I recently joined the ranks of tablet owners by getting my hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

The first thing to mention is how awesome using  a stylus is (a stylus is like a pen). A few minutes of using a stylus and using fingers to swipe around seems so 2012. A stylus is great for handwriting notes in meetings and doing anything that requires precision (such as image editing and certain types of games).

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks scouring the web trying to find the best apps to use and thought I would share my findings so far.

Unfortunately, it is true that there aren’t anywhere near as many awesome apps for Android as there are for iOS. However, things seem to be changing, and I’ve even come across a few amazing apps that are Android only!

So here are my recommendations so far (I’ll post more when I’ve got more to share).

Swype

I’ve been using Swype as a replacement for the keyboard on my phone for a while now, but held off installing it on my tablet to see how the default keyboard fared. Verdict – it was rubbish compared to Swype.

Swype is a gesture recognition way to use your keyboard. You swipe your finger across the screen over the letters of the word you wish to type and Swype works out which word you meant. It is incredibly accurate and becomes even more accurate the more you use it.

The ‘Living Language’ feature of Swype means that the dictionary is always updating with the latest words by looking at the words being mentioned on major news sites and other Swype users.

Swype is the kind of tool that amazes people when they first see it. It is certainly worth getting past the slight learning curve at the beginning. Furthermore – I have a feeling that the team at Swype will continue to create smart new algorithms that will make this product even better.

SimpleMind

This is a beautiful and easy to use mind-mapping tool. I’ve been having lots of fun playing with the free version, but I’m quite tempted to pay the £3 for the fully featured premium version that allows you to link mind maps together and gives you a range of styling options.

The dragging interface is intuitive and the workspace is uncluttered, and the app works amazingly well with the Samsung Stylus.

Any.Do

After playing with a few different to-do list apps, I think I’m going to settle on Any.Do.

It doesn’t have many features, which is a blessing for any to-do app. It’s design is simple and elegant whilst the widget is clean and customisable. It syncs across all of your devices and the Chrome extension looks pretty sleek too.

Bacon Reader

If you are a Reddit fan (and if you are not then you need to check it out), then you need the bizarrely named Bacon Reader app.

It offers a great swipe based way to explore your favourite topics and manage your account.

Pocket

Pocket is a bookmarking/read-it-later app which takes the page you are reading and saves it for later offline reading.

Although I already use Delicious for social bookmarking, I’ve decided that Pocket is going to be used for resources that are of a high quality – not just things that I may need to reference later. Kind of like a curated bookmarking service.

It has all the tagging functionality and cross platform synchronisation you expect and also a clean user interface that gives you a little snippet of each page you have bookmarked.

I don’t think it has the same kind of open architecture you would find from Delicious, so it will unlikely ever be a replacement. But it’s pretty darn stylish.

Monkey Write

This cool little app turns learning Chinese characters into a game. You have to get the strokes in the right order in order to earn stars.

I’ve only gone through a couple of workbooks, but it’s proving to be a fascinating introduction into the world of Chinese symbols.

The bug downside to this seems to be the cost. At £2 for every new workbook, it could turn out to be pretty expensive to work your way through all of them.

Regardless, there is a deep sense of satisfaction and pleasure writing these letters and I’m already pretty hooked.

GalaxIR

When I first touched a Tablet I envisioned the gaming potential. Point and click games like Command & COnquer would take on a whole new life!

Unfortunately, all we seem to get is casual games like Angry Birds.

GalaxIR has given me new hope for tablet games. Its a game that could only really be played on a tablet as it requires you to move your hand around the screen selecting units, putting them into groups and attacking the enemy at a super fast speed.

The game itself isn’t too polished – but to me it is standing at the cutting edge of tablet gaming.

Aldiko

Books online seem to come is a range of different filetypes – and Aldiko seems to cover most of them.

It has a cool little bookshelf, let’s you sync between devices, is fully customisable with night time lighting etc and gives you access to lot of catalogues and stores.

The quality of PDF’s didn’t seem to be quite as good as using the officical PDF reader though.

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