songs.
- Music Player: Displays the Samsung Music Player app that allows you to play songs stored on your Galaxy Tab 2 within the widget itself. For example, you can tap the Play button within the widget to play the song at the top of the list.
- Music Playlist: When you add the Music Playlist widget to a home screen, the Play Music app window appears so you can select a playlist that contains the songs you like. After you tap the playlist you want, the playlist icon and name appear on the home screen. Tap the playlist icon to start playing songs within that playlist.
Figure 6 Various multimedia widgets and the Memo widget appear on the fifth page of the Widgets screen
The sixth page in the Widgets screen contains a variety of image, Web, and Google Play widgets:
- Picture Frame: Displays one or more of your selected pictures stored on your Tab 2 within an area on the home screen.
- Play—My Library: Shows contents in one or all of the Google Play apps. For example, the My Books library shows covers of the most recent books you read. Read the book in the Play Books app by tapping the book cover.
- Play Recommendations: Displays Google Play Store recommendations in one category (for example, Apps) or in all categories. View the recommended app or multimedia file by tapping the widget.
- Play Store: Opens the Play Store app.
- S Bookmark: Allows you to select a website to add to the home screen as a bookmark icon. Open the website by tapping the icon.
- S Bookmarks: Displays your website bookmark folders. Open the list of bookmarks by tapping the bookmark folder and then tap the bookmark tile to open the website in the Browser app.
Figure 7 Google Play, S Bookmark, and picture frame widgets comprise the sixth page of the Widgets screen
The penultimate page in the Widgets screen includes a number of useful shortcut widgets:
- S Suggest: Displays the latest suggested apps for your Tab 2. Open the S Suggest app by tapping the widget in the home screen.
- Settings Shortcut: Opens the Settings screen from the home screen. This shortcut is available on every home screen by default.
- Software Update: Opens the Software Update screen from the home screen.
- Traffic: Allows you to set up a destination and then the widget icon informs you of the amount of time it will take to reach your destination from your current location.
- Video Player: Places a link to a selected video on the home screen; the title appears in the widget. Play the video in the Video Player app by tapping the widget.
- Weather: Displays the current weather for your location on the home screen. This widget appears on the main home screen by default.
Figure 8 The seventh page of the Widgets screen contains shortcuts for accessing tools and apps
The last page in the Widgets screen contains only three widgets:
- Yahoo! Finance: Displays your latest stock quotes on your home screen from Yahoo! Finance. You can get more information within the Yahoo! Finance app by tapping the widget in the home screen.
- Yahoo! News: Shows the top news stories from Yahoo! News on your home screen. You can read the entire story in the Yahoo! News app by tapping the widget in the home screen.
- YouTube: Displays a slideshow of the most recent YouTube videos within various categories such as Most Popular. View the featured video in the slideshow within the YouTube app by tapping the image of the video in the widget.
Figure 9 Two Yahoo widgets and the YouTube widget appear on the last page of the Widgets screen
Now that you've had the grand tour of all the widgets available on your Tab 2, keep watching the My Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 book page on the Que Publishing website for follow-up articles about placing widgets on a home screen and using some of the more interesting widgets.