Galaxy Tab: The Missing Manual – #bookreview #android

Galaxy Tab: The Missing Manual
By Preston Gralla
(O’Reilly, paperback, list price $19.99; Kindle edition, list price $19.99)

Getting or giving yourself a Galaxy Tab for Christmas?

Consider getting this book to go with it, whether you’re getting a 3G/4G or Wi-Fi version of the Samsung tablet computer.

Reason one: You won’t find much how-to information packed in the box with the Galaxy Tab.

Reason two: Veteran technology writer Preston Gralla has prepared a nicely organized, well-written and heavily illustrated Galaxy Tab guide that covers the Samsung TouchWiz interface, as well as the device itself.

Gralla’s step-by-step instructions and tips can save you considerable time and effort as you learn the features and put your new device to work browsing the Web, checking email, playing music, shooting video and doing many other tasks for fun or work.

Parts & Chapters

This 427-page “Missing Manual”is organized into six parts, including 16 chapters and two appendixes.

Part One covers “The Basics and Getting Online.” The chapters are:

  • Chapter 1: The Guided Tour – (Everything from activating the Power/Lock Key to using the headphone jack, Volume Key and cameras and putting widgets and app shortcuts on the home screen.)
  • Chapter 2: Getting Online: Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G – (Getting online and also setting up and managing your Google account.)
  • Chapter 3: Navigating the Web – (And doing a variety of tasks such as saving online images, synching the Galaxy Tab’s bookmarks with your computer’s bookmarks, and managing online security.)
  • Chapter 4: Downloading and Using Apps – (Including where to get apps; managing, sharing and uninstalling apps; troubleshooting apps, the Samsung Apps Store, and more.)
  • Chapter 5: Ten Great Android Apps – (For games, productivity, music and pictures, and information.)

Part Two focuses on “Getting Social and Finding Your Way.” The chapters are:

  • Chapter 6: Contacts, Chat, and Video Chat – (Everything from “how you chat” and starting Google Talk to responding to chat invitations, audio and video chat, and managing chat contacts.)
  • Chapter 7: Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Apps – (How to use your Galaxy Tab on social media.)
  • Chapter 8: Maps and Navigation – (Using Google Maps, finding your location, searching maps, street view, and turn-by-turn navigation.)

Part 3 covers “Books, Media, and Games.” The chapters are:

  • Chapter 9: Books and Magazines – (Using Google Books, the Kindle app, and reading magazines and newspapers online or with Android apps.)
  • Chapter 10: Music – (Transferring music files from PC or Mac to Galaxy Tab; playing music; using the Google Cloud Music player, the Samsung Music Player and the Music Hub.)
  • Chapter 11: Camera, Photos, and Video – (Taking pictures or downloading from web, displaying them, and sharing them; taking videos and sharing them via YouTube; and using Media Hub to rent and play movies and TV shows.)

Part Four deals with “Getting Productive.” The chapters are:

  • Chapter 12: Gmail and Email – (The various ways to receive, send and manage email using a Galaxy Tab.)
  • Chapter 13: Calendar – (Using the Calendar, synchronizing it with Outlook, and using other Calendar capabilities, including geolocation.)
  • Chapter 14: Getting Work Done with Your Galaxy Tab – (Setting up your Galaxy Tab with your company account; using Virtual Private Networking (VPN); using Google Docs, and using Microsoft Office.)

Part 5 is titled “Advanced Topics.” The chapters are:

  • Chapter 15: Controlling Your Galaxy Tab with Your Voice – (Using the Voice Actions features, sending a voice recording, and using other voice features.)
  • Chapter 16: Settings – (Focuses on “all of the Galaxy Tab’s settings, and explains what they do for you.” Shows how to make changes.)

Part Six is titled “Appendixes.” The two appendixes are:

  • A. Setup, Signup, and Accessories
  • B. Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Bottom Line

O’Reilly bills its “Missing Manual” series as “the book that should have been in the box.” You won’t find Preston Gralla’s handy book in the Galaxy Tab box.

But the paperback or Kindle version can help you discover the most enjoyable and productive ways to use your shiny new tablet.

Si Dunn

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