It’s very disappointing when you download an app to your tablet and the first time you open it up, it becomes clear that it was built only for a phone-sized screen.
You’re left holding this giant tablet that has been turned into a cumbersomely obese piece of equipment that is difficult to use effectively. And when more than half of the screen is filled with empty black space, there’s really no reason to use that app on a tablet as opposed to a phone.
The basic rule for an app to be great for tablets:
They need to scale to adjust different sized screens.
Beyond that, when we’re on a tablet, we expect a different experience than when we’re on our phones. We want the best iPad apps out there.
A tablet allows more freedom to interact with the app. The bigger screen gives us an opportunity to play together, even if the game isn’t built to be multi-player, we can still interact on the same screen, look over each other’s shoulders and share the gaming experience as a family.
An app that truly takes advantage of the tablet as a medium won’t just be one that fills the screen.
It will also fully embrace the fact that there are distinct differences between how a family uses a tablet and how a family uses a smartphone.
With that being said:
Here are Famigo’s picks for apps that not only look great on a tablet, but also realize the full potential of a larger screen.
The 5 Best Apps for Tablets
Jenga - $2.99
Jenga is such an excellent family game and we were delighted when they came out with an app for tablets. This is a game that would be kind of impossible to play on a phone-sized screen, and they’ve done a great job of making Jenga a great tablet experience. It’s an app that you’re going to want to play with your family, and we absolutely love that!
It’s received some negative feedback in the Amazon App Market, but that’s mainly from users having trouble with the app on specific devices, so make sure to check your tablet’s compatibility before you make a purchase.
2 Player Reactor - Free
The name gives this app away as another one that was designed to be multi-player. It’s great to keep kids busy during car rides or whenever there’s a need to keep them entertained and out of your hair. There is also a 4 Player Reactor, if you have a ton of kids, or want to play together as a whole family.
Guerrilla Bob - $2.99
Guerrilla Bob is a really well made app that is great for tablets because it gives you the ability to interact with the game’s world and have a wider view (literally) of your surroundings. This app is made for a slightly older player, there’s violence (it’s a game where your mission is to kill bad guys) which could be concerning for some parents. There’s also a lite version for free.
Apparatus - $1.98
Ahhh! This app is so frustrating, but in a good way. It’s tricky enough that you are constantly stumped, but not so much so that you want to give up. It’s an app that is best experienced on a tablet because you’re going to want to have the best vantage point on your creation as possible. A view that is best served up on a tablet. Try out the free version of this app as well.
Kid Math - Free
Kid Math is an app that makes learning math fun for kids. It’s more like an arcade game than an educational app, and we think that’s the best way for kids to learn (when they have no idea that any kind of lesson is being taught). This app is best on a tablet because it has the ability to be multi-player, a functionality that is almost completely lost on a phone-sized screen.
Have a suggestion for an app that your family loves to play on a tablet? Let us know in the comments!
And stay tuned for next week’s post where we review tablets in order to find one that’s the most family-friendly.