Getting an Android tablet can give you a lot of options. You can offload some apps that may have been getting in the way on your phone, play some games on a larger screen, or use it as your new eReader. Before you get started on your quest to make your Android tablet truly yours, check out this list of Android tablet apps that you should probably have.
If you like to read books there are few better options than Amazon Kindle. If you own a Kindle device and have ebooks from Amazon, you can easily sign into your account and sync your books to your tablet. With the back-lit displays of tablets, this is a great way to read in the dark and the app is free to boot!
Huge library of books.
Dedicated tablet interface.
The books cost money but the app is free.
Sync your Kindle library effortlessly.
Very solid eReader.
Really only useful if you use Amazon for your ebook shopping.
Amazon has a history with taking forever to update their apps.
Overall, a solid eReader and a great addition to any tablet.
Just like any other electronic device you own, it would be a shame if you lost your tablet. With Android Device Manager, you get an app that syncs with your Google account and doesn’t take up hardly any resources. There is a web interface where you can track your tablet.
Syncs with your Google account so the set up is easy.
Web interface is simple to use.
It's a totally free app.
Very light on resources so no lock ups or battery drain.
Your tablet can be found if lost.
Not as feature rich as other anti-theft, 'lost my device' style apps.
May have trouble from time to time since many tablets don't use cell towers for location.
Very often people forget that tablets can be stolen too. It also helps that too often criminals forget that people install tracking software on their tablet!
Many tablets will have this pre-installed and it’s one of the few pre-installed apps that people don’t consider to be bloatware. Google has done a lot of hard work to make their browser among the best options on any platform and that includes tablets. It has a bunch of features although it can be a little heavy on the RAM sometimes.
Pre-installed on many tablets so you don't have to download it yourself.
Integration with Google services which includes syncing bookmarks, history, etc from the desktop version.
Other features like translator, voice search, and gesture built in.
May perform poorly on older tablet models.
May use a lot of system memory
Overall, if you don’t take Opera down below then you should take this one.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Evernote was among the first apps to embrace the tablet interface and it probably doesn’t hurt that the app is already pretty awesome. If you need to take notes then this is pretty much the app to get. It has a lot of features including cloud storage integration and cross-platform support.
Cross platform support.
Cloud storage integration with most of the major cloud storage companies.
Pretty much every note taking feature you could ever want.
Looks really nice on a tablet.
It may be 'too much' for people who just need something simple.
Comes as bloatware on some devices.
If you need notes that you can get to anywhere then Evernote is the way to go.
Flipboard is another application that embraced the tablet scene very early on. It is an RSS reader where you can subscribe to various news sources and keep up on what’s going on in the world. It also comes with podcast support and video support if you want to see a video or listen to a podcast from your favorite websites.
RSS support means you can find whatever websites you want for your news.
Podcast and video support if needed.
Totally free app.
Localized in over 18 regions.
Comes as bloatware on some devices so you can't choose if you want it or not.
May perform badly on older tablet models.
The interface is made for the casual reader. Hardcore RSS users may need to look elsewhere.
Flipboard may be a bit much on a phone but it fits right in on a tablet.
Google Drive is an essentially application for pretty much any Android owner. Google is gracious enough to give you 15GB of cloud storage for free forever which is more than enough for most people. Using this you can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or just store some files if you need them. Tablets are notorious for not having SD card slots so the only chance of expanded storage is through cloud services like Google Drive.
15GB of free storage for life.
Integrated with Google services.
Easy to use with a clean interface.
Store any kind of file.
Essential for tablets without expandable storage.
Drive used to be all you needed but now you need Docs and Sheets too which clutters the app drawer a bit.
It’s an amazing application but if you do go with Drive, you’ll have to pick up the dedicated editing apps too. They are Google Docs and Google Sheet.
One of the more popular things to do with tablets is video chats. There are a myriad of apps that allow for this but Hangouts is the easiest to use. It’s integrated with Google services so once you sign up for the Google Play Store you’ll be able to use Hangouts without creating another account. It’s solid, stable, and allows for up to 10 participants in a single video call.
Google services integration.
Up to 10 participants in a video call.
It's also an amazing chat platform.
Multi-platform support means you can chat on your tablet while others use their computers or iPhones.
Can perform poorly on older tablets.
Can be buggy on some devices.
For chatting and video calls, there are few options as good as Hangouts.
When it comes to adding clock, weather, or toggle widgets to your tablet, HD Widgets is the way to go. Tablets have a larger screen and that means there are more spaces on the home screen to add things. HD Widgets has options that cater specifically to that need. You can create gorgeous, gigantic widgets that you can also very heavily customize.
Widgets made especially for tablets are available.
A metric ton of color options and possibilities.
Clock, weather, toggle, and indicator widgets available.
Colourform and Kairo theme packs available (sold separately).
