The best 25 Android tablet apps

October 20, 2013

Android’s app ecosystem is ever improving. Those looking for apps geared towards work, productivity, or more casual uses now have an increasing number of options for their Android-powered tablet.

This list, in random order, is our take on the best 25 that Google Play has to offer.

SwiftKey

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While Google’s stock keyboard has greatly improved, neither it nor other competitors can top SwiftKey. This keyboard offers intelligent typing prediction that greatly reduces one’s errors. If you so choose SwiftKey can analyze your Gmail, SMS messages or blog to learn typing patterns and make mobile communication less painful.


Google Drive

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For those who do most of their work inside Google Drive, having access to their documents and spreadsheets from a tablet can be liberating. While the Drive app may not match the polish of options like Pages on iOS, it does a solid job of offering mobile productivity and editing.


QuickOffice

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Google has put its acquisition of QuickOffice to work, making it completely free and rewarding those who connect their Google accounts with 10GB of extra Drive storage (for a limited time). It is a fairly robust


Hipmunk

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Hipmunk has helped redefine expectations from travel search, offering a unique “misery index” algorithm for evaluating flights. Hotels get similar treatment, making this an ideal app for travel research.


FlightBoard

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It is more show than utility, but the good looks are worth it. FlightBoard displays arrivals and departures for any airport worldwide. It is updated every five minutes to keep you updated on all international air travel.


AirDroid

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AirDroid is like reverse remote desktop. It allows you to control your Android tablet (or phone) from a computer, creating some useful laziness as one can move files, answer messages or perform other basic tasks without needing to pick up the tablet.


G Cloud Backup

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While you can backup your Android tablet to your Google account, the process isn’t as complete or seamless as iCloud. For a more detailed and comprehensive solution check out G Cloud Backup. It allows you to select file types and have direct control over what gets saved.


Flipboard

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The same elegant reading experience that Flipboard pioneered on the iPad is also available for Android tablets. Users can now also create custom magazines and share them with others.


The New York Times

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The Gray Lady offers a solid Android app. Subscribers can get all of the content in a great interface for the tablet, though non-subscribers only get a small number of free articles per day.


Firefox

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The strength of Android is that there are plenty of third-party browsers should Chrome not be to your liking. The best is Firefox, as it features Mozilla’s design and speed acumen for rapid web surfing.


WordPress

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For anyone who manages a WordPress site, grab the official app to write and edit posts. It also includes information about visitor data if you use the WordPress analytics tool.


Simplenote

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Simplenote offers a clean, straightforward application for short note-taking. It excels at cross-platform syncing, allowing you to take some notes on an iPad and access them later on the web or through an Android device.


Adobe Reader

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If you get deluged with PDFs, then Adobe Reader is a great app to have for storing and reading them from an Android tablet. It has excellent zooming capabilities and reading modes for multiple light situations.


Google Keep

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Google Keep is an excellent tool from Mountain View for quick notes as it has an easy-to-navigate interface. All the notes mimic sticky notes, which can be changed to different colors to make them easier to find within the batch.


TeamViewer for Remote Control

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Remotely accessing the desktop from a tablet has been a popular use case since the original iPad debuted. An excellent option for Android devices is TeamViewer. The free app offers a full keyboard and functionality to perform basic or more advanced tasks on Windows or OS X.


Evernote

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There is no service that comes close to Evernote when it comes to creating a system for filing and managing notes, web clippings, PDFs, along with a host of other file types. The Android app has been built to specifically look native on Google’s platform and functions well.


TripIt

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Just as it has on the iPad, TripIt has distinguished itself as an essential tool for keeping one’s travel itinerary organized. Users can forward all of their travel email to TripIt’s servers, which then will turn it into an easy-to-follow itinerary.


Eye In Sky Weather

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Looking for the best designed weather app for Android tablets? Get Eye In Sky Weather. Not only does it offer forecasts and other key information, it provides several widgets to fill up that customizable Android tablet screen. It defaults to Celcius, so U.S. users will need to change it to Fahrenheit.


Twitter for tablets

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Twitter has finally built an Android app optimized for the tablet form factor. Unfortunately you can’t get it yet unless you are using a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. The app is supposed to roll out to other Samsung tablets soon; eventually it will hit the rest of the Android ecosystem, according to Twitter.


Square Register

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Put your Android tablet to work as a point-of-sale device with Square Register. It allows you to accept card, cash and Square Wallet payments along with sending out receipts via email or text message.


Feedly

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Feedly has become the default go-to replacement after the demise of Google Reader. It has a consistent cross-platform interface that displays your feeds in any number of customizable ways.


Kindle

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The Kindle app for Android can connect those who already have a substantial Kindle library. It recently underwent a nice revamp, giving it a tablet-friendly look. Another advantage: unlike on iOS you can shop and buy books directly from inside the app.


Facebook

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Like it or not, you have to use Facebook for promoting oneself or a business. Fortunately, the ubiquitous social network has stepped up its Android game and created an app that performs admirably on Android tablets.


Dropbox

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Even if you use other cloud file systems, Dropbox offers significant value in its photo backup tool. If your tablet has a camera, or if you need screenshots, it is the best way to instantly back it up to the desktop.


Google Now

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Google Now has become an essential part of my workflow and organizational strategy. It comes preinstalled on Android devices running 4.0 or above, but you have to enable it through the Google search menu. Let it spy into your Gmail for air travel departure information, weather, news updates and calendar reminders.

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