10 Free Apps for Your Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK - dummies

10 Free Apps for Your Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK

By Corey Sandler

Your Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK comes with three app stores: the NOOK Shop, Galaxy Apps, and the Google Play Store. All the apps listed here are free and worth downloading to your Tab 4 NOOK.

  • Pandora. Start with a few songs or artists you like. The app finds music that’s similar. (If you like Paul Simon, you’ll probably like James Taylor and you may not know how much in common both have with the Everly Brothers and selected songs by Elvis. Or Bob Dylan to Pete Seeger and Woodie Guthrie with side trips to Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and The Rolling Stones.) Create and fine-tune your own stations. You’re allowed as many as 100 channels and you can pick just one to play, shuffle through them all, or ask the Tab 4 NOOK to choose pleasing songs at random.

  • Shazam. In some ways, Shazam is complementary to Pandora. Pandora learns the sort of songs you like to listen to and then looks for similar music. Shazam listens to a song you are playing and identifies it: Turn on the app, aim your Tab 4 NOOK toward the stereo speakers, the TV, the background music in a bar, or the fuzzy noise in an elevator, and give it a few seconds to think. Like magic, almost without fail, you’ll see the name of the song, the artist, and the album. Want more? How about a biography of the performer, a listing of songs recorded, and access to YouTube and other videos about the singer.

  • Skype. You can place and receive phone calls in almost any location that provides a good Wi-Fi signal that has a high-speed Internet connection. Your Tab 4 NOOK has a built-in microphone on the right side and a pair of speakers on the back.

    Plug a pair of earbuds or headphones into the jack on the top edge of the tablet for better quality and a bit of privacy. Calls from one Internet device (like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK) to another (like a laptop or desktop computer, or a smartphone using a Wi-Fi connection) can be as inexpensive as free.

  • Outlook.com. You download an app for the free email service or use a browser to go to www.outlook.com and connect by Wi-Fi back to the system from wherever you are. You can view and connect to editing features for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that are sent as attachments. You can open a file in Outlook.com and directly save it to your OneDrive cloud.

  • OneDrive. This specialized cloud-based storage system that expands the reach of your desktop or laptop to include nearly all of your mobile devices. Once a file is in the cloud, you can access any of them from an app or through a web browser. And you can grant viewing or downloading privileges to others.

  • Speedtest.net. You can get a free analysis of the access speed and operational speed of your Internet connection. What do you do with this app? If your Tab 4 NOOK has a slow Internet connection, run Speedtest to see if the numbers are low. In different spots in your house or office, run the app to find dead spots or places with stronger Wi-Fi signals.

    It’s a very simple process: Load the app and tap Begin Test. You’ll see a version of a speedometer. The results show you the ping (the milliseconds it took from your tablet making the request for a connection and getting the okay). A shorter time is better than a longer time. You’ll also see the download and upload results, in Mbps (megabits per second). You might not use Speedtest very often, but it’s a good tool to have tucked away in your apps drawer.

  • Adobe Reader. You can view and perform make edits or notes to PDF files. Download the Adobe Reader app from the Play Store and make sure to allow the system to update it when new versions are released. You can tie into the Android system to share a document, and even — if you set up a printer using Wi-Fi Direct or Bluetooth — make a hard copy.

  • MLB At Bat. This app not only delivers the news, but also has a feature called Gameday which presents live, pitch-by-pitch coverage of games during the season. You’ll see the field where the game is being played, a representation of each pitch as it arrives, and descriptions of plays, plus the occasional video of spectacular or important events. And the statistics (baseball is numerically obsessed) are updated pitch by pitch.

  • SeatGuru. This app helps you select the least-worst seat on an airliner. Enter the name of the airline, the flight number, and the date of travel. The system will tell you what model of plane is scheduled to be used and then display a map of the interior that has commentary on every seat. Here’s one to avoid: “Seat 30K may have some extra legroom due to the emergency exit but the proximity of the lavatories can be bothersome.” You also can check the flight status for upcoming flights and book tickets.

  • Google Translate. Enter a phrase — tap or swipe on the keyboard, speak into the microphone, or scribble on the touchpad — for a translation into any of 50 or so languages. Not just common languages, either: You can ask for directions to the nearest pub in Irish or Polish, or for help in Swahili or Maltese. You’ll see a written translation for most languages, and many also include a spoken version. You can download languages to your tablet to use with this app when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection.