When the iPad was released in early 2010, few knew exactly what to make of it. Some agreed with Apple founder Steve Jobs that it would revolutionize computing. Some thought it was just a bigger version of the iPhone (except without the phone part). Regardless, the iPad has carved out a nice niche for itself in the mobile tablet marketplace. As with the iPhone, the iPad uses integration with the iTunes App Store to add applications. Here are my ten favorite iPad applications:
Angry Birds HD ($4.99)
Angry Birds HD , according to Apple, is the top-selling application for iPad of all time. And with good reason – Angry Birds is a unique take on the decades-old castle attack-style games. Angry Birds HD includes over 210 levels.
Out of the seemingly hundreds of recipe apps, Epicurious is my favorite. You can search an immense database of recipes (including some of my favorites), and build a grocery list from the database.
FlightTrack bills itself as the best flight tracking app on the iPad, and its true. Great for frequent travelers or their friends and family. This app has some features, like multiple flight tracking and zoom-able maps. It’s fun just to play around with, too.
This application can be useful for the iPhone. It can be even more useful for the iPad. iDisplay allows the user to extend the desktop on their PC or Mac onto their iOS display. For me, that means I can launch an application on my work PC, move away from my PC, and keep that application running on my iPad – where I can continue to monitor the application. It’s also useful to increase screen real estate.
Instapaper (free; $4.99 for full version)
Instapaper is great because you can save news articles for reading later in a format that is easy to read on iPhones and iPads. It works well for people on the go – when you see an article, you can save it away and read it when you have time.
iWork ($29.97 together, or $9.99 individually)
Perhaps the most productive app (or app package) available on the iPad. The iWork suite includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Pages is for word processing, Numbers is used for spreadsheets and graphing, and Keynote for presentation. A must for business uses of iPads.
Ever wanted a Kindle? Now there is an iPad app that mimics the Kindle functionality. Access your online library and read books on your iPad just like on a Kindle.
Netflix (free [requires Netflix subscription])
If you enjoy Netflix Instant Watch, you’ll enjoy the Netflix application on the iPad . It’s great to have access to the library of Netflix videos wherever you have your iPad and an internet connection (3G or WiFi). For our family, being able to utilize the convenience of this application was reason enough to join Netflix. We haven’t regretted it one bit.
Pandora Radio (free)
Pandora is an online service where you can enter a favorite artist or song, and Pandora uses the musical makeup of the song to generate a radio station based on that song. Make sure you are on WiFi or have a hefty data plan, though. But this is a great way to discover new music that is similar to the music you already love. I love having Pandora on while working!
Ever heard a song on the radio and you want to know the name of the song and the artist? Shazam is here to help! Shazam is an app that allows you to record a song and send it to the Shazam service. Within seconds, you can have the full artist and title information – even links to buy the song on iTunes. I’ve found the application to be very accurate.