Tablet apps

Volume 17, Issue 3; 19 Jan 2014

Which apps do you find indispensable?

It seems that two of my friends have recently joined the Android tablet community. This leads naturally to the question “what apps should I get?”

Of course, the answer depends entirely on what the friend in question wants to do with the tablet, but that's not a helpful answer. Here, for what it's worth, are the apps on my tabletGiven the choice between free and non-free versions, I almost always cough up some cash; apps are cheap, I make my living writing software, and I hate advertisements. (an older model Nexus 7) that I use “frequently”.

  • The Google apps: GMail, Maps, Chrome, Google+, etc. (Granted, they come on the tablet, but I use them all the time.)
  • The Kindle and Nook apps for reading books.
  • Aldiko Premium for reading EPUBs (O'Reilly books for example).
  • Droid48. I don't understand non-RPN calculators.
  • Dropbox for sharing files.
  • Evernote (and Skitch because they go together).
  • Feedly. I've lost the daily urge to keep up with weblogs, but this seems to be a good RSS/Atom reader.
  • Hacker's keyboard. Just better.
  • LastPass for password management. If you're on the Mac platform, get 1Password instead, and get a copy for your laptop too.
  • Twicca, my Twitter client of choice
  • TripIt. (You travel without TripIt? You crazy person you!)
  • Stopwatch & Timer+
  • Pandora. I use the Sonos app more often, because I have one, but I pump Pandora stations through my Sonos with some regularity.
  • Words with Friends to play Scrabble™ with my friends (because the Scrabble™ app sucked beyond all measure last time I tried it); if you're interested I'd be happy to lose to you too :-)
  • Bridge Baron because I'm trying to learn Bridge.
  • Crosswords for the NYT crossword. I'm not good at it, but I'm getting better.
  • Google Earth because sometimes it's fun to explore the world.
  • Ingress because Lauren got me hooked on the game. Join the resistance.
  • Google Sky Map. (Come on, that's just cool.)
  • A handful of bartending apps (Cocktail Flow, Bartender, Mixologist) but I mostly use these days.
  • Wifi Analyzer. Because I live in an apartment complex and it's useful to see all the networks and what channels they're on.
  • BeyondPod for podcasts, Wait! Wait! Don't tell me! almost exclusively; if I had to commute, I might listen to more podcasts. As it is, I read faster than I listen.

I use the Aviate launcher; I've got some invites, I think, if you're interested.

I use many of the same apps on my phone (a newer model Nexus 5). I don't read books or attempt to do crosswords on my phone but I also don't play Ingress on my tablet very often, so there's no hard-and-fast division. I've left off a handful of other games that I play occasionally on the theory that how one wants to waste one's time is probably pretty personal.

It's worth pointing out that I have a bunch of photography related apps on my phone (ProCapture, Snapseed, Perfectly Clear, Pixlr Express) that don't make sense on the cameraless tablet. (See also my dailypics.)

Also used on my phone more than my tablet, if not exclusively:

  • MobileOrg for syncing Emacs Org mode files with my phone, mostly my shopping lists.
  • Authenticator for two-phased authentication with Google.
  • Hailacab Austin
  • Color Flashlight
  • Gentle Alarm to wake me up in the mornings. (My “ringtone” is the Tardis materialization sound; if that police box ever shows up, I am so going!)
  • Pebble because I have one.
  • United Airlines because that's my airline of choice.
  • Open Table and Yelp. I used to have TripAdvisor too until their app wanted some ridiculous permission.

To the extent that you care to tell the world, what's on your tablet?


I use about 1/2 of these on my Nexus 7 as well (all the truly good stuff of course). Hacker's keyboard is definitely a must have, though I prefer my protective case's physical USB keyboard (even with its 3/4 size keys) when typing long entries.

—Posted by Derek Read on 21 Jan 2014 @ 01:55 UTC #

blek. mine is IoS. says it should be soon. Just a bit different

—Posted by Dave Pawson on 22 Jan 2014 @ 10:41 UTC #