10 great apps for a new tablet

5:08 PM, Dec 22, 2013   |    comments
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LOS ANGELES (USA TODAY) - I recently bought my 88-year-old Uncle Leonard his first iPad as a gift and had it mailed directly to him. It seemed like a good idea until I realized - wait a minute - he doesn't know how to set it up.

So I quickly dashed out instructions, along with suggestions for 10 great apps to download, to begin his iPad experience.

It's a good list, so I'd like to share it with all of you who might have a new tablet in your life this holiday season. All the below apps are free.

1. Facebook. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook) This has to be the first app download, because with 1.2 billion people in the social network, you want to begin by staying in touch with folks. Plus, Facebook looks so much better on the tablet, where's it been optimized to accentuate the videos and photos.

2. Flipboard. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook) Read the news - from everyone from USA TODAY to Fortune and Rolling Stone - via the app that turns Twitter feeds and Facebook posts into a magazine-like experience.

3. Skype. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon) Make free calls to your friends via a tablet. What's not to like about that?

4. Amazon Kindle. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook.) Sure, Apple's iBooks app has plenty of e-books, but Amazon's store has way more. And via the Kindle app, you can read them on your iPad.

5. Dropbox. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon) The downside of the iPad is there's no storage slot to add or remove media. The Dropbox app can take care of that for you - just upload on your computer to Dropbox, and pull it down on the iPad.

6. Netflix. (Apple, Android, Amazon, Windows, Nook) Movies and TV shows look great on tablets - consuming entertainment is what they were made for.

7. Pandora. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook) Free Internet music. And on a tablet, you can read more about the artist you're listening to.

8. Snapseed. (Apple, Android) Because it's so much fun taking photos with the big tablet - and even more when you have a great app to pretty them up. Snapseed is my favorite mobile photo app, and way better on a tablet than the phone, because you have a larger canvas to work with.

9. Candy Crush Saga. (Apple, Android) Make time for the year's hottest game, which is even more addicting on the larger screen.

10. Weather Channel. (Apple, Android, Nook, Amazon, Windows) Everyone wants to know whether it will be cold or dry tomorrow, right? The weather app has cool graphics and animation that make it fun to discover the coming week.

That's my initial top 10. Readers - what would you put on your list? Let's chat about it on Twitter, where I'm @jeffersongraham.

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