Sunday, April 11, 2010

10 Must have iPad Apps

Now that I have spent a week with the iPad and enjoy it thoroughly.  I can't wait for iPhone OS 4 to ship later this year to see what new features besides Multitasking that we will get.  In the meantime here are a few must have applications to make your iPad the envy of everyone at the local coffee shop.

1.) Netflix, the application is free but you do have to have a Netflix subscription that offers Internet streaming.  The quality of the streaming video is good however it is standard definition currently.  The CEO of Netflix stated in an interview that starting this year Netflix will start introducing High Definition streaming this year.  It is great for watching movies anywhere anytime you have time and a network connection.

2.) Twitterriffic is as you might guess used for sending and receiving your tweets on Twitter.  It is a free download and is more feature rich than the desktop version and was designed with the iPad in mind.  It looks great on the big screen and makes Twitter fun to use.

3.) GoodReader is for reading PDF's and is only $.99.  It allows you to download the PDF's to your iPad from a number of sources.  It can be connected to the MobileMe iDisk, drop box, Google Docs,,, any Generic WebDav server, or even search for shares on the local network.  GoodReader will even allow you to turn your iPad into a web server to share your PDF's with other iPad users or PC's or Macs on your local network.

4.) USA Today is a great free application for getting the current news.  It looks like the news paper and is up dated every time you open the application.  I can now get the news in the morning without even going to the front door to pick up the paper.

5.) NPR is another free app that let's you read the news and listen to NPR stations all over the country live.

6.) The iBooks app free from Apple gives you access to the iBook Store and allows you to download ebooks and read them on your iPad.  The User Interface for the iBook application looks just like a real book complete with page turns.  Unlike a real book you can change the print size, font, and brightness of the page.

7.) Amazon Kindle for the iPad is a free application so you can buy books from Amazon and read them on your iPad, iPhone or Kindle and keep all of your bookmarks in sync no matter which device you are using.  So you can have all the ebooks available on Kindle and Apple's bookstores right at your fingertips.

8.) iTap RDP is $11.99 and for those that might need to take remote control of a Windows PC this is a native iPad application so the Windows Desktop looks great on screen.  Pinching and Zooming gestures allows you to get in close to a section of screen.

9.) Star Walk is $4.99 and is a great educational application if you are interested in astronomy.  Star Walk uses Location Based Services to find where you are and show you what the sky looks like as you hold the iPad up and look to the sky.

 10.)Pages, Numbers, & Keynote are $9.99 each and allows you to create documents right on your iPad. If you have to write a paper, create a spreadsheet or enter data into a spreadsheet or give a presentation you can do that all with the iPad.  Apple has some more work to do with these apps getting data in and out more quickly and easily.  These are first version applications and I am sure they will mature in time and be as useful as their desktop counterparts.

You can run any iPhone application on the iPad in regular mode the applications fit in the middle of the screen.  There is a 2x mode that allows you to double the pixels to blow up an application to full screen on the iPad.  Some games and applications look good being pixel doubled.  Text usually looks blurry being doubled but is readable.

Many applications for the iPhone are being rewritten for the iPad's larger screen.  Some developers are offering the upgrades for free while others are writing whole new applications and charging for them.  That is being left up to the individual application developers.

This is just the beginning of the applications that are going to be coming out for the iPad over the next year.  As more developers get the iPad in their hands we will see more innovative applications coming down the road.  Remember the iPad has only been in the publics hands for only a week.

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