Great apps for your new Nexus 7
This is it: Your Nexus 7 tablet has finally arrived and you can't wait to start filling it with all sorts of apps and media. Now that Nexus 7 orders are beginning to ship, we've put together a starter kit of apps that work extremely well on the 7-inch tablet. Most of the apps are free, though some may require you to spend some of that $25 Google Play store credit you receive when you activate the tablet. If you just picked up a Nexus 7 tablet, consider this list of apps you should definitely check out.
Why you'll love it: If you're a big tweeter, Plume will fulfill all of your Twitter related needs. You'll be able to reply to tweets, send direct messages, follow and unfollow other users, or just mute the ones that you think are tweeting too much.
Best thing about it: The best thing about Plume is that when you hold the Nexus 7 in landscape mode, you get a multicolumn view that shows your Timeline, Mentions, and Direct Messages at a glance.
Why you'll love it: You no longer need five different apps to use each of your instant messaging services. IM+ connects to all the major chat clients including Google Chat, AOL Instant Messenger, and Facebook Chat.
Best thing about it: Aside from supporting a wide array of messaging services, the best thing about IM+ is that you can set it to run in the background so that you don't have to leave the app open to recieve your messages.
Why you'll love it: Evernote is perfect for incessant note takers that like to document everything. You can jot down text notes, record audio, and even use the Nexus 7's front-facing camera to awkwardly take photos of things you want to remember.
Best thing about it: There are tons of apps that can save files to Evernote, and all those notes you save are available across all of your devices and on your computer.
Why you'll love it: A hardcore game in the style of Gears of War, Shadowgun looks awesome on the Nexus 7's high-resolution display. The game is fast paced and full of action, but simple enough that anyone could pick it up and learn the controls in just a few short minutes. Shadowgun even comes with a free expansion that picks up right where the main story leaves off.
Best thing about it: Hate touchscreen controls? You can sync a PlayStation or other Bluetooth controller to the Nexus 7 and use it to play the game!
Why you'll love it: Developed by a Google engineer, Markers will let you tap into your inner van Gogh no matter where you are. You can use either a stylus or your finger to paint a masterpiece while on your commute, and share your paintings through Facebook, Twitter, email, or any other apps that take advantage of Android's built-in sharing function.
Best thing about it: You can load photos you have saved on your internal memory, and mark them up to your heart's content. While it's not exactly Photoshop, it's still fun to scribble over your friends' faces and upload those painted portraits onto Facebook for the world to see.
Wi-Fi Finder (Free)
Why you'll love it: Since the Nexus 7 is Wi-Fi only, it'll be important to be able to find hotspots nearby that you can connect to. Wi-Fi Finder scans nearby Wi-Fi networks and shows you what hotspots you can connect to. The hotspots all show up on a Google Map, so you can see their position relative to you.
Best thing about it: Wi-Fi Finder will not only show you which networks you can connect to, but it will also recommend one based on how strong the connection is.
Why you'll love it: If you've ever tried to manage your spending habits, you probably know how inconvenient it can be to keep track of all of your purchases. Mint allows you to see how much you're spending per month, and what types of things you're spending a lot on. Mint will also let you set budgets, and email you when you go over your budget for the month.
Best thing about it: If you link Mint to your bank or credit card, the service can track your purchases automatically and help you set goals to either get rid off or lower your credit card debit.
Angry Birds Space (Free)
Why you'll love it: It's the same Angry Birds you've come to know and love, but this time in space!
Best thing about it: Aside from the fact that it's a game about smashing pigs and their structures in space, this version of Angry Birds features new birds and new play mechanics that require you to re-think how you approach the levels. So even if you mastered the original Angry Birds, you'll still get a challenge in playing Angry Birds Space.
Why you'll love it: 8Tracks is a different approach to Internet radio. Unlike Pandora, which plays random selections based on a particular track or artist, 8Tracks presents you with mixes created and compilled by other 8Tracks users. You're still limited by number of songs you can skip in an hour, but if you get sick of a mix you can always switch over to another one.
Best thing about it: You can share your favorite mixes with friends using Android's built-in sharing functionality, and you can follow your favorite 8Track DJs so that you never miss their next big release.
Why you'll love it: The best way to describe Springpad would be: Pinterest with a purpose. Much like Evernote, you create notebooks through which you can collect notes, audio, Web-links, and whatever else you feel like saving. Springpad will read the type of note you are saving and create a notecard that best fits that type of note. For example, if you save a recipe, Springpad will turn it into a checklist so you can check items off when you go grocery shopping.
Best thing about it: You can build collaborative notebooks that other Springpad users can contribute to, and you can share notebooks with people even if they don't have a Springpad account.
Metal Slug 3 ($6.99)
Why you'll love it: Craving some old-school arcade action? Metal Slug 3 is a recent addition to the Google Play Store, but it should be familiar to anyone who frequented arcades (or Pizza Huts) in the mid-to-late 90s. You'll trek across familiar levels, all the while fighting everything from enemy soldiers, to zombies, to giant bubble-spitting crabs. The enemies are huge, the gamepay is solid, and you'll just can't beat the classics.
Best thing about it: You can go through the game with a friend by enabling Bluetooth on the Nexus 7 and selecting local multiplayer. You can even play with someone who is running the game on an iPhone or iPad for a cross-platform team-up.