Having recently acquired a fantastic Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1 (who needs an iPad?) I thought it would be time to list my favourite apps that I have installed so far.
As I have spent a few hundred pounds on this device I thought it would be useful to spend £10 maximum on apps for it! (I don’t want to splash out too much cash now do I!)
I present to you the most useful apps I have found in using the device for the first few weeks. A few aren’t fully optimised for Honeycomb but for some reason stretch and fill the screen and work just fine! Just click each app name to locate it on the market!
PLUME – The best Twitter client out there. In landscape it presents you with three panes of tweets where you can select what you want in each pane. It includes colour coding so you can choose which tweets you want to really stand out and appear in any colour. In portrait you are presented with just one column which helps if you are a bit short sighted. This is just such a breeze to use – everything is so intuitive and does exactly what you want from a Twitter client. Allows muliple accounts on the same screen aswell. It comes with a widget that allows any size viewing panes!
EBUDDY – Rather than use MSN Messenger, Facebook Chat, Yahoo chat etc – this app lets you log into them ALL in one handy location. You can change your status independantly on individual messengers and can organise your lists in any order. The only bad thing I can say is that as the text is quite small and the screen quite wide the conversation is displayed aligned left and right and would be better if centre aligned or bigger text. But i’m sure that will be addressed for these bigger screened tablets soon!
FRIEND ME – Rather than download the official Facebook app – download this unofficial one. It does contain some small adverts but the layout is so much better. It utilizes the full screen much better and displays threads and content in a big pane to the right. The photo browser within this is great for Facebook aswell. Who-ever designed this unofficial app really needs to let the actual Facebook developers see it as it rocks!
FOURSQUARE – If you are one of those people that love checking into the places you visit then this app is for you. The app is nearly the same as the mobile phone equivalent but I just love using this via the widget. So simple and easy to use. I seem to be using this more and more now – exploring my local area with photos taken by other people.
VIGNETTE – I originally purchased this app for my Android 2.1 mobile phone and have now installed it on the Honeycomb tablet. I don’t think any changes have been made for Honeycomb but it still works extremely well. There is a full range of filters, colour effects, distressing, frames and loads of options available to create that retro look a la Instagram! The only bad thing to say is that the text is sometimes a bit small due to not upgrading. Let’s hope for a full upgrade to Honeycomb soon.
FAT BOOTH – A fun app where you can take a photo of someone and then instantly make their faces look that little bit fatter! Easily shared via social networks too. Essentially just a bit of fun but works great on Honeycomb tablets.
ZOMBIE BOOTH – In a similar vein to Fat Booth but this time turning you into a zombie. Rather than just creating a still image this app creates a full frame active face, with blinking eyes, scrunching nose and forehead, gnashing mouth and dripping blood. You can fully interact with the screen – just make sure you dont get your fingers biten off (and keep a tissue handy to wipe all that blood from the screen!!!)
FLICKR (unoffical) – Yahoo havent until recently bothered to make an official Flickr app so someone made a cracking app to browse and showcase your photos really effectively and simply in Honeycomb. A text based menu on the left hand side and then a mosaic of your photos (or any account on the right) a breeze to browse with no lag and great clarity. View as thumbnails and full frame utilising swiping to go forward or backwards. All so simple and unbelievable that the unofficial app is better than the official app. (Let hope it survives on the Market as the official Yahoo/Flickr app is now out there!)
DROPBOX – Utitlising ‘the cloud’ is an essential for anyone this day and age. It’s a simple way of storing your music, photos and just about anything – but making sure they are all synced up and accessible; whereever you are and on whatever device! Once logged in the browser is essentially a list of your folder and files. Click to select to view and access any file. It’s almost like having another local drive on your computer but without the storage problems. Obviously an internet connection is required but i think it does actually download any viewed selected files to the local drive which can be deleted later if required.(Hence you can brose and use these files offline if you have browsed them whilst online!) It’s a really simple, clean interface which could be graphically more interesting but it does infact do the job pretty well already.
FILE STATION TABLET – Most Android devices come with a file browser but most are very basic and not that easy to use or graphically display the contents that well. That’s where File Station comes in – it contains a list of folders to the left and then large icons and descriptions to the right. It’s quite similiar to the traditional Windows Browser but easier to use and very responsive. You can navigate, cut, paste, move etc any files you want. Once again so lush to use in Honeycomb.
PEN MEMO – A simple pen memo app. Using your finger (or stylus) to quickly scribble your memo onto some virtual note paper. The note can then be shared via all social media or plonked on your desktop!
