Top 5 apps to download within the first 24 hours of buying your tablet

Got a new tablet? Get the best from it with apps for catch-up telly, working from home and arranging your phone pics.

15 Dec 2015

There are some things your smartphone's small screen isn't great for.

That’s where a tablet comes in – it’s still portable and lightweight, but has a bigger screen and extra storage. Pick the right apps to customise yours and it can be a great addition to your set up.


1) BBC iPlayer

In a nutshell: Telly addicts rejoice – watch the best of the Beeb on your iPad


Smartphones are great for many things – but watching TV programmes isn’t one of them.

See your favourite shows – whether it’s last night’s EastEnders or the latest from The Apprentice – in all their glory on your tablet.

The BBC iPlayer app optimises iPlayer to make it perfect for tablet viewing.

You can watch live or catch-up TV and download shows for offline viewing – which is perfect for a long train journey where your Wi-Fi might cut out.  

A great tablet for an iPlayer session

For streaming TV it’s all about screen quality and lightweight design. Samsung TAB S2 9.7 is super-thin, super-light and has a super-sharp screen. Enjoy rich colours and vibrant details on the super AMOLED screen while not having to worry about arm ache.  

Where to get the app

Apple: App Store

Android: Google Play

2) Pocket

In a nutshell: Save things you’ve seen on your phone to view on your tablet later


You’ve seen something interesting browsing on your mobile but can’t make out the tiny text on the webpage, despite your best squinting effort.

Pocket lets you save a webpage to view in full size on your tablet later by syncing with both your devices. You can also access articles for offline viewing, so even with no 3G there’s no problem.  

A great tablet for Pocket

To get the most from browsing, you’ll want a tablet with a bigger, sharper screen geared for viewing webpages.

For a good-value everyday tablet Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7” has a bright multi-touch screen and advanced multitasking so you can open multiple tabs and apps at once.

Where to get the app

Apple: App Store

Android: Google Play

3) Microsoft Office

In a nutshell: Work on your documents and pick up emails on the go

Microsoft Office

Making the odd note on your smartphone is easy enough. But when it comes to doing proper work like editing documents, screen size becomes a problem.

A powerful, larger tablet with a detachable keyboard is a much better option.

Microsoft has a free version of all its Office programs like Word and Excel for tablets or use your Office subscription to access the full version offline. There’s no need to worry about losing your work on the move either – you can sync documents to the cloud or copy direct to an email to access them on your computer.

Where to get the app

Apple: App Store

Android: Google Play

4) QuickPic Gallery

In a nutshell: Keep all the photos you take on your smartphone super-organised on your tablet


You want to keep all your photos in one place but your smartphone doesn’t have enough memory - leaving you to make a cut-throat decision about which memories to save and which to cast off into the deleted items folder.

QuickPic is a tablet photosuite that doesn’t take up loads of room on your device. Store thousands of photos in different folders using its easy-to-navigate interface. It’s designed to use on larger screens so you can showcase your photos in a customised slideshow.

A great tablet for organising your photos

With a wider-than-normal screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8” is perfect for viewing your photos. It’s also got an incredibly sharp Super AMOLED screen for pictures bursting with colour and life.

Where to get the app

Android: Google Play

5) Minecraft: Pocket Edition

In a nutshell: Totally immersive gaming for kids big and not so big


Scrolling through a mobile version of Candy Crush on the bus is the perfect escape after a hard day at work. But if you’re after a more immersive gaming experience a tablet is much better.

Minecraft has a tablet version that looks great on a high-quality screen. Like the full version, this pocket edition lets you explore virtual realms and build your own world on your device.

A great tablet for gaming

Gaming is smooth and immersive on the Lenovo Yoga 3 10, exclusive to us. Its large screen sucks you right into the action, and its powerful quad-core processor keeps your gaming free from lag.

Where to get the app

Apple: App Store

Android: Google Play


Buying a new tablet? Check out our range

Related in Tablet & iPad reviews

Introducing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G and Wi-Fi

03 Sep 2021

Why choose a tablet for school or uni?

25 Aug 2021

Could a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 replace your PC?

31 Mar 2021

How to choose a tablet for schoolwork

05 Jan 2021

How to choose a tablet for fashion design

15 Jul 2020