The Best Apps for Your Android Tablet

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Apps optimized for your tablet

Tablet

So you've got a new Android tablet. Once you've set up your new device, it's time to load up your favorite apps. When you're using a tablet, you want to make sure that you're using apps designed for bigger screens, and luckily, today most are. You'll find that many of your smartphone apps are also compatible with different screen sizes. With that in mind, here are the best apps for reading, watching movies and TV, and more on your Android tablet.

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Best Tablet Apps for Reading

Bookshelf

Your tablet is a natural eBook reader, and eBook apps are ideal for large screens. What you choose depends more on where you prefer to purchase reading material. The most popular app is Amazon's Kindle, which doubles as a reading interface and a bookstore. You can read books using the Kindle app from other sources too, including your local library. In some cases, you can also lend or borrow eBooks from other Amazon users, which is cool. Another option is the Nook app from Barnes and Noble, which also offers an extensive library, include lots of free books. Other sources for eBooks include Google Play BooksKobo Books (by Kobo eBooks), and OverDrive (by OverDrive Inc.), the latter of which lets you borrow eBooks and audiobooks from your local library. 

 

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Tablet Apps for News

Newspapers

News moves fast, and apps can help you keep on top of breaking stories and ongoing events, so you don't miss a thing. Flipboard is a popular app that lets you curate the news. You choose the topics you're interested in, and the app will collect the most popular related stories in an easy to read and attractive interface. SmartNews offers a tabbed interface so you can quickly toggle between news categories. To browse headlines and get the daily forecast, check out Google News & Weather, which also offers a custom home screen.

The Feedly newsfeed is another great resource that you can use on the web and all of your devices to discover and save articles you'd like to read, organized by category. There's also Pocket, which is a repository for all those stories you want to "save for later." You can even use it to save videos and other content from Flipboard and other services. Both Feedly and Pocket are available on the desktop too, so you can easily switch between devices without having to bookmark or email links.

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Tablet Apps for Movies, Music, and TV

Movie Screen

It's much more pleasant to watch movies and television shows on your tablet than on your smartphone, and luckily, the most popular apps play nice with screens large and small. Download Netflix and Hulu (subscriptions required), where you can access your lists, and pick up where you left off on your latest binge session. On the music front, you've got Google Play Music, Slacker Radio, Spotify, and Pandora, each of which offers different ways of discovering new tunes, and options for listening offline. Google Play Music has the smallest music library at the moment. Most services offer free ad-supported accounts, but typically require a paid subscription for mobile listening. For both videos and music, YouTube is a great resource, and now that it has an offline option, more versatile than ever.

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Tablet Apps for Exploration

Telescope

Bring out the explorer in you with Google Earth, the NASA app, and the Star Tracker app. With Google Earth, you can fly over select cities in 3D or get down to street view. You can see NASA photos and videos, learn about new missions, and even track satellites on the NASA app. Finally, you can discover what's in the sky above using Star Tracker, which helps you identify stars, constellations, and other objects (more than 8,000) in view.  

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An App for Connecting Your Devices

Mobile Devices

Finally, Pushbullet is a very popular app that does something rather simple: it connects your smartphone, tablet, and computer to each other. For example, using the app, you can send and receive texts and view notifications on your computer. Your friends won't believe how fast you're typing. You can also share links between devices, rather than having to email yourself. This app is a must download if you use several different devices throughout the day.