Ice Cream Sandwich might be released in the near future, and while it’s quite a popular topic these days, let’s not forget that it will to a large extent resemble Honeycomb, the beautiful tablet-oriented platform that was unveiled at the beginning of this year. We’ve published a few Honeycomb-related articles that tell you how easy it is to enjoy websites in all their glorious desktop looks and how simple it is to set up your on-screen keyboard.
While the selection of apps for this version of Android hasn’t been exactly overwhelming, there are still many tablet-optimized apps that make good use of the Android OS. Luckily for us, this selection is gradually growing. Today, the apps we will review are worthwhile for beginners so if you have recently purchased an Android Honeycomb tablet, be sure to read on.
Evernote has done quite an impressive job making its service available everywhere. The Honeycomb-optimized interface looks remarkably good, and with its new Skitch integration, it’s a robust system that will satisfy anyone who’s ever had to use sticky notes, draw ideas on a napkin, etc. Not only does Evernote accept a variety of inputs, whether audio, sketch, PDF file, etc. it also has an incredibly useful widget that allows you to see recent notes.
Springpad is also a great Honeycomb-friendly app that can truly keep your notes and tidbits of information organized while in Evernote, it’s assumed you will be doing the information collecting AND organizing, the last part of which may sometimes be more difficult. Springpad’s widget allows you to add a new item by type (there are 12+ categories you can choose from), barcode, and by location.
Catch is a great note-taking product that can accept pictures, voice notes, and barcodes. One of the neat things Catch lets you do that Evernote and Springpad don’t, is to use its app to create notes right away without signing up for an account. That means you test drive it but do not enter your account information till you’re completely satisfied. Catch offers a widget for text and voice input. You can also snap a picture to be saved in Catch via the widget. Catch seems to be among the few apps that let you move the files to a SD card.
Sketchbook Express is a pleasure to use when you have more real estate screen to draw and sketch things. Compared to other drawing apps, every single stroke you make on this app by Autodesk will look very smooth, making the app a must-have for users that have capacitive styluses. This version contains layers, many different brushes, and should suffice the needs of an everyday user that might need to sketch something once in a while. For more features, also check out Sketchbook Pro.
If you’ve bought Kindle books before, you’ll find the Kindle app a pleasure to browse for a ton of books. We recently published a collection of sites that list free or heavily discounted Kindle books, but this app alone is a good way to explore free books.
Twitter fans will rejoice with Plume and Tweetcomb. Both Twitter clients offer columns for timeline, mentions, direct messages and favorites, and can notify you when you get direct messages and mentions.
What’s the difference, you ask? If you’re interested in customizing your Twitter client in almost all possible aspects, you might want to check out Plume first.
For those of us that want a beautiful but simpler Twitter client that works well, Tweetcomb is an excellent choice.
gReader is an excellent Android Honeycomb-optimized app with 2-way Google Reader synchronization that makes keeping up with news much more fun. gReader can also download articles for offline use, while you can set the limits, and whether to cache images as well. You can send articles to Read It Later, Instapaper, and Facebook, and read both in landscape and portrait modes.
For additional themes, bigger widgets and no ads, there’s a pro version.
The stock keyboard works well for most people, but if you’re looking for perhaps a less awkward keyboard to type with, you should definitely check out Perfect Keyboard Free. You can customize key sizes, text size, and more. For additional Honeycomb keyboards, read about 5 other free and paid keyboards here.
ezPDF Reader [$2.99 on Android Market, $1.99 on Amazon Appstore]
For those of you using a tablet as a companion accessory for school, ezPDF Reader will be a lifesaver. It allows you to annotate (freehand, highlight, strikethrough, etc) your PDF documents and download them from the web if you have the exact PDF URL. You can even navigate your SD card within this app to move and copy files.
It’s the only paid app on this list but it’s an excellent value for what it does.
Have any noteworthy Android Honeycomb-friendly apps in mind that aren’t on this list? Tell us your favorite in the comments below!
Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski
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