Whether or not tablets are the next wave of computing is still a topic that’s up for debate and one without any real answer right now. That said, tablets can be a lot of fun and very useful if you can find stuff to do on them. In this app roundup, we’ll try to get you started with the best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have.
If you’re an iPad user and somehow found yourself here by mistake, check out our list of best iPad apps!
[Price: Free] Adobe has quite the range of products on mobile, including Photoshop Express, Lightroom Mobile, Capture CC, Illustrator Draw, Color CC, Shape CC, Brush CC, and many others. These are all useful applications that do various things but they really shine on the larger screen real estate that comes with having a tablet. They’re all free to download and most of them work well with Creative Cloud if you happen to use that. We recommend giving them a look and you can do just that using the button below.
[Price: Free/In-App Purchases] CamScanner is a great productivity app. This allows you to use your tablet’s camera to scan in documents such as invoices, forms, receipts, and other documentation that you may want in the digital space. You can annotate PDFs, send the images in PDF or JPEG format, and there is even a service embedded that will send faxes. It also comes with OCR support, print options, and more. You can use this with an app like Xodo PDF Reader and Editor and between the two, you’ll be able to handle all of your PDF scanning and editing needs. You can use that last link there to pick up Xodo and the button below to get CamScanner.
[Price: Free] Flipboard is already a wildly popular news-reading application. It uses a magazine-style user interface that looks and feels just delightful on tablets. It’s a great way to read the news and you can customize your news feed with sources you enjoy reading from (we hope one of them is Android Authority!). It’s simple to use, totally free, and you can find virtually any website to use as a news source. If that’s a little over the top for you, Feedly is another great, simple option.
[Price: Free] Somehow, in 2016, cloud-based photo management is still clunky, cumbersome and in some cases just outright confusing. It’s hard to keep up with what photos are being backed up, how often, and to what devices, but Google Photos makes this easy. Similar to what you find with Apple’s Photos app, Google Photos syncs your photos and videos across all devices that have the app installed and the same Google account signed in. The feature that finds Google Photos part of the best Android tablet apps is the search functionality. With no input from users, the app can recognize things like people, babies, food, houses, cars and more. So if you want to call up a photo of that sweet white BMW you saw the other day, just search “white car” and voila!
[Price: Free] For folks who like to automate anything and everything, IFTTT is a must. Tablets make great home management devices when used in coordination with smart home accessories such as Phillips Hue lights and Nest products. IFTTT lets you connect your device, online accounts, smart home products and more to create automated “recipes” that make your life a little easier. So for instance, when you leave the house with your device, you can automatically have your Hue lights turn off. You can also connect your social media accounts to do things like post Instagram pictures natively on Twitter, instead of just sharing a pesky link.
[Price: Free/In-App Purchases] LastPass is a password management application. We’re sure you’re going to log into a bunch of apps, social networks, and websites on your tablet and an app like LastPass can be a real boon for that. The app will securely store your passwords and then automatically help you log into various sites and apps. It’s great for those who don’t want to remember every password they use. There is a subscription service available, but it’s only really necessary if you want to sync between your computer and mobile devices.
[Price: Free] Internet security is something many of us take for granted. When it comes to public internet access, especially when traveling to unfamiliar areas, you can never be too safe. Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the scary internet monsters who want to take what isn’t theirs, but for everyday folks, that’s not something that comes second nature. Opera’s new free VPN app makes it extremely easy. Literally open the app and it will automatically create a VPN that allows you to connect to one of 5 regions and heightens your devices security. The app has an extremely intuitive design, but unfortunately I did notice some lag in internet speed when the VPN was active.
[Price: $3.99] Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years, and that popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon. If you’re a podcast junkie, a good podcast app is a must for your Android tablet. Pocket Casts has quickly become a crowd favorite with its friendly design and visual interface. Syncing your favorite podcasts between devices is made easy so you can listen on your phone and tablet. If you’re headed out for travel, maybe on a plane or long bus ride, you can download your episodes ahead of time and play them back offline. Lastly, if you’re looking for something new, the Discover function of the app is fantastic for finding new, quality content.
[Price: Free] Chances are you have both a tablet and a smartphone. If that’s the case,PushBullet is an app you should absolutely check out. It allows you to connect your devices together in such a way that they can communicate and work together. With this app, you can do things like answer texts on your tablet instead of your phone, copy and paste things between devices, move files between devices, and tons of other features. It helps bridge that gap between your devices and gives you a way to make them all work together.
[Price: Free] Of course, you’ll want to pick up some notification tones and wallpapers for your tablet and Zedge is as good an app as any to start your search. It has a ton of crowd-sourced images and sounds that you can use to customize the most basic parts of your tablet. The selections are pretty decent and the app works very well with the advertising being the only minor complaint. If you need something more, we have a whole list of awesome wallpaper apps to try.