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Ten Great Apps to Buy for Your Android Tablet

Why buy apps for your Android tablet when so many are free? One reason paid apps exist is that the apps are worth it. Android apps are a bargain when compared with the cost of computer software. For example, if you like the free or "lite" version of an app and you play it often, consider paying the whole whopping 99 cents for the full version. Don't let the prices discourage you!

App prices listed here are current as of spring, 2013. Some of these apps may occasionally go on sale. Be sure to check the Google Play Store frequently just in case an app is offered at a discount or for free.

Andy (Siri for Android)

Apple's Siri feature for its iPhone sure made a splash. It's a concierge app that offers voice-controlled access to your tablet's features as well as general information, such as the weather. The Andy app is billed as the Siri for Android, which means it offers similar features that those poor, jealous iPhone users have on their overpriced devices.

  • Andy covers culture and the arts, biographies, geography and places, society, social sciences, health, mathematics, science, and just about anything else.

  • In addition to Andy's encyclopedic search capabilities, it can also give you voice-controlled access to your apps. For example, you can bark commands such as "open Pandora." Andy can also send text messages, give you directions, do distance measurements, and so much more.

  • The Andy interface is ideal for times when your eyes and hands are busy, such as when you're driving.

  • A free version of Andy exists as well as the paid version.

  • This app sells for $2.99.

Car Dashboard Pro

The Car Dashboard Pro app is both a speedometer and a car Home screen for your Android tablet. The app monitors your speed, location, altitude, and more along with the capability to easily access 20 customizable shortcuts to your favorite apps. Car Dashboard Pro allows you to even set up speed alerts to warn you when your speed is exceeding the posted speed limit. One saved traffic violation more than makes up for the cost of the app!

  • Make sure someone else holds the tablet while you're driving. Using a tablet while driving is dangerous!

  • A free version of Car Dashboard Pro is also available.

  • This app sells for $1.99.

Doodle Jump

For some people, the benchmark of a decent computer game is its capability to tick you off. The game ceases becoming a diversion and blossoms into an obsession. Doodle Jump fits that bill perfectly.

  • The object of the game is simple: Use your Android tablet accelerometer to control a funky character on the screen. Slide him left and right to make him jump up ever higher. Miss a jump and you start over. Simple? Yes. Frustrating, You bet!

  • This app costs $0.99; a free Lite version is also available.

FlightView Elite FlightTracker

FlightView Elite FlightTracker is the paid version of a popular Android app that allows you to track airline flights in real time. You can track flights live and save them to a list of your trips. You can view departures, schedules, gate assignments, and even flight delays all in one handy spot. You can review itineraries and save them to your calendar. The app even alerts you to status changes.

  • Individual airlines also feature their own apps, which do many of the things FlightView does, but at no cost.

  • A Lite version of FlightView is available if you just want to try it out.

  • This app costs $3.99.

Locale

The makers of Locale tout this app as "artificial intelligence for Android." It attempts to make your tablet smarter by making some logical decisions. For example, it automatically silences the tablet in situations where a noisy notification can cause anxiety or embarrassment. It can change the Home page's wallpaper under given circumstances or even change a ringtone depending on your location. All you do is set up situations and tell your tablet how to behave; Locale does the rest.

  • Like any other artificial intelligence tool, the Local app requires configuration before it can do brilliant things for you and your Android tablet.

  • This app costs $9.99.

My Backup Pro

The My Backup Pro app allows you to schedule the backup of your Android tablet's important information to secure servers on the Internet or to the tablet's internal storage or microSD card. That information includes all your movies, photos, music, videos, contacts, browser bookmarks, message attachments, alarms, dictionary, call log, music playlists, and so much more. Basically your entire digital life can be saved to be restored in a matter of minutes. Now you don't have to worry about your tablet being stolen and damaged.

  • The base version of My Backup Pro allows you a goodly amount of online storage for free. You can purchase additional storage for a nominal monthly fee.

  • You can try My Backup Pro free for 30 days.

  • This app costs $3.99.

Paper Camera

The Paper Camera app allows you to create real-time cartoon and painting effects based on your Android tablet's camera feed. With Paper Camera, you can recreate your world as a cartoon. For example, when you open a photo in Paper Camera, you can apply interesting cartoon effects to your photos by changing the lines, contrast, brightness, and bleaching .

It's fun. It's silly. It costs $0.99.

Spaghetti Marshmallows

Perhaps you played this game as a kid, in the real world. The object is to build structures using sticks of uncooked spaghetti plugged into soft marshmallows. It's the edible version of Tinker Toys, though on your Android tablet the Spaghetti Marshmallows app recreates everything electronically.

Like all good games, this one is easy to figure out, but not easy to master. A Lite version is available free, which you can try out to see how truly addicting it is. Then you can fork over the $0.99 to buy the full version.

TimeClock — Time Tracker

The TimeClock — Time Tracker app makes it easy to track your billable hours and expenses and then use this information to create invoices or spreadsheets. TimeClock is quite useful for freelancers, contractors, attorneys, or anyone who has a need to bill clients by the hour.

  • Information gathered by the TimeClock app can be exported for use in your computer's spreadsheet or database programs.

  • This app costs $6.99.

VNC Viewer

The VNC Viewer app connects your Android tablet to a computer network anywhere in the world. You'll see the computer desktop on your tablet's touchscreen as you use the app to take control of that computer system. You can adjust settings, run programs, copy files, or perform any other task you have to do on the computer, but by using your tablet.

  • VNC Viewer works between your tablet and a PC, Mac, or Linux computer. The app is created by the inventors of VNC the de facto standard in remote computer access applications.

  • This app costs $9.99.

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