SYSTEM MONITOR – I installed the lite version of this and it’s a great way to display system information either in the task bar as a small graphic or full screen with a real-time graph being plotted. It’s details CPU useage, data downloaded (and which app has been doing it!) the battery levels and how much memory is being used. There is also the choice between historical and live stats – i’m not entirely sure what else the paid-for version actually offers!
XIIALIVE LITE – Here an app that hasn’t been optimised for Honeycomb but regardlessly it does work well and present itself well anyway. For those that listen to a lot of online radio stations; rather than navigate to each radio station website and click the PLAY button to listen to the online version just click it once and then it will be remembered in XIIA Live. You can then browse all your saved radio stations by name, genre, favourites or tags. So it now only takes 2 clicks to listen to your favourite online radio stations. Also there is a small widget which allows you to play from there.
ETHERREAL DIALPAD – This essentially is a plaything utilising the touchscreen and the sound chip. Depending where you click on the screen gives you a different etherreal sound. It’s very melodic and has 4 different versions. All nice and mellow and great on the larger tablets.
CAUSTIC – Is one of the most advanced music creation apps I have seen on the Android platform so far. People have previously made separate sequences, beatbox, and synth apps but this does them all in one app. There are synths, bassline and beatbox generators and then a sequencer where you can mix down your track and eq and play about with it. This really lends itself to a 10.1 inch screen and is an essential Honeycomb music app. Try the others but this is the best!
TAPTU – This is my favourite way to read the days news. Once you have configured your feeds it displays the categories down the left where each stream can then be scrolled to the right and each story easily read. If you click a story it will bring it to fill the screen and then you can still scroll left and right to read the next story in that particular feed. It may seem a little strange at first but you can display websites, RSS feeds, XML or even just subscribe to a list of feeds that they suggest. It also allows a stream from Twitter and Facebook to be displayed aswell. Hence you can get your daily news, blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook all in one page!
PULSE – is a really lavish and speedy news aggregator. You can configure pages and feeds to appear wherever you want and are displayed in scrollable mosaics-each story complete with an image. The app just looks so nice and is easy and obvious how to use it. It works really quick and selected stories are instantly displayed in a larger panel to the right. This is similar to Taptu but isnt as configurable but the interface just looks a bit smarter if you really want to impress your iPad friends! I would choose Taptu over Pulse each time for the range of feeds that can be displayed1
GOOGLE READER – whereas this Google Reader is fully text based and almost archaic in comparison. But the beauty of this is the power of getting all those RSS feeds displayed in one handy place, all arranged quite neatly with lists on the left and a larger reading pane on the right. You can subscribe to RSS feeds, blogs and even tags and keywords. Worth investigating.
SPRINKLE – This is an intriging little game which looks great in Honeycomb. Essentially you are in control of a water hose and have to spray the fires that threaten the village! It might sound simple but is quite enjoyable for a few rounds. The free version is well worth a look.
PINBALL HD – Currently 3 large tables available on this fanstaic pinball game. The really rich and defined graphics are crisply drawn with the graphics card on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the controls are really responsive. I quite like the way the camera sometimes zooms in when your ball goes in a part that is quite intricate or hidden by something else. Still can’t make my mind up which is the best table to play!
TIKI GOLF 3D – ah you can’t beat any 3d rendered golf game and evenmore so when the course design is rather good. Loads of tunnels, windmills, loop the loops and all strange matter of level design. It’s easy to control the golf club and accurately play this one. Once again the graphics look nice and sharp and is a joy to play.
SWITCH – Well this is such a simple idea but is frustratingly addictive. There are four tracks where your craft is travelling down one of them, you then literally just have to press left and right to avoid oncoming obstacles – whilst the speed gets faster, the tracks starts twisting all over the place and there are many more obstacles in your way. Think Wipeout comes to Honeycomb but without the shooting. The theme music is rather funky aswell.
GALAXY ON FIRE 2 HD – this has to be the best game I have seen on the Galaxy Tablet so far. Gameplay is extremely smooth and all 3d rendered graphics move realistically. You control your ship flying through space and have fire power to shoot at other craft and items. You can control the craft by the virtual joystick or via the accelerometer – i still cant decide which method i prefer but its good to have the choice available. Even though this is the best looking game I have discovered so far I’m not sure i could perserve with it as it does seem a tad hard to begin with – but maybe when i’ve hit the trade centre and purchased some power-ups it may get a bit easy. Definately a keeper – one to impress the friends with!