There are enough Apps for both the iPad and the Android device to keep you engaged without spending a penny. Karthik Subramanian lists the top five productivity Apps for your tablet PC
Every one loves a free deal and there are plenty available in the Apps stores, both in the iTunes market for the iPad and Android's revamped Google Play. Over the past month, I tried out several free Apps on my iPad (third generation) and made a list of the ones I figured are a must-have.
The Apps reviewed here are the most recent iterations, the ones that had put out upgraded versions for the new iPad's Retina Display.
EVERNOTE: The note-taking App Evernote ranks pretty high on my list of must-have Apps for mobile devices. It is available on virtually all the mobile platforms, making it platform-agnostic. What's more, Evernote's basic free service, which has some restrictions on usage, is still good for most users. It allows you to synchronise all your notes on the cloud. So all one needs is to create a central Evernote account, and all notes can be accessed across platforms.
Evernote's mission statement is to ‘remember everything'. Users can create text and audio notes, clip web pages using browser extensions, tag photos and so on. Apart from its basic note-taking App, Evernote has a few other branded Apps, including ‘Skitch' (a note annotation App) that allows users to create simple ‘how-to-do-it' manuals, ‘Clearly' a distraction-free reader for web pages and ‘Evernote Food' that allows one to create a journal of gastronomic adventures.
But perhaps the most innovative App for tablet PC in recent times from Evernote is ‘Peek' that allows users to convert their notes into study material. Users can create short quiz programs using the App. It takes advantage of iPad's SmartCover technology to reveal one hint at a time for students revising their school lessons. To find out more, check out the video on www.evernote.com.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, WebOS, Web Browser extensions
FLIPBOARD: There are plenty of innovative news readers on mobile platforms that it is difficult to pick one over the other in terms of appeal. Flipboard works better because of the way it simulates the magazine reading experience of flipping through pages.
Consider it your personalised web magazine as it draws content from across the web and also from social network streams, including Facebook and Twitter. For iPad users, Flipboard is a must-have with morning breakfast. It has recently added Soundcloud as a source.
Platforms: iOS (iPad and iPhone); Android — coming soon.
SKYDRIVE: This is a bit of a contentious choice because Dropbox is the obvious pioneer in online cloud storage, and Microsoft Skydrive and Google Drive are fairly late entrants. But the late entrants offer ‘on-the-cloud' editing options through their online collaborative tools, Microsoft with its Office suite and Google through its Google Docs. Dropbox does not have such editing support.
Skydrive offers the maximum free space among the three services at 75 GB free storage. That could help clear up a lot of space on the mobile devices that come with fixed internal storage, but this must be carefully used, else it would blow a hole in one's wallet because of bandwidth usage. Google Drive does not have a native iOS App at the time of publication of this article. So Microsoft holds the edge here.
App: Microsoft Skydrive
Category: Cloud Storage
Platforms: Windows Phone, Android, iOS
POCKET: Formerly known as Read it Later, Pocket is a handy App that allows users to save their webpages for reading later, even when there is no internet connectivity. This is particularly useful for those who do not enjoy constant data connectivity.
Pocket also comes with a browser extension for Chrome, which means users can log into the service, and save web pages that can be read across devices through online synchronising. Another App that successfully does the same is Readability, but Pocket gets my vote because I prefer the user interface.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Chrome extension.
SKETCHBOOK EXPRESS: For those who prefer doing a quick sketch of their ideas, Sketchbook Express from Autodesk is a priceless App. The free Lite version offers a range of brushes, colours, even some professional grade tools and canvases to choose from to create anything from a casual doodle to a serious artwork.
App: Sketchbook Express
Platforms: iOS, Android
Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further suggestions that can be added to this list.