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Instagram finally arrived on Android last week, much to the chagrin of a small minority of iPhone users. But while there are some wonderful apps available in the Google Play Store for both Android smartphones and tablets, there are still some notable ones missing. Here are just a few of the apps we’d like to see on the platform.
This is one of the biggest omissions from the Android ecosystem, and we can only hope it arrives soon. While Android tablets don’t get the love Apple’s iPad receives, there are some very capable devices out there which would look great running Flipboard. For the uninitiated, Flipboard (one of Apple’s best from 2011) presents your favorite news sources and social networks in an easily manageable magazine-like form which makes them a joy to read. Google’s very own Currents offer a similar experience, but with a little less panache. Expect it to improve though in the future.
Instapaper has a number of copy-cat apps in the Google Play Store, and many will send stories to your Instapaper account. But the official version of this popular app has yet to appear on Android. Though Instapaper merely performs the simple task of saving web pages you encounter so you can read them later, the iOS app ensures they’re clipped cleanly, free of advertising and clutter. Fortunately, Android does at least have Readability available, which performs a similar function. Still, it would be nice to see Instapaper in there one day too.
I know, I know, Android already has a wealth of excellent alternative Twitter clients like TweetCaster, Plume, Twicca and TweetDeck. But we’d still gratefully receive Tweetbot too, which has seen much success (and much critical acclaim) on both iPhone and iPad. What Tweetbot brings to the table is its great design aesthetic, multiple timeline views and smart gestures. While it performs a similar function to other Twitter apps, we’d like to see Android owners enjoy its high level of polish too.
National Geographic apps
iOS devices are blessed with a wealth of official National Geographic apps including beautifully-designed iPad ones. A quick search of iOS titles reveals 10 iPhone and 20 iPad apps from the National Geographic Society development team. There are multiple science and nature subjects covered by Nat Geo including apps to accompany TV shows, apps for kids, photography showcases, reference books, and even games. We’d really love to see more of the best ones hit the Google Play Store. So far, Android owners only get GeoBee Challenge and The Last Lions, though we’re grateful to see these, of course.
Yep, already there are some truly excellent camera and photo-editing apps on Android. But Camera Awesome’s sophisticated shooting features, which take advantage of the iPhone’s camera hardware, really make it shine. As there are so many Android device manufacturers, it’s unlikely this app will ever get ported over. It would take some clever development to make it work on every single one. The app touts its cool filters and ability to auto-correct your images, but that’s not what makes it special. Instead, what makes Camera Awesome a cut above other photo apps include its speed, the ability to focus in one place and set exposure in another, and the fact that video starts recording before you’ve even pressed the button.