Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

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 – Coordinate 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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