Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 16th 2014 Contents If you re trying to get the most out of
your tablet, it s not always easy to know
where to start. You ll hear lots of talk
about "apps" and how important they
are to your tablet experience. Apps are
just a shortened way of saying "appli-
cations". You can think of them as software
programmes tailored for your tablet s small-
er-than-a-computer screen, which simply fulfil
some specific function.
There are hundreds of thousands of apps
out there. They are available through an already
installed app you ll find on your tablet. It s the
App Store on Apple s iPads; Google Play on
Android tablets and the Windows Store on
tablets running Microsoft s operating system.
Here are ten app categories to help get
1. News: Flipboard or Pulse
Tablets are really excellent at providing con-
venient access to news. Whether your interest
is in business, current affairs, entertainment,
tech developments or breaking news stories,
with the right app, you can have it all collated
on your tablet and served up in an intuitive,
categorised, magazine-like format. Both Flip-
board and Pulse are easy-to-use news aggre-
gator apps that pull together news sources you
select as well as Facebook posts, Twitter feeds,
Instagram photos, YouTube videos or anything
else you d like.
2. Reading: Kindle
For the literary lover, tablets offer a wonderful
blend of book reading and everyday computing.
The Kindle reader app is one of the most pop-
ular apps providing access to Amazon impres-
sive catalog of electronic books. It is available
on every platform, including desktops, laptops
and smartphones. The Kindle app also remem-
bers where you ve paused reading, keeps your
place for you, no matter what device you re
reading it on, and can also be used to read PDF
and text files. Barnes and Noble s Nook, Googles
Play Books provide access to alternative e-
book stores with their e-reader apps.
3. Entertainment: Netflix or Hulu or
The high resolution screens on tablets are
perfect for movie watching. Netflix, Hulu and
Amazon video services all offer a broad selection
of movies and TV shows. Netflix requires a
streaming subscription and is available to sub-
scribers in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Hulu s subscription service offers an extensive
catalog of movies and TV, but viewing from
outside the US may require a proxy or VPN
service like unblock-us.com. Amazon offers a
subscription service as well as a view-on-
demand offering. If you are a radio-buff, or
just want to keep up to date on your favorite
radio program, TuneIn is an useful app to
download, offering access to thousands of radio
stations from all over the world.
4. Organised: Evernote or Google
Evernote takes your notes and puts them in
the cloud (that is, stores them online), so they re
accessible from any device you care to sync to
it, including your smartphone or laptop com-
puter. Evernote handles text, photos, audio and
even video clips. If you want a lighter weight
alternative that syncs with your Gmail account,
try out Google Keep. If you plan on using your
tablet to help stay organised, these apps can
5. Communications: Skype or Google
Hangouts or Zoom
With front-facing cameras and built-in
microphones, tablets are great for video chatting
with friends and family. Once upon a time
Skype was the king of free Internet calls, offer-
ing a quick and easy way to stay connected.
But there are other options. Google Hangouts
offers free multi-party, video conferencing,
with free calls to US numbers and integrated
instant messaging with your Google+ contacts.
Another excellent video conferencing app is
Zoom, providing free 40-min video calls, a
US-conference bridge call-in service and screen
sharing. Zoom s subscription services comes
with unlimited video conferencing and one-
click option to record meetings.
6. Social networking: Facebook,
Tablets are great way to keep tabs on your
social media life. Apps for the major social
media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube are
available on all platforms. Tablets allow you
to manage your profile, browse your friends
posts and photo galleries and generally stay
connected. Of course, remember to always set
your privacy setting so that your posts are only
viewed by those you want to share them with.
7. Travel and exploration: Google
Earth and TripAdvisor
Google Earth is a massive collection of satel-
lite photos, seamlessly stitched together to
allow you to pinch, swipe and tap to locations
all over the Earth. If our planet is not enough
for you, download Google Sky View to explore
the planets, stars and constellations. Want to
find out more about the locations you are see-
ing, or plan to visit?
Download TripAdvisor for access to expert
reviews on the quality of hotels, restaurants
and attractions, all at your fingertips. If you
are a frequent traveller, you can also give Kayak,
FlightStatus, TripIt and SeatGuru a try.
8. Photography: Photoshop Express
or Color Effects or Vintique
Tablets are a convenient tool for editing
photos on the go. All you need is a good app
to work with. Tools like Adobe s Photoshop
Express, Color Effects, PixlrExpress and Vin-
tique, can do the job. These apps give you
the mobile tools you need to crop photos,
adjust colors and apply special effects.
9. Art: Sketchbook Express or
Tablets can showcase the artist inside all
of us. Right now, it seems many of the most
acclaimed drawing and painting apps work
on Apple products with one exception.
Sketchbook Express and Paper (both available
for Apple and Android tablets) offer a palette
of brushes, colors and textures to work with,
all from the moves of your fingers. It s a
great way for artists of all ages and skill levels
to create digital art for fun or business.
10. Games: Cards, Words, Fruits
All work and no play makes your tablet
an underutilised device. From cards and pop-
ular board and word games, to car racing
and first person shooters, your tablet can be
a portal into a world of entertaining, stress-
reducing, mind-numbing fun. Popular apps
include Candy Crush, Word with Friends,
Angry birds and Dots, as well as classics like
Solitaire, Mahjongg, Chess and Baggamon.
Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge
officer of Congress WBN (www.congress-
wbn.org), a values-based, international
charity and the executive director of Bright-
Path Foundation, a technology education
non-profit organisation. Reach him on Twit-
ter @bevilwooding or
facebook.com/bevilwooding or contact via
e-mail at technologymatters@brightpath-
JANUARY 2014 • WEEK THREE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG19
WANTED: MORE LOCAL APPS
Ideally, this list should include apps that allow you to use
your tablet to do real mobile banking with local banks; pay
bills for services from local providers like cable companies,
telecom providers and insurance companies; access and
pay for government services; order take-out or check local
reviews on local restaurants, local stores and other local
places, providers and services.
This is a tremendous opportunity for local business and
for local software developers. The mobile app industry is a
multibillion dollar economy. It is also one of the fastest
growing areas in the technology sector. Sadly, too many
local companies are reflexively turning to foreign develop-
ers and foreign designers to build their mobile dreams.
This myopia denies local developers the opportunity to
fully partake in the mobile revolution. It also denies the
economy the capacity to generate new local jobs and busi-
nesses, drive growth and productivity, and secure long-
term economic competitiveness.
Truly making the most of your tablet requires local busi-
nesses, governments, entrepreneurs and developers to in-
vest in moving more local services into the mobile space.
It's already happening, but it needs to happen faster. Then
we can truly say, "there's a local app for that!"
Making the most of your tablet
10 app categories to help jumpstart your mobile experience
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