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Top apps for the Nexus 7: Early 2013 edition

The Nexus 7 is one of the best tablets on the market. It's even better with these apps installed.
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1 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

AirCalc and HD Widgets

AirCalc

There are so many calculator apps for Android that there is a good one no matter what your needs might be. They all have one major problem, though, they take up the whole screen blocking what you are doing.

In steps AirCalc to address this. It is a floating calculator that lets you do your math without blocking the screen. It pops up when called and gets out of the way when you're done. It's my favorite utility on the Nexus 7.

Free

HD Widgets

Widgets make Android a thing of useful beauty, and HD Widgets is as good as any. It is configurable to make it as big and useful as the user might want. It has the standard clock and weather modules that can be sized to fit the home screen as desired. All modules are high resolution taking full advantage of the Nexus 7 display.

$1.99

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2 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

HD Widgets weather

The HD Widgets from the previous slide has hidden utility built into the widget. Tap the weather part of the display and this full weather forecast appears. It can use any of several weather services to supply the needed information.

When you tap the time portion of the display it fires up your calendar app of choice.

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3 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Chameleon launcher

Chameleon began life as a Kickstarter project that excited enough Android tablet owners to get fully funded. It has been readily available for months and has evolved into a very attractive and useful alternative launcher.

The multiple home screens can be configured using any combination of widgets to build just the right home screens. There are a number of widgets included in the Chameleon install that are designed to fit the look and feel of the launcher.

Any Android widget can also be used with Chameleon should the included ones not meet the user's needs.

What sets Chameleon apart from other launchers on Android is the ability to use context to completely change the home screens. You can have both a work and home set of screens for example that automatically switch based on device location or time of day.

$3.99

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4 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Tablified Market HD

There are so many Android apps in the Google Play store that finding good ones for the Nexus 7 can be a difficult chore.

This app changes that by constantly checking the store and presenting just the apps designed for tablets like the Nexus 7. It presents them in an easy-to-read display that is a joy to use. The full search capability makes it even easier to find just the app you are looking for.

Free

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5 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Falcon Pro for Twitter

If you do Twitter then you will most likely appreciate the attractive Falcon Pro app. It handles all of the things you do on Twitter while presenting it in an interface that is easy to use.

You can swipe between columns to easily move between your timeline, mentions, and other displays. 

$0.99

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6 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

DoggCatcher

If you like to listen to podcasts on your Nexus 7 you should check out this app. It has a simple interface designed to make it easy to find good podcasts and handle the subscriptions. There are a nunber of options for playing podcasts to make it a useful app.

$4.99

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7 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

gReader Pro

If you are a heavy Google Reader service user like me then you need a good app to handle the task. There are some good ones in the Google Play store and my favorite is gReader Pro.

This app has a clean interface designed to make it straightforward to work with lots of RSS feeds in Google Reader. It syncs with Google Reader on the fly so you never have to see the same article twice. It is as fast as any app I've tried for handling thousands of RSS items in one go.

$4.99

 

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8 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Quickoffice Pro

Android has good support for Google Docs but if you need Microsoft Office support this is a good solution. It handles working with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and PDF documents. It won't always work perfectly with sophisticated Office documents but does a great job with most of them.

$14.99

 

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9 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Gmail

If you use Gmail for your email then you simply must install the Gmail app on your Nexus 7. It is the best Gmail app on any platform and offers a user experience that rivals the desktop.

Free

 

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Google+

Not everyone is into the Google+ social network but for those who are this app is a wonderful way to work with it.

It presents the current news feed in a gorgeous magazine layout that makes working with Google+ a lot of fun. I admit I never used Google+ much until getting this app.

The Google Hangouts feature is particurlarly useful on the Nexus 7 as it allows video chatting with up to 9 friends at once.

Free

 

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11 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Evernote

I couldn't list my top apps for the Nexus 7 without including the Evernote app. I am heavily ingrained in the Evernote cloud service and this app is one of the most heavily used on my Nexus 7.

I'm not that big a fan of the current interface design but it gets out of the way when I am working with my notes.

Free

 

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12 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Chrome

I am a heavy Chrome browser user on all my devices and the Nexus 7 is no different. I find the Chrome app on the Nexus 7 to be the best mobile browser on any platform. It runs fast on the Nexus 7 and is just like a full desktop browser, because it is.

It synce all your settings and bookmarks with all other Chrome browsers so if you use Chrome on the desktop all your stuff will be at your fingertips in seconds after starting Chrome the first time on the Nexus 7.

Free

 

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