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HP TouchPad Tips and Tricks

The HP TouchPad is the newest tablet in the market. Equipped with what used to be Palm’s operating system, now called HP webOS it’s quick, efficient and one of the most exciting operating system’s we’ve seen. Read our review here, but we’ve had the TouchPad for a few days now and here are some quick tips:

1: Customising the QuickLauncher

Although you can’t customise the main interface unlike Honeycomb or iOS,  you can change the four apps at the bottom of the screen – called teh QuickLauncher.

First remove the icon you don’t like by dragging it onto the main screen. To add a new one tap the arrow to display the Launcher (the full menu) and drag your required app back down onto the screen.

Add web shortcuts to the Launcher by clicking the button to the right of the toolbar in the browser and selecting ‘Add to Launcher.’  You can then drag them onto the QuickLauncher as above.


2: Just Type Search settings

HP’s excellent search facility Just Type searches the entire tablet when you type a word in. However what it actually searches is very customisable.

To change the sources it searches on the tablet click: Launcher Arrow – Settings – Just Type. Then slide the tabs from On to Off to deselect options including: Applications, Contacts, Email and Calendar.

To change the search engine click: Edit next to Default Search Engine to choose between Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, CNN, Amazon, IMDB and YouTube. Interestingly there’s no option for Bing despite the device using Bing Maps.


3: Updating Facebook quickly

You can use also Just Type as a shortcut for updating your Facebook status. Go to Launcher – Settings – Just Type – Actions – Update Facebook Status.

4: Gesture shortcuts
One of the most impressive things about the TouchPad is its use of gestures. One swipe up minimises the open application to a card in the centre of the screen. Swipe up at any point using two fingers and you can open the Launcher without leaving the application.

5: Keyboard shortcuts
– When typing delete a whole word by holding down the Shift and Backspace buttons
-Change the size of the keys on the keyboard by holding down the keyboard icon in the bottom right corner and choosing between XS, S, M and L.
– Access additional characters by holding down indivudial letters.  It doesn’t work for all the keys, only the ones with three dots in the bottom right corner (see right).
– If you’re using web-based programs like Google Docs launch the keyboard by tapping the screen

– The keyboard also has a Tab key for quickly going through text. Hit Shift and Tab to tab backwards.

6: Notification light
By default the Centre button lights up to notify you when a message arrives. Turn this off by going to Launcher – Settings – Screen & Lock – Blink Notifications

7: Restarting
On occasion you might be confronted by the dreaded screen freeze when you need to restart the tablet and start again. The quick way to do this is to Hold down the Power and Center buttons until the screen turns off and the HP logo appears.

8: Reseting

HP also includes a good selection of reset modes, go to Launcher- Settings -Device Info – Reset Options. Choose between Erase Apps & Data, Erase USB Drive, Full Erase and Secure Full Erase.


8: Take a screenshot
Take a screenshot by pressing the Power and Centre buttons simultaneously, an animated flash appears indicating it has been taken. To view the shots go to Launcher – Photos and Videos – Screen Captures

10: Angry Birds sound effects…

Hold the tablet horizontally with the power button on the bottom right and when you drag a card down and release it shoots to the top playing the Angry Bird ‘Weeeee’ slingshot sound effect, as well as closing the app. You don’t need to have Angry Birds installed as HP has licenced the sound from Rovio.


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