Tablet Tips

How to Prevent Apps from Being Deleted from Your iPad

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How to Prevent Apps from Being Deleted from Your iPad

This is a familiar site that I’m betting every iPad owner has seen if they have kids. You sit down to use your iPad after allowing one of your kids to use it only to find that your favorite app is nowhere to be found. While backups can prevent you from losing your important data and apps permanently, it can be quite a hassle. This hassle can be made even worse if you don’t backup your apps to iCloud or if you have an app that doesn’t sync your data in any way. One of the best ways to prevent this type of app or data loss is to prevent apps from being deleted from your iPad.

That’s right. You can easily prevent your apps from being deleted. It surprises me how many iPad owners have no idea that you can do this, and to turn it on is very easy. Today, I will walk you through what you need to do to prevent apps from being deleted from your iPad by enabling Restrictions. Are you ready to get started?

Before We Begin

Before we get started, the first thing you need to do is make sure your iPad is up to date. Run any and all software updates for your device. Once they are complete, make sure you have the apps you need and go ahead and remove any apps you no longer use. You may as well do this before you activate Restrictions on your device. While you can still do it later, it will require a code later on making removal a little more difficult. But that’s the whole idea, right? Once you have updated your device and you have the apps you want, it’s time to get started.

Prevent Apps from Being Deleted from Your iPad

Thankfully, Apple has made it quite easy to prevent apps from being deleted from your iPad or iPhone. All you have to do is enable Restrictions on your iPad. I should also mention that this process will work the same way on your iPhone, so feel free to restrict app deletion on both your devices.

Step 1: From your Home screen, tap on Settings – General.

Step 2: In the General menu, tap on Restrictions.

Step 3: Tap on Enable Restrictions.

Step 4: Enter a four digit code when prompted. After you enter it, you will be asked to enter it a second time to confirm the passcode. This code is only for Restrictions and shouldn’t be confused with your device passcode. In fact, I would choose something completely different from your device passcode just to be safe.

Step 5: Switch off any setting you see that you don’t want your kids (or anyone for that matter) to have access to. Specifically, you need to switch off the option for Deleted Apps. I would also you limit the ability to Install Apps and In-App Purchases. This should save you from any unexpected charges on your account.

Step 6: Test your settings. Once you configure the Restrictions on your iPad, it’s time to test them to make sure they work. First, try to delete an app on your Home screen. If it won’t let you do it, you will know it was successful. I would highly suggest that you test every setting you turned on in Restrictions just to be safe, but in my experience these settings work flawlessly. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. Am I right?

Other Restrictions

I’ve already mentioned the Deleting Apps restriction as well as App install and In-App Purchases. But did you know you can use this section to limit all types of access on your iPad or iPhone. For example, if you don’t want your young children snapping 8,000 shots of their foot that you then have to clear out, you can limit access to the cameras. But you can do a lot more, you can limit access to the Stores, AirDrop, FaceTime, and even Safari. These settings should help you lock down your iPad or iPhone properly so you can control what your kids are allowed to use on their devices.

Personally, I’m a big believer in exposing kids to different types of technology. But that doesn’t mean that need full access all the time. What you allow them to use and not use is totally up to you. Even if you do let them use some of these features, there is no reason why you shouldn’t turn on the Restrictions so you can properly monitor when they use these and teach them how to use them the right way. If more parents did this, maybe we wouldn’t have as many problems with teenagers and technology, but that’s the subject of a post for another day.

Parting Thoughts

While I’m the first to say that Android does a better job compared to Apple when it comes to kids and multiple device users, the Restrictions section in iOS does a pretty darn good job and locking down your device. If you have kids, I encourage you to use this feature to not only prevent apps from being deleted from your iPad or iPhone, but also to restrict access to multiple options such as In App Purchases. Trust me, your credit card will thank you. Even if you aren’t worry about that, I guarantee you will love returning to your device to find all the apps you use right where you left them.

Have you ever accidentally deleted an app or have one of your children ever done it for you? If so, have you ever tried using Restrictions to prevent this from happening again? If so, tell me what you think about this security feature from Apple. Do you find it a useful feature or is it more of a pain that it’s worth? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

Tablet Tips

Can You Get a Virus on Your iPad?

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Can You Get a Virus on Your iPad?

There’s a belief out there that Apple devices, from their laptops and desktops to their iPhones and iPads, can’t get viruses. That belief comes from the fact that there have been so few viruses made for these platforms that many people don’t believe it’s even possible. However, if you are wondering if you can get a virus on your iPad, I’m here to tell you today that yes, you definitely can. But, there is far more to that statement that I must explain.

Today, we will dive into the world of malware and viruses on iPads and I guess by extension, iPhones. I will do my best to explain what kind of viruses and malware you could expect to see and how likely you are to get a virus on your iPad. My hope is that by the time you are finished reading this article, you will understand what the dangers truly are on the iPad and the iPhone, how they’ve been both exaggerated and ignored, and what you really need to do to stop them.

How Likely Are You to Get a Virus on Your iPad?

So as I said, can you get a virus on your iPad? Yes, you can. But, that doesn’t mean that’s is likely. Because of the security measures put in place by Apple, it’s very difficult for virus makers to get around it to wreak havoc on your iPad or iPhone. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not impossible.

That being said, while it is difficult for you to get a virus on your iPad, it’s not unheard of. But in most cases, it’s all due to individual user usage and not a big security flaw or lack of antivirus apps on your device. If you do what you can to bypass Apple’s security, then you increase your chances of getting a virus, but even still these viruses and few and far between so the odds of you contracting malware or a virus on your iPad are pretty slim.

App Store Antivirus Apps

If you have spent anytime in the App Store, you may have seen a lot of antivirus apps available that you can download or buy. Unfortunately, they don’t really do one bit of virus scanning. In most cases, they will run a few checks on your files, but that’s really about all they do. In most cases, they prey upon your fear to try and con you out of money to upgrade them for some type of scanning service that they either can’t perform because of the way iOS is designed or some service that is so poor it’s really worthless to you in the long run and it won’t do a damn thing to improve the security of your iPad.