HD Widgets app is actually pretty useful and displays the weather from any one of three weather sources.
If you don't like the theme or the theme packs, you probably won't like this app.
Widget options change depending on device so your mileage may vary.
May perform poorly on older devices.
It can turn a boring home screen into a colorful and gorgeous one with very little effort and most people think it’s worth the price tag.
This one is pretty simple. You have a gloriously huge screen and if you need to use a calculator, why not choose one that takes advantage of that? There are a lot of calculator options but this one is stable and it uses the tablet screen real estate very well. It has all of the basic computational functions as well.
Holo Light and Holo Dark themes available.
Uses the tablet real estate well.
Nice and simple, no weird things to learn.
Totally free with no advertisements.
May be too simple for some.
It could use more customization options.
It’s a calculator app so it’s hard to mess things up but this one is stable, free, and it looks good.
[Price: Free with subscription]
Another one of the more popular uses for tablets is for streaming video content. In that, Netflix wins on Android. There are other services but their Android apps are either sub par or they require things like a cable service provider to use. Netflix has a subscription service of $7.99 (and it will be $8.99 eventually) and all you’ll need to do to enjoy it on the tablet is to sign into your account and start streaming.
One of the precious few video streaming apps that are well polished.
Reasonable subscription rate.
Above average selection with some really good original programming.
A great way to enjoy your larger tablet screen.
Can be buggy for some.
May perform badly on older devices and on devices with slow internet.
It’s the king of streaming video on Android except for maybe YouTube.
Opera is one of the better browser options for Android. Their tablet browser option is very nearly second to none. They went through the trouble of adding a lot of features specifically for tablets and it results in one of the most comprehensive tablet browsing experiences available.
Dedicated tablet interface is amazing.
Has many standard browsing features like private mode.
Off Road Mode lets you browse on internet connections that are less than ideal.
May perform poorly on older devices.
It's not a huge difference but there are other browsers that are faster.
If Chrome isn’t your thing then you should definitely give Opera a try.
If the apps on this list just aren’t cutting it, you can always try using the Tablified Tablet Market. This app goes through the trouble of filtering out all non-tablet apps in the Google Play Store and shows you only apps that play well with tablets and their larger screens. When you use it, it’ll redirect you to the Play Store to download the apps so you don’t have to worry about downloading apps from third party sources.
Allows you to search specifically for tablet apps.
Redirects to the Play Store for download so no third party nonsense.
For the most part, it's stable.
If you read the reviews, look at newer ones. Many negative reviews are from when this was a paid app.
Doesn't work in some countries.
Can perform slowly on older devices.
Some of the ads may be intrusive and bothersome.
All tablet owners should have this on their tablet.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
We included these together because they perform invariably the same function. To give you a tablet UI for your social media. The official Twitter app is improving but TweetCaster has simply been doing it longer at this point. Facebook has never really had a good tablet UI and FriendCaster helps fix that. If you click on the title of this section, you’ll be taken to TweetCaster’s page on the Google Play Store.
You can enjoy your social media on a real tablet interface with these apps.
They're free with in app purchases. The in app purchases pretty much just remove ads.
Each app has unique features you won't find in the official social media apps.
Both apps have theme options so you can get rid of that blue/white layout for good.
FriendCaster seems to be in the middle of an overhaul and may be buggy for some.
Due to the extra features, both apps are actually more bloated than the official apps.
Tap the button to check out FriendCaster for Facebook.
No app list is complete with a visit from Zedge. Your new tablet is probably needing a new wallpaper and the ringtone selections for what notifications you do get are sparse at best. Zedge is the go-to app for these things and you can find a very decent selection of both apps and ringtones for your needs.
Huge selection of backgrounds, notification tones, and ringtones.
Tablet optimized and the UI looks really good.
Some peripheral features like saving favorites helps you remember what you had if you switch devices.
The games section is kind of lackluster. It's usually just the most popular games available now regardless of quality.
May be buggy for some.
Every device period should have Zedge. Not just tablets.
If you own an Android tablet you may be more interested in Android news. After all here we are together hanging out talking about Android, right? A great app to get if you want to stay up on the latest and greatest in Android is the official Android Authority app. We do have a tablet optimized UI and we do a lot of Android news and reviews along with some great editorials. It’s also totally free so why not?
Tablet optimized UI for easier navigation.
A great selection of news, reviews, editorials, and more Android stuff.
Very solid and stable with few bugs.
My inability to review this app without bias.
This is the best Android news app out there, bar none. Also, this isn’t biased at all. Not at all.
If we’ve missed some awesome tablet apps, shoot us a comment below and let us know about it!
This week’s Android customization wants to help you stay ahead of the curve. Let’s make sure you know how to manage your Android keyboards so you can stay ahead of those other guys that...finally got third party keyboards too