Do I Need a Google Account for My Android Tablet?

June 24, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the key elements of using any Android version is integration with Google, and Honeycomb is no different. From the inclusion of Google-specific apps to the requirement for a Google account to access the Market and download free and paid apps, there is clearly a lot to gain from using a Google account.

Google clearly thought this through when designing the original Android mobile phone release – many people have Google accounts already, and those that don’t can easily set one up, thereby enabling themselves to enjoy the many Android advantages of owning a Google account.

Many of the aspects in this coming list can be applied to mobile phone versions of Android, but this is really intended to be a look at how important it is to have a Google account setup and used as the primary leverage for accessing new apps in the Android Market, using Gmail and accessing various other tools and apps on a Honeycomb tablet. Best still, you should only need to input your Google account details once, when the tablet is first used, in order for these apps and services to work.

Do I Need a Google Account for My Android Tablet?

Read Gmail with a Google Account

You would of course expect this to be the case, but not only does Android Honeycomb require your Google username and password to deliver access to your Gmail account, it also packages it up in a cool widget that you can easily reposition across any of the five Home screens.

When you actually need to enter the Gmail view, it opens up with an easy to use interface, the inbox contents displayed on the left with a message preview on the right.

Tailored YouTube Videos

With a YouTube-linked Google account, you can also have a selection of videos streamed to your Honeycomb tablet each day, based on clips that you have previously watched. This can not only save you time when looking for video content, it might also help you to discover something brand new for you to share with your friends.

Once again, a useful widget is provided in Honeycomb, allowing you quickly preview the new video clips by browsing through them with your thumb or finger.

Access the Android Market

The heart and soul of the Android platform, the Market, requires a Google account for you to sign in and view the massive library of apps – free and paid – that are available. In order to purchase an app you must have a credit card associated with your Google account, but this isn’t necessary for free apps.

In Honeycomb the Market interface has been re-designed to make it suitable for tablet devices, allowing users an impressive scaled up interface that makes it easy to find, preview and assess new apps before making the decision to install them.

Google Maps, Calendar, Talk, Contacts

Various other apps are available in Honeycomb that also require the use of your Google account, or are made possible by sharing it, such as the Contacts tool, which displays details of all of the contacts that you have setup in Gmail, and Google Talk, which enables you to enjoy text and voice chat with colleagues, friends and family.

Finally, Google Maps is also available, integrating with your Google account to assist you in location-based queries based on information you have previously used with the service.

It would be pretty tough to use an Android tablet without a Google account, but as you can see the benefits of using both together are considerable!

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