Thankfully, Apple has been cracking down on a lot of these apps over the last year or so, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still run into them while you are browsing for apps, especially if you start searching for security software. While some of these apps do exactly what they say pretty well, there are many more out there that are just, quite frankly, complete junk. My advice to you is to simply stay away from these apps and just stick with the built in security software on your iPad. It will be more than enough for you to protect yourself thanks to the design of iOS.

What About Those Malware Warnings?

Now I know you have all run into these warnings at one time or another. You are using a new app or browsing the web and you get a message that your iPad or iPhone has been infected with malware and needs to be scanned. As soon as you see that, you get scared and nervous and close what you are looking at not knowing what else you can do. The thing is, there is nothing you really can do.

In most cases, these are just warnings that are designed to scare you and then trick you into either buying something you don’t need or grant access to your iPad for someone to steal information from you without your knowledge. In many cases, you can just ignore them. Don’t stress about them or spend hours worrying about what my happened. Just don’t give them any information, close what you are doing and move on with life. If you are still worried about it, you could always clear your Internet history in Safari and delete the App that gave you the warning just to be safe. It definitely won’t hurt anything.


If you watched the video above, you will see a video from a year ago about a virus found out in the wild for iPhone that only affected iPhones that have been jailbreaked….jailbroken…..whatever. You get what I’m saying. So why did this happen? Well, if you know a little about how Apple has designed iOS and what jailbreaking does to your iPhone, then it will make a lot more sense to you.

We all have heard the walled garden analogy when talking about Apple products. Hell, I’ve even used that term myself. The reason is it’s a great way to understand what’s happening on your iPhone. Think of it like this…

iOS creates a wall around your entire phone, and each app is kind of like a box of growing plants. Each one of these separated from one another. This is how Apple keeps security tight. It not only isolates you from the outside world but it isolates each app from one another. But, when you jailbreak an iPhone, many of these walls are broken down. Think of someone opening a big hole in each wall and not fixing it or installing any type of gate.

Because the security systems have been bypassed, you have now opened your iPhone up to malware. Virus creators now have the perfect method to enter your device and cause all sorts of damage to your iPad, simply because you left the gate open. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t jailbreak your iPad. In fact, as someone who likes to tinker with my devices, I enjoy doing things like this. But, I know and understand the risks. Unfortunately, many users out there don’t, and it’s that lack of knowledge that virus creators hope to exploit.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

Ok, for those of you that don’t want to take the time to read everything in the article, I will bottom line this for you. To sum it all up, you can get a virus on your iPad, but the chances of this happening are pretty slim. These chances go up quite a bit if you jailbreak your iPad and install apps not found in the App Store, but there are still very few of them out there. Most antivirus apps out there are worthless and will only take up resources on your device, so avoid them.

For best practices, don’t jailbreak your iPad or iPhone and only install apps found on Apple’s App Store and you will be pretty safe. I wouldn’t let it keep you up at night no matter what.


Remember, it all comes down to how you use your device. The same can be said about pretty much everything, but if you practice good security habits you shouldn’t need to worry about viruses on your iPad. But, in the off chance that you do, a simple reset of your iPad is the best way to get rid of anything nefarious and start fresh, just make sure you keep your device backed up.

Have you ever run into virus or malware issues on your iPad? If so, I want to hear from you. Tell me about your experience in the comments below and if you have any ideas on how this article can be improved to help everyone with their iPad security, by all means let me know.

Tablet Tips

Five Reasons to Buy a Tablet in 2018

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And Five Reasons Not To

The world of tablets has changed. With laptops getting lighter and phones getting bigger, you may be wondering if you even need a tablet. Personally, I believe that’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask. Sure, we here at TabletNinja love tablets and believe they are very useful and fun devices to own. But it’s naive to believe that everyone needs one. Today, let’s take a look at five reasons to buy a tablet in 2018 and five reasons not to so you can decide for yourself. I think that after looking at this list, you will easily be able to decide if a tablet is right for you.

Reasons to Buy a Tablet in 2018

Anyone who follows my articles know I like to start with the good. So, let’s first look at five reasons why you should buy a tablet today in 2018.

1. Tablets are Still Thinner and Lighter

If you want a device that is thin and light, then a tablet is the way to go. Yes, laptops are getting smaller and lighter, but they are still larger than their tablet counterparts. This means that tablets are still better for travel, even if they do come with a few limitations here and there. If you are looking for a device that is thin and light so you can take it anywhere without feeling like you are lugging around weights, then it’s tough to beat a tablet, even today.

2. Gaming is Better

Everyone loves mobile gaming, even people that don’t normally consider themselves gamers. Mobile games are great, and they can provide us with much needed distractions while we travel or even when we just need a little break. Game developers, for the most part, embraced tablets, making their games compatible with the larger displays. This makes all the games larger and much easier to control, for the most part. In the end, the larger screen and better controls means gaming on a tablet is much better when compared to your smartphone.

3. Perfect for Media Consumption

I don’t know about you, but I love Netflix, YouTube, and many of the other streaming services out there. But, have you ever tried watching these on your smartphone? While it’s passable when you don’t have other options, you have to admit it’s much better on a larger display. That’s where tablets come in. Their larger screens are designed to consume media, be it Netflix, YouTube, the web, whatever. The large displays make watching movies and television easier than ever and they are the perfect device to curl up with on your couch or even watch during your next flight.

4. Handy for Work and Meetings

We don’t focus as much on business users here, but I think it’s important to, at the very least, highlight. Most travelers are doing it for work. That means you are often travelling as light as possible but you still need many tools to get your work done. A tablet is one of the best tools for this. They are easy to use, light, so they will fit right down into your work bag. On top of that, they are great to use in meetings for presentations or just to take notes during your next big meeting.

5. Great for Reading

While e-readers are great, just buying an e-reader doesn’t solve all your problems. The great thing about tablets is you have one device that does it all. That means one less thing to carry around with you when you’re on the go. If you love books, there are more apps than you can count that will give you the books you want to read wherever you may be.

