Got yourself an Android Tablet? More and more tablet-optimized apps are available every day. Though many of these apps are optimized for Honeycomb tablets such as the Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, there are alternate versions available for your older tablets too. Here’s a list of some must-have apps for your tablet.
Friend Me for Honeycomb
This one is especially for Honeycomb and is not available on older versions of Android. Designed specifically for Android Honeycomb tablets, this app offers all the Facebook features you would need in a slick and tidy interface. It takes full advantage of large, high-resolution screens.
FriendMe is ad-supported with an in-app purchase option to remove ads, and requires Android 3.0 or above.
Team Viewer for Android
Team Viewer is the immensely popular Remote Access and Remote Desktop Sharing software, used by over 100 million people worldwide. The Android app allows you to remotely access your Windows, Mac or Linux computer right from your tablet from anywhere in the world.
All you need to do is install and set up unattended access on Team Viewer on your PC, select a user name and password, enter it in the Android app, and you’re good to go.
Both the PC and Android app are free for personal use, and are available for any version of Android greater than 1.6.
Odds are, if you have a Samsung tablet, this app comes pre-installed. If not, I highly recommend it. Pulse is a news reading app with a difference. It allows embedded images, videos and sound. The design is really easy on the eyes, even if you have a small screen.
Pulse has several hundred news sources already available in its catalog, in several categories, and you can also integrate your Google Reader RSS feeds, Facebook or Twitter into the app. You can also save and share stories you like. If you have multiple Android devices, Pulse syncs your sources and saved stories to all your devices. The Honeycomb-optimized version makes everything much neater, with a lot more displayed on each screen.
Pulse is freeware, and is available for all versions of Android above 2.1.
Kindle for Android
Amazon’s Kindle for Android turns your tablet into an e-book reader, and allows you to purchase and read any of Amazon’s 800,000 e-books. The tablet version shows you a really neat digital bookshelf with all the books you have on your devices.
The best part about Kindle is Amazon’s Whispersync technology, which can sync the last read page, bookmarks and annotations on your Kindle readers, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, so you can continue reading on multiple devices from exactly where you left off.
Kindle for Android is free, but books need to be purchased. Pricing for books varies from $5 and above. Thousands of Kindle format books are also available for free online.
Dropbox is a free cloud-based online storage application that lets you store your files online for access from anywhere. Dropbox is the best app for syncing files between all your devices and computers. You can store your photos, videos and documents online and easily share them with family and friends. Documents can also be edited with Dropbox. It even has an option to save email attachments directly to Dropbox.
Dropbox is freeware and available for all versions of Android above 1.5. Basic 2GB storage is free.
At approximately Rs. 120, this app makes text input on your tablet much easier by giving you a split keyboard on both sides of your screen so you can input text using both thumbs.
If you don’t like Swype, and the default Android keyboard is a pain for you to use, this Rs. 120 app will be the best investment you ever made for your tablet.
Thumb Keyboard is available for all devices from Android 2.2 and above, with a Honeycomb optimized version available.
MovieBrowser HD for Honeycomb
If you store a lot of full movies on your tablet, you need this app. MovieBrowser is a movie catalog and organizer with a slick interface. It scans your storage for all the movies and creates a visual catalog, automatically downloading additional information about the movie such as genre, actors, poster and rating. You can even view the trailer of the movie on YouTube.
Bear in mind that this is NOT a movie player, it only catalogs and presents your movies in a visual format, you will still need a player to play them.
MovieBrowser is a Honeycomb only app and requires Android 3.0 or higher.
StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that helps you find the best of the web with the click of a button. The PC toolbars have been around for years, with several million users.
All you need to do is select your categories, click the stumble button and it’ll take you through sites related to the categories you have selected. These sites are customized to your interests and have been selected by similar users from all over the world. Once it gives you a website, you can choose to like or dislike it. Depending on what you choose, the next site that shows up will be more suited to your tastes. The more you stumble and rate, the better StumbleUpon will come to understand the types of sites you like and dislike.
The Android app takes it a step further, allowing you to browse for interesting sites on the web right from your tablet or phone. You can also choose to stumble only pictures or only videos if your tablet does not have a very large screen.
StumbleUpon for Honeycomb, however, is a whole new level, which, as with all Honeycomb apps, presents everything in a beautiful interface, and gives you a full blown dose of the best of the web.
StumbleUpon is free on all versions of Android, with an optimized version available for Honeycomb.
Dolphin Browser HD
Dolphin Browser is an alternate browser for your tablet that supports many more features than the standard browser that comes with your device.
Among these are Gesture Control, which allows you to perform specific actions, such as opening a website, by pulling from the corner, and drawing a certain pattern. It also supports tabbed browsing, address bar auto completion, speed dial and pinch-to-zoom.
There are also several free add-ons to Dolphin Browser available in the Market, such as password managers, PDF viewers and screen capture tools.
Dolphin Browser HD is free for all versions of Android above 2.0. A Honeycomb optimized version is also available.
HD Widgets takes full advantage of large high-resolution screens to give you a load of extremely impressive looking widgets for your home screens. There are widgets for clocks, calendars, weather and forecast, location and utilities. All the widgets are completely configurable, with hundreds of possible variants.
All HD widgets are controlled with swipes to select, modify and run various tools. Though not free, the configurability and variety in this widget set makes it well worth the price.
HD Widgets is priced at about Rs. 100, and is available for all versions of Android above 2.2. The Honeycomb optimized version, however, is a class apart.