Top 12 Jelly Bean Tips For A New Google Tablet Experience

Chris Hoffman 07-12-2012

jelly bean tipsAndroid Jelly Bean 4.2, initially shipped on the Nexus 7 Why The Nexus 7 Is Competition For The iPad [Opinion] Google unveiled the Nexus 7, its long-awaited foray into the burgeoning tablet market, at Google I/O last month. The combination of hardware, design, and price took many by surprise, with all three of these components... Read More ,  provides a great new tablet experience that outshines previous versions of Android. It even impressed our resident Apple fan Google Nexus 7 (16GB) Android Tablet Review and Giveaway We purchased a 16GB Nexus 7 for $249 which I've been reviewing for a week or so now, and I've really grown to love the little thing. We'll be giving it away at the end... Read More . If you have a Nexus 7, Nexus 10, or another tablet running the latest version of Android, be sure to read these Jelly Bean tips to make full use of your tablet.


The most impressive feature in Jelly Bean Evolution of Android: From 1.0 to Jelly Bean [Geek History Lessons] Read More is probably Google Now. Google Now is smart enough to provide context-sensitive information when you need it, whether it’s commute information, package tracking, or the weather. It’s a worthy competitor to Siri Siri, Why Don't You Understand Me? [INFOGRAPHIC] One of the best things about an iPhone 4S is the Siri speech recognition app, but as I have increasingly noticed, it doesn't seem to like me and my Scottish accent (cue lots of moments... Read More that does things Siri doesn’t even try to do.

Some of these features are only available on Android 4.2, while most are also available on Android 4.1. Both are named Jelly Bean.

Google Now

Google Now provides information that Google thinks may be useful to you. For example, if you have a flight today and received a confirmation email in your Gmail The Beginner's Guide to Gmail You may already have a Gmail account. Or, you're thinking about signing up for one. This guide has everything you need to make the most of that shiny new Gmail account. Read More account, Google will display information about your flight. If you’re travelling, Google Now will display information relevant to travelers  such as the exchange rate. If Google Now has learned your commute, it will display the route you need to get home, the time it will take to get there, and information about traffic you’ll encounter on the way.

To access Google Now, touch the home button at the bottom of your tablet and swipe up.

jelly bean tips


Say Google

From the Google Now screen, you can say Google to start a search. (You can also tap the microphone icon on the search widget at the top of your default home screen to access this feature.) If you ask a question that Google’s knowledge graph An In-Depth Look at Google's New Knowledge Graph Read More understands, Google will display smart answers.

jelly bean tips and trick

Google Now also responds to some voice commands, so you can say “Google set an alarm for 7am” and your tablet will set an alarm for 7am. Note that you can only initiate voice searches by saying Google at the Google Now screen.

jelly bean tips and trick


Gesture Typing [Android 4.2]

On Android 4.2’s default keyboard, you can drag your finger over letters to type words, just as the popular Swype keyboard for Android Swype For Android, Reviewed: A Hassle To Install, But Is It Worth It? I've long since fell in love with sliding/swiping keyboard, as my SlideIT review from a year ago shows. But when people hear "swiping keyboard," SlideIT isn't usually the first name that comes to mind: Swype... Read More allows. For example, to type the word make, you’d touch m, drag your finger to a, drag your finger to k, drag it to e, and then release. You can then start typing a new word without even pressing space. It sounds a bit weird, but it can be very quick to type with once you’re used to it. It also allows you to type with one hand — ideal if you’re holding the tablet in the other hand. Unlike with Swype, the keyboard will display a guess of the word while you’re dragging your finger.

jelly bean tips and trick

Quick Settings [Android 4.2]

To access a quick settings menu and easily configure Wi-Fi, brightness, Bluetooth, alarms, and other commonly used settings, drag down from the upper-right corner of the screen, above the clock. This feature is only found in Android 4.2, so you won’t see it if you’re using Android 4.1. (On an Android 4.2 phone, you’d drag down from the top of the screen with two fingers to access this menu.)

jelly bean for tablets


Multiple User Accounts [Android 4.2]

Android 4.2 allows you to create multiple user accounts on tablets. This is particularly ideal if you’re sharing a tablet between multiple people in your household. Every user has their own apps and app settings, just like using separate user accounts on a computer.  To add additional user accounts, tap the Users option on the Settings screen and use the Add User button.

jelly bean for tablets

Easily Manage Apps

If you want to uninstall an app or view its information screen, you don’t have to dig through the apps list in the Settings screen. Instead, locate the app in your app drawer and long-press it. You’ll see two buttons at the top of your screen – App Info and Uninstall. Drop it on Uninstall to uninstall it, or drop it on App Info to view its info screen.

jelly bean for tablets


Control Notifications

From the app’s information screen, you can disable notifications to prevent a noisy app How to Block Popup Ads on Android Seeing annoying popups on your phone? Here's how to stop popup ads on your Android phone browser, apps, and notification shade. Read More from cluttering your notification tray with notifications you don’t want to see.


