Cool Android Tablet Apps to Watch For

These apps are all optimized for the larger screens of tablets--and either just came out, or are coming soon.

App Anticipation

It's not easy to find apps that are optimized for the expanded screen real estate of Honeycomb tablets. Here are some we've seen previewed recently that are coming out this summer, or that have just hit the Android Market.


The auction-site favorite is upping its Android presence this summer by adding selling capabilities to its Android phone app. And later on, the company expects to release a Honeycomb-optimized version for tablets. The Android app's interface looks very different from what we see on the iPad, and it clearly takes advantage of Android's pane-style design elements.

BuddyTV 2.0

Already available for iOS, BuddyTV 2.0 hits Android this summer (target: July) with both phone and tablet optimization. For this version, the company is focusing on providing personalized listings and recommendations, something it says its research shows users want. According to the company, 67 percent of users settle for watching something "sub-optimal" because of frustrations with the guide. Search what's on your favorite channel, scan listings via a grid view, and tune in a channel remotely (via supported set-top boxes).

Riptide GP

Coming soon, this wave-racing game is optimized for Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform--not coincidentally, the platform found in most Honeycomb tablets. The game puts you on a Jet Ski, and sets you off on a man-made track, racing through the water against other riders and performing a stunt or two while you're at it.

Nook for Android

Just released, the Barnes & Noble Nook for Android app gains optimization for the larger screen sizes of Honeycomb tablets, and brings B&N's popular selection of interactive periodicals to tablets, too. Previously, B&N's interactive magazines were available only on the company's Nook Color tablet. You can initiate shopping for books and buying single copies or subscribing to periodicals directly from within the app. B&N says it has the largest selection of digital periodicals around, with more than 140 top magazines and newspapers in its collection.

Wyse PocketCloud

The most robust of the remote control apps we've seen, this software has free and Pro versions. The $14.99 Pro variant provides additional connectivity and features optimization for enterprise users. The software uses Google's app engine to create a secure connection between devices and includes a touch pointer that overlays and moves across the screen with you, and acts in lieu of a mouse (it even supports right and left mouse clicks and scrolling). The software also supports connection protocols like RDP to connect to Windows-based machines (except Home editions); VNC (for Home editions of Windows, and Mac and Linux, too); and VMware View (for enterprise users). Coming this summer: Bluetooth mouse support via Android 3.1, multimedia streaming, remote printing, and mounting of local storage to your Windows desktop. Also coming: an in-app annual premium subscription to add more capabilities for $12 a year.

Gracenote Mood Music

First demoed at CES 2011, this app is still in development. Mood Music uses Gracenote's audio fingerprinting technology to analyze Mood and Tempo sonic attributes, and use that info to match your mood to playlists that draw upon your music collection. You can even refine a playlist by selecting descriptors like Genre, Origin, Era and Artist Type. In an example provided by Gracenote, a playlist's characteristics could be: Mood—Defiant, Tempo—Fast, Era—1980s, Origin—New York, USA, Genre—Hip Hop, and a sample result could include tracks from artists like Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, or A Tribe Called Quest.


Though designed primarily to help find guitar-chord apps, Chord! works with any number of frets. The app's developer uses an algorithm that finds all voicings for a given chord. It can also do reverse searches for chords, and it gives you scales, too. The app is optimized to detect whether you are using a phone or a tablet. While the paid version has been around for a while, the free version, which removes some features, just launched.


First shown at SXSW earlier this year, LightBox is a photo app coming this summer for Android tablets and phones; it will be followed later by an Apple iOS version. LightBox enables a social photo gallery by providing a photo roll that syncs with the Web; your photos are shown as a feed, and there are hooks directly in Facebook, too. The app also provides an alternative way of viewing and perusing your photos on your device. It is currently in a private beta.

Untitled Chess Game From War Drum Studios

Operating under the code name Little Green Robots, War Drum is working on a free Android version of its upcoming Chess: Revolution game. The free version has a simple quick-play mode with four difficulty levels. The chess pieces are versions of the Android robot; and you'll play in either a futuristic spaceship environment or, as shown here, on the front lawn of Android HQ. The full-blown version, due this summer, has additional game modes and customization options.

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