5 best Android & iPad phablet apps: Productivity tools for your hybrid device

February 26, 2014

Phablets are more popular than ever. Hybrid phone-tablet devices like the Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max offer plenty of screen space for mobile productivity. The following apps and widgets will put your mini-tablet / giant-smartphone to work.

Apex Launcher Pro


Your phablet is likely to be running TouchWiz or some other custom user interface. And most likely it isn’t very good. Grab Apex Launcher Pro to take complete control of all that glorious screen real estate, tweaking the look and design of almost any aspect of the interface.



A phablet means plenty of screen real estate for typing, so get SwiftKey. SwiftKey has crazy-good predictive text that taps into your social accounts (if you grant permission) to learn your typing style. The keyboard can also be resized or split for optimization on your giant phone.



Email continues to be a constant presence, so simplify things by getting all your accounts into one mail app. CloudMagic handles Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Gmail along with IMAP or other consumer-friendly services. It has rapid search that rivals the Gmail app when it comes to sifting through archived messages.

Hello SMS


Even though it is a relatively new app, Hello SMS is the best-looking choice and a great performer for messaging. Given that phablets run Android, much of your communication with others may still use SMS. Hello SMS uses a tabbed interface that makes it easy to quickly sort through conversations.



The stock Android calendar isn’t the best looking choice. Cal, from the makers of the popular to-do app Any.DO, have a very modern and slick-looking calendar application that syncs with Exchange and Google accounts. It also has an excellent 3×3 widget with a scrollable list of daily events and a + button to create an event with just one touch.



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