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iPad apps roundup: Apps that matter

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I’ve been using my new iPad 2 for over a week now and have installed and experienced hundreds of apps over the period, so I decided to compile a quick list of apps that matter. Most of them are free and for the couple of paid apps, I’ve mentioned their alternatives.

In descending order, with must-have apps first, here they are:

Dropbox, Free (or any other cloud service app): You just need to have this app on your iPad. Dropbox gives instant access to all your important files, offline view for favorites, and photo uploading capacity. Damn good app; must, must have. Know more about Dropbox.

Quick Office Pro HD, $14.99: One of the reasons I bought an iPad was to have the ability to edit my documents on the move. I’ve a primary, awesome laptop, but let’s face it, who likes to carry it around everywhere? With Quick office you can create and edit all your documents – word, excel, and powerpoint. It supports iWork files as well. It also lets you connect your favorite cloud to the app for instance access.

Of course there is iWork with all its brilliance but given Quick Office’s half price when compared to iWork, it steals the deal.

Alternative: Documents Free is an alternative for documents but sadly it doesn’t support editing word documents – only .txt files. It does however support .xls sheets. That’s the best you’re going to get for free for documents on the iPad, sadly. If you’re going to however have internet connectivity all the time, Google Reader is the best way to store, access, and modify your documents. Just open reader.google.com on your iPad and a webapp customized for iOS devices will automatically open.

Stanza, Free: A free pdf reader. It also supports ePub, eReader, Comic Book Archives (CBR & CBZ), and DjVu books. For the reader in me, Stanza’s the god. One of the other reasons for buying an iPad was convenient ebook reading and Stanza helps me do that. Must have!

iUnarchive Lite, Free: So I got this email from my designer with a bucket load of jpegs compressed in a zip. iPad in all its charm can’t open archives. iUnarchive is perfect for people who get lots of zips in mail. Besides, iUnarchive lets you individually save/open files, email them or even save directly to one of your favorite cloud service.

GarageBand, $4.99: If you play any musical instrument, get this! If you don’t, still it’s totally worth the 5 bucks. I’m not going to explain much but instead let this video explain

Alternatives: If you’re not looking to shell out $5 and  want tosettle for free, check out Virtuoso Piano, Classical Guitar and Drum Beats. All free, a bit restrictive but fun nevertheless.

Twitter, Free: Twitter for iPad is brilliant. The interface is a killer and very, very functional. There are a lot of third party Twitter apps for iPad but I’d say settle with this. You ARE going to fall in love with it.

Friendly, Free: If you’re a Facebook user, definitely you’d be looking for a Facebook app for iPad. Sadly, there is no app for iPad by Facebook. Friendly is a third party app that let’s you do what you can with Facebook. It’s pretty okay, but the best in competition.

However, if you’re ready to settle with a low-res app of Facebook on your iPad, install Facebook for iPhone on your iPad. It’d work, but the resolution is kinda kinky.

Times of India, Free: Newspaper reader or not, TOI app is so brilliantly designed- it feels like a newspaper in your hands. No more comments, it just works.

Flipboard, Free: Flipboard brings a whole new paradise of information sharing in form of a book. There are default topics sure but you can link your Facebook, Twitter and even Google Reader to have a nice and lovely look at what’s happening. One of the UIs.

CNBC RT, Free: If you follow stock markets, you’d love CNBC. If you don’t, still you’ll. It’s a brilliant real time app that just tells you the power of your device. You wanna flaunt your iPad in a public place? Now that’s the app to switch on and show off.

IMDb, Free: The movie-freak or the TV-freak in you is going to love this app. Everything from imdb.com is here but with a charm of touch interface. You can spend hours reading about more shows and movies, putting them in your watchlist, looking at photos, reading news and you won’t get bored.

Photoshop Express, Free: There are two cameras in your iPad. And photo viewing is one of the best thing in the device. What if you want to do some lightweight editing? PS Express is quite nice to do all that basic touchups to your pic before uploading it to your network.

Epicurious: Food lover? Or like your mom making you good food? Epicurious is the food app. Type in an ingredient and Epicurious tells you thousands of possible recipes. Recipes have photos, ingredients and the procedure all laid neatly.

Angry Birds, Free: Need I say why? Get one already!

NFS HP Lite, Free: If you’re not a hardcore gamer, but like racing games… you’d love NFS HP. The free version has quite many restrictions but it lets you race in two different modes and get a feel of how awesome racing games actually are on iPad. It satisfies the quiet racer inside of me.

Opera, Free: Safari is a cool browser. What if you get bored with it? Or unsatisfied? There should be always another browser on any device that can run internet. Opera is for iPad.

Talking Tom, Free: This guy repeats whatever you do in a funny voice besides doing some other stupid gestures. You can even slap him. Must have!

Doodle Buddy: You can doodle anything you like on variety of backgrounds built-in. You can type too. But the best part of Doodle Buddy is you can annotate already saved pictures. That’s really cool to have for free!

Wunderlist, Free: Sync lists between Windows, Mac and iOS devices. And share them with friends too. Very good if you like making lists but hate organizing them. (See Simplenote for notemaking as well)

Appstart, Free: Appstart is for people who just started using iPad and want to take a tour of what apps to install… well that’s how it advertises self. However, the app has a bucket load of tips on how to get the best out of your iPad. The UI is fantastic and there are built-in app store links to the suggested apps. Power user or basic, you’ll find some quick tips surely.

Compass, Free: Handy utility. Compass quickly tells you the magnetic/true north. Also of course the direction you hold your iPad in, with angle in degrees.

Shazam, Free: How often you hear a song and want to know its name? Start Shazam and it tells you what song is being played in the café’s jukebox.

Soundhound, Free: Opposite of Shazam. You sing (of hum) to Soundhound and it recognizes the song you’re singing! Works for songs those you can’t remember but can’t get them out of your heads.

That’s the roundup. Of course there are a lot more apps out there which I might have missed; I’ll come up with more posts on this, for sure.

If you just bought an iPad, you should check out the recent post I covered… First things to do with your new iPad.

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Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

Posted in Apple, iPad

Tagged with , , ,

One Response

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  1. […] It also does not support .avi files (99% of my video files are .avi). So after installing the specific apps which could read these files (pdf, avi, etcetera), I had to reconnect my iPad. Again start iTunes. […]


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