Five must-have apps for the Nexus 7 Android tablet


If you used the release of the Nexus 7 as an excuse to diveinto the world of Android tablets, you may be wondering what to do with it now.

Among other things, the Nexus 7’s peppy processor andgraphics make it a natural for games, and the HD widescreen configuration giveit instant cred for media playback and content consumption.

There are a ton of great apps out there – just check GooglePlay for a growing list of apps of all types, including a substantial list ofapps specifically recommended by the Google Play team. Here are some of myfaves – but feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments section below!


Flipboard (free)

While Flipboard isn’t the only app that aggregates contentfrom your social feeds and favourite sites, it’s one of the best out there,thanks to its slick design and built-in list of sources. Set up like a digitalmagazine broken into sections, Flipboard displays stories on the tablet screenlike they were news articles on the page of a newspaper or magazine, displayingphotos linked inside tweets from your Twitter stream. Tap on a section to open,flip up or down through the items in that section, and then tap on them to openthem up. Tap and hold an item to share it, flag it or view it elsewhere (orelsewhen). Flipboard will work on larger tablets or on your Android smartphone,but the Nexus 7’s screen gives it a nice balance between portability andreadability.

Angry Birds Space HD($2.95)

There are tons of great games on Android but Angry Birdsremains the popular favourite, no matter what your platform. Angry Birds Spaceis the newest of the series, and its extraterrestrial setting forces you torejig your strategy based on the gravity of various objects in the playingfield. The HD version of the game is designed specifically for the largertablet screen, which means it looks great on the Nexus 7.

Evernote (free)

Remember the last time you had a great idea, wrote it down,and then completely forgot where you left your notes? Sign up for a freeaccount, and Evernote solves that problem. Jot notes into the app on your Nexus7, and they’ll automatically appear when you fire up Evernote on yourcomputer…and vice versa. You can even share notes between Android and iOSdevices if you’re so inclined. You can attach multimedia items to a note(including recording an audio note, or a picture taken using the Nexus’ builtin front-facingcamera). You can even sketch in some artwork using an interfacesimilar to Evernote’s sister program Skitch. An essential tool for meetingaddicts who want to ditch the piles of paper.

Sketchbook MobileExpress (free)

When words fail, it’s a lot easier to just draw a picture.Instead of grabbing pencil and paper, Autodesk’s Sketchbook Mobile Expressmight be the answer, offering you the ability to digitally sketch your ideasusing tools that simulate pencil, charcoal, airbrush, pen, paint fills, andmore. After tapping on one of the creation tools, you can adjust opacityparameters by tapping the circle in the middle of the tool ring, and unlike alot of other free sketching utilities, Sketchbook Mobile Express allows you tocustomize your colours. While SBMX is pretty powerful compared to otherfreebies, it does still have a few limitations; you can spend $2.03 to upgradeto the full version, which includes more brush, layers, brush customization andthe ability to export to PSD, PNG or JPEG.

Pocket (free)

I’m always running across things I want to read, but I tendto see them when I don’t really have time to fully read them. Pocket (formerlyknown as Read It Later) allows you to put things into a queue for laterreading, whether you’re on your tablet, or using a web browser on yourcomputer. On a mobile device with Pocket already onboard, just tap the shareicon and select the “add to Pocket” option to push it into your Pocket queue.On a computer, you can add a “+Pocket” bookmarklet, and automatically add it toyour queue just by clicking it from the bookmarks bar. Then, when you’re readyto catch up on your reading, just fire up the Pocket app on your Nexus 7 andpick your items from the list.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Sean Carruthers
Sean Carruthers
Sean Carruthers is a freelance writer, video producer and host based in Toronto, Canada. Most recently, he was a Senior Producer at, where he was responsible for the conception, writing, production and editing of a number of web video shows, including Lab Rats, How Do I?, Status Update, The Noob, and more.

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