Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How to open the menu / more options in Android devices without the menu navigation button?

One of the problem I faced with my Samsung Galaxy Tab A 6 (10.1", S Pen, LTE, SM-P585Y) Android tablet is that, although it has a Home button, a "Recent Apps" button and a "Back" button, it doesn't come with a "Menu" button which certain apps rely on to bring up their More Options menu.

Anyhow, there is a workaround solution for this, by using the Accessibility Assistant Menu.

To enable this, go to Setting > Accessibility and select the "Dexterity and interaction" option.

Then, select the "Assistant menu" option inside the "Dexterity and interaction" menu.

Switch on the "Assistant menu", and you will see this floating action button appear on the screen:

Tap on it and you will be able to see the "More options" soft button.

In your app, tap on this "More options" to bring up and access into its menu settings.

You can switch off this "Assistant menu" after use. The floating action button will disappear from the screen when it is switched off.

My 10.1 inches Samsung Galaxy Tab A 6 with S Pen and LTE phone function (SM-P585Y)

I used to read subscribed electronic magazines with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet when I am on the move. In many occasions, I found its screen too small to display the text in the electronic magazines to be readable without having to enlarge the pages.

Recently, Samsung launched a new Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet with 10.1" TFT LCD screen that comes with S Pen and supports both WiFi and LTE cellular network. It has full phone feature and can be used for phone calling and SMS function too!

I found its price of around RM1,500 to be reasonable, and therefore bought one to serve for my electronic magazines reading.

This Samsung Galaxy Tab A 6 with S Pen (model: SM-P585Y) is a mid-range Android tablet, powered by the Samsung Exynos 7 Octa 7870 14nm processor.

Specification wise, it is much better than the 9.7" Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen and LTE support. The 9.7" version only has a screen resolution of 1024x768 while this 10.1" version one is 1920x1200. In addition, the 9.7" version has quad-core CPU and 2 GB RAM, while this 10.1" version has octa-core CPU and 3 GB RAM.

However, being a mid-range tablet, its specification is lower than the high spec Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7", LTE). The S2 has 2048x1536 super AMOLED screen and more sensors, but doesn't have S Pen.

What I like about this Samsung Galaxy Tab A 6 with S Pen (10.1", LTE)?
  • Its 10.1" screen is large among the tablets in the market.
  • It has a high capacity Li-ion battery of 7,300 mAh which can last for long hours of usage.
  • It supports multi-user usage, whereby each user can login with separate account.
  • It supports split window and also multiview for multitasking.
  • Its S Pen is nice for drawing or writing quick notes. Comes with S Command function too.
  • It has sufficient RAM to run smoothly.
  • Its price is reasonable.

What I dislike about this Samsung Galaxy Tab A 6 with S Pen (10.1", LTE)?
  • It does not have a "menu" navigation button, which need some software workaround to bring out the setting menu in some apps.
  • It is quite heavy, probably due to its high capacity battery. It is even heavier when its book cover case (EF-BP580) is put on.
  • It only has 16 GB internal storage, which is pretty small. Its official firmware does not support for Android 6 adoptable storage, so even if you add in a micro-SD card to expand its storage capacity, most of its storage usage is still residing within the small 16 GB internal storage.
  • It does not have accelerometer, fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, geo-magnetic sensor, infra red blaster, NFC, etc.
  • Although the Samsung Exynos 7870 supports LTE Cat.6, it only support LTE Cat.4.
  • It does not support 2x2 MIMO Wireless-A WiFi. Its maximum connection speed at 5Ghz WiFi is 433Mbps only instead of 866Mbps.

Electronic password protected money saving box

To encourage my kid to save pocket money with fun, I have bought him an electronic password protected money saving box.

This money saving box is designed to store both coins and notes. It is quite large, about 7 x 4 x 4.5 cubic inches.

It operates with 3 AA size batteries, to be inserted into its bottom compartment.

Coins are dropped from its top aperture, just like most ordinary piggy bank. Bank notes are to be inserted from its front aperture. Interestingly, this saving box will roll the bank notes into it, with similar effect of automated parking machine.

It has a revolving vault door with password protection, working similarly to a real safe. The password can be changed too.

On top of it is a small LED light, when switched on in darkness, can provide good enough illumination for putting in the coins and slotting in the bank notes.

Christmas and new year is around the corner. At the price of around RM60, perhaps this is a good choice as present to the kids.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.