So you finally got yourself an iPad, huh?
Well hey! Welcome to the party! Ahhh, i remember that sweet unboxing day. What was it, close to a year, now? Good times. And now of course, young’un, you’ll be wanting to ask me, a grizzled iPad veteran, what to put on your shiny new iPad. Well, gather round, you feisty little whippersnappers, and granddad here will tell you the must-have apps for the iPad.
Pulse News Reader is the single most iPad of all iPad apps. When Steve declared that the iPad was magical, this is what he meant. A news reader that moves like a prop from a sci-fi movie, but really, totally, absolutely works. The best way to surf news sites/blogs/twitter feeds bare none. Get it, or i will hunt you down and kick your ass.
Twitter on iPad is excellent. Here is an example of a user interface design developed to fully take advantage of a multitouch touchscreen. Once you go Twitter on iPad, you never go back.
Flipboard is kind of cool. It displays your twitter feed or facebook feed like a magazine you can flip through. As a new owner of an iPad, you’ll get a lot of “-Hmpf. What is that big thing good for anyhow?” This app shuts them right up. Especially if they are on Facebook.
iBooks is a given, and reading books on the iPad is actually really enjoyable in anything other than direct sunlight. But the iBookstore is way expensive and the selection is not what it should be. So the Kindle app is something that you need to have as well.
The thing i love my iPad most for is using it as a drawing pad. It is absolutely killer for sketches, storyboards, illustrations. I never go to a meeting without it. Brushes is the original drawing program for iPhone / iPad. It is a joy to use, and it is geared more for the sketch/casual artist. If you are more hardcore, and want to use many more tools, brushes, and layers, Sketchbook Pro is for you. A new contender is the Muji Notebook app, which is really only for sketches, but includes on-the-fly text input and graph paper with automatic rulers.
Minimal Folio is a dead simple presentation tool, but i find it works really well for on-the-fly presentations.
Comic Zeal 4 is a comic reader that can handle most every kind of comic format out there. The iPad and comics are a marriage made in heaven. I have read so many comics since i installed this app it’s not even funny. Or yes, it is.
Games: There are of course a lot of games out there, many of which are also avaliable on the iPhone. Some of them take advantage of the iPad, some are simply higher resolution copies. A few exceptions:
Osmos HD is a beautiful game, there is really nothing like it.
No, Human is a gravity/puzzle game that has style up the kazoo.
Words with friends HD is scrabble on the iPad. The ‘With friends’ style, which means that you play an online game without time restraints, is really cool.
If you have kids, there are lots and lots of games made for them. However, the iPad is a bit to big and heavy for a kid to hold by themselves, so the games need parental supervision. I haven’t really found any favorites, but mScribble is an extremely fun synthesizer that works extremely well to play together with kids in the 2-4 year range. It’s an iPhone app, but it works like a charm on the iPad.
Finally, when it comes to video, the app that you want is VLC, just like on any other platform.
The most important app i have saved for last. Through genius design, space-age technology and divine presentation, the Sympathetic Ear app is a reason to buy an iPad in itself. Or at least it will be, when you press the ‘like’ button next to it on the voting page.