Another Day, Another Android Tablet PC
The iPad may rule the current tablet market based on popularity, but if you're looking for hardware variety, Android is King.
The only problem: Android tablets are dropping faster than developers can pump out quality software for devices. Indeed, few truly great, Android-tablet-specific apps exist at this point. But that doesn't mean you and your shiny new gadget should go "app-less." Not all of the following 11 Google Android apps were developed specifically for tablets, but they're all tablet compatible-and they're all guaranteed to boost the overall value and usefulness of your slate.
(Note: All of the recommended applications were downloaded and tested using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 running Android 3.1 [Gingerbread], but they should work on the majority of Android tablets, as well.)
Kindle for Android
Your Android tablet is a wonderful e-reader, and the Kindle for Android application brings Amazon.com's collection of more than 750,000 digital books directly to your device. The app lets you purchase books any time you have wireless connectivity and read whenever you have battery life. Many classic books are free, and best-sellers start at just $9.99--less than what you'd pay for a print version in a bookstore. You can preview books before buying and read them on multiple Kindle devices, thanks to the app's Whispersync technology, which transfers bookmarks and other annotations between devices.
Pandora Internet Radio for Android
A variety of cool, free Internet radio applications exist for the Android platform, but none offer the same quality music catalogue and customization options as the free Pandora for Android app. Pandora is easy to setup and use: Create and account, log in, simply pick an artist or band you like and the application creates a custom "station" based around that artist, with similar tunes, selected by other like-minded listeners.
Amazon Appstore for Android
Google's official Android Market is a great place to find quality Android software, but the true app connoisseur always appreciates new options. Amazon's Appstore is one of, if not the, best Android Market alternative-at least for "non-rooted" devices. It provides a number of unique features and offers, including a new, normally paid app for free every day, and a cool Test Drive feature for trying out new software.
Google+ for Android
Google's new social network, Google+, is not available to the masses yet, but if you're one of the lucky few who got in on the initial beta, you'll definitely want to check out the free Google+ mobile app for Android, which provides the vast majority of features and functionality found on the full desktop Google+ page with a streamlined, user-friendly interface. Check your stream, update your status, join and contribute to "Huddles," add and view photos, view individual "Circles" and more, all from your Android tablet.
Poynt for Android
Poynt is the only mobile, local-search application for Android you'll ever need. The app uses your current location, based on GPS or user-input, to find the closest businesses, retailers, restaurants, gas prices, events and much more. Poynt offers a dedicated weather section, too. You can find local movie theatre listings and purchase tickets via Android. And the app integrates with your Google calendar and address book so you can quickly add contacts or events.
Amazon MP3 and Cloud Drive for Android
Amazon MP3 for Android is a must-have application for all mobile media enthusiasts. With simple navigation and a clean user interface, Amazon MP3 for Android makes it easy to find and purchase the songs and albums that you seek, over Wi-Fi or your cellular network. Free "Songs of the Day" mean you can frequently download new music without ever dropping a dime. And "Daily Deal Albums" are always available for $5 or less. The app also gives you access to all of you Amazon Cloud Drive music, via a cool, mobile Cloud Player interface.
Twitter for Android
Any and all Twitter users with Android devices should download the most popular Twitter app on the Market: the official Twitter for Android app. The software boasts an intuitive and visually appealing interface&though not exactly optimized for tablets. More advanced, feature-packed apps exist-like Seismic for example-but Twitter for Android provides all the basic Twitter functionality you'll need for free, with no ads.
ScoreMobile for Android
ScoreMobile is the Android-tablet-toting sports-nuts' dream app. The completely free app offers scores, statistics and more for a variety of sports and leagues, including both NFL and NCAA football, Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, PGA golf, men's and women's professional tennis, NASCAR and Formula 1 racing. Users looking for in-depth info on specific sports can find more full-featured sport-specific apps in the Market, but ScoreMobile is the best software for keeping tabs on a variety of game-types at once.
Dropbox for Android
Dropbox, a cloud-based storage service, makes it quick and easy to share files between Web-connected devices, including PCs, tablets and smartphones. Dropbox apps exists for all major mobile platforms, and you get 2.0 GB of free storage just for creating an account-more if you recommend the service to others. You simply load up your Dropbox with content, launch the Android app and everything within your Dropbox is available to you via tablet. You can also upload new content while on the go.
Various Angry Birds Titles
Unless you choose to reside in the ground beneath a large stone, you've likely heard of the phenomenon that is Angry Birds. Born on the iPhone, but eventually ported to most major mobile platforms, Angry Birds is the most popular mobile game ever-and it's free on Android, though you'll have to deal with a few in-app ads. Launch different types of birds in attempts to topple obstacles, foil your various adversaries and save your unborn avian-spawn from total demise. If the first version isn't enough for you, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio are also available for free download.
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