Apps & Games
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 uses the Google Play store, previously known as the Android Marketplace, to offer downloads of all apps, games, and ever increasingly, movies and ebooks.
The selection is nowhere near as colossal as that of the App Store, but it’s certainly an area that is growing fast. Google’s rebranding of the app store puts a bigger focus on consumable content, and the options to find movies and make ebook purchases is obvious as soon as you open Google Play.
The buying experience is seamless, and Ice Cream Sandwich’s revamped video handling puts all your videos in one place. Movies are fractionally cheaper than on the App Store too, with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo available to rent for £3.49 (about $5.38), but the selection is only a fraction of Apple’s, and there are no high definition options.
Some tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition, force you use insane proprietary software to add your photos and videos, but there’s no such shenanigans with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.
Just connect it to your PC, and you can explore it like any removable drive, enabling you to drag and drop files into clear, pre-loaded folders.
Android tablets can be hit and miss with formats, and with the rise of apps, supported formats aren’t always the pain they used to be. Happily, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 eats every kind of video with aplomb, even Full HD MKV encoded in H.264. A few years ago this was unheard of, but now we enjoyed our videos without stutter or pause.
Books were easy to read, and the presence of the Reader’s Hub brings Kobo and Zinio integration. The words were highly legible, and it was comfortable to hold and navigate, making it one of the best ebook tablets, but still no match for e-ink devices such as the Amazon Kindle.
Like the media offerings, Google Play is at the heart of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0′s app selection. The choice on offer now finally rivals the iPad in terms of selection and quality, with a healthy dose of great free downloads, and high-end paid-for purchases.
The Google Play store is accessible from the home page at all times, and it takes seconds to find an app, tap to download it, and have it delivered to your tablet, ready to run.
As well as Google Play, there’s also Samsung’s burgeoning app store called Samsung Apps, which is filled with a mixture of featured Google Play content, and a few Samsung apps from small developers too.
Angry Birds was in the free store, which seemed to be one big name within a sea of low-rent drudgery, Tetris rip-offs, and some simple games such as Sudoku. It doesn’t add much value to your tablet, and we’ll be surprised if you venture back there after your first day of use.
If you’re looking for simple games, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is a fantastic buy. It’s small enough to have plenty of fun, and as we found in our benchmark rests, it’s no damp squib in terms of performance. Temple Run, Riptide played smoothly, and Angry Birds held our attention for at least 25 seconds before we realised that it was 2012.
The games selection is healthy, and we soon filled up our tablet with free games, from Stick Cricket, The Sims FreePlay andTower Defense to some interesting apps such as Color Splash too.
The small screen never really affected our experience, and as we mentioned earlier, we felt more comfortable gaming in public than with a 10-inch tablet, and that made the Samsung Galaxy Tab a really immersive device.
It’s a lot of fun, and while it’s not got the power or screen for serious gamers, anyone who likes passing time with their device will love this little tablet.