Must-have Android tablet apps

Culture
Android tablets have come a long way since the dark days of the Dell Streak and Motorola Xoom. The hardware has gotten better and cheaper and most of all, the apps are way better. In fact, I can think if five apps right now that absolutely rock on any Android tablet out there. So here you go. 5 tablet-optimized apps that will make Android owners proud. Starting off at #5: Swiftkey. Almost every major manufacturer uses some type of custom keyboard software on their tablet, probably because the default Android keyboard is just so-so. But nearly everyone agrees that the coolest keyboard in all the land is Swiftkey. They have a version made specifically for tablets and it does predictive text like its reading your mind. It's the only app on this list that costs money, but its $4 well spent. At #4: Google Drive. This is one of those indispensable apps that Google makes, but doesn't include by default, at least not yet. No one does the cloud better than Google. You can store your Google Docs here, your photos, videos, presentations -- all your stuff, perfectly synchronized between your desktop and your mobile devices. Now, Dropbox is a great option too, but if youÃ?ve gone Android, you may as well keep it in the family. Unless, of course, it comes to books. At #3: Amazon Kindle. LetÃ?s face it, Amazon still dominates when it comes to e-books and their Kindle software is the gold standard or mobile e-reader apps. Google Books is fine, but nobody can put your books more places than Amazon. It works with Android, iPhone, iPad, and even on that Kindle e-reader you have tucked away somewhere. Tablets are a great device for reading and having your Amazon e-library at your fingertips seems so obvious that it should be a basic human right. Speaking of reading, coming in at #2: Flipboard. Not only has the tablet replaced the book and the laptop, but itÃ?s also replaced the newspaper. How can the New York Times compete with an always-updated, always- available, endless newspaper that knows who your are, what your friends are talking about, and whatÃ?s trending this minute on Twitter. Plus, the Android Flipboard app just looks great on a tablet. But if it doesnÃ?t feel Ã?GoogleÃ? enough for you, CNET Associate Editor Jaymar Cabebe recommends Feedly, which pulls in your Google Reader feeds while they still exist. Alright, and now for the #1 must-have Android tablet app. I know itÃ?s hack, but just be glad IÃ?m not saying Angry Birds: itÃ?s... Netflix. Seriously, if for nothing else than those times when your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, father, brother, sister or child want to watch something awful on TV -- a tablet with Netflix on it and a pair of headphones is like a high tech glue that can keep families together. Really, is there nothing more disappointing than picking up a tablet and finding that the Netflix isnÃ?t on there? So thatÃ?s it, five apps that really should just come built into your Android tablet. If you donÃ?t already have one, check out CNETÃ?s current list of the Best Android tablets out there. And for more Top 5Ã?s like this: Top5. CNET.com IÃ?m Donald Bell, Thanks for watching.

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