Android is criticized (and rightly so) for the lack of apps optimized for tablets in the Market. Apps are the lifeblood of any mobile platform, and the Android tablet offerings are not growing at a fast pace. There are some good Android apps for tablets available, and I have already latched onto a few that provide good utility for me on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 running Honeycomb 3.1. Here are the top Android apps for Honeycomb tablets I am currently using, with some honorable mentions thrown in for free.
Gmail. Like my buddy Jason Perlow, I am a heavy user of Gmail and need a good tablet app to take full advantage of my communications. Gmail for Honeycomb is outstanding, and may be reason enough to buy a Honeycomb tablet for like individuals who may be sitting on the fence. It makes good use of labels and starred emails and presents everything in a multi-pane view for easy access. It is preinstalled on tablets running Honeycomb.
Plume. I am a heavy Twitter user and Plume has long been my favorite client for Android. The latest version is optimized for Honeycomb tablets and is a great use of the tablet screen. It presents three columns on the screen and has been touch-optimized to make it easy to operate. Tapping on a tweet opens up a useful window with lots of options and information. On top of all the big screen goodies, Plume is lightning fast in operation. Free, €1.99 to remove ads.
Honorable mention for Honeycomb Twitter apps: Tweetcomb and Tweetcaster HD.
Newsr. I spend a lot of time each day going through thousands of Google Reader RSS feeds, and a good app is a must for the tablet. Newsr is such an app that presents RSS feeds, article lists and a full content article window in a 3-pane display on the tablet that facilitates quickly processing many RSS feeds. It is so good I find I can process thousands of items faster on the Honeycomb tablet than on the desktop in Google Reader. That's pretty powerful stuff. Free.
Honorable mention for Honeycomb RSS reader apps: JustReader, News360
Thinking Space Pro. I use mind mapping to build outlines for writing projects, and the big screen of a tablet makes this much easier than on smaller devices. Thinking Space Pro takes full advantage of the display, with a thoughtful control system designed from the ground up to be run by touch. Building and manipulating maps is as easy as touching the screen and dragging topics around as desired. £2.95.
Kindle. I read lots of ebooks and the Honeycomb optimizations for the Kindle app are very good. The user's library is presented in a pleasant format that is easy to operate, and the reader provides a very natural interface for reading books. The app has all of the features you expect, and they all get out of the way when it is time to read the book. Free.
SwiftKey Beta for Tablets. The Galaxy Tab ships with some good onscreen keyboards for text entry, but they pale in comparison to the SwiftKey Beta for Tablets keyboard. It has the predictive text SwiftKey is famous for, and combines that with an onscreen presentation that is tailored for the tablet screen. There is a selectable split keyboard designed for thumb typing that mimics the design of the upcoming iPad 3 keyboard recently shown off by Apple. The SwiftKey beta is a closed beta that requires a request for invitation to participate.
There are other apps available for Honeycomb tablets that are not included on this list. I purposely avoided games even though there are dozens of them available. These are the productivity apps I am using heavily on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. I am constantly trying new apps and will surely find others as time passes. Leave your pick for top Honeycomb tablet apps in the TalkBack below.