The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 (review) and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with S Pen (review) are two very interesting tablets that got great scores in my reviews. One reason why I like them is their Android 9 Pie and One UI software. Both tablets are up to date software wise, look modern, and pack tons of features. However, with all those features Samsung implemented it can be a bit overwhelming for beginners.
Well, don’t worry, once someone tells you what those useful features are and how they work, you’ll be able to navigate your tablet fast. Here are the best tips and tricks for the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 and Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019. Both are running the same software, so everything works and looks the same.
If you’re looking for tips and tricks for the S Pen of the Galaxy Tab A 8.0, check out this article.
Tap to wake
Sadly, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A series does not have a built-in fingerprint scanner and no super secure way to unlock it fast. However, both support tap to wake. That means you can turn on the screen by double tapping it. To activate this feature, you go into “Settings – Advanced features – Motions and gestures” and turn on “Double tap to wake”.
How do you take screenshots on a Galaxy Tab A tablet? There are two ways to do it. To take a screenshot, you can simply press down the power button and the volume down button at the same time.
Another way is with a gesture. For that, you swipe with your whole, stretched palm from the left side to the right – and a screenshot is saved. You might have to activate this feature first. For that, you go into “Settings – Advanced features – Motions and gestures” and hit the checkbox under “Palm swipe to capture”.
Once you took a screenshot, you can manipulate and even annotate them.
Night Mode & Blue Light Filter
Two important features you should know about are the night mode and the blue light filter. Both can make you sleep better when you’re using the tablets at night. The blue light filter is the most useful one because it works across every app. It filters the blue light and makes the screen more yellow so that you can sleep better. To activate it, simply swipe down the quick settings and press the blue light filter.
Samsung build-in a night mode too which sometimes is called dark mode. It turns the settings, menus and Samsung’s own apps dark. That way you don’t have a bright light shining at you at night. However, it’s only useful if you are using Samsung’s apps because other ones are not affected.
To turn it on, swipe down the quick settings and hit the night mode button. In the settings, you can schedule it so that you don’t have to activate it manually every day. To do that, go to “Settings – Display – Night mode”.
Split Screen View
Samsung has been supporting split screen views longer than Google officially did. However, with their One UI, they made it more complicated than it was in the past. To open two apps side by side now, you have to hit the recent apps button. Then long-press on the icon above the app-preview and tap “Open in split screen view”. Once you do that, you can choose another app to open next to it.
You can also open more than two apps in separate and movable windows. That looks similar to the Samsung Dex desktop mode – but Dex itself is not supported on the Galaxy Tab A tablets. Well, to open apps in separate windows hit the recent apps button, long-press the app icon again and select “Open in pop up view”.
Power Saving Modes
The battery life of both Galaxy Tab A tablets is pretty decent. However, especially when you’re traveling, you might need to extend the battery life as long as possible. To do that, you can activate two different power saving modes. Go to “Settings – Device care – Battery”. Under “Power mode” you can select between the standard “Optimized” setting, “Medium power saving”, and “maximum power saving”.
Depending on what you select, your battery life can be extended up to several days. To achieve that background apps are restricted, and the CPU speed is reduced to 70 percent. So, expect your tablet to get slower to save some battery juice.
Move Apps To MicroSD Card
Both Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablets have a microSD card slot. And while you can’t mount those cards as internal storage, you can move apps and games to them. That way you can save some space on your internal memory.
To do that, go into “Settings – Apps” and select the app you want to move. Then press “Storage” and under “Storage used” you press “Change” and select your microSD card. Once you do that, the app is stored on your card.
Connect USB Sticks, External Hard Drives, Mouse & Keyboard
The next feature is something that most Android tablets support, but I get asked that all the time. Yes, you can connect USB Sticks, external hard drives, external SSDs, or full-size SD cards using a USB C cable or adapter. With the Samsung My Files app, you can see what’s on your external storage and you can transfer data to and from your tablet. That works really well.
If you want, you can also connect a keyboard and/or mouse using either the USB C port or Bluetooth. Most keyboards and mice are supported, so chances are you can just use the ones you already own.
Navigation Bar or Gestures
Out of the box, both Galaxy Tab A tablets have a navigation bar with those three typical buttons on the bottom. If you want, you can replace those with gestures. To do that, simply swipe down the quick settings, swipe to the left and hit the “Navigation bar” button. Once you do that, you get three stripes on the bottom. Among those, you can navigate Android using gestures.
If you want to share the Galaxy Tab A with friends or family, you can do that without letting them see your secret photos or browser history. The tablets support multiple user accounts. To switch users or to create a new one, swipe down the quick settings and tap your small avatar next to the search button. Out of the box, it’s yellow.
Once you do that, you can activate a guest mode if you’re planning to lend it to a friend temporarily. However, for your family members, you probably want to create real accounts. Just hit the new user button and you can start to set up their part of the tablet.
Now, if you have young kids, you might be interested in the built-in kid’s mode. To activate it, swipe down the quick settings and press the kid’s mode button. Once you do that, you can download several apps for your kids. With that being said, I think this mode is interesting for very young kids only. Older ones are probably better off with a real user account.
- Solid metal body
- Pretty screen
- Powerful processor
- Android 9.0 Pie
- Good cameras
- Decent speakers
- Base model with 2GB RAM
- Speakers on just one side
- No fingerprint scanner
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