Despite the hundreds of thousands of applications on the Play Store, it seems that there is a great shortage of apps tailored towards Android tablets. Google doesn’t provide a specific category to make it easy to find them, the “Staff Picks For Tablets” section contains apps that aren’t even optimized for tablets, and you’d have to surf the whole internet to find decent recommendations.
Given my love of Android tablets, I’ve been quite disappointed in the current state of things so I made it my personal goal over the past couple of months to search, monitor and find the best selection of apps. I have categorized over 200 great apps on a Springpad notebook, but I will be a bit more elitist here and pick the “crème de la crème” with over 50 applications in a variety of categories that offer a wonderful tablet interface.
We’ve collected the top four reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in August. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, Web, Android, Windows, or iPad apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!
Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy looking over some of our favourite posts from last month!
Slices is yet another Twitter app for Android but, before your eyes glaze over and roll into the back of your head, it’s one that deserves a second look. Developed by OneLouder, Slices builds on their expertise in UI design while bringing several new features to the table.
Besides giving you the basics that you’d expect to find in any other Twitter app, it dices up your Twitter stream and helps you cut through the noise to get at what you really want. It also provides an easy way to discover live events and new topics on Twitter.
I like to think that one of our big responsibilities here at AppStorm is to try out new methods of customizing and improving our phone experience, then translating the technical jargon of developers, and delivering to our readers a clear and concise method for that customization.
So, when I had been reading on the forums that a way had been worked out to add Google Now to a lot of ICS phones, I jumped right on it.
Pocket Casts is a stunningly designed podcasting app available on both Android and iOS. There are quite a number of great podcasting apps out there, as explored in our recent article Forget Google Listen: 10 Great Podcasting Apps. Of these, however, I found that Pocket Casts shone brightly as an app that’s not only stuffed full with functionality, but also the most handsome of the bunch.
With these impressive looks and rippling functionality in mind, let’s take a closer look at one of the best podcasting apps available.
The humble infographic has gone from the boardroom projector to online viral fame in the last few years. There’s no easier way to represent data to interest a person than by making it look pretty. Good infographics are simple to interpret and often cross language barriers effortlessly.
InFoto aims to tap into this, by converting the hundreds of photos you undoubtedly have stewing on your SD card into a pretty infographic that’ll probably get more likes on Facebook than your original snaps.
When I first heard the idea I thought it was a college student’s half-baked end of year assignment he decided to throw up on the Google Play Store, but it turns out photos actually have a ton of data stored within them. The question is: does the app make impressive use of it?
Today, Amazon is holding a press conference. We’re not entirely sure what’s going to be announced, but rumour has it that the company is planning on showing off at least one new Kindle Fire tablet, possibly two (7-inch and 10-inch), and maybe even an Android-powered “Kindle phone”. (We may also see a new e-ink Kindle, but presumably that wouldn’t be running Android.)
Okay, the phone doesn’t seem too likely, but now that Google has released the Nexus 7 it’d be a smart move for Amazon to release an update to their budget Android tablet. As I said at the time, “the presenters made it very clear – without ever actually saying the word ‘Amazon’ – that the Nexus 7 is going after the Kindle Fire market. They spent a long time talking about the Google Play Store, emphasising that it sells movies, books, and songs, not just apps and games.”
Living in the UK, I’ve never even seen a Kindle Fire – they’re only sold in the USA – but I found it interesting to read the opinions of others. Many review sites criticized the device for having a poor build quality and confusing UI (compared to the iPad), but I noticed that many actual people said that they loved it, or that their non-techie friends and relatives (who didn’t want to shell out for an iPad) loved it.
I expect great things from a second Kindle Fire. Google and ASUS have proven that it’s possible to produce a high quality Android tablet at a budget price, and Amazon have proven that once they’ve shown a piece of hardware has a place in the market, they can make it truly great by iterating on it. The first generation e-ink Kindle was pretty ugly, but popular; the second was a great improvement; and the third nailed it. I have one myself. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a good buy.
It’s no secret to anyone that Android tablets’ major competition is the iPad, which keeps outselling them worldwide. Despite the better specifications, innovative form factors, and recently improved Jelly Bean experience, the one area that seems to hold back Android tablets is the lack of optimised apps – that’s a field where Apple’s ecosystem excels. By comparison, the Play Store still lacks a dedicated tablet section to make it easier for users to find apps tailored for bigger touch screens.
However, due to the openness of Android, a few specific categories of apps exist for it that can’t make it onto the iPad in its regular state. Some would require a jailbreak to work, others wouldn’t even be technically possible. I have picked ten of these to showcase a small, albeit important, advantage of Android tablets.
Have you been staring at the same drab wallpaper for weeks? Are you starving for some new wallpapers and backgrounds. Do you need something to spruce up your tablet and show off the gorgeous screen? Look no further.
Here are some fantastic wallpaper roundups from across the AppStorm Network — there’s something for everybody!