Saturday, June 11, 2011

Addicted to the Tablet

When I got to the supermarket this morning I realised I hadn't taken my tablet with me - PANIC.

It wasn't that I had forgotten to take my medication that was troubling me, it was that I didn't have my Galaxy Tab in my handbag. If I had a sudden urge for information or needed to seek a solution to a problem I wouldn't have my tablet to help me and would have to resort to using the tiny screen and keyboard on my mobile 'phone.

It seems that each day I find a new use or discover a new app for my Tablet. Since it's nearly four weeks since my last post about the tab,  Genealogy True Confessions: I take the tablet to bed , I thought it time to report on it once more. I was also prompted by a comment on that last post this morning from Caroline Gurney.

I have found that notetaking at genealogy events on the Tab is quite easy. I can easily rest the tab in the palm of one hand and, using a one-finger method, type decent notes. I suspect that this would be difficult with a larger 10" tab, the 7' format of my smaller unit makes this possible. Early on I made a booboo and used the Tab's  Memo app for notetaking but, on returning home, found it difficult to transfer the notes to another format. It can be done but not with ease.  Next I tried using the Google Docs app to take notes and this worked well. I then hit a venue where the reception was patchy and I could not connect to open a new Google Doc.

In bed that evening I decided to go to the Android Marketplace to see what I could find. I downloaded a couple of note-taking apps but wasn't happy with them then I found GDocs Note, a simple app that can be used to record notes without an internet connection. When connected it syncs all notes to a single Google Docs folder. I have used this at two locations (where I did have a connection and was able to syc on the go),  it is simple, basic and perfect for my needs. The ability to sync when connected allows one to have a backed up file.

At a non-genealogy function the other day someone expressed an interest in one line on my family  tree. I was able to whip the Tab out of my handbag, connect to the family site and seek the desired information.  My camera was missing from my handbag when I wanted to snap a photo of Joyce Ryerson for a blog post. The photo I was able to take on the Tab in difficult light was quite acceptable for a blog post.

Some other savvy shoppers, Shelley from Twigs of Yore, Tanya Honey from My Genealogy Adventure and  one of my daughters have also become Galaxy Girls. I'm hoping these youngsters will teach me a few more tricks to do with my toy.

eBay has been a source of some super treasures for me. The eBay app that I have downloaded to the Tab allows me to find and bid on genealogy books and other bits wherever I am. If someone recommends a book in a meeting I can quickly see if there is one available on eBay. I can't say that Mr Geniaus is pleased that I now have even more ready access to more great buys.

If I am in a library or bookshop I can use the LibraryThing app to scan the barcode of a book I want to read or reference and add it straight to my LibraryThing Collection. When I am reading a document that quotes measurements in feet, inches and furlongs I use the ConvertUnits app to convert measurements to more meaningful metric.

I often come across a term, person or place I don't know. The Wikipedia app on my Tab gives me instant access to that 21st century reference tool.  If I don't get an answer there I can use the Firefox app to search the internet or the Gmail or Calendar app to write myself a reminder to chase up an answer.

Blogger, Hootsuite and AVG Antivirus are other apps that I have recently installed but  am yet to explore. I am a fan of the Tweetcaster app for tweeting. I like the free Voice Recorder app that I downloaded and may find it useful in an emergency. However if I use this at an event I will be preculded from notetaking so I will continue to use my digital voice recorder for this purpose.

I really can get by without my Tab but having it at hand makes life a whole lot easier.


Greta Koehl said...

Glad to see this post summing up so many different ways to use a tablet - I am leaning toward getting one before I get a smart phone (long story about why I still have a "dumb phone") and instead of getting a reader (yeah, I'll be taking my tablet to bed, too).

Sharon said...

See if there is an app called soundnote. I use this on my iPad and can record and take notes. It is brilliant. Later you can tap on a word and it takes you to the exact part of the recording.

Tanya Honey said...

I enjoyed this Jill, and it has made me think about what I have and haven't found useful on my tablet. Am just putting a post together on what I've been using on it. It's great to hear from others what apps are worth a go.

GeniAus said...

Greta, The tablet is the way to go.

Will look out for Soundnote, Sharon.

Tanya, can't wait to see what you have to say.

Shelley Crawford said...

My reply is coming! Typing away...

Megthered said...

Just found this blog post. I went looking because I just got a Galaxy Note 10.1 and want to learn how this will help my research. I have a 7 in. tablet but old eyes forced me to a larger screen. I have just been playing with it, but you have pointed me in the
right direction.


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