Welcome to the purepxl.com recommended application list for the Pixel and Nexus line of phones and tablets. This list is compiled from my own list of favourites with contributions from our app forum and via our faithful twitter followers.
I run all these apps regularly on either my Nexus 7 (2013) edition tablet or my Nexus mobile phone. Note that this list has a UK bias, but most of these apps are available internationally.
The Pure Pixel App Pack
Our goal is to put together a list that new owners can explore and quickly get up to speed with, we’re featuring the popular best known apps from the Google Play Store. Have a look through and get the best apps for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 tablets plus the Pixel and Pixel XL phones (and any of the older models too of course!).
If you have any recommendations for our ‘must have apps’ list then let us know and the best will be added. We are particularly interested in apps with tablet or even Nexus specific enhancements.
If your’re using your tablet to make content as well as consume it then some of these tools should prove very useful.
Evernote: The popular note taking app works seamlessly across platforms and Android is no exception. Evernote allows you to take notes on the move and have them sync back to your PC. (free)
Catch: Whilst Evernote seems to get a lot of attention, Catch is an upcoming note taking app designed to capture your ideas. You will instantly be impressed by it’s beautiful presentation and broad functionality. (free)
Pocket: It took me a while to get into Pocket but now it is one of my most frequently used apps. Mark useful articles to read later and then find them available in the app in a stripped down easy to read format. (free)
Essential apps for managing your device and content.
DropBox: With limited storage you’ll want to store your files out in the cloud, we recommend Drop Box. First sign up by following this link, then install the app on your tablet, desktop, phone, etc. (free)
ES File Manager: Even with a decent size storage drive you’ll want to keep an eye on your free space. You’ll also find that some apps won’t save file in a neat and orderly manner. A file manager will help you to keep things tidy. (free)
Airdroid: This app allows you to control your tablet wirelessly from your desktop. Particularly handy for backing up content and transferring files to and from your device. (free)
MightyText: Want to send SMS text messages from your tablet? Want them to be sent using your own mobile phone number? If so, Mighty Text can do exactly that for you. It also allows you to send messages from your PC via your (android) phone. (free)
avast! Mobile Security: Avast is our anti virus app of choice. But this app goes beyond watching out for malicious downloads and suspicious web sites, it also has a number of great built in security features such as remote wiping and device tracking. (free)
Smart App Protector(App Lock): Given the amount of sensitive information that is accessible through application such as Gmail and Facebook it makes sense to have an extra layer of security. If your phone gets snatched whilst unlocked then App Protector will keep these critical apps that much harder to get into, hopefully buying you enough time to go and reset passwords. (free and paid)
History Eraser: Handy app for cleaning up all the rubbish from your tablet. Not just useful for removing “birthday present research” from your search history but also good for freeing up space that would otherwise remain wasted. If you’ve ever used ccleaner on your PC, this is the Android equivalent. (free and paid versions)
Need something to help pass the time, these apps will come in handy.
ToView Live TV: Formally TV Catchup, Stream live TV to your Nexus 7 with the ToView app. This gives you live access to the UK free view channels (such as Film 4, BBC, ITV, Dave etc). It only allows viewing of live TV but it’s still one of the best Telly apps out there. (free)
TED: The TED app gives you access to all of the talks available on their site. The talks can be fun, inspiring, educational and life changing – well worth a look. Probably my most used app right now. (free)
TuneIn Radio: Get access to radio stations around the globe! All of your favourite UK stations are here, but you can also access foreign language stations around the world. (free)
Reddit is Fun: Reddit won’t be everyone’s taste but it is a fantastic time waster. If you need five minutes filled then the Reddit app is perfect, get informed by r/TodayILearned, or be amused by r/Funny. (free)
Want to play movies, view photos, listen to music? Here are the best Nexus 7 Media apps.
N7 Media Player: Despite the name this existed before the Nexus 7 tablet came along. Has neat graphical features to help you explore your music and is great for downloading album art.
Piktures: This is a smart looking and full featured photo gallery application. Sure, Android comes with a stock viewer and it has it’s place. But this 3rd party app takes things to another level. I particularly like the ability to view images across the whole device. (free)
MXPlayer: An alternative video player capable of handling most common formats. Can take advantage of the Nexus tablet’s multiple cores, and is Jelly Bean compatible. (free)
Instagram: Want to take photos on your Nexus 7? Probably not! But installing Instagram is the quickest way to add support. Take pics and effortlessly share them on the web.
