24 Jan

Directory: Commonly Used Terms of Technology Used in Tablets

3G and 4G: This technology is what connects your phone or tablet to the internet when you’re out and about — away from a Wi-Fi connection. Whether you have 3G or 4G will depend on your device, and how much you pay to access them — and if you can access them at all — will depend on your data contract.

Accelerometer: Built into the tablet, this is the device that lets your tablet know which way it is tilted so that the screen can shift itself accordingly. This is the technology that moves the tablet screen horizontally or vertically depending on which way you hold it, and it is also the technology that is utilised for games that rely on the user to move the tablet, such as the hugely popular game Temple Run.

App: Short for “application”, these programs have a range of uses and are downloaded from App Stores. There are often thousands of these available from a huge number of developers, and they allow tablet owners to expand the uses of their device.

Bluetooth: This technology has been around for many years, and although it has been tweaked slightly and improved over the years, it hasn’t changed a great deal since its inception. Bluetooth allows one device to connect to another wirelessly. It only works when the two devices are in close proximity, and therefore it has limited users. More often than not, Bluetooth is used to connect peripherals to your tablet, such as headphones, a mouse or a keyboard.

Cloud: A cloud is a storage space that is located remotely, and means that the user doesn’t need to deal with USB pens or hard drives. There are many cloud services available and they are often used to backup data such as music files, pictures, etc,. Once downloaded onto a cloud, data can be accessed through other devices.

GPS: Short for Global Positioning System, this allows tablet users to determine their position wherever they are in the world. They can also use it to learn directions to places of interest.

HD: HD stands for High Definition, and often relates to films and television programs. High Definition files offer richer, clearer and much more detailed content than SD, or Standard Definition content.

Multi-touch Screen: A multi-touch screen is used on most new tablets and smartphones, and signifies a screen that can be pinched, tapped, swiped and scrolled, with each action delivering an onscreen response.

Phablet: Simply put, a “phablet” is both a phone and a tablet. Smartphones by nature, in the sense that they offer multimedia technology alongside phone capabilities, these are typically in-between a tablet and a smartphone in terms of size. One of the most popular phablets is the Samsung Galaxy Note, which is now in its third version.

QR Code: Short for Quick Response Code, this barcode-like label is used on products that can then be recognised through tablets and other mobile devices. They can be used in advertising, and they can also be used to trigger hidden content, to register codes and much more.

Stylus: A stylus is a small device, shaped like a pen or pencil, that interacts with your touch-screen tablet or smartphone and offers greater versatility, whilst making writing and other tasks much easier. Some tablets have these as standard, but generic styluses can be bought that work with most, if not all, tablets.

USB: This stands for Universal Serial Bus and describes a port on your tablet through which many peripherals can be connected. These include headphones, microphones, keyboards and much more.

VoIP: Voice-over Internet Protocol is the technology used to make phone calls over the internet, and is used on programs such as Skype, which allows users to have video and voice conversions with each otter through their microphones and webcams.

Wi-Fi: This is short for Wireless Fidelity and basically describes your wireless connection, which is how your tablet gains access to the internet. Wi-Fi connections often come in the form of wireless routers which are installed in homes, workplaces and in many public spaces. These connections can be secured, so that only those with the password can access them, or they can be public, so that everyone can access them.

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