Reasons Not to Buy a Tablet

Now that we’ve has discussed the good, it’s time to look at the bad. Let’s look at five reasons why you shouldn’t buy a tablet.

1. Smartphones are Larger

For a time, smartphones were small and compact, and tablets gave you the ability to do things on a larger scale. However, something changed. A few years ago smartphones began to get larger. Today, the largest smartphones are almost as big as the smallest tablets. While they are still smaller, they are big enough to cause a rivalry with their larger display cousins. Because they are bigger, many people now have enough room to use them like their tablet, making the devices just an added expense.

2. Laptops have changed

Not only have smartphones changed, but laptops as well. In the last few years laptops have gotten thinner and lighter. On top of that, many are incorporating touchscreens into the design and with Windows 10, you even have a way of running mobile apps on top of your traditional desktop apps. This is yet another way that tablets are being rendered redundant. Because there are full laptops that do everything tablets do, many are wondering why they should bother with the added expense of a tablet.

3. Multitasking is Limited

If there is one area that is severely lacking in the world of tablets and smartphones, it has to be the multitasking. Sure, you can run more than one app at a time, if you want. But the problem is interacting with them. Apple and Android have tried to improve this in recent years with split screens, but the fact is if you need to run and control multiple apps at once, you simply can’t beat a good old fashioned laptop.

4. Tablet Apps Aren’t That Great

If there is one area that never seemed to get any better it has to be the apps for tablets. Even today, tablet apps are essentially smartphone apps that have been made a little larger for the bigger screens. Nothing more, nothing less, and that’s unfortunate. I don’t really know why developers didn’t embrace the large screens, other than it would require more resources to program for. In the end, all we have for tablets are larger versions of the mobile apps, and that doesn’t give us anything that’s more useful, especially when you start talking about productivity and work.

5. Tablets Don’t Anything Your Other Devices Do

At the end of the day, what can your tablet do that your laptop and smartphone can’t? That’s what I thought. As much as I love my tablet, I find I can do the same things with my 2-in-1 laptop and my large screen smartphone that I could with my tablet. So, are the added expense of a tablet really worth it when you think about it?

Parting Thoughts

Well there you have it. As you can see, there are many reasons why you should be considering a tablet for your gadget collection, but there are plenty reasons not to. The bottom line is if you want a tablet for something that’s highly portable or if you want to play games or even do any type of media entertainment consumption, a tablet is the way to go. However, if you are looking for a portable device for more basic usage such as communication, then you probably don’t need anything more than a large screen smartphone.

What do you think? Do you believe that tablets are still very useful today or have large smartphones and thinner laptops really made these devices redundant? Tell me your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

Tablet Tips

How to Properly Care for Your Tablet Display

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How to Properly Care for Your Tablet Display

Your tablet display is probably the most important piece of hardware on your device. After all, it’s how you view your tablet and interact with it. Without it, your tablet is pretty much useless. Unfortunately, the tablet display is also the most fragile part of any tablet. I mean, how hard can glass get.

Sure with things such as Gorilla Glass, glass has become even stronger and more scratch resistant than ever before. But, despite these improvements, one drop and it’s over. But even if you don’t drop it, if you don’t properly care for your tablet display, you could be in for a world of problems down the road. Today, let’s examine what you need to do to properly care for your tablet display. Keep in mind I’m speaking specifically about your tablet display today, although some of what I discuss can be used to help you care for your tablet as a whole.

Step 1: Protecting the Display


The first thing you need to do is protect the display. That means buying a good quality case when you first purchase your new tablet. Try going for tablet cases that offer screen protection such as bumpers that prevent the display from landing flat on the ground or even some with complete covers to give the display an added layer to absorb potential damage.

After you buy a case, you may also want to consider a screen protector. This is a bigger deal on smartphones, but they do make larger protectors for tablets and iPads as well. Although I admit they aren’t as popular as screen protectors for smartphones. But, adding this protector could mean the difference from a tablet display that survives a fall and one that doesn’t. So ift may be worth the added cost. I know I believe it is.

Step 2: Cleaning the Display


Unless you have your display inside a case with a cover over the tablet display or you use a screen protector, you are going to have to clean your display from time to time. This will keep dust and dirt from work its way under your tablet display and into your tablet as well as make viewing and controlling your tablet much easier.

When cleaning your display, use a soft, lint free cloth for cleaning. Never use paper towels, as they could scratch the display. In most cases, you can probably just use a dry cloth to do all the work, but if your tablet display is really dirty, you may need to use a cleaning agent for it. I would recommend using one designed specifically for tablet displays and always turn off your tablet while you clean it. After you are done, allow it time to dry properly. This shouldn’t take too long as the chemicals evaporate pretty quickly, but give it at least an hour just to be safe.

Step 3: Basic Care

Honestly, this is a step that I believe I shouldn’t even have to discuss, but unfortunately I do. The fact is that many people don’t take care of their tablets, and then they wonder why things go wrong with them. I know, I probably sound a bit harsh here, but I’m right.

To properly care for your tablet and your tablet display, there are a few basic care items that we need to check off the list.

  • Update your tablet. Tablet updates are essential for your tablet. Hardware manufacturers release software updates to fix bugs with the mobile operating systems, but also release software improvements for the hardware. This can include software that powers your display. These updates have a variety of uses, ranging from display operation, screen brightness issues, touch responsiveness, and more. Always keep your tablet up to date if you want to ensure your table display functions in tip top shape.
  • Don’t use it as a table. Your tablet is not a table, so why would you ever consider setting something on it. But, believe it or not, people do, and they put almost anything you can think of on it. From books to papers, and even drinks. Yes I said drinks. Now we all know how well tablets and liquid like each other. Remember, the weight you put on your tablet could damage the display or other components, and liquid could quickly turn your device into a paperweight faster than you can say iPad.
  • Don’t leave it in extreme temperatures. Tablets are electronics, and electronics prefer to operate in normal, room temperature environments. Both extreme heat during the summer or even the cold of winter can damage the sensitive components inside, including the tablet display. So try to limit its exposure as best as you can.
  • Keep it charged. Remember, batteries prefer to operate between 20 and 80 percent. While you can fully charge it, don’t leave it plugged in for hours on end and don’t regularly allow it to completely discharge. Occasionally, you should discharge the battery completely, but remember your battery life is based on recharge cycles, so if you can keep it in range you will increase the file of your battery, and a healthy battery is also good for a healthy tablet display.

