When you get a new tablet, it’s only natural to want to immediately begin loading it up with apps. But with so many available, which ones do you choose? I thought it might be fun to list five general-purpose apps that should prove to be useful to those who are just starting out with their first Android tablet.

1: AppZilla

AppZilla is a single app that contains 45 general-purpose apps. Although some are sure to be more useful than others, AppZilla (which sells for $0.99 in the Android Market) provides newbies with an easy way to cover the basics. Some of the more useful utilities are a dictionary, an LED flashlight, a currency calculator, and a bubble level.

2: Quickoffice Pro HD

At $19.99, Quickoffice Pro HD is definitely one of the pricier apps in the Android Market, but its usefulness will likely justify the price. This app allows you to create, edit, and share Microsoft Office documents. To top it all off, the app is designed to be cloud connected and can access and share files from services such as DropBox, MobileMe, and Google Docs. It is worth noting, however, that this app will work only on Honeycomb tablets.

3: NOOK for Android

If you’re a bookworm, check out the free NOOK for Android app. This app allows you to access NOOK books, newspapers, and magazines directly from your Android tablet. For more on this app (and other ereaders), see Deb Shinder’s Comparing the top four ereader apps.)

4: SlideIT Soft Keyboard

One of the big complaints I have always had about tablets is that text entry tends to be slow and tedious. SlideIT, which sells for $5.99, is designed to replace your Android tablet’s touch screen keyboard. Rather than requiring you to tap each individual letter, the SlideIT keyboard lets you drag your finger from letter to letter as you type, thus speeding up text entry considerably (although it does take some getting used to). The app is completely customizable and even includes speech and handwriting recognition modes.

5: Box

A disadvantages of using tablet devices is their limited storage capacity. The obvious solution to this problem is to store your content in the cloud, and Box lets you do just that. Box is a cloud service that enables you to upload, create, access, and view content from your Android tablet. And since you may occasionally need to use files while working offline, Box also lets you download files to an SD card. The Box app comes with 50 GB of free cloud storage, with an option to purchase more.

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