Android tablets have been given a new breath of life with recent appealing variants from the likes of Samsung and Asus proving that (powered with the most recent Android Honeycomb) they can offer just an appealing, if different, tablet experience to Apple’s all-conquering iPad.
Accordingly, apps have also improved plenty in the last few months – here’s our pick of the top free apps.
A lovely glossy way of presenting all your favourite news; this aggregator plucks stories from your favourite websites and presents them brilliantly on the larger tablet screen.
Fully customisable, it’ll even try to detect if there are RSS feeds for you favourite site- just type in the address.
SparkChess HD Lite
We’ve avoided most of the “lite” versions – typically they’re pretty limited, but SparkChess HD gives you two levels of difficulty and an appealing, attractive chess board to play it out on- what more do you really need?
This is chess on your tablet – and should give your brain more of a work-out compared to Angry Birds.
The first of entry from the Android mother, Google’s Body app is a free to download interactive body, with access to everything you ever needed to know
The touchscreen interface is a joy. Tap on any of the the tabs in the top right and your Google body sheds skin, muscle and bone to give you a full 360-degree view of everything. Pich to zoom in and tap on any small part of muscle or bone to get its name. There’s even a search box if you know what you’re looking for
Google Sky Map
You’ve already heard of the likes of Google Maps and Google Earth, but we want to see further- and that’s where Sky Map comes in, giving you a full view of the night sky.
Using the built-in GPS and accelerometer (and admittedly, some data) this will magic up the appropriate constellations for wherever you point you Android tablet.
You can toggle the stars and constellations- even planets. Perfect for wowing people on on nerdy dates.
Glow Hockey 2
A simple that you can play with a friend, we really like the Tron-ish design, and the synthilicious sound effects.
If you don’t know what arcade hockey is, then, well, this’ll teach you.
There’s plenty of Twitter clients, and whilst the original Twitter app is good for notifications, we like how Tweetcomb makes use of the all that tablet-screen real estate.
Certainly beats TweetDeck, which is simply an expanded version of the phone app.
A slick Facebook app for Android Honeycomb tablets, it works in both portrait and landscape modes, but we’d recommend getting the most out of the app with the widescreen option.
The tabbed approach means you can follow all the different trails of your friends feeds, instantly displaying comments and likes that are surely underneath everything you post on Facebook.