The more and more I read and use Android based tablet computers, the more I find myself falling in love with them. The reasons for this are frequently quite simple, and to avoid using a lot of tech jargon; I frankly love them because of their aesthetic qualities, their functionality, the ability to use them when on the run, their lightweightedness, and for many other reasons. Even after examining the many qualities that most Android tablet computers contain, such as the ability to surf the internet, watch television and movies, listen to music, read e-books, amongst other things; many people still are not quite convinced that they should purchase an Android tablet computer. The reality is that, while making a purchase may initially seem difficult, once the purchase is made you will find that your life is significantly better for it. To heighten the experience, I would suggest looking around the internet at the variety of free (and paid) software applications that can be installed on your newly purchased tablet computer that will ultimately make your purchase more worthwhile. These apps range from things that help your tablet computer last longer (in terms of battery life), to games, social applications, and other types of things. As should be evident from the title, I have decided to compile the 13 best Android tablet apps that make purchasing a tablet computer worthwhile. If these applications can not convince you to check out tablet computers in more depth, then I am not sure what can.

As a note: some of these apps may not work with all Android tablet computers. For example, photography related applications require that your tablet has a built in camera. This is a non-issue though with most major Android tablet computers.

13 Android Tablet Apps that make Purchasing a Tablet Computer Worthwhile

1. Barcode Scanner

While I have not actually used this free Android tablet app on a tablet PC, I have used it on an iPhone (which is essentially the same thing, just smaller). Barcode Scanner is a notable application that actually has real life implications. My girlfriend and I frequently walk around the store looking for the best deals (as so many of us do). With Barcode Scanner, we are able to scan in virtually any barcode we come along in a store; and we are given a page showing prices at competing stores online. On occasion, we find that we can save a good amount of money buy shopping somewhere else; or just ordering what we need off the internet. This is a cool application, and it is even cooler because it is a free Android app download!

2. Skype

There is no ignoring the popularity of Skype, and frankly just how cool it is to use. You can make phone calls and send text messages through the Skype service, and for myself I find using the video chat feature to be particularly cool. On occasion I am able to chat with my brother  (who is a well known writer here on InfoBarrel under the name x3xsolxdierx3x)  who is in the military and currently overseas. With so much distance between him and my family, it almost doesn't feel as bad to be able to video chat and communicate with him through a wi-fi connection on my sister-in-laws iPad 2. While some aspects of Skype might cost a little bit of money, for most users the free application download will do just the trick and provide you with access to phone, text, and video chatting predominately for free. It is definitely worth the price.

3. Aldiko Book Reader

This is a very cool application for the e-book worms among us. A friend of mine showed me this application on his phone, and I came to find out that it is actually a very popular and highly rated application. In essence, it provides a virtual bookshelf where you can see the e-books you have purchased. You can move them around on the shelf and open them up as you please. There is a built in store so you can purchase more books as you desire. For me, it is more of an aesthetically pleasing way to go about viewing my e-book collection; instead of searching through file names and the like. This makes for one of the best free Android tablet apps currently available for electronic book collections.

4. Angry Birds

Ah, here I am jumping on the bandwagon for the casual video game known as Angry Birds. While in most instances I would be more compelled to downplay my amusement by this game (both the game itself and the merchandising), I cannot deny that I have found it fun and addicting. More importantly, it is one of the first video games my girlfriend got really into; so it's always cool to be able to share video game experiences with other people. I know this is not an isolated event either, as the popularity amongst people who don't typically play video games (my mother) is very high. The game is free as well, so who can beat that?

5. Endomondo

This is a cool and rather unique free application for Android devices that allows you to compete with your social network friends in real time in sports and exercises you are doing. It measures distance and time (among other things), making the experience of running solo (for example) more engaging when you can keep up and compare with your friends who are running at the same time. I like the idea of social networking that actually requires people to go outside and exercise myself! The Android tablet app uses GPS satellite information to keep up with where you are, how far you are running, and so forth. Some people may view this as somewhat of an invasion of privacy, but for many this will not be a concern; and jumping on the bandwagon (maybe literally?) should come with no problem at all.

6. Petometer

Here is a fun and useful free Android app download for you pet owners out there! Petometer is (supposed) to be used to measure how long and how far you are walking when you take your pets on a walk. Of course, the Petometer can also be used to measure your own walking distance and speed (with or without the pets). This makes it particularly useful for people who are into health and exercise and like to keep track of the specific statistical information related to their workout routines.

7. doubleTwist Player

This is a simple Android tablet app that allows you to sync your Android device to iTunes. It is not particularly complicated, but is highly rated and proves to be very useful as many people who are buying MP3 music are likely using iTunes. For those without an Apple Android device, you can get this application (for free) and sync up your music without a problem.

8. Slacker Radio

This is a great radio application that follows in the vein of similar apps like Pandora and Last.FM. If your into music and your going to download Android apps, then I would definitely advise checking this one out. There is a wide variety of music, and the streaming is unlimited as well. Not to mention, it is free!

9. Retro Camera

In attempting to keep this list of 13 Android tablet apps that make purchasing a tablet computer wortwhile, I decided to throw this fun photography filter application into the mix. For the older folks reading this article, you may find it deeply amusing to be able to incorporate filters that will likely remind you of the 70's and 80's when photography had a specific look and feel to them. The best part about Retro Camera is that it's focus is to emulate older camera models, as opposed to just being a filter. These photos really feel like they were taken in an earlier time! And of course, the application is easy to use and free. Who doesn't like some free Android apps download?

10. Waze

This is a GPS application that takes into consideration traffic conditions and patterns. While it may not always be perfect, and might not be comparable to buying an actual GPS (like a TomTom or Garmin); it certainly gets the job done for most drives. At the cost of $0 dollars, this is certainly a great free app to pick up for your Android phone and tablet.

11. SeekDroid

I love applications like this because they can really be useful in this day and age. For 99 cents you can buy this application which allows you to track your missing device (if it is stolen, or more likely if your misplace it). This is worth the cost especially if you have children with Android devices (whether it be a tablet or a phone like the iPhone). I know they frequently will misplace them, and to be able to recover them at such a low cost is important. Also, there is no point in buying a tablet computer if you are not going to be able to use it; right?

12. Pulse News

If you want to keep up with the news by the way of Android tablet apps, then look no further then Pulse News. It syncs with Google Reader and provides an excellent array of content.  

13. TweetDeck

For all the social media fanatics, TweetDeck provides access to Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Buzz in one intense social feed. This may save some space on your tablet, and also save you the nuissance of going in and out of the individual applications for these websites. It's not exactly revolutionary, but it is very cool and makes surfing these websites very convenient.

Hopefully you find this list of the 13 best Android tablet apps to be useful in making your decision to purchase a tablet computer. Or, if you already have one, hopefully you can find some new applications that will be useful and fun for your personal computing needs! If you want to see some of the best Android eBook readers available now, be sure to check out my article The 7 Best eBook Readers You Can Buy.