The brilliant ASUS Transformer Prime has it all – a gorgeous Super IPS+ screen, a fast Quad-Core Tegra 3 processor, the latest version of Android and gorgeous looks – we could go on. It comes with an excellent selection of apps too, ranging from Cloud storage to games like Angry Birds.
We know that one of the best things about getting a new smartphone or tablet is browsing through the available apps to find some hidden gems, but the Android Market can be something of a minefield. There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps out there, but a large percentage of those are either designed with only smartphones in mind, or aren’t up to the Transformer Prime’s high standards.
We’ve hunted high and low to find some brilliant apps for the Transformer Prime, some of which have recently been updated specifically to provide the best experience possible using the tablet’s powerful components. Read on to find four apps you simply must own on ASUS’ Transforming tablet.
Grand Theft Auto III – £2.99
Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto III on iOS and Android recently, although not all Android devices have been able to play the game flawlessly. With its beautifully bright and vivid 10.1-inch IPS+ screen and Tegra 3 processor the game flies without so much as a hitch, and thanks to its thin and light form factor, you can play the addictive shooter-come-racer-come-RPG endlessly without having to put the tablet down.
Asides from great performance and being comfortable to hold, the Transformer Prime holds another ace – its keyboard dock. Because GTA III relies on on-screen controls for moving your character, driving and shooting, some missions can be very tricky to complete without getting your thumbs in a twist. Simply dock the tablet into its keyboard dock and enjoy using the multi-touch pad and keyboard keys to easily complete missions. Without spoiling anything, using the keyboard dock on the final mission makes things infinitely easier – we struggled for hours trying it with just the touchscreen!
Google Chrome (Beta) – Free
Google’s Chrome browser has finally come to Android, although it is currently exclusive to the few devices that run on the latest operating system – version 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich. Thankfully one of the first things you’ll do upon turning on the Transformer Prime is install the update to ICS, thus granting you a free download of Chrome for Android from the Market.
Chrome is currently a beta version, meaning Google will constantly be looking for bugs and ways to fix teething issues. It is however an excellent browser, and one that we’ve come to prefer over the standard Android browser. It’s very quick and smooth to use, and best of all if you use Chrome on your PC, you can finish a browsing session there, pick up your Transformer Prime, and continue where you left off.
Shine Runner – £1.59
We searched the Market for games that had been optimised for Tegra 3 devices – the Quad-Core processor that the Prime uses. There are several out there, but one that we came to land on was Shine Runner. It’s a high quality and extremely addictive game that requires you to race a hovercraft through swamplands as a hillbilly character, collecting money and delivering loot.
The game is built on the same engine as the popular Riptide GP game from Vector Unit, and it’s recently been updated to bring even better graphics on Tegra 3 tablets like the Prime. For example, when you land from a jump, you’ll get a pretty realistic water splash effect all over the screen. In fact, the water effects throughout the game are very impressive for a tablet device, and the difference is clear when compared to older products.
Splashtop THD – £4.44
The Prime may offer a netbook PC experience when used in conjunction with the keyboard dock, but we feel there are still times when you could do with using some applications from your PC. Thankfully there are some excellent remote desktop apps available that will allow you to effectively use your Prime as your desktop PC our laptop. Our favourite is Splashtop, which has just been updated to a new THD version, which is optimised for Tegra 3 devices using Android 4.0.
Once you’ve downloaded the PC client, your Prime can stream high resolution video and audio from your PC over Wi-Fi. Not only does this mean seamless usage of your PC or Laptop on a tablet, but it also means you can watch movies in great quality and even play games from your PC on the Prime. One excellent example of this is Skyrim – with Splashtop THD you can run the game on your PC and stream it lag-free to the tablet, playing it as if the game were loaded on the tablet in the first place.
There are hundreds more apps out there, and the best thing we recommend is to keep searching and keep an eye out for ones that are optimised for the Tegra 3 processor and Ice Cream Sandwich. As a general rule, apps that have a ‘THD’ version have been updated to work perfectly with devices such as the Prime, for example Shadowgun THD is an excellent next-gen shooter that works well with the Prime.
Let us know your app recommendations for the Transformer Prime!