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Tech review: Apps for your new tablet

So you got a new iPad or Android tablet for the holidays and are looking for suggestions on apps to download.

You're in luck! There are more than 100,000 apps developed for the iPad, in addition to hundreds of thousands of iPhone apps that run reasonably well on the larger screen. Also, there are several thousand Android apps that work and play well on the many tablets that run Google's mobile platform.

Here is our list of tablet apps to help you get started.

Dragon Dictation
(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; free)
Before we get into all the fun and games, we should note that tablets are being used more and more for work and for getting things done. A simple, magical and free app for the iPad, Dragon Dictation expertly and accurately jots down whatever you speak into the device.

Once you complete your note or work memo, you can store it within the app, email the document or share it with others via Facebook and Twitter.

The Siri Office Assistant for the iPhone 4S is showcasing how smart devices can operate with voice-recognition instruction. While Dragon Dictation doesn't do everything Siri can do, it does run on iPads (which Siri does not) and should convince you not to pony up for an extra keyboard.

Alhough Dragon Dictation is not yet available for Android smartphones and tablets, developer Nuance Communications created the FlexT9 Speak-Trace-Write-Tap app for the platform. FlexT9 costs $4.99 and offers seamless transitions between voice and text-based inputs.

Netflix
(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android; free with subscription)
For about $8 a month, which is cheaper than most premium cable subscriptions, you can stream movies and television programs from the comprehensive Netflix library to your iPad or Android tablet. The app's interface is easy and elegant, and users can watch a Netflix movie on their television sets, and then pick up where they left off on their tablet or smartphone. If you're looking to tap into some free entertainment, Crackle-Movies & TV offers a nice selection from the Sony Pictures Entertainment library, including hundreds of movies and full-length episodes of "Seinfeld" and The Three Stooges.

Kindle
(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android; free)
You don't have to own a Kindle to download books and magazines -- some of which are free -- from the Kindle Store. As with Netflix, you can read on one device and then pick up where you left off on another. The Barnes & Noble NOOK app for iPads and Android tablets is also a solid option.

Real Racing 2 HD
(iPad; $6.99)
This is the best out of all the racing games available for the iPad, and it takes special advantage of the speed and graph  capabilities offered by the iPad 2. While a version of Real Racing 2 also recently debuted on Android, it is not compatible with all Android tablets. If you have a need for speed on your Android tablet, check out Asphalt HD instead.

RELATED LINKS

Dragon Dictation
iPhone, iPod Touch www.appolicious.com/finance/apps/119108-dragon-dictation-nuance-communications

Flex T9
Android
www.androidapps.com/finance/apps/520565-flext9-speak-trace-write-tap-nuance-communications-inc

Netflix
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad 
www.appolicious.com/omg/apps/201176-netflix-netflix-inc
Android
www.androidapps.com/tech/apps/672845-netflix-netflix-inc

Hulu Plus
iPhone, iPod Touch
www.appolicious.com/omg/apps/256213-hulu-plus-hulu-llc
Android
www.androidapps.com/tech/apps/709003-hulu-plus-hulu

Crackle
iPhone, iPod Touch
www.appolicious.com/omg/apps/651905-crackle-movies-tv-crackle-inc
Android
www.androidapps.com/tech/apps/704273-crackle-movies-tv-crackle

Kindle
iPhone, iPod Touch
www.appolicious.com/book-news/apps/6101-kindle-read-books-magazines-more-over-1-million-ebooks-newspapers-amzn-mobile-llc
Android
www.androidapps.com/apps/301017-kindle-amzn-mobile-llc

Real Racing 2 HD
iPad
www.appolicious.com/games/apps/610088-real-racing-2-hd-firemint-pty-ltd

Asphalt HD
Android
www.androidapps.com/games/apps/317096-asphalt-hd-gameloft

Tech bytes

Superfast mobile tech OK'd
A United Nations committee this week approved the next generation of mobile technology, which experts say will make devices 500 times faster than 3G smartphones and cut the wait time between the tap of a finger and the appearance of a Web page. But don't line up yet; the technology could take two years to get to production and show up on smartphones and tablets. The UN must first approve of the international standards for its use. -- AP

ATM for phone recyling
This month's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was all about the latest smartphones, tablet computers and gadgets. But what about the old gadgets? Don't they get any love? One new machine, the EcoATM, is designed to help you recycle old phones, giving them a fitting end or a better home somewhere else. Drop your phone into the EcoATM, and the machine will pay you what it believes the handset is worth.
-- AP

Capital video games exhibit
The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., is hosting its first major exhibit exploring the art and evolution of video games. "The Art of Video Games," which will be on view March 16 to Sept. 30, focuses on the graphics, technology and storytelling of some of the best games for systems ranging from Atari to the PlayStation 3. It includes 80 games that were selected with help from the public who voted online last year. Yonkers is on the list of cities the exhibit will visit after its Smithsonian run. -- AP

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