You probably didn't know your tablet could do this
Creative uses for your tablet
The most powerful thing about our phones and our tablets is their potential: With the right app and the right technology, they can do just about anything, from diagnosing our health to providing ridiculously accurate weather data.
But there are things that tablets are better at than smartphones — and a few game-changing accessories that can turn your tablet into a multimedia powerhouse or the personal assistant you didn’t know you needed. These are our favorite “I had no idea my tablet could do that!” activities, plus the complementing gadgets you’ll need to make them happen.
How to connect a tablet to a TV
If you’re one of the many suffering from Zoom fatigue, there’s hope: With a little bit of tablet ingenuity and an extra gadget or two, you can tune into video calls on your TV and chat comfortably from your couch. It’s simpler than it sounds, and can transform the experience of connecting with friends and loved ones — and it’s ideal if you’ve got a big family where everyone wants to say hello.
Connect an Android tablet to a TV
If you’ve got an Android tablet, we recommend picking up a Google Chromecast for your TV. Then, once you’ve connected to a Google Meet video call on your tablet, you can “cast” the call to your Chromecast and see everyone on the big screen. You’ll still use your tablet’s camera and microphone, so be sure to put it in a place where you can be seen and heard.
Connect an iPad to a TV
If you’ve got an iPad, you’ll need an Apple TV streaming box to connect your TV. With those in place, you can use AirPlay to send audio and video from your phone to your AppleTV in just a few taps. Try it out at your next family gathering, or the next time you want to enjoy an online concert from the comfort of your living room.
How to use a tablet as a second monitor
If you find yourself cramped for screen space on your current computer, it may be time for a new monitor. If you don’t have the space or budget for a larger monitor, consider setting your tablet up on a stand and using it as a second screen.
Tablet technology has evolved to the point where it’s easy to connect one to your computer and have your desktop and applications immediately extend to your tablet screen. Depending on your setup, you’ll be able to do this wirelessly (usually by downloading an app) or by connecting your tablet to your primary computer with a USB cable.
Whether you’re looking for more room to organize your files or you want to use a secondary screen for a specific app like Slack or Zoom, trying out your tablet as a second monitor is a great way to get more out of the hardware you have without having to invest in more.
How to record music on a tablet
You can use your tablet as a home studio — all you’ll need is a USB audio interface to connect a microphone or your instrument (or both at the same time).
What is a USB audio interface?
USB audio interfaces are small devices that sit between your sound source and your tablet. They translate whatever you’re recording into a digital signal that your tablet can use for recording, editing, and mixing. In other words: It’s what you’ll need to make your tablet the backbone for your next high-quality audio recording.
Best USB audio interfaces
How to use a tablet as a teleprompter
If you work from home, sooner or later you’re going to need notes or a script for a presentation — and you don’t want your audience to notice that you’re reading. Teleprompters are the perfect solution for this, and they’re not just for newscasters anymore!
With the right app, you can turn your tablet into a teleprompter, so you can see what you need to say while still maintaining eye contact with your camera (and your audience). Good teleprompter apps allow you to customize your text, so you can make it as big or small as you need or highlight specific words for emphasis. We like PromptSmart Pro for iOS and Teleprompter Pro for Android.
You’ll also need to position your tablet strategically on your workstation, so be sure to pick up a tablet desk mount (like the Lamicall Gooseneck).
How to use a tablet to find your phone
We’ve all been there: “I just had my phone, and now I can’t find it.” Smartphones can be tough to keep track of, so if you’ve got a tablet, you can use it to get your phone to play noises so you can find it faster. It’s a little bit like playing “Marco Polo;” if you’re in a hurry and you can’t find your phone, grab your tablet and use either the “Find My iPhone” app on iOS or “Find My Device” on Android, and send notifications or play sounds from your phone.
Pro tip: You may need to use the app a few times in case you left your phone in another room. It happens to the best of us.
Jaime Vázquez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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