Friday, November 23, 2012

Nexus 7 App Recommendations

Now that I've had the Nexus 7 for a while, I can provide some recommendations for applications that are suitable for daily use on the tablet.

  1. Skype. This is by far the best use of a tablet. Skype on the tablet is far more useful than on a laptop or desktop. The tablet is far more portable, and has more processing power than a phone so the video quality is acceptable. It has seen nearly daily use while we were on vacation. In places where we had no cell coverage but had wifi (yes, it happens), Skype has turned the tablet into a very useful phone. In fact, I'm tempted to get the mobile data version of the N7 for general use.
  2. Meridian Player. If you side-load videos to your tablet, you need a video player as the default one won't accept sideloaded videos. Of the lot, Meridian Player is the best. The gestures for fast-forwarding, etc., are very well done. The processing of formats are great, and I like the UI.
  3. Sudoku. This is my go-to game for passing the time when I have just a few minutes. The auto-save feature works well, and it's easy to play for just a minute or two.
  4. Google Reader The big negative about reading on the tablet is that the sharing is quite a disaster. Sharing to Google+ works well, as you might expect, but sharing to delicious depends on a third party app such as Andricious. Andricious is flakey, frequently resulting in "Loading Page Title" as the the anchor text when shared rather than the actual anchor text. Unfortunately, Delicious has chosen to focus on the iOS app instead of Android apps. What this says to me is that I need to curtail reading on the tablet and keep reading on the Windows PCs as much as possible.
  5. New York Times is the best of the news reading apps. What makes it great is something really simple: it works even when disconnected from the internet! None of the other news reading apps work when disconnected from the internet, which defeats the purpose of having an app on the tablet which reads the news since the web browser is just as good. The New York Times app is so good that I'd be tempted to pay for a subscription to the New York Times so I can keep using it when my trial is over. The New York Times app is what Google Reader wants to be when it grows up.
  6. Amazon App Store The free app of the day has typically turned out to be excellent, and sometimes, the price is lower on the Amazon store than on the Google store. Some Googlers I know hate the fact that the store's been fragmented, but if you're a consumer, competition is good!
Other Apps I've got loaded turned out not to be as frequently useful or have some annoying features. In general though, the default set up on the Nexus 7 tablet has proven to be quite good, and certainly the gmail/calendar application is the main reason to buy a Nexus tablet instead of a Kindle tablet.
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