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The state of tablet apps on Android

As a technology enthusiast I have spent a lot of time both using and reading reviews about Android tablets and their ecosystem.  If you have read the reviews on the popular techie sites, they have told you that Android has no tablet apps and that you are wasting your time.  As a technology lover who has owned android tablets I have put the claims to the test, and have found them to be complete rubbish.

For example in the collage that I have created above there are 47 different Android tablet apps displayed.  Apps of all different types and categories that run on both my Nexus 7 2013 and my Asus Transformer Infinity.  This is not even close to all the available amount of tablet optimized apps. To elaborate on that point I did not take screenshots of games or native Google apps. There are also apps I don't normally use that I did not download for this article but that definitely have tablet apps; for example Expedia, Hipmunk, or Evernote.

Also not included are apps that scale well but are not true tablet apps such as Instagram.  Don't let that discourage you if you are a fan of that particular app.  Instagram scales well on Android and actually does not have a tablet app on the iPad.  The scaled version on the iPad looks terrible.  You won't normally see that on the major tech blogs for some reason for some reason.  Not that I am accusing anyone of any payola but there are curious omissions on reviews sometimes that make me wonder.

What types of apps have Tablet optimized versions?  Try some of the well known names like:

  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • Hulu Plus
  • HBO GO 
  • Dropbox 
  • Xbox Smartglass 
  • Mozilla Firefox 
  • Adobe Photoshop Touch
  • VEVO
  •  iHeartradio 
  • Pinterest
  • Showtime Anytime
  • Starz Play
  • Encore Play
  • Crackle
  • Flipboard
  • Linkedin Pulse
  • CW TV Now
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • CBS
  • Ebay
  • Amazon Tablet
  • AMC
  • IMDb
  • Myfitnesspal
  • Skitch
  • Soundhound
  • Tunein
  • Skype
  • OpenTable
  • Twitter

There are also a ton of useful apps from smaller (but in some cases just as well known) developers such as:
  • Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
  • Beautiful Widgets
  • HD Widgets
  • Boat Browser
  • ComicRack 
  • DJStudio 5
  • ES File Explorer
  • FlightTrack
  • Friendcaster (3rd party Facebook app)
  • HD Widgets
  • iTriage
  • Kingsoft Office
  • MX Player
  • OfficeSuite Pro
  • Picsay Pro
  • Pocket
  • Pixlr Express
  • Stick it!
  • Tapatalk HD
  • Thumb Keyboard
  • ZocDoc

This is by no means an end all comprehensive list.  As it was stated earlier in the article, I kept games, most apps that I don't personally use, and Google apps out of it.  In the case of some of the listed apps, they come with added functionality that you won't find on competing operating systems.  For example, Boat Browser and Mozilla FireFox can utilize the adobe flash plugin if needed.  While flash is being phased out in favor of HTML 5, there are still sites that have not and may never switch over.  In cases like this it's great to have to option to use a device which has an architecture open enough to take advantage of such things for those who need them.  In this list you also have a file manager and widgets which are both useful things to have for power users that you don't have in competing mobile platforms.

Overall, Android may not have the biggest Tablet app ecosystem but don't let the naysayers fool you.  Claiming that Android has no Tablet apps is as far from the truth as saying that a unicorn will visit you this evening and shower you with lavish gifts.  The growing app catalog and all the little extra things that an Android tablet can do such as support for 3rd party controllers, mice, keyboards, SD cards of all sizes and capacities, widgets, file managers, video out both physically and wirelessly, and anything else that I've forgotten means that the state of Android tablets (and apps) are a safe bet to invest in whether you are a couch surfer or need productivity on the go.

Tablet apps are all available from the Google Play Store as well as the Amazon App Store.


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