Whether or not tablets are the next wave of computing is still a topic that’s up for debate and one without any real answer right now. That said, tablets can be a lot of fun and very useful if you can find stuff to do on them. In this app roundup, we’ll try to get you started with the best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have.
Adobe has quite the range of products on mobile, including Photoshop Express, Lightroom Mobile, Capture CC, Illustrator Draw, Color CC, Shape CC, Brush CC, and many others. These are all useful applications that do various things but they really shine on the larger screen real estate that comes with having a tablet. They’re all free to download and most of them work well with Creative Cloud if you happen to use that. We recommend giving them a look and you can do just that using the button below.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
There are a ton of ebook reader apps out there, but there are few that have the stability, selection, and usefulness of Amazon Kindle. The Kindle Store has a ton of books, magazines, and other reading material that you can buy and read. The larger screen sizes make reading much easier and more comfortable than on phones and tablets are where apps like Kindle really shine. Google Play Books is a decent alternative as well.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
CamScanner is a great productivity app. This allows you to use your tablet’s camera to scan in documents such as invoices, forms, receipts, and other documentation that you may want in the digital space. You can annotate PDFs, send the images in PDF or JPEG format, and there is even a service embedded that will send faxes. It also comes with OCR support, print options, and more. You can use this with an app like Xodo PDF Reader and Editor and between the two, you’ll be able to handle all of your PDF scanning and editing needs. You can use that last link there to pick up Xodo and the button below to get CamScanner.
The larger screens on tablets make them almost perfect for artists and Clover Paint is about as good as it gets in the artist space. The app is expensive, but it bills itself as a professional-grade painting app. It comes complete with layers, tons of brushes, customizable canvas sizes, stylus support for most devices, and a lot more. There is a free demo version you can try before you buy it. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, we have a whole list of apps that are great for artists.
Flipboard is already a wildly popular news-reading application. It uses a magazine-style user interface that looks and feels just delightful on tablets. It’s a great way to read the news and you can customize your news feed with sources you enjoy reading from (we hope one of them is Android Authority!). It’s simple to use, totally free, and you can find virtually any website to use as a news source. If that’s a little over the top for you, Feedly is another great, simple option.
The Google Drive suite is a pretty hearty list of apps and includes Google Drive (cloud storage), Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides (all office apps), Google Photos, and Google Keep (notes). The Drive app will give you 15GB of free storage with more available at a fairly reasonable price and you can back up virtually any kind of file. The individual apps cover the gamut from office apps to note taking, and even photo viewing and backup. Google Photos is especially great because you can backup photos and videos on your phone and then view them on your tablet’s larger screen.
It’s true that Google Maps is kind of the de facto option on most mobile devices. However, a good case can be made for HERE Maps. HERE Maps lets you download maps for offline use and also includes offline navigation. You can find info about businesses in the area and you can share your location using the app’s Glympse feature. Google Maps is getting better with offline support but HERE Maps is definitely worth checking out if you want to use your tablet for GPS. Do beware, though, as a few tablets are still waiting for support from the developers.
[Price: Free with subscription option]
LastPass is a password management application. We’re sure you’re going to log into a bunch of apps, social networks, and websites on your tablet and an app like LastPass can be a real boon for that. The app will securely store your passwords and then automatically help you log into various sites and apps. It’s great for those who don’t want to remember every password they use. There is a subscription service available, but it’s only really necessary if you want to sync between your computer and mobile devices.
Chances are you have both a tablet and a smartphone. If that’s the case, PushBullet is an app you should absolutely check out. It allows you to connect your devices together in such a way that they can communicate and work together. With this app, you can do things like answer texts on your tablet instead of your phone, copy and paste things between devices, move files between devices, and tons of other features. It helps bridge that gap between your devices and gives you a way to make them all work together.
Of course, you’ll want to pick up some notification tones and wallpapers for your tablet and Zedge is as good an app as any to start your search. It has a ton of crowd-sourced images and sounds that you can use to customize the most basic parts of your tablet. The selections are pretty decent and the app works very well with the advertising being the only minor complaint. If you need something more, we have a whole list of awesome wallpaper apps to try.
One of the more obvious reasons to pick up a tablet is for multimedia and video streaming is a red-hot industry right now. Some of the services we’d recommend is Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Sling TV, YouTube, and Google Play Movies & TV. There are plenty of others and none of them are really bad but how good they are will vary based on your taste in video content. There are no wrong answers here because tablets simply rock for video streaming.
Similarly, tablets are great for audio streaming. It could be music from apps like Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, and iHeartRadio or podcast apps like Doggcatcher or Pocket Casts. It even works great for a-la-carte apps like SoundCloud. A tablet along with a decent Bluetooth speaker can give you a fun audio experience that’s easy to control and the best part is that it won’t be eating the battery on your phone! With Google Play Music, you can also upload your own music so you can play your own stuff on your tablet without taking up any precious storage space.
If we missed any particularly epic Android tablet apps that you think should’ve been on this list, tell us about them in the comments! If you want to stay up to date on the latest Android apps and games news, use the form below to sign up for our newsletter!