The bottom line is try to take care of your tablet. These devices are very expensive and repairs can add a lot of the cost. So why not take care of something that you have spent so much on?

What If I Break My Tablet Display?

No matter how careful you are and how much care you put into your tablet, accidents do happen. If you drop your tablet, you could crack or shatter your tablet display. If this happens, you need to know what your options are. In many cases, it will come down to the type of tablet you have. Premium devices such as the Galaxy Tab’s from Samsung or the iPad from Apple can often be repaired, but some cheaper devices may not have any options for repair. Still, here are your options if you do break your tablet display.

  1. Leave It As It Is – If you drop it and get a simple crack in the corner or a very small crack that you hardly notice, you may want to just leave it alone and live with it. Chances are a screen is going to run you at least $100 and maybe even a lot more than that, so is that worth fixing for a small crack?
  2. Replace the Display – If the cracks are bad or if the display is completely shattered, you don’t have much choice. You need to get it repaired. As I said, some devices may offer no options for repair, especially if you payed very little for the tablet to begin with. Still, in other cases, you could have dropped a big chunk of change on your device, so unless you want to do that again, you need to get it replaced.
  3. Buy a New Tablet – If your tablet isn’t under warranty or the crack/shatter isn’t covered and is going to cost more than the device is worth to fix, your best option is probably to replace the tablet with a new one. While it’s not ideal, it still may be the best choice based on your situation.

Final Thoughts

Your tablet display is very important to the overall usability of your tablet. So why not take proper care for it? After all, you will be using to view everything and you will be controlling it at the same time. Without it, your tablet won’t be very much fun to use.

Have you ever cracked or shattered your tablet display? If so, what did you do to remedy the problem? Did you replace it, live with it, or get a new tablet? Tell me about your experience in the comments below.

Tablet Tips

Can You Install Linux on a Tablet?

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Can You Install Linux on a Tablet?

I talk a lot here about Android and how customizable it is, but at the end of the day it is still a mobile operating system. That means there are some limitations. In some cases, you may want to do more with your tablet that iOS or Android will allow. So what are your options?

Well, Windows could be an option, but if you are going to buy Windows and run it on your tablet, you may as well pick up a Surface or some other Windows-based tablet instead of spending time reformatting your existing Android tablet. But, have you stopped to consider Linux? That’s right, it is possible to install Linux on a tablet, but there are a few caveats that you must know before you consider going down this path.

What You Need to Know

As I said, there are a few things you need to know before you try to install Linux on your tablet. So here goes:

1. It won’t work on all tablets.

With so many different tablet processors and architecture, it’s tough for Linux to support them all. That means your particular tablet model may not have a Linux distribution out there that supports it. If this happens, you’re pretty much out of luck.

2. Hardware support issues.

One quick Google search will turn up a lot of different mixed results when using Linux on a tablet. In some cases, it installs fine but there are no drivers for your hardware. In other cases, you can get the hardware to work, but it will take a lot of effort on your part.

3. Touch apps limited.

One of the biggest problems out there are apps that are optimized for touchscreens. Sure, they do exist on Linux, and many of the popular graphical systems for Linux such as Unity and Gnome 3 do a great job supporting touch, but many of the apps themselves just won’t work very well because they haven’t been designed for use with your fingers.

4. Access to Mobile App Stores

If you do go down the Linux route, you could be cutting yourself off from mobile app stores such as Google’s Play Store. There are some hacks out there that will help give you limited mobile app support, but in my experience it is buggy and sometimes darn near impossible to get to work right.

5. If You Have an iPad, Forget It

If you are an iPad user, then you can pretty much forget about trying this. Apple locks their devices down pretty tightly and limits your access to do things like flash the drive. While I still believe it’s doable, it require a lot of work and if you don’t know what you’re doing it will be a real headache for you.

6. Despite Limitations, It is Cool

Despite all the limitations and difficulties you may encounter, you have to admit it’s pretty cool. Just think about it, a full desktop operating system on your small, lightweight tablet. Add a small keyboard and mouse and you have a fully functional mobile workstation. That’s tough to beat.

Who Should Try This

So is this a good idea for you? That’s a tough question, but I can tell you what I think about it. First, if you are a casual tablet or computer user, I don’t recommend doing this at all. In many cases, you will need to have a good grasp on how tablets work and how to flash them with different operating systems. On top of that, you will spend time tweaking drivers in order to get things like sound working and sometimes even your wireless card. While I have faith than anyone can learn, it may be more than you want to deal with.

That being said, if you love trying projects like this, or you simply need something better than Android on your tablet, installing Linux could be the best solution for you. The good news is if it doesn’t work, you can always restore it back to factory settings. So all you lose is time. So if this sounds fun to you or you want more out of your tablet, then I suggest giving Linux a shot.

How Well Does It Work in Practice

So, how well does Linux actually work on a day to day basis? It really depends. There are so many factors to consider, such as:

  • What are your expectations?
  • What you want to do?
  • What kind of tablet do you have?
  • What software you want to run?
  • What Linux version did you choose?

That being said, I’ve enjoyed my Ubuntu install on my Android tablet. Setup did take a bit of work and I had a few issues to overcome, but I find it generally very easy to use. Some software does require a mouse and a keyboard in order to really take full advantage of it, but overall I would say it’s pretty usable. It’s not my main device, however, so it’s tough for me to personally judge its use when it comes to that type of criteria.

Still, I do believe it can be worthwhile if you want a little more power out of your device, and it’s especially useful if you need access to full desktop apps on a small device.

