10 apps for those new tablets
In the blink of St. Nick's eye, tablets went from nice-to-have to must-have gadgets this year. They're the way everyone — from kids to seniors — wants to watch TV shows, check email, play games and browse the Internet.
As you've no doubt already discovered, shopping for apps is a daunting experience.
Although the Google Play store has improved a lot — and keeps getting better — it can still be an adventure to search for and find the best apps.
The iTunes App Store is much better organized, but the sheer number of apps is overwhelming — more than 275,000 optimized for the full-size iPad and iPad mini.
That's why I compiled this list of my favorite iOS and Android tablet apps. They'll get you and your gadget off to a roaring start in 2013.
• Netflix (Free; iOS, Android) — Netflix is a great service if you love movies. You just pay a monthly subscription fee, and you can watch all the movies you want. It also includes the ability to stream movies over the Web.
This app lets you watch Netflix movies anywhere. It also allows you to manage your Netflix Instant queue.
• HeyTell (Free; iOS, Android) — This fun app is a throwback to the days when you used walkie-talkies as a kid.
Instead of placing a traditional call, HeyTell allows you to record a quick voice message. It is sent over Wi-Fi or cellular data so you don't even need a tablet with a voice plan.
• Evernote (Free; iOS, Android) — When you need to step it up from your tablet's basic built-in note-taking app, look no further than Evernote.
What sets Evernote apart from similar apps is that it synchronizes your notes to your password-protected Evernote account. So, you can access the notes from any Web browser. You can take photo notes and voice notes in addition to basic text notes. You can even type long notes on your computer and access them from your tablet.
• Skype (Free; iOS, Android) — You probably know that Skype is a great way to save money on voice calling. You can call PC to PC for free and even video chat.
Skype isn't just for computers, though. You can also use it on your gadgets. Make voice and video calls over Wi-Fi or cellular. Again, it's free to call other Skype users.
• Google Earth (Free; iOS, Android) — Google Earth is one of my favorite programs. It lets you explore the world through satellite and ground-level photos. You can see historic landmarks or plan trips.
Now you can get the same amazing experience on your mobile gadget with the Google Earth app. It lets you access the same satellite photos and landmarks. On some gadgets, you can even get 3-D buildings for cities.
• Weather Channel App ($4 iOS; Free on Android) — The weather affects nearly everything you do. Don't let it take you by surprise. Now you can get detailed forecasts at a glance with this app.
You'll also get video clips and severe weather and pollen alerts. All the weather information you need will be literally at your fingertips.
• Kindle App (Free; iOS, Android) — The Kindle app turns whatever tablet you own into an Amazon e-reader.
• Lookout Mobile Security (Free; iOS, Android) — Hackers don't just write viruses for computers anymore. Now, they write them for tablets. You need strong security to keep your information safe.
This app provides antivirus and anti-phishing. You can upgrade to a premium version that includes remote locating, wiping, app scanning and more!
• Instant Heart Rate ($1 iOS; $3 Android) — When you're exercising, getting an accurate heart rate is important. You don't want to do too little work and waste your time. On the other hand, overdoing it can cause health problems.
Forget checking your pulse manually. Just pull out your mobile gadget with the Instant Heart Rate app. Press your finger to the camera lens, and you'll have your heart rate in just a moment. It can also track recovery time, trend lines and more.
• Epicurious (Free; iOS, Android) — It's always good to make a list before going grocery shopping. But you don't always get around to it, and you find yourself in the store unsure of what you need. The Epicurious Recipe app can help.
It gives you access to more than 28,000 recipes so you can find exactly the meals you want to make. Then, it details all the ingredients and translates that into shopping list for you. You'll never again get home only to find you're short an essential ingredient.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet; www.komando.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police officer reported wounded in New Florence; suspect at-large
- Thomas Jefferson uses defense, running game to capture WPIAL title
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- Steelers notebook: Brown downplays possible matchup against Seahawks’ Sherman
- Funding highway bill atop Rep. Shuster’s agenda
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Steelers find success vs. NFC
- Robert Morris defeats Mississippi Valley State for 1st victory of season