New iPad? 56 Apps You May Want To Try


A friend (hi @leask) recently ordered an iPad 2 and asked me for a list of apps that I’d recom­mend. Obvi­ously I was flattered and this post is the res­ult.

Giv­en that using any com­put­ing device is an eex­per­i­ence col­oured by per­son­al pref­er­ence and usage scen­ari­os, apps that work well for me may not work for you.

In my case, I use my iPad every day, for everything from writ­ing, research­ing, enter­tain­ment, photo edit­ing, and social media activ­ity. It has­n’t quite replaced my desktop com­puter, but for cer­tain tasks or loc­a­tions, it’s become my pre­ferred device.

I’ve decided to break my list down to sec­tions, to help keep things organ­ized. I’ve linked to the iTunes page for the iPad ver­sion of the app, where pos­sible, though some apps I use are uni­ver­sal and I’ll have linked to the iPhone / iPod Touch ver­sion in that case.

Gen­er­ally I’ll only list one app per cater­gory, as that would be my cur­rent pick, though I may list two or three oth­ers that I’ve used in the past, still use occa­sion­ally, and still have value on my iPad. The excep­tion is the Daily Use cat­egory — which con­sists of apps which I (as the cat­egory title sug­gests) use daily :smileyhappy:

Also, make sure to check the app developer’s oth­er apps — you may find a free / lite ver­sion of the app to demo before you make your pur­chase.

So, if you think I’ve missed some­thing, feel free to men­tion it in the com­ments — we’ll all bene­fit!

Daily Use
2Do — Cal­en­dar and Organ­iz­a­tion
GoodRead­er — Must have PDF & file view­er. Highly net­work aware.
Log­MeIn Igin­tion — Remote com­puter desktop con­trol & man­age­ment
Drop­Box — Syn­chron­ized file shar­ing between com­puters
FileBrowser — View & Manip­u­late files on your WiFi net­work
1Password — Multi-device pass­word man­ager
Atom­ic Web Browser (lite|full) — Tabbed browser (bet­ter than Safari)
Hoot­Suite — Twit­ter cli­ent — cur­rently has some prob­lems, I may move to the nat­ive Twit­ter cli­ent soon.

Pho­to­Gene — Great multi-pur­pose image edit­or
Ins­tagram — Quick image enhance­ment & shar­ing
FX Photo Stu­dio HD — Huge lib­rary of fil­ters to enhance your images

Gro­cery IQ — Used to man­age & keep a gro­cery list synced between iOS devices

Trip­It — Coördin­ate vari­ous aspects of travel plan­ning
Tri­pAd­visor — Good resource for des­tin­a­tion reviews, etc
Kayak — altern­ate pri­cing engine

GoodRead­er (PDFs, con­nectiv­ity) — see daily use cat­egory above
Zite — great news read­er. Cana­dian made & cur­rent fav.
Reed­er — the stand­ard in RSS read­ers
(Have Flip­Board, FLUD News, Pulse News, but don’t use them as much as the oth­ers)

Tex­tEx­pander — must-have if you write. Use key­board mac­ros for often-used phrases or text chunks.
Plain­Text — Great simple text edit­or with cloud stor­age
Sim­ple­n­ote — web inter­face syncs with iOS app
Neb­u­lous notes — great look­ing and cus­tom­iz­able
iA Writer — Great look­ing and work­ing app

Blo­g­Press — Multi-plat­form integ­ra­tion with some smart fea­tures
Word­Press — much-improved writ­ing and simple admin app for Word­Press blogs

StreamToMe — App views streamed media (video/audio) in most formats from (free) Win/OSX serv­er. Loc­al net and Inter­net.
Air Video — Sim­il­ar to StreamToMe, but does con­ver­sion from many video formats for stor­age or stream­ing to iOS devices.

Super­broth­ers: Sword & Swor­cery EP — cur­rent favour­ite — old­school adven­ture
Battle for Wesnoth HD — Turn-based fantasy strategy
Battle­Heart — Quick D&D style RPGish game
Tiny Wings — Make the bird fly. Simple & addict­ive
Flight Con­trol HD — Land the planes. Not that easy :smileyhappy:
Plants VS Zom­bies — Essen­tial
Osmos HD — Great envir­on­ment­al music and puzz­ler
Tron: Leg­acy — arcade action based on the recent movie
Car­cas­sone — excel­lent iOS ver­sion of the tab­letop game
Moon­light Mah­jong — great ver­sion for iOS
Lux Touch (Risk) — reas­on­ably smart AI oppon­ents
Cut the Rope — cute tim­ing game. Very Cute.
Doodle­Jump — Also cute game — fun!
Scrabble — great imple­ment­a­tion. Sup­ports multi-play­er. Also use phones as tile-racks and iPad as board.
NOVA 2 — SF First Per­son Shoot­er
Spectre 3D (old school) — Ori­gin­ally a Macin­tosh game. Great.
BrokenS­word HD (adven­ture) — Story based adven­ture game.

Gar­age Band — Synths, gui­tars, drums, sequen­cer, digit­al audio work­sta­tion. Power­ful and a steal at this price.
Bebot — Fun touch-based synth. Try the Theremin.

Astro­nomy / Space
SkySa­fari — Plan­et­ari­um pro­gram
Stel­lari­um-xl — Plan­et­ari­um pro­gram
NASA — great app to keep up on NASA news / pro­jects

Skype — Inter­net Phone — works well!
Hey­Tell — leave voice mes­sages for oth­er Hey­Tell users
PingChat! — Text mes­saging

WeatherEye HD — Good present­a­tion
WeatherBug — nice details
TWC MAX+ — altern­at­ive

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Published by Brad Grier geek.hack