One of the most common, if not the top, drawback in buying an Android-powered tablet would be the shortage of apps in the Market. That is, of course, compared to the number of apps for iPad. In response, most tablets come with built-in apps, but it has to be said that the number of third-party apps in the Market has steadily increased, with Android’s growth potential rising by the minute.
Six months after the release of Motorola Xoom, the first Honeycomb tablet, here are some recent app releases for social networking, productivity, and reading that are spicing up the platform.
While the Twitter for Android app works rather well on Honeycomb, third-party providers are definitely giving the official app a run for its money. Tweetcaster HD is optimized for tablets, allowing one message stream at a time, filters for posts with media, and Zip It, a cool feature that zips annoying tweeters without unfollowing.
There’s also Tweetcomb, which features a Tweetdeck-like interface for multiple streams.
A common sentiment for tablet users using the native Facebook for Android app is that the app keeps crashing, or worse, not even compatible with their Honeycomb device (take for example, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1). The developers behind Tweetcaster then released Friendcaster Tab for Facebook, which is still in its beta stages but is definitely showing a lot of potential to dethrone the official app.
As mentioned earlier, most manufacturers offer devices with built-in apps like e-mail, memo, tasks, among others. However, there are a number of interesting apps in the Market that would do those and more.
Bring your corporate Exchange server or even your Outlook on your tablet with Touchdown HD, with support for e-mail, calendar, tasks, and contacts. This is a 30-day trial app, with the paid one sold at $19.99.
For free but still reliable productivity app, there’s Evernote, which arrive just a month ago bat the Android Market. Save your ideas, record audio and video, and take pictures, then access them in any of your devices, as Evernote cleverly syncs all of them.
A good alternative to Evernote would be Catch Notes, which beats the former with a reminder/alarm feature.
Kindle has established itself as the authority in e-books, and with its Honeycomb-optimized app, no doubt that it has sealed its reign in that department. The best part of it is its seamless integration with the Kindle Store, allowing access to millions of books, free or otherwise. This feature is not available in iPad, thanks to some App Store policies.
On the other hand, RSS feeds are in the realm of Google Reader. Since it updated its app to be optimized for tablets, it has featured a two-column interface similar to the Gmail app. It now allows for easier content access, without the need to flip to different pages to go back to the feed.
The Android Market practically covers apps for various basic uses, only that some are still not Honeycomb-friendly as of the moment. A sweet reminder though– iPad started with just a few apps too in the App Store.