App up: The best soft­ware for tablets, smart­phones

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - Omar L. Gal­laga

To get the most out of new mo­bile de­vices, do some down­load­ing. If

you re­ceive a smart­phone or tablet for Christ­mas (or you’re set­ting up one as a gift for a loved one), you should know that out of the box, they come in­com­plete.

Sure, you can do a lot with what’s built into a new iPhone, iPad, Kin­dle Fire, An­droid tablet or dig­i­tal mu­sic player. They typ­i­cally al­ready have a good built-in Web browser, a cal­cu­la­tor, cal­en­dar and email pro­grams, as well as ways to keep track of your con­tacts and send text mes­sages. But the really great stuff is still wait­ing to be down­loaded.

Ap­ple’s App Store — for so-called “iOS de­vices” like iPads, iPhones and the iPod Touch — and the Google Play store for An­droid — de­vices like Sam­sung Galaxy phones and Nexus tablets — con­tain lit­er­ally hun­dreds of thou­sands of apps (short for “ap­pli­ca­tions”) that ex­tend the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of that new play­thing. Choos­ing the right ones can make a gad­get more use­ful and fun. And best of all, many of th­ese apps are free or very cheap; less than $5 is typ­i­cal for even the most elab­o­rate ones.

Here are some sug­ges­tions for must-have down­loads, starter packs of apps you should check out, es­pe­cially if you’re new to the world of mo­bile touch-screen gad­gets. Not all apps are avail­able on ev­ery plat­form, but we tried to pick many that can be used across the board.

Util­i­ties

Let’s be du­ti­ful and start

Sa­vant con­tin­ued on D10

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