June 21, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Pulse, Newsr, and News 360
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 isn’t starved for options for reading the news, as we’ve already covered in our Best Reading Apps for Honeycomb. The class of those apps are Pulse, News, and News360, each of which represent the best options in their respective fields. Pulse is a great visual feed reader that curates content around certain topics, imports select feeds from Google Reader, and grabs content shared from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Newsr is a fragment-style app for browsing Google Reader feeds on a level that even the default app from Google doesn’t reach. News360 is a mega-aggregator of major newspapers and online news sources, pulling in articles and photos from more than 1,500 places. It’s like Google News but more customizable and better organized. (Be sure to read our full list of news reading apps.)
Need a to-do list manager? Need a note taker? Need a way to look-up products, links, or recipes and save them in bookmarks? Get Springpad and all of those things will be available at the touch. Springpad is an excellent service that organizes information – tasks, notes, and more – in an online account that syncs with Android apps for phones and tablets. Users can organize their information according to tags and types, including photo or text notes, product searches, and additional information stored for memory aides. Springpad also comes with widgets for easy access and is completely free service.
I don’t rate Tweetcaster as the best Twitter app on Android phones. Tablets are a completely different story because Tweetcaster HD is awesome. While I like Plume’s column interface, I prefer Tweetcaster’s design that takes advantage of Honeycomb and provides some unique features. For instance, users can filter their timeline according to photos, videos, and links that can be viewed through an in-app browser.
Tweetcaster also supports multiple accounts and well-organized views of mentions, messages, favorites, lists, and profiles. Users can also search Twitter and view the trending topics on a large screen. The design is almost perfect except for the big advertisements that are pretty distracting. This is a beta, so hopefully a paid version lets users get rid of that soon.
Cinephiles and moviegoers must have Flixster, a great app for seeing and learning more about what’s in theaters. Flixster provides reviews from top critics on RottenTomatoes.com, synopsis and cast information, and trailers for current movies and coming attractions. Of course, it also has showtimes for your local theaters and top box office charts. Flixster also serves as a nice companion for movies that have already left theaters. Users can manage their Netflix DVD or Instant queue, and shows film news that can be opened in the browser.
SwiFTP FTP Server
Samsung Kies and Google’s Mac companion for Honeycomb are both worthless if you use a Mac, so there’s no way to connect your Tab and computer for file transfer. SwiFTP FTP Server creates a wireless connection to easily transfer files. SwiFTP uses a Wi-Fi connection to send files to and from the Tab 10.1, provided that users have an FTP client on their computer (I recommend Cyberduck). Even Windows PC owners may find SwiFTP useful for times they need to transfer files without a USB cable nearby. Instructions for how to set-up the connection are included in the app.
Other Great Apps to Download
- Read It Later is a bookmarking service available for phones and the web, so users can peg articles or links to be read later. While not optimized for tablets, it can come in handy if you want to mark items on your phone/desktop and read them on your tablet (or vice versa)
- Chrome to Phone is a good way to send links from desktop to tab. I often see wallpapers or downloads that I want to send directly to the Tab 10.1, and this is the easiest way to manage them.
- Mediafly for Tablets is the best free podcast manager that I’ve seen for Honeycomb. It’s not the greatest because feed management is done mostly online, but the app can auto-download new episodes, manage audio or video podcasts, and plays online. This is the app to have if you don’t want to spend money on BeyondPod.
- Lightbox is a new gallery app that shows images from your Facebook friends, popular flickr images, and edited snapshots shared on Lightbox. The app comes with a built-in editor to apply a few color fitters to your images, so spice up the dull images taken with a SGT 10.
- Google Earth lets users “explore the world” with high-quality 3D satellite imagery that is optimized for the Honeycomb experience. Navigate and see the world’s sites in great detail.