Best Android Tablet Apps of 2012
Whether you scored an iPad during the holidays or you’re gearing up for Verizon’s anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 this spring, you need a handful of quality Android apps to maximize your tablet experience. Rounding out The Recapp’s “Best of 2012” articles are our picks for the best Android tablet apps.
Thanks to a swarm of new innovative Android tablets that offer features like NFC technology and the ability to operate more than one app at a time, Android tablet apps are just gaining momentum. They’re no longer just Android smartphone apps enlarged to fit a bigger screen; they’re being optimized for Android tablets.
For our Best Android Apps of 2012 roundup, we stick to the basics by giving you the top apps for every essential tablet task.
We cheated a bit on this one. The Weather Channel app actually got its big update for Android tablets in 2013.
From arguably the most credible weather sources out there, this is an essential app for Android tablet users. Who doesn’t need a daily weather check?
TWC’s updated app boasts some new and improved widgets to add to your tablet’s Home screen, better weather notifications and interactive maps with a variety of layers (tracking storms, winds, precipitation and more). Overall, though, TWC for Android tablets has a seriously sleek and attractive interface that you have to check out to understand. We probably checked the weather longer than we checked our Facebook page. What? (Free for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and iOS)
The ultimate note-taking and productivity app Evernote is a must-have Android tablet app. Save a note in Evernote on your smartphone and access it from your tablet (or desktop) later on.
Evernote launched an Android tablet redesign in July of 2012, making the app super attractive (yes, looks do matter). The Evernote Home page on Android tablets, for example, is arranged in an organized grid layout. There are improved swipe gestures and a nice new list view, letting you view your notes by tags, locations, date and more. (Free for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and iOS)
Browsing anything is better on a bigger screen. That’s why when flipping through movie synopses and showtimes, we love using the Fandango app on our tablets’ 7- and 10-inch screens.
Fandango Movies for Tablets lets you better view HD trailers, purchase movie tickets, view theatre locations within Google Maps, and sort listings by a variety of categories, such as Popularity, Release Date, and Genre. For select theatres, you can even reserve your seats. (Free for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and iOS)
If you like to manage your various financial accounts while lounging on the couch with your Android tablet, Mint.com is essential. In 2012, Mint.com introduced a swanky Android tablet version of their popular budgeting app.
The Mint.com Android tablet app offers all the same features as its smartphone counterpart, but you’ll notice an enhanced experience using the colorful budget charts that are diagnostic via finger gestures. These charts and graphics let you know what you’re spending your money on over a monthly basis.
As expected, your Mint.com account will be synced across your multiple devices, so there’s no need to worry about your changes not being saved. You can even access your account information without an Internet connection—data from the last time the app was saved will be present. (Free for Android and iOS)
Quality office apps come at a price, but for $14.99, Quickoffice Pro HD is a steal. This app is one of the best office apps for the Android tablet, in our opinion, thanks to its intuitive navigation, combined with the boatload of features it offers.
From spell check in Word to the handy “freeze panes” feature in Excel (letting you view your header as you browse long spreadsheets) to the editing tools in PowerPoint files that let you rotate, resize and edit graphics, Quickoffice Pro HD packs a punch. It’s compatible with the top dogs in cloud-based services too, including Dropbox, Box, Evernote and Google Drive. It’s like holding all your office files easily in one hand.
No matter the size of your tablet’s screen, Thumb Keyboard will help you maximize your typing potential. Have a 10-inch screen on your tablet that you need to view in landscape, but can’t really reach the middle of the keyboard with your thumbs? Thumb Keyboard will let you split the keyboard so you’ll be able to hit your g’s and h’s with no problem.
There are more than enough keyboard layouts to provide multiple comfortable setups for any tablet, but the customization doesn’t stop there. You can tailor your own shortcuts, the top row of function buttons is user-configured, and the predictive text is smart and responsive. ($2.58 for Android)
We know some people are hooked to their Amazon e-readers, but we say, why not just download an e-reader app on your tablet to get more bang for your buck? Once you create an account, e-reader apps like Kindle open you to a world of e-books.
Kindle’s 2012 update for their Android tablet version included the ability to view two pages side by side, offering more of a lifelike reading experience. Plus we love the little things Kindle for Android tablet has to offer, like the ability to adjust your margin spacing and bookmark your page. So long, dog-ears and lost sticky notes. (Free for Android and iOS)
Similarly, if you spend more time reading non-fiction to keep up to date on events, news and opinions, you’ll want Google Currents in your app lineup. You can read magazine and newspaper articles, find and follow your favorite blogs and stay tuned in to the web’s best newsfeeds.
What really makes Google Currents great is how it renders all of these various textual sources in a format and display that keeps them colorful, while making reading easy on the eyes. The app was great when it came out for smartphones, but it’s a real home run on a larger tablet screen. (Free for Android and iOS)
In Where’s My Perry?, your goal is to navigate Agent P (a platypus detective) through water-powered tubes so he can get to his headquarters and track down the villain, Dr. Doofenshmirtz. On the Android tablet, Where’s My Perry? is extra immersive with its quirky graphics, tunes and voice effects. ($0.99 for Android and iOS)
We end with a staple for all entertainment-loving Android tablet users: the Netflix app. Its 2012 update for Android 4.2 improved the UI, making it more closely resemble its elegant iOS counterpart.
Launch the app and you’ll view tiles of the movies and TV shows you never finished watching, in case you want to pick back up where you left off. Or you can browse titles the traditional way, by category, popularity, etc. Cuddle up with this baby on your Android tablet and forgo a cable bill. (Free for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and iOS)