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10 best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have
Android tablets aren’t nearly as popular as iPads. However, many people still own them. The idea of a tablet is simple. You get the screen real estate of a laptop without the added bulk and weight of one. They are excellent for productivity, media consumption, reading, and academic pursuits. There are even some great games that work better on tablets than on phones.
Google seems intent on making tablets on Android great again. We have a Pixel Tablet coming and new Android updates make tablets even better. Plus, Android’s native scaling capabilities make almost all apps more usable on a tablet. So there are only a few apps that truly work better on tablets than they do on smartphones. Here are the best Android tablet apps.
The best Android tablet apps
Price: Free / Up to $52.99 per month
Adobe has some of the most powerful Android apps for creative people and most of them work on tablets. You can edit photos with apps like Photoshop Express, draw stuff like Illustrator Draw, read PDFs with the popular Adobe Reader, and even edit videos with Premiere Clip. Of course, the flagship product on Android is the venerable Lightroom for editing photography. There are well over a dozen other apps that can do various things. Most of them work well with their desktop counterparts. That means you can take your work with you. They’re not as powerful as the desktop apps but we didn’t expect them to be. These are easily among the best tablet apps.
Price: Free / $1.99 per month / $19.99 per year
AirDroid is a powerful app. What it does is let you manage your phone from other devices. That includes sending files, answering text messages, and even stuff like recording screenshots. With this, you can use your tablet to read and respond to text messages and move files from your phone to your tablet or vice versa. AirDroid also has a bunch of add-ons, including AirMirror and AirDroid Remote Support. Both apps add all kinds of functionality and the trio are three excellent tablet apps. Pushbullet is another decent app that does a lot of the same stuff.
Price: Free / Book costs vary
Amazon Kindle is an exceptional ebook reading platform. Amazon has tons of books that you can buy. Additionally, you can buy books anywhere and sync them to any device. A tablet makes for a good ebook reader with its larger screen. The app has a variety of reading options and it should be easy enough to download books for offline reading. There are even a selection of free books in case you’re short on funds. There are tons of ebook readers out there, but this one is about as solid as it gets. Google Play Books and Barnes&Noble Nook are also excellent eBook platforms. If your tablet has a blue light filter mode, we recommend using it to help reduce eye strain.
Price: Free / $9.99 per month (optional)
Feedly is an RSS reader. Essentially, it’s a news app. You can find the blogs, sites, and sources that you like. Follow them and you’ll have a steady stream of news to read all day. This should suffice enough to replace the morning paper (although the paper is still better for local news). The interface is simple to use, it syncs between devices, and you can follow as many topics as you want. There is also support for Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others. There are few RSS readers that do it like Feedly and fewer still apps that give you control over what you see. That makes it one of the best tablet apps for news.
Price: Free / $1.99-$99.99 per month
The Google Drive suite of apps is excellent for tablets. The full suite includes Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, and Google Photos. There is also integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, and other Google apps. The whole thing is intertwined in such a way that most of your office and cloud storage needs are covered. You can backup and access photos, make spreadsheets, write stuff, and keep notes of all different types. It’s about as good as it gets for productivity. You can purchase more Google Drive storage if needed as well. 100GB goes for $1.99 and it goes up to $99.99 for 10TB. These all work great as tablet apps.
Price: Free / $24 per year
LastPass is a password manager app. It lets you put sensitive information such as your login credentials for the websites you visit. The app is capable of auto-filling the credentials into apps so you don’t even have to remember what the passwords are. Additionally, you’ll have a secure spot for things like your health insurance policy number, credit cards (if you want), and other such things. It’s free to use most of the features. You’ll have to subscribe for $12 per year (or $1 per month) to get every feature. It’s pretty good and one of the must-have tablet apps.
Price: Free / $6.99-$9.99 per month
Microsoft Office is about as well-known as it gets when it comes to office software. Like Google Drive, Microsoft has a whole suite of apps that all work together. You’ll have OneDrive for cloud storage, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and a few others. The result is a note-taking app, cloud storage, and a full office suite. Most of it can be had for free, although you won’t get a whole bunch of cloud storage with OneDrive. It’s a great option for those who are serious about productivity. These are good tablet apps to have.
Price: Free / $1.99 per month / $19.99 per year / $59.99 once
Pulse SMS is arguably the best way to get SMS text messages on your tablet. You install the app on your phone and then also on your tablet. Pulse syncs your texts between the two devices (along with your computer if you want). This is a very simple, clean, and effective method of seeing text messages on devices other than your phone. It also features MMS and group SMS support, theming and customization features, and Material Design. The sync texts feature is a premium feature, though. You can go with a monthly or yearly subscription if you want. There is also a permanent pay-once option. The prices went up after Maple Media purchased the app, but it still works pretty well.
Price: Free / $2.99
Solid Explorer is an excellent file browsing app. You can use it to check out the files on your tablet. This is good for finding ebooks, whatever is in your download folder, or moving stuff around if you need to. It has a design that compliments the larger screen real estate on tablets nicely. You can open two folders at once, click and drag, and browse multiple parts of your phone at once in landscape mode. You can check out a free trial to see if you like it. The full price is $1.99.
SwiftKey Keyboard is one of the best keyboard apps on Android. As it turns out, it’s also great for tablets. SwiftKey has a layout that moves half of the keyboard to either side of the device. That makes it much easier to type when you have a device where your fingers don’t reach the middle. Or you can set it up in other ways as well for more comfort while typing. The keyboard is completely free to use. Even the themes are free these days. It works pretty well.
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!
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