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Top Android Tablet Apps -- Early 2012 Edition

Ice Cream Sandwich is just rolling out for Android devices, and already we are seeing apps appear that require it to run. Only one app on this list requires it, the rest will run on any tablet with Honeycomb and up.
By James Kendrick, Contributor
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The best app for Android tablets was only recently released, and only for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich. While not many can use Chrome Beta as a result, it is easily the best browser for Android. 

Chrome looks and acts just like the desktop version, and if you use Chrome there you will absolutely love it on an Android tablet.

Free on the Android Market

See full Android coverage by James Kendrick on ZDNet Mobile News

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I'm a sucker for a good title bar on Android devices that has a good clock and weather information. My favorite for tablets is HD Widgets, a set of home screen widgets that displays just what I want.

The clock and weather section is configurable, and in different sizes to only take as much room as you want to give up. The bar resizes automatically when the tablet is rotated.

$1.99 on the Android Market

Honorable mention: Beautiful Widgets

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If you are a heavy Gmail user, you will love the Android tablet app. It makes working with Gmail even better than using a desktop browser, with multiple columns presenting your mail nicely. The Gmail app is full-featured, and supports all functions of Gmail on the tablet.

Free on the Android Market

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I follow hundreds of RSS feeds as part of my work on ZDNet, and on the desktop I use Google Reader. I am not a fan of the Google Reader app for Android so I use Newsr. Newsr works with Google Reader to keep everything in sync, and has a good display with a multiple column format that presents a lot of information at once.

Everything you can do with Google Reader you can do with Newsr with just a few taps.

Free on the Android Market

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I use Evernote on every device I use, both mobile and desktop. It is a great tool for doing research online, capturing information, and text editing. I use it daily for all of those functions, and I write thousands of words a day using the editor.

Evernote keeps everything synced with my account in the cloud, always available no matter what device I use. The Android version works well on tablets with an external keyboard for serious writing.

Free on the Android Market

Evernote works well with Skitch, a simple image editor recently purchased by the company. Skitch gets an honorable mention for using with Evernote.

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I like electronic day planners, and Pocket Informant is as good as they get. It adds good calendaring to sophisticated task management, all of which can be synced with Google and other cloud services.

The different display modes are fully customizable to build a system that reflects exactly how you like to work. 

$12.99 on the Android Market

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I spend far too much time on Twitter, and I like the simple display of Tweetcaster. It is easy to read and is full-featured as Twitter clients go. I particularly iike using Tweetcaster in portrait orientation which displays quite a few tweets at a time.

$4.99 on the Android Market  (Free version available)

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Feedly is a news magazine app that scrapes RSS feeds and social networks to present updates in an attractive magazine format. It is similar to Zite, available only on the iPad. The subject matter can be customized in Feedly to present only the topics of interest.

Free on the Android Market

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Google Music works with the music service launched by Google, and is a good music player. It can play music stored locally on the tablet and music in the Google cloud. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but is a solid app that works well on the tablet.

The current version of Google Music displays now playing music on the lock screen on tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich, allowing interaction with the app without unlocking the device.

Free on the Android Market

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I like to follow a few podcasts, and Doggcatcher is a great app for doing that. It combines a nice interface with a great podcast player to make it a breeze to keep up with shows. There is a strong search feature in Doggcatcher that helps find podcasts of interest.

$4.99 on the Android Market (free trial version available)

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I like listening to music, and that often means streaming radio programs with TuneIn Radio. This app handles stations from all over the world in every music genre imaginable. There is a simple preset system for saving favorite channels, and a local function that displays all radio stations in your particular area.

The Pro version allows voice control for listening to music in the car.

$0.99 on the Android Market (free version available)

Don't miss the full Android coverage by James Kendrick on ZDNet Mobile News

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