The 26 best Android tablet apps
Android apps had a bad reputation in the first generation of tablets, with screen sizing causing issues for several apps originally designed for smartphones.
The situation might remain imperfect, but we’ve sifted through the best software available for Android tablets, saving you time and potentially wasted money.
(Note: application prices and availability are subject to change)
READING AND REFERENCE
PRESSREADER (Free – 7 free issues, 79p per issue or £23/month)
More tablet apps
The large screen of a tablet is perfect for reading, and for newspapers there’s no better app than Pressreader. This app offers digitised versions of all the national dailies, free and paid for, plus thousands of other international newspapers. The papers can be pinch-zoomed, flicked around and browsed, and since they’re effectively straight PDFs of the pages, they look exactly like the real thing. But, best of all, once you’ve paid your subscription, editions can be delivered instantly – you’ll never have to wait for the paperboy again.
AMAZON KINDLE (Free)
Recently revamped to take full advantage of expansive tablet screens, Amazon’s Kindle app is full of thoughtful touches. Wireless synchronisation allows you to pick up where you left off on your Kindle reader or smartphone; screen brightness controls and a choice of background colours help counter eye-strain; and the search facility quickly hunts down keywords in text. An iBooks-style double-paged spread option wouldn’t go amiss when reading in landscape mode, but when you can download and read classic books for free, it seems almost churlish to complain.
ZINIO Free (magazines cost extra)
Long before Apple announced its own digital newsstand for iOS devices, Zinio was offering electronic versions of many of the world’s greatest magazines (including PC Pro). There’s not a great deal of interactivity: Zinio offers little more than flickable facsimiles of the print versions, with a plain text version of each page if you prefer. But its share breadth of titles and ability to sign up for subscriptions and have the latest edition automatically downloaded to your tablet is pure convenience. And did we mention it offers PC Pro?
PINBALL HD (£1.83)
The Tegra 2 graphics have given Android tablets a massive lift, and nowhere is that more obvious than in Pinball HD (which only works on Tegra-equipped tablets and the iPad). There are three tables to choose from – Wild West, Jungle Style and the underwater-themed The Deep, the latter of which is our favourite. The 3D graphics are superb and impeccably smooth, zooming in and out on parts of the table when necessary, and coping with multiple balls zipping around without as much as a dropped frame. If you’ve got a pair of stereoscopic glasses handy you can also experience true 3D graphics, although that left us reaching for the Nurofen after only a few minutes. Yet, with perfect pinball physics and ultra-responsive controls, it’s a wonderful blast.
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