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Discovering Hidden Galaxy Tab 3 Tips and Tricks

There are many hidden features within both the Android operating system and on apps installed on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. In this article, you’ll learn many different tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Tab 3 apps and settings. You’ll learn how to create a folder within the Apps screen as well as hide app icons in the App screen. Next, you’ll learn how to add social media accounts to Flipboard, organize contacts in the Contacts app, and sort messages in the Email app. Then you’ll learn how to change various settings including location, mouse pointer, and audio settings. Finally, you’ll learn how to activate developer options and keep the Tab 3 awake while it charges.
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There are more features available in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 than can be covered in one book (at least to keep it within a reasonable size). This article contains some hidden Tab 3 tips and tricks that you can use to improve your Tab 3 experience. What’s more, some of these tips and tricks came from reader questions.

Create a Folder in the Apps Screen

If you want to keep the number of icons in your app screen to a minimum, you can create one or more folders within the Apps screen and then move icons into the folder. Start by pressing the Menu button and then tapping Create Folder in the menu shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 The Create Folder option appears third from the top within the menu.

Type the name of the folder within the Create Folder window and then tap the OK button. The folder icon with the folder name appears after the last app in the Apps screen. Move an app icon into the folder by pressing the Menu button again and then tapping Edit in the menu. Within the Edit screen, hold your finger down on the app icon you want to move and then drag the icon on top of the folder icon. When you’re finished moving app icon(s) to the folder, tap Save in the Edit menu bar at the top of the screen (which is just below the Status bar).

Hide Applications in the Apps Screen

You can hide icons for apps you don’t use often within the Apps screen. Start by pressing the Menu button and then tap Hide Applications in the menu. The Hide Applications screen appears as shown in Figure 2 so you can select one or more apps to hide.

Figure 2 Checkboxes appear in the upper right corner of each app icon

Swipe back and forth between Apps screen pages to view the apps you can hide. After you tap on an app you want to hide, a green checkmark appears within the black checkbox in the upper right corner of the icon. When you select the app(s) you want to hide, tap Done in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

After you tap Done, the icon disappears from the Apps screen. You can show your hidden apps by pressing the Menu button and then tapping Show Hidden Applications in the menu. In the Hidden Applications screen, you can unhide apps by tapping on the app icon(s) in the list and then tapping Done in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Organize Contacts

One reader asked how to organize contacts within the Contacts app so you can have the same categories for all contacts no matter what computer or device you’re using. The only way you can do this is to create one master contact list on one computer or device—or even on a web-based contact service such as Google Contacts. Then you can import from that one master contact list to all your devices including the Tab 3.

If you’re using the Tab 3 Contacts app as your master contact list, you can add or remove a contact to or from a group when you view a contact. Note that if your contact is in a Google+ circle then you can’t add or remove a contact to or from a group.

Tap the name of the contact and swipe down the Contact Details page if necessary to view the Groups section. If you see a right arrow button to the right of the group name(s), tap on the button to open the Group List screen shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 Create a group by tapping the Create Group button

You can add or remove the contact to or from one or more groups by tapping the checkbox to the right of the name. When you’re finished, tap Save in the menu bar at the top of the screen. The group changes appears within the Groups section in the Contact Details screen.

Add a Social Network Account to Flipboard

The Flipboard app allows you to add your own social networking accounts such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook so you can show your latest social network news in the same app where you get your other news updates.

Add a social network account by flipping from the Cover Stories page to the news feed page. Next, tap the red Settings button in the upper right corner of the screen. Within the Accounts list shown in Figure 4, tap the social networking account you want to add within the list.

Figure 4 If you don't see the service you use, tap Add an Account at the top of the list

You may be asked to sign into your social network account and get permission from the social network to add the network to your Flipboard feed. You may see the latest story from your social networking feed on the screen; you can return to the news feed page by pressing the Back button. The social networking tile appears on the page; in Figure 5, it’s the Google+ tile.