Recommended Distributions

Now we come to the fun part. Which Linux distribution do you choose? As you may or may not know, there are hundreds of different Linux distributions out there today. All of them are designed with purpose, and come with a wide range of features. But in my experience, you will get better results if you choose one of the follow distributions:

Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions available today. In fact, Canonical can be credited with bringing Linux more into the mainstream. With that, comes great support for a lot of hardware, along with many touch-friendly interface tweaks that will make using your tablet much easier. However, it is a little bloated compared to other distributions, so it will take up quite a bit of space. But, in my opinion, this is one of the best options out there for anyone wanting to install Linux on a tablet.

Fedora Linux

Fedora is a great Linux operating system if you prefer cutting edge technology. That being said, you will need a powerful tablet to run it properly. At the same time, you may find issues with driver support as Fedora only includes true free and open-source software on their product. That doesn’t mean you can’t find the drivers yourself, but you may have to do a little more searching.

Debian Linux

Debian is one of the most flexible operating systems out there. It’s what Ubuntu is based on, but in my experience it feels a little lighter weight as it doesn’t include any of the bloat that comes with Ubuntu. You can install multiple graphical interfaces on it and customize it to your heart’s content. Because of its popularity, you should be able to find drivers for a lot of hardware, but it may take a bit of work.


Now I know you are trying to get away from this, but remember Android is based on Linux. If you need a great mobile operating system, this is the one for you. That means you can either keep what you have or even consider changing from Windows to Android. It’s easy to use, runs great on almost any mobile hardware, and it’s support for the Play Store means plenty of apps to choose from. What it won’t give you is a full desktop experience, and you can’t install desktop apps.

Final Thoughts

Just because you have a tablet, doesn’t mean you have to be stuck running Windows or Android. You could always try installing Linux on your device and see how it goes. While it may take a little work, it could be a great way to gain access to a lightweight Linux device that has a fully-functioning operating system. Still, it’s not for everyone, and many of you probably won’t think it’s worth it. For tinkerers like me, it’s just what the doctor ordered. And since I love Linux, I figured why not?

Have you tried running a full version of Linux on your tablet? If so, what was the experience like for you? Do you think installing Linux on a tablet is simply a waste of time and effort? Tell me your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

Tablet Tips

Five Reasons You Should Consider a Tablet in 2018

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Are tablets dead? That’s what many experts would have you believe. But I don’t buy it. At least not yet. Sure, they aren’t as popular as they used to be with the invention of convertibles and 2-in-1 devices. But, they still have their place. No matter how great convertibles are, they still aren’t quite as convenient as a good tablet.

So, to help you see that they aren’t dead, I thought it would be fun to highlight just five reasons why you should consider a tablet in 2018. This is definitely not every reasons I could think of, but I feel like these are the largest and most important reasons that still show that tablets are relevant even today. Shall we get started?

1. E-Reader

E-books are where’s it at in the reading world. The are cheaper to buy, and instead of carrying around a bookcase, all you need is your tablet. With cross platform apps from the likes of Amazon and more, it’s easy to carry around an entire library with you so you can read pretty much whenever and wherever you want. Sure, you could buy a dedicated e-reader, but that’s all those devices will do. If you ever want to do something else with it, you are simply out of luck. On the other hand, your tablet can be your e-reader and so much more.

2. Watching Movies and Television

This is one thing that I personally love best about my tablet. I have kids, and that means that the television could be occupied already when I want to watch something. Sure, I could kick them off the main TV (and sometimes I do) or I can fire up the same movie on Netflix using my iPad Pro. In many cases, I enjoy catching up on my show and night right before bed. So, I lie in bed and fire up my tablet and enjoy the show I want to catch up on before I hit the sack.

3. Great for Kids

When kids are young, they aren’t ready for a smartphone. In fact, there are studies that show that kids should wait a long time before they get a smartphone. While I won’t comment on those as that’s not the purpose of this article, one thing I do agree with is that little kids don’t need one. But, a tablet is a great alternative and the perfect first electronic device. It’s large enough for them to easily handle and not lose and with the right case it can withstand almost anything. On top of that, there are many great learning apps and games for kids that can provide hours of quality learning entertainment for them both at home and especially when you are traveling. Nothing helps those long car rides than a fully charged tablet, I promise you that.

4. Large Screen for Drawing or Writing

Do you like to draw or do you prefer taking notes by hand but still want everything to be stored digitally? Then a tablet is definitely right for you. It’s easy with an Apple Pencil on an iPad or a stylus on a Windows or Android tablet to take notes or draw amazing pictures just as you would on a piece of paper. Those files can then be saved digitally with just a few taps of your finger. Combine that with the long battery life found on most tablets and you have the perfect device for taking notes in class or drawing when you are enjoying the outdoors.

5. Perfect for Portable Typing

Look, I know that small laptops still beat a tablet when it comes to typing, but you have to admit that tablets do a much better job of this than your smartphone. If you need to write a few emails or maybe even create or edit a document while you are traveling or just lounging on your couch, tablets are the perfect tool to do just that. The keyboards are larger and, if you are like most people, you probably already have a case with a portable keyboard, and that makes it even easier. I don’t know how many emails I send on my tablet, but I can tell you it’s quite a few, and I prefer to use it over my smartphone unless I have no other option.

Parting Thoughts

While many may believe tablets are dead, I assure you they are far from it. Sure, sales have slowed, but people are hanging onto their devices longer because they last much longer than a smartphone. There are still many great reasons to own a tablet today, and trust me tablets aren’t going anywhere. So if you are on the fence, I encourage you to read through these reasons again. If one of them sounds like you, then you could find your tablet very useful.

Do you agree with me or do you still believe that tablets are dead? I would love to hear what you think on the matter. Sound off in the comments below and tell me why you think they are still worth it today or if you disagree tell me why they aren’t. I would love to spark a good debate.

