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iRulu 10.1" Model AX105 with Android 4.2

Operating Tips

Collecting learnings about various applications or the system as a whole. If enough information is collected, new pages for specific applications may be started.

Initially, some of these writeups will be fairly cryptic.



Airplane mode

Run in "airplane mode" all the time as that saves battery power by (supposedly) not trying to check for cell phone signals. (I'm not sure how well that works as I still see "Cell Standby" as a significant user on the battery usage screen.)

Terminology: Don't press, just touch

The touch screen is not pressure sensitive, so there is no need nor benefit in pressing, just touch, and either hold or slide your finger(s) as appropriate

Copy and Paste

I've done some reading about Copying and Pasting in Android, and I've been successful a few times. Apparently, there can be slight differences in the approach depending on what application you are using. The following has worked for me, and I expect to be able to handle variations if I run into them.

Touch and hold a word--it may take longer than you expect, but eventually a few things will happen at the same time:

  • the word will become highlighted
  • triangular pointers will appear, one at each end of the highlighted word
  • a new, light blue tool bar will appear at the top of the screen

At that point, you can lift your finger. If you want to copy more or less than that word, touch and drag the triangular pointers, one at a time, to adjust the selection.

You can lift your finger. On the new toolbar you will see some options, including one to copy. Touch copy.

Now move to an application or place where you can paste what you've copied.

Touch and hold the location where you want to paste the selection.

After a pause, a pop-up will appear, and one of the choices will be paste.

Aside: This seems much more cumbersome than I'm used to doing with a mouse--if I do much copying and pasting on the iRulu, I will consider experimenting with a mouse.

More about the "Text Selection" tool bar

The blue toolbar mentioned above is the "Text Selection" tool bar, and it gives you the ability to do some other things--you can touch:

  • Select All to select the entire document
  • Copy to copy the selection to the clipboard
  • Share to (I'm assuming) email the selection to somebody
  • Find to search for additional occurrences of the selection in the same document
  • Web Search to search the web (presumably using Google) for other instances of the selection.

I think I've encountered a bug, in that, every time I've tried to do the Web search (from within the Android browser), I get a popup message to the effect that "Unfortunately the browser has closed", and, indeed the browser closes and no Google search is performed.

Using "Gestures"

You can do a lot of things with your finger (or a stylus) by doing things like touching (no pressure required--just a pause while touching something), dragging and dropping, pinching (I haven't tried that yet).

If, like me, you've never used a device with a touch screen, you need to learn at least some of the available gestures.

Aside: I did have thoughts about connecting a mouse to the iRulu--I'm fairly well convinced that the "gestures" will be more convenient. You can connect a mouse, but it would just require space to operate that would in some sense be wasted. Update: See the previous item on copy and paste--I might change my mind about a mouse.

External Keyboard

Having an external keyboard seems very useful to me. Among other things, in some applications you can press the modifier keys (<ctrl>, <alt>, ???) to modify the action of some of the gestures.

See External USB Keyboard if you have trouble making an external keyboard work.

Settings Menu for Individual Applications

In either the upper left or right corner of the window for (most, all?) applications, there is an icon with three horizontal lines (or blocks). Clicking on this opens a settings menu for that application.

The Android Browser

The Android browser can (partially) emulate 6 different browsers, including Android, Desktop, iPad, iPhone, .... Change the emulation on the settings mode for the browser. Some of these emulations have different features than others, for example:

  • only a few of the emulations (maybe only the iPad emulation) allow you to choose the resolution of a video--this is a problem for me as I have a slow Internet connection (Earthlink over Verizon DSL), and even if I view videos at 240p, I get a lot of what I now hear called "buffering"--a misleading term for me--the browser should be (and is) always buffering, the problem occurs when the browser doesn't buffer fast enough and the buffer becomes empty.

  • some of the features that look like they are present, don't work. For example, as far as I can tell, the volume slider in the iPad emulation doesn't seem to have any effect.

  • it seems the iPad emulation is the default

  • in some of the emulations, if you have an external keyboard installed, you can press <ctrl> or <alt> while pressing a link and you will get a context menu which includes options like "open in new tab". (I've since noticed that in the same emulation that lets you get a context menu by pressing with <ctrl> or <alt>, I can also get the context menu by simply touching and holding the appropriate link longer.)

  • aside: on some emulations, I see an HD icon when the pause / start icon is visible (along with a few others, I guess ones to go to the beginning and end of a video). I can click the HD icon and change its color from red to green or vice versa. I'm guessing, but don't know that the green icon means the video is being downloaded in a high resolution mode, and the red icon means the video is being downloaded in a low resolution mode. Further, I'm guessing that the high resolution mode is 720p.

The Google Chrome Browser

It seems that there is no choice of resolution when viewing a video using the Chrome browser. There is an icon to bring up a subscreen to choose a different resolution, but the only option I get is 360p. (I guess it's possible that Chrome does that based on the (measured?) speed of my Internet connection, but mine is so slow that 240p would be better--in fact, I get a lot of stuttering and pauses at 240p.)

Far aside: For a few days I could watch movies with few or no pauses or stuttering--now something has seemed to change for the worse. I wonder if Earthlink or Verizon have some ability to throttle my bandwidth (I'm sure they do) and have done so? How would I find out? (I suspect asking them won't get me very far.)


  • () RandyKramer - 2014-03-01
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