Nexus 7 Getting Started Guide

So you’ve just bought your Nexus 7 and your looking for some top tips to get yourself up and running? Well this is the page for you!

This page hopes to help beginners get started with their new tablet, particularly if you are new to Android and don’t know where to start.

Initial Setup

Google have put up a little video to help you through the first set of screens that come up when you switch on for the first time.

Getting to Grips with Android

Android is the OS that powers your Nexus 7 tablet, a good understanding of this will come in very handy for using this and other tablets (and mobiles) in the future.

Here are some helpful starting links:

There is also a ‘for dummies‘ guide specifically written for the Nexus 7, we definitely recommend this to anyone needing a decent manual to get started.  This will help you get into things no problems:

Google Video Guides

Although part marketing, part guide, the following videos from Google are actually quite good for orientating new users:

  • Play:  What’s this Play store all about?
  • Apps: Introducing the bundled Google apps.
  • Home: Learn how to personalise your tablet.

Installing Applications

Your new Nexus 7 comes preloaded with a range of Google applications that you will come to use frequently.  If you haven’t already done so you can get a good overview by watching this video.

However you’ll want to get going and start installing your own apps, this is easily done through the Google Play app market.  Either directly on your tablet, or via your PC, you can search the market for apps and hit install to send the app to your N7.  It’s that easy!

You’ll find that some apps cost a few pounds to download, but they normally have a free or trial version available for you to test out.

If you are looking for some inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of the best Nexus 7 apps here.  This is an evolving list of apps recommended by twitter and forum users.

Setting up your Home Screens

Setting up your home screens is always going to be a personal thing, so I would highly recommend you experiment with different widgets, keep moving things around and see what works for you.  If you want a few tips to get going then here are some suggestions:

  • Clean up: The first thing I did was remove the Play store widgets.  Sadly, at this time, the Play store isn’t that great here in the UK.  The movie choice is poor, music isn’t even available, the book store is probably the best of it right now.  I also removed the recommendation widgets.  Note: You can always restore these if you change your mind!
  • Arrange your apps: I like to keep myself organised, and try to group up relevant apps together.  So you can move games, social media, productivity apps together.
  • Widgets:  Widgets are a great feature of Android and Strongly suggest you play around with these. You can install them by going to your app page and selecting widgets at the top of your page.  In Jelly Bean apps can be resized which gives you much more flexibility when it comes to designing your layout.
  • Bookmarks: Another common customisation is to place links to your favourite websites directly onto your homescreen, for example you’ll want to save a link to!  Find out how to do this here.

The goal is to make your commonly used apps as accessible as possible.  Keep experimenting and keep an eye on this site for more ideas and essential apps.


This section lists out some other must read resources for beginners.  If you’re just starting out with your Nexus 7 tablet then the following should help.

Here are some other useful links to get exploring:

  • Our Nexus 7 FAQ – answers all your common questions
  • The Nexus 7 Forums – a great community of helpful Nexus 7 owners
  • Accessory Guide – Now you’ve got your N7, you’ll want to pair it up with the best kit
  • The NXTab App Pack – our recommend list of applications
  • Nexus 7 hub page – all the key links you need to explore the tablet world
  • Quick Tips area of the blog has some handy guides to common queries

Was this guide useful, do you have suggestions for improvement? Let us know in the forum.

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