Android Tablets and Phones

Apps and Widgets

Getting Organized

Optimize your home screen to get more from your device. In this lesson, we'll learn:

  1. How to organize the apps and widgets on your home screen.

  2. Quickly locate apps on your device.

  3. Using the App Store to get new apps.

What's an App?

An App is a short form for an application or a software program. If you were to imagine your phone as a swiss army knife, an app would be like the blades. Each has a different purpose and function, but all the apps are contained in the same device.

Like a swiss army knife, some blades are more useful to you than others. Some make you wonder what their purpose is. In the same way, there are apps on your iPad or iPhone that you likely use often and others that you never use.

Thankfully, your device is very configurable, so you can conveniently put the most used apps at your fingertips!

Two Kinds of Buttons

On your home screen, there can be two types of buttons. Apps are the small square buttons that open the associated program when pressed. You may also have larger items on your screen that show detailed information. These widgets are also buttons and similarly will open their associated program when pressed.

You can completely organize your home screens with whatever apps and widgets you like. The main goal is to make it quick and easy to access the things you use most often.

Customizing Your Home Screen

One of the best things you can do is organize your Home Screens so that they are focussed on the Apps and features you want to use. Take some time to make your device productive by:

  1. Long-press on any app on the home screen

  2. Drag apps to move them around on the screen.

  3. Remove an app by dragging it to the top of screen.

  4. Drag to the side of a screen to flip the next screen.

  5. Drag your favourite apps to the Favourite Tray.

You can add new apps from the your app list using these steps:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen to view the Apps List screen.

  2. Long-press on an app you want to add.

  3. Drag the app and drop it on your Home screen.

Adding Widgets

Some of the apps on your device may have one or more widgets that you can use to make your home screens even more helpful. You can view and add widgets to your home screen using the following steps:

  1. Long-press on an empty space on your home screen

  2. Tap the Widgets button to access the Widget list

  3. Search or swipe to view different widgets

  4. Drag a widget onto the home screen

If you long-press a widget on your home screen, you can also resize it by dragging the edges.

Adding New Apps

Looking for a new app that isn't currently on your phone? Just open up the Play Store and choose from the nearly 2 million apps available. Some apps require a direct purchase; others are free, but may have in-app purchases or advertising.

Before getting a new app, it's always best to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Utility: Why do I want this app, and do I really need it?

  • Reputation: Who makes this app, how many other people use it, and what are they saying about it?

Staying Up To Date

Your device is constantly keeping its apps up to date with the latest security and performance changes. These updates should happen automatically, but sometimes there may be problems. For example, if you have not been connected to a Wifi network for some time, you may not get apps updated automatically.

You can check the status of app updates when you are in the App Store. Here's how:

  1. Access the Play Store.

  2. Press your profile icon at the top of the screen.

  3. Tap Manage apps and device

  4. Check the screen for outstanding updates. Choose Update All to force the updates to complete.