Despite my loyalty to the Wi-Drive, there are some things it just can’t do. When it comes to apps, I’m restricted to the 6GB that was available on the Nexus 7 out the box. Needless to say, I’ve been forced to be a lot more selective in the apps I download. Let me share with you my favorite essential apps.
Google Reader – I’m not sure why Google chose to not pre-install Google Reader like it did with Google Earth, Contacts, Google Talk and others. I need to keep up with specific news outlets throughout the day, and Google Reader is simple. It could use some tablet-optimized love, but it gets the job done for me.
Flipboard – I use Flipboard to discover news stories. Unlike Google Reader, I don’t use Flipboard to keep tabs on specific sites. I assign categories such as gaming, odd news and technology to find things I wouldn’t normally come across. Flipboard for Android isn’t designed for tablets, but it looks and functions just fine on the Nexus 7.
Kindle – Hey, a guy has to read right? I don’t own a standalone Kindle, so this app is the next best thing. Besides, I’ve already invested in Kindle books. I can’t turn my back on it now.
Pocket – The Nexus 7 only has Wi-Fi, so Pocket is perfect for storing web articles I don’t have time for or don’t feel like reading at the moment. Pocket has a nice design, and the fact that it’s free just makes it better.
Comixology / Dark Horse Comics – I used to be really into comics when I was younger, but my interests turned elsewhere as I got older. However, now that I have a tablet, I want to give comics another try. It’s so much more convenient browsing from the Nexus 7 as opposed to navigating to a comic book store that’s hard to find in the first place. With that being said, I have to point out that Comixology and Dark Horse Comics need to be updated to properly support the Nexus 7 and in-app purchases respectively. Comixology also has a black screen bug that occurs whenever you try to change pages while in guided mode. That needs to be fixed ASAP.
Netflix - You just can’t have a tablet without Netflix. It’s like an unspoken rule. The Nexus 7 is a consumption device, and Netflix is perfect for that. The tablet interface is also so much better than what’s offered on smartphones.
TED – A lot of TED videos are on Netflix, but the TED app is faster to get in to. TED offers tons of informative and thought provoking videos dealing with health, science, technology and a lot more. Over the weekend I watched a presentation on how to spot liars. Good stuff.
Twitch.TV – Sometimes I like to watch people live streaming video games. It’s really quite astonishing to witness how a community builds around a single streamer. The Twitch.TV app is by no means perfect. In fact, it’s really not all that good. However it is stable most of the time on Android.
Tweet Lanes – Tweet Lanes is my favorite Twitter app on the Nexus 7. It’s not optimized for tablets (yet), but neither is the official Twitter app. I like how Tweet Lanes adheres to modern Android app design, and its developer is constantly pushing out substantial updates.
Instagram – I don’t take photos on the Nexus 7, but I still use Instagram to see all the neat photos that are posted everyday.
(Note: I don’t use a Facebook app because I don’t like any of them. The official Facebook app is garbage on Android tablets. Friendcaster is better, but it doesn’t filter out the Facebook posts according to how I set it up on the desktop site. Until something better springs up, I’ll stick with the mobile site.)
Solid Explorer Beta2 – This file manager is among the best I’ve ever tried. It’s super clean, easy to understand and helps you get rid of those folders that uninstalled apps leave behind. If left unchecked, those folders can take up precious space.
Google Drive – Google Drive is one of the places I store files. I mostly use it for word processing and grabbing audio files for the GamerTell Cast.
WordPress – The WordPress App was recently updated with Nexus 7 support. I really like the two-panel viewing mode and the ability to view posts before editing them. I use this app when I want to start a quick draft here on GadgeTell or GamerTell.
Wi-Drive – I’ve talked about my affection for the Wi-Drive before. This app makes it possible for my tablet to connect to the Wi-Drive, and stream its stored media with ease.