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TouchPal Keyboard Tablet tops Android Apps of the Week

by Kristen Nicole

The touchscreen keyboard gets an upgrade with TouchPal’s Keyboard for Android tablets. It lets you easily switch between swiping and tapping, as well as gestures to get the most out of your finger follies. This week also brought some big name updates to the Android Market, including special upgrades from McAfee Security and Mint’s personal finance app. Salesforce debuted its Rypple app this week, as did Eventbrite for managing events on-the-go.

TouchPal Keyboard Tablet (Free)

One thing that really sets Android tablets apart is their ability to support custom keyboards. Make the most of your tablet with a specialized keyboard from TouchPal Keyboard, which boasts that it out-swipes the competition with a more accurate predictive engine to make typing that much faster. You can even switch between swiping and tapping, and use gestures to split the keyboard in two for easier thumb reach. They’ve really thought through the tablet typing experience, and TouchPal has plenty of add-on packages to further customize your keyboard for various languages and other needs.

McAfee Mobile Security (Free)

McAfee upgraded its Android security app to give more users access to more features, including a complete anti-virus function, anti-spyware, anti-phishing protection and filtering for phone calls and text messages. What’s unique to Android users in version 2.0 is the 'App Protection' feature, which determines how apps are accessing and possibly transmitting personal data. The idea is to offer more control over your data, addressing some of the recent privacy concerns raised by the Carrier IQ issue.

Mint.com Personal Finance (Free)

Mint.com is Intuit’s personal finance app that’s made an early mark on the mobile scene. An important update to Mint’s app brings it to Android tablets, following up on their iPad release. Mint had more than screen size to consider while developing the Android tablet version, and Honeycomb’s acceleration hardware enabled the team to provide speedy animations for data visualization. The result is quick access to easy-to-read graphs and charts that break down your spending patterns over time, offering deeper insight to your finances as you budget, monitor and plan for the future.

Rypple (Free)

Just weeks after its acquisition by Salesforce, social performance management service Rypple launched its Android app. The tool helps managers improve employee performance through “social goals,” paving a new road for the emerging social enterprise space. The idea is you’ll get consistent feedback and recognition, taking the lead in a growing trend around cloud-based and socially-integrated tools for human resources. While Rypple’s Android app offers remote access to their employees’ feedback, workers can also access their public recognition and praise through this app as well. The free version comes with basic capabilities, but you’ll have to upgrade through Rypple for full access to things like coaching, performance reviews, Social Goals 2.0 and integration into existing work systems.

Eventbrite (Free)

Party promoter? Event coordinator? You’ll be glad this app has finally hit the Android Market. It provides access to orders and event information on the go. Party-goers can pull up Eventbrite tickets and event details, and even go paperless with confirmations included directly in the app (namely through QR codes). You can also pull up a map to get directions to a given event, and contact an event organizer directly. Share events with friends across social networks and email, and even keep an archive of past events you’ve attended.

Formspring (Free)

Remember those questionnaires you’d get in an email, where you fill in answers to random questions and forward to friends, awaiting their quirky answers? Formspring’s made it much easier to learn about your friends with its new Android app. Ask questions to discover interesting things about your friends, share photos and get immediate feedback from the people whose opinions you respect. Offer feedback on friends’ shared items as well, responding with a photo, written answer or a simple “smile.” Formspring can be used for private feedback loops as well, sharing items with only a select few users.

Create a list of your favorite Android apps right here.