Offline Voice Typing [Android 4.2]

Android 4.2 allows you to enter text by tapping the microphone on the keyboard and speaking it aloud. This previously only worked while online – on Jelly Bean, you can now use voice recognition offline.

To enable this, open the Settings screen and tap Language & input. Tap the settings button to the right of Google voice typing, tap Download offline speech recognition, and download the languages you want to use offline.


Designate Wi-Fi as Mobile Data

If you’re tethering your tablet to a smartphone or using a mobile hotspot, your tablet will think it’s a normal Wi-Fi network. You can tell Android that the Wi-Fi network is a mobile data network to have Android ease up on the data it uses, potentially saving you money if you have a limited data plan.

To do so, open the Settings screen, tap Data usage, tap the menu button at the top-right corner of the window, tap Mobile hotspots, and put a checkmark next to each Wi-Fi network that’s actually a mobile hotspot.


Manage Multitasking Menu

The multitasking button allows you to switch between your recently used apps. They’re sorted in the order you used them. If this list becomes cluttered, you can remove apps from the list by touching them and dragging them to the left or right.



If you store sensitive data on your tablet and you’re worried about it falling into the wrong hands, you can encrypt 5 Ways to Securely Encrypt Your Files in the Cloud Your files may be encrypted in transit and on the cloud provider’s servers, but the cloud storage company can decrypt them -- and anyone that gets access to your account can view the files. Client-side... Read More your tablet’s storage to prevent other people from accessing it without your password. To do so, tap Security on the settings screen and tap Encrypt tablet.


Easily Create Folders

To easily create a folder containing multiple app icons on your home screen, drag and drop the icons onto each other. Android will automatically contain a folder, which you can open by tapping. These folders can also be placed into the dock on the bottom of your home screen.


If you have a Nexus 7, be sure to check out our list of awesome tablet-optimized apps for the Nexus 7 Get Your Tablet On: 11+ Epic Android Apps Optimized For The Nexus 7 When Apple released the iPad Mini – jumping on board the 7" tablet trend pioneered by Amazon and Google – they said Google’s Nexus 7 lacked good tablet apps. While Android may not have the... Read More .

Do you have any other useful tips to share for your Nexus 7, Nexus 10, or other Jelly Bean tablets? Leave a comment and share them!

Related topics: Android Tablet, Google Nexus.

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  1. Anonymous
    January 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Can't wait for JB!!

  2. Anonymous
    December 10, 2012 at 6:42 am

    this makes me envious of not having a tablet--- andriod

  3. Ron Lister
    December 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Gingerbread, Icecream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, I'm feeling fat.

  4. Ritwick Saikia
    December 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Yeah!! Jellybean rocks

  5. Arsalan Ahmad
    December 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    And here I am, running gingerbread on my new xPeria sola. Middle East region hasnt even gotten an ice cream sandwich update. Thanks Sony.

  6. Félix S. De Jesús
    December 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I'm very very sad, because I can't get at least the Jelly Bean 4.1 on my TF101 Asus Transformer :(

    • Harji Kalbuadi
      December 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      Just use custom ROM!
      Hopefully Makeuseof will create tutorial on how to root and install custom ROM on your Android device.

  7. Junil Maharjan
    December 9, 2012 at 5:00 am

    jelly bean is awesome but has its shares of performance bugs in the 4.2.1. hope google fixes the issues soon.

  8. Avish Kansakar
    December 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    jelly bean is so awesome just got mine for my gs3

  9. Din One
    December 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Encryption and easily manage apps is my choice...

  10. Nikhil Chandak
    December 8, 2012 at 7:11 am

    thnx for the tips !

  11. Joses Lemmuela
    December 8, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I can't wait for JB upgrade to my xperia, for the awesome Google Now and butter smooth experience! Great article, as always!

    • Harji Kalbuadi
      December 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Just be patiently wait until next year buddy.

      • Joses Lemmuela
        December 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

        Yeah, but I'm considering the possibility of getting CM10 when it's available and stable, altough I doubt it will happen before the official FW comes from Sony. Guess have to cope with the ICS for a while.

  12. Kamelion Kamel
    December 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    yeah! jelly bean <3