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utilities

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.
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This past week has been an odd one for me: a mixed bag of family time, alone time and some traveling. And as happens every time I’m by myself, I ended up spending a good deal of the alone time checking out new apps from the Play Store. Here’s a quick roundup of the ones that stood out for me and will most probably stay on my phone for a while to come.

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About a year ago, I reviewed an app called Extensive Notes for Android right here on Android.AppStorm. Among a whole army of note-taking apps on Android, Extensive Notes differentiated itself by providing a huge array of small but useful tools to supplement the core feature.

Fluffy Delusions, the developer behind Extensive Notes, recently released a new app called App Garden, which takes all those extra tools and wraps them together into a single multi-purpose package. The point of the app is to provide dozens of tiny but useful tools to help you with day-to-day tasks without having to install separate apps for each one.

In this post, I’ll try to make sense of what the app has to offer, where it shines and where it needs more work. It is a tough ask, mind you, since there are so many tangentially different things you can do with this thing. Let’s start with a quick overview of what it has on offer.

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Android has an excellent array of security apps to protect you against threats of malware and viruses. But in my opinion, privacy issues are a far greater concern.

What permissions and elements of my phone are newly installed apps using? How safe is the private data I store on my phone? This was a gap in my knowledge that I wanted to fill – and LBE Privacy is a great tool for this job.

The app protects my privacy, and safeguards services that could cost me money if the wrong apps gained control of them. It does all this with a beautiful and intuitive interface. (more…)

You know how some apps seem like The Greatest Invention In The World one day, and a waste of your storage space the next? These ones don’t. As the editor of this site, I’ve read every article we’ve published, and checked out a lot more apps that we haven’t covered yet; this roundup covers those rare apps that started awesome and stayed awesome.

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I was pretty excited when Amazon launched their Appstore for Android. On top of a healthy bit of competition, they offer exclusive apps like Angry Birds Rio and, most recently, Plants vs. Zombies for Android, and they offer a free app download everyday. That means you check Amazon daily, and there’s a chance you’ll save at least 99 cents (USD).

Well, I’ve gotten into the habit of checking every day (though I could also follow them on Twitter at @amazonappstore), and even if I don’t install the app right away, more often than not I will “purchase” it, in case I want to try it later. Today I’m going to give you my favorite apps offered as part of Amazon’s Free App of the Day — if not for these offers, I might not have discovered them!

One Amazon fan has put together amzndeal.com, a website which keeps you updated on the daily free MP3 and app downloads from Amazon through Facebook, RSS, and Twitter.

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The default SMS applications on most Android phones are dry and lack features. They do what you need them to do and that is about it. GoSMS Pro is a feature-rich messenger replacement which aims to bring some extravagant touches to your texts.

The amount of features in GoSMS is more than what most people will need, and trying to identify and explain each one individually would be absurd. If I had to convey GoSMS to someone quickly, I would say it has depth that other applications (messengers especially) don’t quite reach. There is a level of customization offered that I have not seen replicated in any other application.

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At its core, FileExpert is nothing more than a file manager for Android. However it bears some distinct and useful features which I explore in this review. The stated aims of FileExpert are to be a free file manager that gives its users valuable and useful extensions. It most certainly does.

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You may well be thinking, “Oh not another launcher…”, and I can’t blame you. You would think that the launcher niche has been filled up; Alex Pascal reviewed six here alone. That sounds like enough, but another one gets created every now and then. I must ask you to forego any predictions you may have about Zeam being just another replica of a simple launcher with some eyecandy chucked in, because it most definitely isn’t. As a matter of fact it distinctly lacks the latter, which is what separates it from other third party launchers.
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