Great Android apps for the new Nexus 7 tablet

by Marty Gabel

The new Nexus 7 tablet from Google is already a great success. Available with 8GB or 16GB, it packs a powerful punch with its quad-core Tegra processor. Google’s 7-inch tab is fast, slick and runs the latest version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean. While it’s already rocking some handy Google apps, there are many more available to download.

Here are the best Android apps to show off your new Nexus 7 tab.

Camera Launcher for Nexus 7 (Free)

Your Nexus 7 does include a front-facing camera mainly for video chatting or face recognition when unlocking the device, but surprisingly, Google didn’t include a dedicated camera app. While it’s only a low-res 1.3-megapixel shooter, there still could be an occasion when you need to snap a quick self-portrait, and that’s why Camera Launcher for Nexus 7 is a worthwhile download. What’s more, it even includes all the cool and funny effects from the stock Android camera app.

Flipboard (Free)

Before Flipboard officially hit Android, we recommended the Google Currents app as a great way to consume news and content in a magazine format. Clearly the folks at Google still believe in it too, as it’s pre-installed in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for you to enjoy on your Nexus 7. But if you’re looking for an alternative, Flipboard is still the top dog because it seamlessly merges updates from your favorite social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter alongside the best content from hundreds of news sources.

Download the Appolicious Android app

TweetCaster (Free)

As much as we’d love to see Twitter update their official app for better tablet compatibility, it hasn’t happened yet. So if you’re a Twitter addict and want an app which displays your timeline better on the Nexus 7’s bigger screen, check out TweetCaster (and its ad-free pro version for $4.99). There are some really nice new Twitter clients which conform to Android’s new design standards (like Boid and Tweet Lanes), but while these remain in beta, TweetCaster is still the best for an optimized tablet Twitter experience.

Dead Trigger (Free)

While Dead Trigger certainly isn’t everyone’s type of game (it’s gory and violent), it will show off the graphical prowess of your Tegra-enabled tablet. While the game looks great on non-Tegra devices too, on the Nexus 7 it looks spectacular with better shadows and lighting. Dead Trigger is a fun, first-person zombie shooter with plenty of scares around every corner. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, it’s available for free. If that still doesn’t excite you, just look out for titles with “THD” in their names to experience other Tegra-optimized games.

Pocket -formerly Read It Later (Free)

Using the stock Chrome browser on your Nexus 7, you’ll likely be consuming a lot of website content and news articles. A fullscreen web browser is great, but also means such pages are full of ads, navigation and other extra fluff you probably don’t want to see. Pocket can save articles and even videos so you can read them later, even without an Internet connection, perfectly formatted for your tablet screen. Also, it syncs up with the web-based app so you’ll have access to what you’ve ‘pocketed’ from anywhere.

Netflix (Free)

While Neflix is a free app, you will need to be a paid-up subscriber to get the most out of it. Still, it’s certainly a worthy addition to your app arsenal because the Nexus, with its 7-inch screen, is a great way to view video content. While it’s not as large as the displays offered by the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Nexus 7 is easily portable, and its high pixel density HD screen is perfect for catching up on your favorite TV shows and movies using the official Netflix Android app.