Tablet Tips

How to Take a Screenshot on an iPad or iPad Pro

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And Edit It

How to Take a Screenshot on an iPad or iPad Pro

Just like a computer, your iPad or iPad Pro has the ability to take and save screenshots. If you are running iOS 11 or later, you can also edit those screenshots, to some extent, without ever needing to bring them into a third party app such as Photoshop. Today, I’m going to walk you through how to take a screenshot on your iPad and then how to edit that screenshot using the Instant Markup feature so you can create engaging and great looking screenshots right from your iPad.

Taking a Screenshot

First, let’s walk through how you actually take a screenshot on an iPad or iPad Pro. The process is pretty easy to do.

1. Open whatever app or apps you want to grab a screenshot of on your device.

2. Press and hold the On/Off/Sleep/Wake button on the top of your iPad.

3. Quickly press the Home button.

4. Release both buttons simultaneously.

Congratulations, you just took your first screenshot on your iPad or iPad Pro. Now remember, the buttons you are pressing do other things, so you must be careful. One of the most common mistakes people make when snapping screenshots is holding the buttons too long or not pressing them at the same time. This will, of course, cause one of the other buttons to perform it’s alternate action. Most commonly I see people accidentally activating Siri. But, if you hold the first button and then press and release the Home button quickly, you should be able to avoid this annoying mixup.

Editing a Screenshot

While you can do anything too drastic with your photos, unless you make use of many third party apps that are available on the App Store, you can perform some basic edits and annotations to your screenshot.

When you first capture a screenshot, a small version of it will appear in the bottom corner of your iPad for a few seconds, assuming you have iOS 11 or later installed on your device. When it does, tap on it. This will bring you to the Instant Markup screen. From here, there are several things you can do to your screenshot before you save it.

  • Marker – The marker allows you to make notes and annotate areas of the screenshot in a marker style with a variety of colors and even a variety of thicknesses.
  • Pencil – If you are looking for more of a pencil look to your annotations, this is the tool for you. It works much like the marker, only the appearance more closely resembles a pencil than it does a market or a pen.
  • Highlighter – Another one that does exactly what it sounds like, this tool will let you highlight specific areas of your screenshot. This is one of my personal favorites.
  • Magic Rope – This is a pretty handy tool that will allow you to make selections and annotate specific areas of your screenshot. In some cases, you can even erase or move parts of the screenshot if need be.
  • Add a text field – Another one of my personal favorites, this tool will enable you to add text fields of typed text to annotate your screenshot. I love this one as I’m not that great a writer even with the Apple Pencil. Trust me, my handwriting is already messy enough.
  • Signature – If you have a created a signature in Preview that you like to use, this tool will let you add it to your screenshot with just a few taps of your finger.
  • Magnifier – This is a pretty cool tool you can use to focus everyone’s eyes on one specific area of your screenshot. This tool will magnify an area you select so it’s larger than everything else. This means you can show everyone pretty quickly what they are looking for and is really handy if you are writing a guide on how to do things on your iPad.
  • Shapes – This tool will allow you to add boxes, arrows and much more to your screenshot. This is a great way to point out various areas of your screenshot in a nice and clean fashion that is easy to read.

During the edit process, if you make a mistake, you can undo the previous step by tapping on the Undo button, so don’t worry about messing up your screenshot when you edit it. You can always undo your happy little accidents as Bob Ross would say.

Once you complete your screenshot, you can always save it to your Photos library if you wish, or you can tap on the Share button to share it with others using social media, email, cloud storage, and more.

Parting Thoughts

Taking a screenshot on an iPad is a pretty simple process, but if you don’t know how to do it, it can be difficult the first time to figure out. Now that you know, you should be able to easily create amazing screenshots on your iPad and iPad Pro and mark them up however you see fit.

Do you have any questions about taking screenshots on your iPad or iPad Pro? If so, comment below and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Tablet Tips

Which App Store is the Best?

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Google Play, iOS App Store, Windows Store or the Chrome OS Web Store?

The world of mobile computing continues to evolve, and with it the apps that you run on your system. There are really four main players today: Android, iOS, Windows and Chrome OS. All of these are great platforms, but which app store is the best? That is a huge question that has been asked more times than I can count, and the answer keeps changing depending on when we talk about it and who is asking the question.

Today, we will look at each app store briefly and give you the rundown of what’s good, and what’s bad. The hope is I can help you answer the question for yourself. If I’m right, by the end of this post you will know which app store is the best, for you.

Google Play Store for Android

Google’s Play Store for Android has more apps than any other app store out there today, After all, the name of the game for Android is choice. You can choose from a huge variety of tablets and smartphones, and you can customize these devices with the apps you find on Google Play. On top of that, you can even find apps from other locations. However, this freedom and control come with a price.

Due to the low barrier for entry into the store and the fact that you can get apps from almost anywhere, quality and security are a big issue. There’s a good chance that you will find apps that are, quite frankly, crap. These useless apps don’t work as advertised or slow down your device in a ridiculous way. On top of that, there are many security concerns with malware when downloading apps from other sources that aren’t that reputable. Still, with added freedom comes more responsibility. But for some users out there, this extra bit of work may not be worth it.

iOS App Store

This is where it all began. Before Apple created the App Store, no one even knew what the word app meant. Today, things are different. Of course, as always, Apple does things a little differently. Apple doesn’t have dozens and dozens of devices that it loads iOS onto. In fact, iOS is limited to iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Apple also exercises far more control over its store and what can and can’t be included on it.

This added control means there are better quality apps out there on the App Store, and there is a good chance they will work on your Apple device of choice. However, it also means you have far fewer choices compared to Android. It also means that you won’t find the customization available to you that you will find on Android, as Apple doesn’t like developers tinkering too much with their devices. In recent years, this has gotten a bit better, but the customization options still lag far behind Android in almost every way. Still, if you don’t care about tweaking and you want to find the best apps available, this is the choice for you

Microsoft Store

It’s no secret that Microsoft was rather late to the tablet party, but beginning with Windows 8, Microsoft has worked hard to catch up with their Surface line of devices. As such, the Windows Store still, to this day, is in an almost constant state of catch up. In recent years Microsoft has worked hard to coax developers into bringing their apps into the world Windows Universal apps. They have had some success, but not nearly as much as I’m sure they hoped.