Figure 5 The service networking tile(s) you added appear on the Flipboard home screen

Sort Messages in the Email App

When you’re reading e-mail in the Email app, the app sorts messages by the most recent message at the top of the message list down to the oldest message at the bottom of the list by default. You can change the sort order by pressing the Menu button and then tapping Sort By in the menu. In the Sort By window shown in Figure 6, tap the button to the right of the sort order, such as viewing messages with file attachments at the top of the list.

Figure 6 Tap the button to the right of the sort method you want to use

After you tap the button, you see your messages reordered in the message list. You can reorder the list by opening the Sort By window again and selecting a new sort order.

Save Preferred Locations in My Places

If you don’t want to enter your current location every time you use your Tab 3 GPS to go somewhere, such as when you use Google Maps, you can save your home, office, and/or your car location on your Tab 3. Start by tapping the Settings icon on the Home screen. Within the Settings screen, swipe down the Settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap Location Services. Within the Location Services list on the right side of the screen, tap My Places.

Within the My Places list shown in Figure 7, tap Home, Office, or Car to save that location on your Tab 3.

Figure 7 Add your preferred location for home, office, and/or your car

After you select a place, tap Select Method in the list to choose how you want your Tab 3 to find your current location. You can find your location through your Tab 3 Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, or you can type the address on a map.

Note that if you want to add a place you’re at frequently (like school) to the list, tap Add in the blue menu bar at the top of the screen and then add your place name and choose how you want the Tab 3 to find that location.

Change the Mouse or Trackpad Pointer Speed

You can add a mouse or trackpad to your Tab 3 via a Bluetooth connection, which allows you to control the Tab 3 with the mouse or trackpad instead of your finger. Once you add a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad, you can change the mouse or trackpad pointer movement speed so the pointer doesn’t move too fast or too slow.

Start by tapping the Settings icon in the Home screen. Within the Settings screen, swipe down in the settings list at the left side of the screen and then tap Language and Input. In the Language and Input list that appears on the right side of the screen, tap Pointer Speed. In the Pointer Speed window shown in Figure 8, you can change the pointer speed by moving the pointer over the slider button and moving the button to the left (for slower movement) or right (for faster movement).

Figure 8 If you decide you don't want to change the pointer speed, tap the Cancel button

Move the pointer around the screen to test the movement speed. When you’re satisfied with the speed, tap or click on the OK button.

Listen to Tab 3 Audio when Docked

If you purchased a dock with your Tab 3 so you can easily charge and connect your Tab 3 to your computer, you can also use the dock as a speaker system so you can listen to music playing on your Tab 3 through the dock’s speakers. Before you can do this, you need to activate audio output mode in the Tab 3 within the Settings screen.

Open the Settings screen by tapping the Settings icon in the Home screen. Within the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap Accessory. In the Accessory list on the right side of the screen shown in Figure 9, use the dock speakers by tapping the Audio Output Mode checkbox.

Figure 9 The Audio Output Mode checkbox appears within the Dock section on the right side of the screen

The next time you dock your Tab 3, play a music file on the Tab 3 to test your audio connection and ensure the dock speakers work as you expect.

Keep the Tab 3 Awake During Charging

By default the Tab 3 goes into sleep mode while it’s charging. If you want to continue to use the Tab 3 while it’s charging, you can tell the Tab 3 to enable developer mode and then change the Stay Awake setting in the Developer Options list.

Start by tapping the Settings icon in the Home screen. Within the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen and then tap About Device. Within the About Device settings list on the right side of the screen, tap Build Number seven times in succession. Once you complete your seventh tap, a pop-up message appears at the bottom of the screen that says, “Developer mode has been enabled.”

Within the settings list, now you see the Developer Options option above the About Device option. Tap Developer Options to see the Developer Options list on the right side of the screen as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10 The Stay Awake option appears near the top of the Developer Options list

Tap the Stay Awake checkbox to always keep the Tab 3 awake while the device is charging. You can turn off this option at any time by opening the Developer Options list and tapping the Stay Awake checkbox again to clear it.

That concludes this list of tips and tricks for your Tab 3. You’ll find other tips and tricks covered in other online articles within the My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 book section .

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