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9 apps to help you get acquainted with your new Android tablet

Florence Ion | Jan. 2, 2014
So you just fired up your brand new tablet, and while it comes with a few apps--a number of them likely provided by Google--you want to know what others you should grab. This collection of must-have apps, all optimized for tablets, will make that first few days with your shiny new toy that much more enjoyable, and help make that "getting to know you" phase just a bit easier. Most of them are free, some of them cost money a few bucks, but they all come highly recommended.

Price: Free

DayFrame All-in-one Slideshow

Projectors may be out of style--for the most part--but it's still fun to put on a slideshow from time to time. What better way to do so non-intrusively than with a tablet app?

Try on Dayframe for size. It taps into a number of photo sharing services--like Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Dropbox, Flickr, Twitter, and 500px--and then displays those photos in a seemingly endless loop of transitions. The app is primarily designed to work like a screensaver, though it will tap into the more social aspect of your various photo-sharing networks and show status messages and the like--kind of like Facebook Home. You can upgrade to the premium version to get even more features, including custom playlists and an all-inclusive photo slideshow that grabs photos from all of your photo sharing accounts.

Price: Free, or $2.99

Feedly

We already went through a phrase of depression and denial after Google shut down Reader earlier this year, but thankfully other services cropped up in its place. Feedly is one of our favorites and it works just like Reader did: you browse content, subscribe to feeds, and then get to reading. The Feedly UI is easy to navigate and there are several different viewing modes. You can also create categories to organize your feeds, and share content via email or your social networks. As an added bonus, Feedly integrates with Pocket, Instapaper, and Evernote.

Price: Free

Astro File Manager

This app is an absolute must for any Android device, simply because navigating files on Android can be such a chore. You can organize, view, and find almost any file contained on your Android device, or use the service to move files between your Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and SkyDrive accounts. The app also works with an SD card and you can use it to open email attachments, too.

Price:   Free, or $3.99

Netflix

What good is a tablet if you're not watching video on it? Though it'll require a monthly subscription feed--about $8 for unlimited streaming--Netflix is arguably one of the better streaming services available. It offers a wealth of movies and seasons of some of television's best shows, and it's got its own original content, too--perhaps you've heard of the Emmy winning House of Cards

Price: Free

SwiftKey

Typing on a tablet is tricker than on a smaller-sized smartphone. But with apps like SwiftKey, you can choose from a variety of different keyboard layouts to better suit your on-screen situation. If you only have your thumbs available as tappers, for instance, SwiftKey offers a thumb layout for accessible typing. There's even a pop-out keyboard that can be maneuvered and placed anywhere on screen if the app you're using is being fussy. SwiftKey also features an accurate learn-as-you-type prediction engine, so you can quite literally type just by swiping. 

Price: Free to try, then $1.99

 

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