That being said, there are a great deal of apps available on the Windows Store, and all of these apps will work on any device that runs Windows 10 today. However, there are no where near as many as you will find on both the App Store or Google Play. This is really true when you look at the games. There are many more mobile games available on the other platforms than there are on Windows. Still, approval here is somewhere in between Android and iOS, so while there is some crap out there, you won’t find quite as much. In the end, this is a great option for lovers of Microsoft products and anyone that really only wants to learn how to run one type of operating system.

Chrome OS Web Store

In the past, you wouldn’t even find this store included in these lists. The reason? Chrome OS was more of a niche operating system and not even a viable tablet option. But, it’s 2018 and times have changed. Google has doubled down on the operating system and today we are seeing more and more hybrids and tablets being released powered by this operating system. So, we must talk about the Chrome OS Web Store.

This store contains enhancements and apps designed to run in the Chrome browser. That means that even if they look like a stand alone app, they are really just running in Chrome. There are a lot of good choices out there on the store, but nowhere close to all the others. In some cases, the apps you love just aren’t there, and in other cases they are stripped down versions designed to run in Chrome. The fact is that if you want to use Chrome OS on a tablet, you will probably install a few things from there, but in most cases you will just use the Play Store for your favorite mobile app.

Final Word

So which app store is the best for your tablet? The answer is, it’s up to you. I know that sounds like a cop out. But hear me out. For some, you will love the ability to customize your system and try different types of apps that really change your tablet operating system. You will be okay with going through the bad apps to find the good ones. In fact, that’s part of the fun. Others will prefer the closed system that Apple brings to the tablet, preferring something that just works and not something you have to tinker with in order to use it. Still others won’t care about limitations as long as you don’t have to learn different operating systems. As you can see, which app store is the best is really subjective, and can’t really be solved with a simple article.

Which app store do you prefer to use and why do you think it’s superior to the others? Tell me your thoughts and opinions in the comments below. Just be nice! I wonder if we should take a vote?

Tablet Tips

Five Reasons Android Tablets Failed

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While the iPad continues to dominate tablet sales, Android tablets have struggled in the last couple of years to attract the same type of audience. With so many Android tablets out there, you may not believe me, but hear me out. Today I believe that Android tablets failed. But before I go any further, know this. My first tablets and smartphones were made by Apple, but somewhere along the way I wanted more from my devices, so I switched to the much more open and flexible Android operating system.

They were perfect for me, giving me the stability and customization I wanted from my devices. But, for many, Android tablets have failed to tempt them to switch from an iPad, and I even know many people that use Android for their smartphone but still stick with an iPad as their tablet of choice. So why is that, exactly? Today, I want to look at five reasons why Android tablets failed in the market.

1. The Apps

If there is one reason that, in my mind, stands above the rest, it’s the apps. There are thousands of amazing apps and games available on the Play Store today. However, many of these great apps haven’t been designed or updated to run properly on tablets. While most will run on Android tablets, if they haven’t been built for the larger screens, your experience using the apps will be, shall we say, less than ideal.

These apps often just size themselves up to the larger screen and this impacts quality, while others can even hold their original display ratio on your screen. Contrast this to what you find on the App Store from Apple, and you will see that Android tablet owners never get the app love they really needed to make the Android tablets a viable option. Sure, you will run into the same thing from time to time even on an iPad, but by and large apps today on this platform will work pretty darn well on the iPad, and many have been created specifically for it.

2. OS Fragmentation

This one is a big annoyance of mine, as I run Android on several devices. Because these devices are from different manufacturers, I’m often running different versions of Android at the same time. Even the devices I have from the same maker can suffer from this as they only release the latest versions for one device at a time.

The end result is each of my devices is running a different version of Android, thus providing a very different experience across the different devices. While I get over this issue, many non-tech savvy consumers don’t. They find it frustrating to try and remember the differences and what they can and can’t do on their smartphone or their tablet. Some even get frustrated and go running back to Apple.

3. Market Saturation

When tablet popularity exploded, we saw a huge influx of tablets from many different companies. These companies made premium and cheap tablets and we had an option in just about every screen size you can think of. While this is usually good for the market, in this case I think it actually hurt sales overall.

Because there were so many choices, companies had a difficult time making a profit off their tech investments. In the end, only the companies that invested heavily in the platform were able to remain and we have seen many tablet makers vanish from the market altogether. This hurt support of existing tablets and in the end limited the options we had available to us today.

4. Influx of Cheap Tablets

Because of the open nature of Android, pretty much any tablet maker can grab a copy of Android, modify it for their tablet, and release it as an Android tablet. While in many ways this is a good thing, and I’m a big fan of open source software, there is one negative to this type of license arrangement.

This open nature caused a huge influx of cheaply made tablets, many of them from China, to enter the market. These devices were underpowered, buggy, and many had terrible displays or didn’t last. Most consumers don’t know the difference between the makers, they just know they bought an Android tablet and it died three months later. This earned Android a bit of a bad reputation, even though Android wasn’t at fault, but the companies trying to cash in on its popularity. But we all know how important reputation can be to the bottom line, and this black mark hurt sales in the end.

5. Chrome OS

Now you can’t talk about the failure of Android tablets without looking at Chrome OS. Chrome OS, Google’s web-based browser operating system, languished in niche obscurity for many years after it was released. However, in the last year or two, Google has poured more development into it to improve and transform it into a viable machine for everyone

Today, Chrome OS boasts Android app compatibility, more powerful processors and devices than ever before, and even supports touchscreens and hybrid laptops. This has placed Chrome OS into direct competition in the tablet market, and Android has taken the biggest hit because of it. At the same time, Google seems dedicated to making Chrome OS the next evolution of Android, and has even abandoned their own Android tablet devices in favor of Chrome OS. With the maker of Android abandoning tablets, it’s no shock that others follow suit as well.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, the Android tablet failure can be attributed to a variety of their factors, and the popularity of the platform is one of them. While that may sound counter intuitive, the simple fact is there were too many sub par tablets created with Android on it. Consumers, who don’t often know the difference, began to believe that this lackluster experience was inherit in Android, even though that’s far from the case.

