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October 8, 2012

Galaxy Tab Reader Email

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

I’ve been getting tons of email regarding my Samsung Galax Tab books!

First, I know that the Tab has been updated (as of last month) to Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android version 4.0.4. That operating system isn’t addressed in the book, though I’m working on an update for my Galaxy Tab support site here on Wambooli. That update should be coming forthwith.

Second, I enjoy getting reader mail. My email address is right in the front of every book I’ve written, and I’m happy to answer questions about the book. But please, if you write to me, don’t make me go through the hoops of one of those Anti-Spam filters. I just don’t have time to confirm that I’m a real person when you have written to me first. Thank you for respecting my position on that.

Third, I got a great batch of Galaxy Tab questions that I’ve answered recently. I thought I would share the answers with you here:

Should you turn the tablet off by powering down at the end of use or just let it go to sleep?

I let mine go to sleep. But:

Is it okay to leave it pluggrd in to charge overnight?

I keep my Tab in a docking station overnight. The docking station also doubles as an alarm clock, so I can charge the thing while it’s still being useful as a clock. But that’s how I store it. So during the day, I may take it out, keep it with me, do whatever. But when I go do sleep, the Tab goes into its docking stand for a recharge. You don’t even need a docking stand: Just plug in the thing at night. That way it’s alway charged.

Before I charged overnight, I’d usually find the Tab low on juice whenever I wanted to take it somewhere. So keeping it charged proved a worthy solution. It doesn’t damage the Tab to charge it overnight that way.

Should you let the battery run all the way down before recharging or can you charge every day regardless of the level?

I’ve heard two schools of thought. The first says that you should always do that in that it extends battery life. The second school says that such a thing is no longer true. Today’s Lithium-Ion batteries are power-managed. Whether you drain them fully or let them charge all the time, the power is managed in such a way that your charging habits don’t affect battery life or performance.

If you do keep the thing plugged in all the time, however, then it does charge more frequently than if you wait longer between charges. That’s because the battery does, in fact, drain while it’s plugged in. It goes down to about 97 percent or so (depending on the software in charge) and then the battery is recharged. That can happen several times a day, and I do believe it affects battery life. But in the big picture, I don’t know how deleterious that type of charging would be.

The bottom line is that the batteries in any portable device have only a limited lifespan. After anywhere from two to four years (or longer, depending on use), the battery will fail. It’s important to note that some gizmos, such as the Galaxy Tab (and even the iPad), don’t have removable batteries. So I suppose the manufacturer’s intention is for you to get a new device anyway.


  1. One question Ive had is how do you close apps in the Android OS? Ive done a web search and it looks like you have to go to the applications utility to close apps which seems pretty awkward. I would think an Android device could run out of RAM pretty quickly if you run a lot of apps. I dont see why they dont make it easier to shut down an app.

    Comment by BradC — October 14, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Android is most excellent when it comes to managing running apps in memory. Basically, all your apps can stay open as long as there is enough memory. When memory gets tight, Android looks at the running apps and determines which haven’t been accessed for a while, and it automatically shuts them down.

    With Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and Jelly Bean, app management is a bit better, and the oversight they allow you is much more sophisticated. So you can display the Data Usage screen and immediately shut down apps that are using the Internet, but when you’re not actively using. That’s another issue beyond simply hogging memory, especially for people on a tight data plan.

    Comment by admin — October 14, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

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