When I got my first Android tablet sometime around 2012 or 2013, I turned to Tablified Market to find good tablet apps. At the time, the Play Store didn't have any way of filtering tablet-optimized apps (and it still sucks at that) and Tablified was doing a great job of curating them into categories and easy to browse lists. But despite its good content, the Tablified app was merely an HTML wrapper for the website. It was slow to load and just dreadful in terms of responsiveness (here's what it looked like). With time, I started using it less and less until the app stopped being developed around April 2014 and I let it go. Read More
Google's remote application for controlling Android TV with your smartphone is... OK. It's adequate. It beats inputting passwords letter-by-letter with a physical remote, and that's about all you can say in praise of the app. While it lets you perform a voice search, it won't launch TV apps without going back to the home screen, and its trackpad isn't a cursor (as some apps might benefit from), it's just a gesture pad. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, specifically on Android tablets. Here's what version 1.0 looked like on a tablet:
Ugh. Version 1.1, just released on the Play Store, fixes this rather embarrassing formatting and adds a little polish as well. Read More
Trendy and thrifty travelers have taken a real shine to sub-letting app Airbnb, and those of them with tablets have a good reason to celebrate today. Version 5.0 of the Android app introduces a new user interface specifically for tablets, and it's available in the Play Store now. The 5.0 update doesn't seem to be going out in batches, but if you're having trouble getting it, the APK is available for download on APK Mirror.
New above, old below.
The new interface makes better use of the large space than the old app, which basically just blew up the phone UI for tablets. Read More
Growing up in a traditional Lebanese home taught me the value of a great home cooked meal but limited my food experience to the local Mediterranean cuisine. It wasn't until my late teens that I started putting aside my preconceptions about flavors and experimenting with recipes. Nowadays, whenever I feel the need to do some creative cooking, I head into the kitchen with my Nexus 7 in tow. It houses twelve excellent recipe apps optimized for tablets, with some of them specifically designed to be used during the cooking process.
Food Network In the Kitchen
Whether you're looking to start your culinary exploration or to enhance your skills, you should first check the Food Network. Read More
Amazon's big Fire TV announcement yesterday left us a bit perturbed that there's still no way to get Amazon Instant Video on standard Android devices, but the retailer is continuing to support the more conventional side of its business. Take the Amazon For Tablets app for example: the latest update adds some handy features, most notably support for the Amazon Fresh grocery service. But since Amazon Fresh is still only active in parts of California and Seattle, that won't effect a large percentage of users.
All users have access to a more immediate feature: a tap-and-drag gesture that pins items to the bottom of your screen for easy switching and comparison. Read More
The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.
Check out these screenshots. Here's a DROID MAXX browsing the Play Store's home page, and a quick look at one of the featured apps, Cluster.
Now the same view on a Nexus 7 2013. Read More
It's about damn time. While Pandora has been slowly and steadily updating its Android app for years (the latest big update was a sleep timer), the tablet experience has been sorely lacking ever since Honeycomb. The music streaming service has redeemed itself with version 5.0 of the Android app, which now shifts the interface significantly on Android tablets.
The main play interface occupies the center of the screen, going back through your play history with album art and displaying contextual track information below it. On the right you'll find the list of your stations, with options to add variety or share them socially available as pop-up menus. Read More
Google made a big deal out of its improvements to the Play Store in the massive keynote that kicked off I/O, and at least some of them are live right now. Probably the most important for tablet owners is the ability to highlight apps specifically designed for tablets, or at least, the ones that have given some thought to layout and interface on larger screens. The updated tablet view is being rolled out right now, and on at least some devices (read:mine) it includes the option to filter out the smartphone chaff from the tablet wheat.
If you want to see it, make sure your tablet is running the latest build of the Google Play Store (4.1.6 - download it here) and tap the Apps link on the front page. Read More
Nothing brings a smile to my face like the words "Tablet Optimized," and thanks to SoundHound, I'll be walking around with a little grin all day long. The music recognition service has updated its Android app to include a fully realized tablet UI and a few other performance enhancements. Here are a few screenshots for comparison (taken on my Nexus 7):
The new tablet UI replaces the boring stretched out rows with drag-able lines of large cover art, making much better use of space on the main screen, discovery, and song pages. In landscape mode, history and bookmarks now stack songs into two columns instead of one, but appear otherwise unchanged. Read More