Every year, we give – as well as receive – all sorts of gifts. Many of them smaller, more sentimental items along with the typical gifts we give this time of year, but if you're lucky then you will have gotten something that you really wanted. If that something was a new Android tablet, or perhaps your first Android tablet, then you might be wondering what you could do to extend the experience beyond having a giant phone. Granted, with Android that's pretty difficult, but there are apps and accessories that can really help you make the most out of your tablet experience. If you're a seasoned Android tablet user, then this might all be old news to you. If that's the case then don't be shy to sound off some suggestions in the comments. Those new to the Android tablet world however, should find something useful here, I hope.
Find the Right Case for You
I'm not going to try and sell you as case here, but if you take a look on the site we have many Top 10 case lists for a number of tablets. I'm not so much talking about a specific case here, but rather the styles of cases available. Let's say for instance, that you're somewhat accident prone (or you just don't want to coddle your tablet like a fragile child) then you'll want something fairly rugged and thick, perhaps a screen protector as well. This sort of thing is perfect if you're planning to use your new toy at work in a dusty, dirty environment. If you're more likely to use your tablet at home – much like myself – then you might not need a case, but I prefer to have a sleeve to put my Nexus 9 in when I throw it in my bag. The sleeve route can be a good one to go down, and if you want something a little more personal, you can find some great stuff over on Etsy. Then there's the flipcover style of cases I'm sure you've all seen. I'm not a big fan of these and I've tried a number of them, but if you need a stand when watching videos at lunch, or on a long flight, then this does the job well and protects the screen in your bag.
Configure Wireless Hotspot on your Phone
This only really applies to those lucky enough to have tethering allowed on their wireless plan. I'm even lucky enough to have unlimited tethering through mine (which is sadly no longer available for new customers). Configuring wireless hotspot mode on your phone allows you to share the data connection from your Android phone with your tablet. Once you get the two talking for the first time, when you're out and about and want to get online where there's no free WiFi around, you can just set the service running on your phone and be done with it. This can be especially useful for entertaining kids on a long drive, but just be sure to check your plan beforehand.
Buy a Keyboard
This suggest isn't going to suit everyone I realize, but if you've been given a tablet with the idea of maybe getting a little work done at home, or you just send a lot of email either for work or to friends and family around the globe then a keyboard is a great idea. My personal favorite is the Inateck BK1003E, it's a little longer than I'd have liked but it's a lot of fun to type on and it's clearly well-built. Having a keyboard for your Android tablet can make writing assignments for school, dealing with email when working from home or just writing a little more enjoyable. It's different from using the same old laptop you always use and thanks to the one-app-at-a-time nature of most Android tablets it's arguably easier to focus when using your tablet. If you really want to replace your laptop, you can also use a Bluetooth mouse just fine with Android as well.
Find Some Great Games to Play
If you're lucky enough to have a lot of free time over the Holiday period, then you might be finding yourself in need of some entertainment here and there. An Android tablet is great for that, and Google's platform has become a great place for gamin on the go in general. Every Friday, our resident gamer Justin features a different game every Friday that's always worth checking out and then there's our monthly Top 10 games to consider as well. If you're looking for a game to pass the tablet around with friends and family this Christmas, then I have to recommend Fruit Ninja. It's one of my all time favorites and a lot of fun to play with the little ones at this time of year.