10 essential apps for your Android tablet
The open nature of Android makes it an incredibly versatile mobile OS, great for work, play and binge-watching House of Cards. On a tablet it’s even more powerful, with the big screen making the likes of movie watching, photo editing and document creation more viable and enjoyable.
The only problem then is finding the apps for the job, as there’s a simply astounding number to choose from. No need to worry though, because we’ve sifted through them all and found ten of the most essential ones for any new Android tablet owner.
Download these and you’ll have the basics covered in style, but if you’re still left craving more you can always take a gander at our list of the 100 best Android apps.
£7.49/$9.99 per month
While you can watch videos on your phone, the small screen means it’s not that ideal. But with the larger displays found on Android tablets a movie marathon is an appealing prospect and there’s no better app for it than Netflix.
There’s a subscription attached, but for little more than the cost of a coffee and a sandwich each month you’re getting unlimited access to thousands of films and television shows, including exclusives created by Netflix itself. If anything there’s TOO much to watch, so really start thinking about how much you really need that job…
If you’re planning on getting any serious work done on your tablet you might want to invest in a physical keyboard, but if you’re sticking with the touchscreen then at least download SwiftKey.
This keyboard app has been around for years and while many imitators have arrived since none have matched it for speed and accuracy.
It learns the words you use, becoming better over time, supports both tapping and swiping for text entry and has an assortment of different looks and layouts so you can personalise it to perfection.
Physical notebooks will soon be a thing of the past and with Evernote there’s no reason to ever go back to one.
Whether you’re taking notes, writing a to-do list, creating agendas or tracking your expenses Evernote has the tools to do it all and it syncs across devices, so you can access your notes from anywhere with no danger of ever losing them.
With support for multiple notebooks it needn’t get cluttered either and thanks to a powerful search tool if something does get buried you can easily dig it up again.
We wouldn’t endorse ever taking photos on your tablet, but editing them is another matter entirely. While you can do basic edits from a phone the larger screen on a slate makes it easier to fine tune images and get a good look at the finished product.
There’s a decent selection of photo editing apps, but Snapseed is one of the very best. You can use a brush tool to selectively apply effects to part of an image, tweak the exposure, white balance and shadows, add filters, crop, rotate and more.
Snapseed isn’t (as you’d expect) as powerful as some desktop software, but it’s about as in depth as you’d want to get on a tablet – and best of all it’s free.
The thought of typing out a document on a smartphone is the stuff of very boring nightmares. But a tablet, with its wide expanse of digital real estate, is far more suited to the task.
And what better pairing than Microsoft Word? It’s one of the most well-known word processors in the world and the Android version is almost as full-featured as the desktop one, allowing you to easily create and edit documents full of charts and images.
If you don’t want to pay extra for certain elements, Google Docs is another free choice that works nicely – but is much more limited in functionality.
There’s no better way to shop than from the comfort of your own home and with a tablet you can do it from anywhere in the house. Browse from the sofa, buy from the bathroom… we don’t judge.
The eBay app isn’t the only shopping app available on Android, but it’s feature packed, easy to navigate and can be used to both buy and sell, plus with the notifications that alert you when stuff is ending, you’ll never have to curse again when those wellies you wanted went for a fraction of the price you’d have paid.
Storage can come at a premium, but with Box you can boost it up without paying any extra. The cloud storage service offers 10GB completely free of charge and if you need more you can sign up for a monthly subscription.
As it’s cloud storage you’ll need an internet connection to access your files, but it does also mean you can access them from almost any web connected device and share them with others.
Chances are your tablet can’t make calls. Or send texts. But with Skype you can essentially do both over Wi-Fi and you can also video call, which works brilliantly on the screen of a slate.
Log in on your phone and desktop as well and you can keep text conversations going whatever device you’re on.
You can only talk to other people who have Skype, but as there are over 250 million of them out there chances are your friends and family are among them and if not they should be, as it’s free after all.
VLC for Android
Netflix is great for streaming video, but if you prefer to keep your content local or just don’t want to pay a monthly subscription VLC for Android could be the answer.
It’s a powerful media player with support for just about every file type under the sun, so if you’ve got a video, chances are this can play it.
As it plays content straight from your device it’s a great alternative to streaming options when you’re away from a Wi-Fi connection, so just make sure you stick a bunch of films on your tablet before leaving the house.
Avast Antivirus & Security
While security is a big concern on PCs it often gets neglected on mobile devices, yet they too are susceptible to viruses, malware and spyware.
Thankfully there are a handful of antivirus options available and Avast Antivirus & Security is one of the best.
Not only does it scan apps and content for viruses, but there’s a web shield to keep you safe online, plus tools to track or wipe a lost or stolen device.