What’s on my Tablets?

August 2, 2012

So, I now have both an Android Nexus 7 and an Apple iPad. Many of the apps I have on both, so here’s a rundown of them. (NB iTunes links are for the Canadian store). All apps are free unless otherwise specified.

On Both

Kindle (Apple iTunes, Google Play): Amazon’s app for accessing their e-book content. This is one of the first apps I downloaded.

Kobo (Apple iTunes, Google Play): the app to access Kobo ebooks. The tablet version includes Kobo Pulse, Kobo’s interactive e-reading community.

GoodReads (Apple iTunes, Google Play): GoodReads is the social network for readers on which I am very active. I also use it to keep track of my reading. Feel free to check out my profile.

Zinio (Apple iTunes, Google Play): Zinio is the app and content provider I use for magazines. Although I have it on both the Nexus and iPad, the iPad’s larger 10 inch Retina display screen makes reading magazines an absolute joy. That is one type of reading I much prefer to do on my tablet than my eInk e-reader.

Overdrive Media Console (Apple iTunes, Google Play): Overdrive is the app used to access Overdrive’s large library of ebooks for lending. Not every library is connected to this, but I am fortunate that the local library BAnQ is a part. Generally, I prefer to side load the books to my Kobo, but at a pinch, I can access them via Overdrive. For those of you with Macs: note that the Nexus 7 is not recognised by Adobe Digital Editions, meaning the Overdrive app is the only way I’ve found so far to read library books on the device.

Social Networking
I use the standard apps to access the usual social networking sites:

Facebook (Apple iTunes, Google Play) this is the official Facebook app. It does what it says on the can.

Twitter (Apple iTunes, Google Play): again, I use the official Twitter app. I hear there are better ones out there, but again this does the job, no fuss.

Flipboard (Apple iTunes, Google Play): this is your social network feeds presented in a magazine-like format. It’s quite fun and very nicely done.

Skype (Apple iTunes, Google Play): I occasionally use Skype to make calls, but not very often. It’s nice to have it available though.

Music and Cinema
Rdio (Apple iTunes, Google Play) : App is free, but requires a subscription for the streaming music service. Since subscribing to this, I almost never buy music now. Music quality is fine on both devices. It’s particularly fun on the Nexus where you can use Google Voice to say “Listen to Somebody by Reba McEntire” (yes, I’m a Reba fan) and it will hook into Rdio and start playing the song.

Cineplex Mobile (Apple iTunes, Google Play): Most of the cinemas near me are now Cineplex chain cinemas, so this is a really useful app for me to check movie times and book tickets. I’m hoping that with the release of iO6 and Passbook this may be even more useful avoiding printing my tickets at all.

IMDb (Apple iTunes, Google Play): This is a valuable resource for cinephiles like me – on the tablets – iPad in particular – it is just such a joy to browse – full-screen trailers and hi-res images.

Netflix (Apple iTunes, Google Play) Access to streaming media via subscription. I really enjoy watching Netflix on the iPad, although I’ve not yet tried on the Nexus’ smaller screen.

STM (Apple iTunes, Google Play): This is the official app for the Montreal public transport system. On my iPhone it’s probably one of the apps I use most frequently to check bus times. On the Nexus it’s been superseded by Google Now, which brings up my local bus times before I even ask.

1Password Pro (Apple iTunes $14.99, Google Play – reader only): this is the app I use to manage my passwords. I have a full version on my iMac and it syncs seamlessly between my iPhone, iPad and now Nexus. NB, the Android version is read only. I did have to get a Dropbox account to manage the synchronisation.

BBC News (Apple iTunes, Google Play): I tend to get most of my news from browsing the BBC News site at my iMac but sometimes it’s good to be able to catch up on the iPad or Nexus.

These are the apps I have installed on both the iPad and Nexus, and are the ones I use on a very regular basis. There are a few I have on the Nexus that are not on the iOS and vice versa

On the Nexus 7

Beautiful Widgets (Google Play, $2.59) This app allows for some fun personalisation of the device.

SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts (Google Play, $3.68): This, together with SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar (Google Play, $2.63) allows me to synchronise my iCloud contacts and calendar with my Nexus. It works beautifully.

On the iPad

Bento (Apple iTunes, $4.99): This app hooks into Bento, the database program I use on my Mac. Its not being available on Android is rather a deal breaker for me to switch to an Android phone.

TV Stations
None of these apps is available yet for the Nexus. It should be noted that most Android apps are still geared towards phones rather than tablets; I imagine that will change in the coming months. I often enjoy curling up on the sofa with my iPad to catch up on shows I’ve missed. Now if only HBO Go would come to Canada…

CTV (Apple iTunes Streaming media from CTV.

CityTV )Apple iTunes): Streaming media from CityTV.

BBC iPlayer Apple iTunes): Streaming media from Auntie. Requires a subscription.

Global (Apple iTunes): Streaming media from GlobalTV.

CBC TV (Apple iTunes): Streaming media from CBC TV.

I have not downloaded any games to the Nexus, although I appreciate it has the oomph for them. I have too many on my iPhone/iPad to mention. Here are my favourites. NB I accept no responsibility for time lost playing these games

Where’s My Water? (Apple iTunes, $0.99) Guide the water past the obstacles to Swampy’s shower. Highly addictive.

Cut the Rope (Apple iTunes, $1.99) Cut the rope at the right time to guide the candy to the little green monster.

Beyond Ynth (Apple iTunes $2.99): Guide Ynth around the obstacles to collect crystals. I lost weeks of time on this.

Boxed in 3 (Apple iTunes, $0.99) Move boxes around to clear the exit. Surprisingly difficult and addictive.

So there you have it, a look around the apps on my Nexus and iPad. Many of them are the usual suspects, but all of them I have used and still use on a regular basis. Enjoy.

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