This two-part article was inspired by Meg who is a new member of the Android Legion with her Galaxy Tablet.  She’s asked her friends and associates to share their app recommendations to help get her started.  I’m going to issue some disclaimers before I share the top apps I currently use.

  • I’m probably not the typical tablet user. While I use a laptop or desktop for the bulk of my work I still like having productivity options on my tablet.
  • I do game on my tablet, but I’m definitely a casual gamer and don’t go in for the shooters and twitch games.
  • I am using an Asus Transformer with the optional (and amazing) keyboard/battery/dock, which opens up a lot of options as far as text input and extreme battery life and also alters the way I use a tablet (more content creation / light netbook style).
  • I’m not mentioning the core/common Google Apps, because honestly if you use Google’s online services, you should probably have these installed by default (with a few exceptions).
  • It was very hard to limit myself to just featured apps in each category, but I didn’t want this to just be a long list of every app I installed out of need or whim.

With all that out of the way, in part one I’m listing my featured apps for Android tablets in the categories: Productivity, Security, Communication and Information. In part two of My Entirely Too Long List of Apps for Android Tablets article, I’ll cover Entertainment, Creativity, Games and Miscellaneous apps.

Productivity

  • HTML/Code Editor: Ok, going to cheat here. Right now, I have a three way testing tie between SilverEdit, WebMaster and Android Web Editor.  All three are available in a Free/Lite version as well as a Paid/Full version. While I have no intention of doing heavy web development on a tablet, I do like having the option of doing some spot edits and repairs when the tablet is all I have at hand. I swear I will do a comparison article between these three… sometime in the near future. J
  • CamScanner: Even a multi-megapixel camera is no substitute for a real scanner but this app has really helped me in some tight spots when I needed to email or preserve a physical document right now. Free/Paid
  • Documents To GoI’m sad to say that the Google Docs app isn’t quite as advanced as some of the other Google apps. The venerable Documents To Go app steps up wonderfully though, allowing you to create, edit and manage both local documents and Google Docs.  Free/Paid
  • Springpad: I know there are a lot of Evernote fans out there, but I went with Springpad because of the web-based access from desktops and laptops and because it felt cleaner and hassle-free.  Free
  • Polaris Office: This came with the Asus Transformer, so I’m not sure of its availability elsewhere, but it is neck and neck with Documents To Go for ability to work with MS Office documents.
  • Smart Diagram: Clever little app for building flowcharts, tree diagrams, mind maps and site architecture. Free/Paid

Security

  • KeePassDroid: Secure password storage. Combined with Dropbox (see below) and you’ve got a nearly instantly synchronizing password database across almost every conceivable platform. Free
  • Seal: Worried about loaning your tablet to friend? Seal allows you to lock down apps on a case by case basis.  It is still under development and has some shortcomings, but seems to be getting there.  Paid
  • SeekDroid: The must-have app for recovering or securing a lost Android device. Paid

Communication

  • GrooVe IPTurn your tablet into a phone powered by Google Voice without needing a voice plan with a mobile phone carrier. Paid
  • WordPress: The official WordPress app which allows you to update and maintain multiple WordPress sites. Free
  • LinkedIn:  Recently updated and now works great on the tablet. Maintain and monitor your business network on the LinkedIn site. Free
  • Skype:  Use the video and voice calling service of Skype on your tablet. Free
  • Google+: Access and maintain your Google+ network via a dedicated app.  Still has a way to go, but progress is being made. Free

Information

  • CraigsNotificaThis app allows you to create a Craigslist search with all the filters and features, then monitors CL regularly and alerts you on your tablet when it finds matches.  You can even have several running simultaneously. If you’re on the hunt for something, this app does a stellar job of monitoring CL.  Paid/Donation.
  • DropBox:  DropBox is one of those “force multipliers.”  On top of keeping files accessible and synchronized between multiple computers, phones, tablets, etc, it can be used to keep the data/log files of other programs synchronized as well, effectively creating custom multi-presence application.
  • Tonido:Tonido is actually a private cloud server (and a whole lot more) you can install on your traditional computer.  You can make literally every file and folder on your computer accessible in your own, private cloud which you can reach by any modern web browser.  The accompanying Android app servers connect to your Tonido cloud server.  As a result, I can access ANYTHING on my home network from anywhere in the world with an internet connection with complete peace of mind. Free
  • Wikipedia: The official Wikipedia app has been gaining ground on similar third-party apps. I regularly use it now.  Free
  • Wifi Analyzer: Monitor the strength and health of nearby wireless networks.  Free/Paid
  • Sound Hound: Excellent app for identifying that unknown song via your tablet microphone. Free/Paid
  • CrashPlan: This app accesses your Crashplan backups of your desktops and laptops via your phone or tablet. Free (required paid service)
  • Google Sky Map: An astonishing piece of work that sprang from Google’s 20% policy. Probably better astronomy tool than most PAID solutions. Free
  • Google Earth: With the larger screens of tablets, this app because very feasible (and fun). Free
  • Google Body: Although it could desperately use some updates and expansion, still a great app for exploring the various systems of the body in a compelling interface. Free.
  • WebMD: At the risk of fueling anyone’s budding hypochondria, having a ton of medical and diagnostic data at your fingertips is pretty cool.  Free
Part 2