Instagram is probably best known for the social sharing functionaly and the ability to easily apply a range of stock effects to your pictures (free)
SnapSeed: This photo editing app is ideal for carrying out editing, tweaking, and sharing of photos. Whilst it has some similarities to Instagram, it brings a greater level of sophistication to the available edits.
Snapseed has won a number of awards in recent years and, having been acquired by Google, expect to see this app go from strength to strength. (free)
USB Drive Streamer: The Media importer app allows you to stream content from a USB drive via an OTG cable.
You can read more about what this does in our forum.
DoggCatcher: I’ve installed this as my podcast catcher of choice. Highly configurable, comprehensive and great for downloading content for offline listening or viewing.
BBC Media Player: Once you install this little app, you will be able yo use the BBC’s iPlayer via your browser. Just install, fire up Chrome, and head over to the BBC’s iPlayer pages to enjoy their content. (free)
Want to keep up to date with whats going on? Need to track RSS feeds? Then these apps will come in handy.
Pulse: Pulse is essentially a news reader app, you can easily import RSS feeds or subscribe to popular content sources. Share stories via Facebook and Twitter with two taps. (free)
Flipboard: Aggregates feeds from various sources such as Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and more to form a personalised set of pages you can easily flip through. Slick. (free)
Feedly: The Feedly app is a beautiful looking news reader app which quickly became my news reader of choice. I particularly like the “Today” view of my news feeds which highlights today’s new posts, when you have 100 or so feeds to trawl through it’s a great way to browse through a selection of the latest news. (free)
The best twitter, facebook, etc apps for your Nexus 4, 7 and 10. For more Twitter apps to try out, have a look at our Twitter client round up.
Falcon: This is a great looking Twitter client that offers all the configuration options you need. I particularly liked the layout which puts all of your saved searches, lists, etc a swipe away through slide out side menus.
Tweets are well presented and I liked the in app previews that let you see tweeted images and links without having to navigate elsewhere. (free and paid versions)
Plume: This was my preferred Tweetdeck replacement, if you like a client with configurable columns then this is the one to go for. You can add multiple accounts, saved searches, lists etc.
Plume also has astonishing levels of configurability. I wasn’t a big fan of the default look and feel but a quick play with the config buttons and I had it just how I wanted it. Good job Plume! (free and paid versions)
Phones and tablets aren’t just for wasting time, here are some of the best educational apps to challenge yourself with.
Coursera: If you haven’t heard of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) then now is the time to get involved. This concept is revolutionising learning. You can get free access to university level courses on a wide range of diverse topics, all delivered direct to your phone or tablet. (free).
Duolingo: Fancy learning a new language? Duolingo is a totally free app that aims to help you achieve that goal. It currently covers Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. It promises to compete with much more expensive online language learning courses. (free)
With its Tegra 3 chip the Nexus 7 is a very decent gaming platform, here we pick out some of our favourites.
Angry Birds: The first big brand mobile game! Angry Birds is a simple, fun and addictive game that has now been played by 1/6th of the planets population!
This and the multitude of sequels are a must have for your Nexus 7. Check out the Star Wars version, and the various seasonal releases. A new multi player version was released in 2013, Angry Birds Friends. (ad supported)
Bad Piggies: The follow up to the massively successful Angry Birds. Rovio have, in my opinion, managed to come up with a very original game that is huge amounts of fun. Invent wacky contraptions and send them flying across the landscape. (free)
Lego City My City: As the father of young kids I have really enjoyed playing the free Lego games, My City offers a range of mini games utilising vehicles and mini figures that will be familiar to Lego fans, I also recommend the Duplo games (free).
Dead Trigger: One of the Tegra 3 show case games, if you want to see how your N7 can handle a decent graphically rich FPS Zombie game, go shoot some zombies and check this out (free).
Words With Friends: Essentially a Scrabble clone, but with a few tweaks to keep the lawyers away. Amazingly addictive, I am generally playing two or three games at once! Hook up with friends playing via the Android app, or through Facebook (free).
Humble Bundle: Not just one game, but a bundle of games. You pay what you like, you get some great indie games, money goes to the developers and to charity. That sounds like a win-win-win to me.
Looking for more app suggestions? The following book has had positive reviews over at Amazon and should help you explore further:
Got some suggestions for the purepxl application list? Please get in touch, we’re interested in building up the number one list of apps that beginners can get going with.
If you are a developer and want to highlight your app then limited self promotion is permitted within the forum, any popular apps will be listed up here or featured in the blog.