While there are premium options out there from companies such as Samsung, for the most part you will find a host of cheap, underpowered tablets that won’t provide you with a truly premium tablet computing experience, and who wants that? Combine that with Google’s new focus on Chrome OS and the merging of the Android platform with it, and you have the perfect recipe for the Android tablet’s demise.

Yes I do believe the future of Android tablets currently rests with Chrome OS. In fact, I’m writing this very article on a Chromebook touchscreen using the Android Word app. If you need anymore evidence, ask anyone like me and I’m sure you will hear the same.

Still, that doesn’t mean the end of Android tablets, just a morphing into something more, and hopefully something better. With future versions of Chrome OS, I hope we will see even better support for Android apps and a true blending of the operating systems into something that can be the future for all tablet owners, except maybe for a few of the iPad holdouts.

What do you think about Android tablets? Do you believe they failed or do you think they are every bit as great as Chrome OS and iOS today? Tell me your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

Tablet Tips

How to Select Your Tablet Display Size

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How to Select Your Tablet Display Size

Perhaps one of the questions I’m asked most often about tablets concerns the tablet display size. Today there are many different tablet display size options and determining which one you buy will greatly impact your overall user experience. Of course, when you are shopping for a new tablet, you may not know which display size you should choose.

Today, I will attempt to answer this question once and for all. To help you make your decision, I will first highlight the benefits and drawbacks of each tablet size and then we will take an overall look at how you should decide which tablet display size is right for you.

Pros and Cons of Each Size

First, let’s look at the pros and cons of all the different tablet display size options that are available today.

7-Inch Tablets

First on our list are the smallest tablets – the 7-inch tablets. These tablets are pretty small, coming in only slightly larger than the largest smartphones today. These tablets are starting to fade in popularity thanks to larger smartphones, but still hold onto some of their market share even today. These tablets are small and light, making them the perfect portable device. If you love reading books on your devices, then this is a great option. However, because of their small size, text can be tiny, meaning they won’t be as good of an option for web browsing or document editing. Still, their portability more than makes up for this shortcoming, and their lightweight design means media consumption on the couch will be more comfortable than ever.

8-Inch Tablets

The 8-inch tablet is in a funny position. It’s not quite big enough to be a true desktop replacement, but with only one extra inch of space, it’s still much better at these tasks compared to a 7-inch tablet. Personally, I recommend this size tablet to anyone that is looking for a device that is very portable, which an 8-inch tablet still is, along with a device that is much better than the small, 7-inch tablets for reading emails, document editing and the like. If I were you, I would grab one of these if you think the 7-inch is too small or if you have a hard time reading the display on the smaller tablets. In the end, the 8-inch tablet is still very portable, but gives you a better experience if you need to use your tablet for things other than media consumption and e-reading.

9-Inch and 10-Inch Tablets

When Apple first released the iPad, the 9.7-inch design became a standard of sorts. This size is a great balance between large and small, but any tablets in this size range are much heavier than the other options out there. Still, they offer perfect sizes for both media consumption and document editing. But some may find these tablets are too heavy and bulky to make effective e-readers over long stretches of time, simply because of their weight. However, if you are looking for the perfect balance in size and function, these still are hard to beat.

Large Screen Tablets

With the introduction of the iPad Pro, large screen tablets that are 12 inches or larger have become more mainstream. These displays are quite large, making these tablets the most obvious choices for desktop and even laptop replacements. You will need a few accessories to truly replace your laptop, but it can be done with relative comfort to you. However, these devices are heavy, and while their large screens are great for media consumption such as Netflix, their weight make them difficult to hold.

Making Your Decision

So how do you make your decision? Let’s see if I can help you with that. If you are looking for a device for work that’s portable but doesn’t have to go with you everywhere, you probably want to choose something with a larger screen. Remember, the smaller the screen, the more portable the device, but the harder it will be to use it for things like email and document editing. So, for serious work, I would suggest a larger display.

However, if you are in the market for something very portable for easy reading and media consumption, a 7-inch tablet or even an 8-inch tablet is the way to go, with the 8-inch tablet winning out on things like web browsing because of the slightly larger displays.

On the other hand, if you are in the market for something for media consumption and light work that remains portable, then an 8-inch tablet would be the smallest I would recommend, with the 9-inch and 10-inch tablets often being better suited for this type of usage, although you will lose out on a bit of portability.

Your Usage Is Key

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how and where you use your tablet. If all you need is a device for media consumption, and you need to consume this media almost anywhere, a smaller tablet will be a better option for you. However, if you need something for both work and play, a larger display tablet will give you a much better user experience.

Your Budget

No matter what, you also need to consider your budget. How much you have to spend on a new tablet will greatly impact which tablet you buy. The 7-inch tablets are much cheaper compared to the other options out there, with the large screen tablets such as the big iPad Pro being the most expensive options out there. No matter how you use it, if your budget won’t allow for the extra expense, you may have to go smaller. If you are on a tight budget, a smaller tablet such as a 7-inch or 8-inch may be the one you need, but if you have a little more to spend, then the 9-inch and 10-inch designs could be right for you. If budget is not an issue for you, then you are free to look at any option out there, including the large, 12-inch displays.

Parting Thoughts

With so many tablet choices out there, you may have a tough time deciding which tablet display size is right for you. Hopefully, I have helped you answer that question today. Remember, it all comes down to your budget and how you plan on using your new tablet. Please, when you are shopping for a new tablet, take all of the options into consideration. If you don’t, you could end up with a tablet that doesn’t work for you. And if it doesn’t meet your needs, you won’t enjoy using it, and that’s something all of us would like to avoid.

Do you have a question about tablet display size that I didn’t answer here? If so, please comment below and I will try to answer all your questions. Remember, we have a variety of buying guides for all the different sizes ready to help you make the right tablet choice.