Android 4.2.2 on Your Tab 2, Part 1: Logging In and New Home Screen Features
Recently you may have been surprised by a new update to the Android operating system on your Galaxy Tab 2. This version of Android is version 4.2.2, but it’s also called Jelly Bean just as the previous version of Android on your Tab 2 (version 4.1) was. Despite the same name, this new version of Jelly Bean has some important differences that you should know about.
You learn about the new version of Jelly Bean, hereafter called Android 4.2.2, on my Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. Note that this article presumes that you had Android 4.1 installed before you installed Android 4.2.2, and you can get more information about what’s new in Android 4.1 in my article “Using Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Tab 2.”
After Android 4.2.2 has been installed, you see the new lock screen, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1 The Android 4.2.2 lock screen in vertical screen orientation
There aren’t many differences between what you see on the lock screen in Android 4.2.2 and what you see in Android 4.1. The Status bar appears at the top of the screen. The left side of the Status bar contains icons with information about new features or e-mail messages. For example, a Google Mail icon denotes that you have new e-mail messages. On the right side of the Status bar, you see the current time, the battery icon, and the Wi-Fi connectivity icon if you’re connected to the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection.
All you have to do to unlock your Tab 2 is to hold your finger anywhere on the screen and then swipe your finger in any direction. If your Tab 2 is password-protected, the password box appears on the screen. You must tap the password box, type your password, and then tap the OK button to open the Home screen or the application you were working on before you put the unit to sleep.
The Status Bar
The Home screen in Android 4.2.2 also looks like what you’re used to seeing in Android 4.1:
- The Status bar, the AccuWeather.com widget, and the Google Search box appear at the top of the screen just as in Android 4.1.
- If the screen is in horizontal orientation, as shown in Figure 2, then six apps appear at the bottom of the screen just above the Home screen dots. Pinned icons appear at the right side of the screen even when you swipe back and forth between Home screens. These icons include the Apps icon, so you can view the Apps screen.
Figure 2 The Android 4.2.2 Home screen in vertical orientation
- If the screen is in vertical orientation, as shown in Figure 3, then you see the pinned apps at the bottom of the screen underneath the home page dots.
Figure 3 The Jelly Bean Home screen in vertical orientation
The Notification Bar
The Notification Bar still appears at the bottom of the screen with three icons in the center of the bar that appear as follows from left to right:
- When you tap the Task List icon, the Task screen opens and displays graphic tiles in the center of the screen, as shown in Figure 4. The most recent app you opened appears on the right side of the screen in horizontal orientation; in vertical orientation the most recent app appears at the bottom of the screen. The menu bar appears just above the Notification Bar, so you can access the Task Manager app within the Settings screen, open the Google Now app by tapping Google, or close all apps by tapping Close All. You can delete a single app from the screen by tapping and holding on the tile and then tapping Remove From List in the pop-up menu or by swiping the tile up or down on the screen.
- Tap the Home icon to return to the Home screen.
- Tap the Back icon to return to the previous screen. If you have the keyboard open, tap the Back icon to close the keyboard but remain in the current screen; tap the Back icon again to return to the previous screen.
- At the right side of the bar, tap the up arrow icon to view and edit the list of Mini Apps in Jelly Bean. You can learn more about Mini Apps in my article “View, Use, and Change Mini Apps on the Galaxy Tab 2.”
Figure 4 The Task screen appears when you tap the Task Manager icon in the Notification Bar
The Quick Settings and Notifications Screen
As in Android 4.1, you can open the Quick Settings and Notifications screen by tapping and holding anywhere in the Status bar and then swiping down the screen. Unlike Android 4.1, in Android 4.2.2 the Quick Settings and Notifications screen covers the entire screen, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5 The Quick Settings and Notifications window
At the top of the window, you see the time and date. To the right of the time and date, tap the Settings icon to open the Settings window.
Underneath the time and date, you see a row of setting tiles that enable you to turn features on or off, such as screen rotation. Icons in green indicate the feature is on, and icons in gray indicate the feature is off. You can swipe to the left and right to view all the tiles and tap on a tile to turn the feature on or off. You can view all the tiles on the screen by tapping the Tiles icon to the right of the Settings icon.
The brightness slider bar appears below the row of tiles, so you can change the screen brightness by sliding your finger to the left or right in the slider bar. Tap the Auto check box to have the Tab 2 set the screen brightness automatically.
Below the slider bar you see a list of recent notifications such as new Gmail messages. At the bottom of the window, you see a black bar that contains the name of your device. You can close the window by tapping the Back icon in the Notification bar.
What Else Has Changed?
Aside from some differences in the lock and Home screen features, there are some new features in Android 4.2.2 you should know about:
- You can add widgets and shortcuts to your lock screen.
- If you don’t want to turn off the screen when your Tab 2 is docked or charging, you can turn on the Daydream screensaver within the Settings screen.
- New settings include the ability to block notifications as well as make all notifications audible, so you can hear those notifications from your Tab 2 while you drive.
- You can activate the new Smart Stay feature within the Settings screen. Smart Stay detects if you’re looking at the screen. When the Tab 2 detects that you are looking at it, the device won’t go to sleep.
You learn more about new settings in Part 3 of this three-part article series about Android 4.2.2 on your Galaxy Tab 2. However, Part 2 in this series covers several new apps and widgets that are now available in Android 4.2.2, so you’re invited to keep reading!