15 Of My Favorite iPad Apps


I often get asked by people who get a new iDevice and know that I'm an Apple fan (not to be confused with an Apple fanboy) for a list of apps that they should get. A good answer to that question is almost impossible to compute since it's highly subjective.

But if what I am really being asked is which apps I like, well... I'm always ready with an opinion.

This is still a difficult question to answer. It is like shooting at a moving target. My favorite apps tend to change as app availability and my own tastes change. What you get now is a subset of what I currently have installed on my iPad with a very short synopsis of what the app is and what I like about it. I'll make longer app reviews the subject of future posts.

The Apps




Aelios Weather
Category: Weather
Cost: $4.99
iTunes Link


This one is more about eye candy than utility. There are plenty of weather apps for the iPad and most of them are free. But there are not many that make checking the weather look this good.



Comics
Category: Books
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


This won't appeal to everyone, but if comic books are your thing, then you need this in your app stable. While it is free, you will find most of the comics in the store involve an in-app payment. But don't let that deter you from trying it out as there are plenty of freebies to be had. This "first one's free" ploy works pretty well. You'll be hooked in no time.



Evernote
Category: Productivity
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


I am actually new to this one, but in the past few days it has come to grow on me. If the idea of keeping notes, pictures, links, thoughts and other random bits of information in stacks of digital notebooks appeals to you, then give this one a look. This description just barely scratches the surface of what this thing can do. It's also available on many other platforms so you're not tied down to your iPad (not that that is a bad thing).



Feedly
Category: News
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


When the browser app/extension known as feedly came to the iTunes App Store, I was thrilled. I had been using it as the front end for my Google Reader feeds. It makes keeping up with the news that interests you so much nicer.



Flickr Studio
Category: Photo & Video
Cost: $4.99
iTunes Link


Disappointingly (but, perhaps, unsurprisingly) Flickr/Yahoo! does not offer an iPad app. The folks at Keeple, however, have been kind enough to provide us with one. A darn good one, I might add. Whether you have a Flickr account yourself or you just like browsing what's available through a well put together application, this is one that should do the trick.



Flipboard
Category: News
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


Flipboard takes the functionality of many of the other apps you see on this page and packages them all together in a magazine-like format. It's slick, convenient and you just can't beat the price.



Kindle
Category: Books
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


I probably don't need to say a lot here. Amazon's Kindle is probably the de facto standard for eBooks and Amazon offers many options for reading your purchases on devices other than their own. While the software is not much better or worse than Apple's own iBooks app, I find the Amazon experience for shopping, searching and consumption to be superior.



LastPass
Category: Utilities
Cost: Free (but really $12/year)
iTunes Link


This is probably an odd choice giving the fact that this application requires a LastPass Premium subscription. LastPass is a password management/single sign-on solution. I highly recommend something like this or 1Password to keep yourself secure. This particular iPad application includes a browser that will sign you into your important sites automatically.

Go to the LastPass website and kick the tires in your regular desktop browser. It doesn't cost anything to try. If you appreciate what it can do for you and want that same functionality on your iOS device, you can buy in for that $1 a month subscription.


Mint.com Personal Finance
Category: Finance
Cost: Free


Mint was an early entrant into the world of web-based personal finance software. Simple, intuitive and pretty (so maybe I'm shallow), it was a perfect candidate for the creation of an application to extend its reach to the iPad. Mint was bought by Intuit (makers of Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax) and gains that company's reputation for a trusted interface to your financial information. 


Category: Entertainment
Cost: Free (but really $8/month)


If you are a Netflix streaming subscriber, this is a no-brainer. Highly recommended. It's a great way for the cord-cutter in you to turn your iPad into a portable 10" television. Carry it around your house or apartment. Put it on the counter as you make dinner. If you just have to have your TV at all times and in many locations, this is well worth the $8 per month.



NFL '11 for iPad
Category: Sports
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


Don't have time to watch your favorite teams play (or know it's pointless)? Want to keep an eye on scores around the league while you do watch your team play? This makes it easy. Want to find out what the latest news is in between games? You get that too.



Emerald Observatory for iPad
Category: Utilities
Cost: $0.99
iTunes Link


So it's a clock. A clock that costs a buck. It has a bunch of other astronomical stuff. It's also gorgeous. If you like that sort of thing. Which I do.



Pulse News for iPad
Category: News
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


Yet another way to get your news. This may be more your speed if you do not already have an extensive RSS feed list set up. If you have no clue about what I just said, then this app is probably the news reader you want.



Reeder for iPad
Category: News
Cost: $4.99
iTunes Link


Like Feedly (listed above), this is a Google Reader client. Unlike Feedly, Reeder is not free. But if your feed list is quite large, then you will appreciate Reeder's ability to take advantage of Google Readers feed organizational capabilities.



Twitter
Category: Social Networking
Cost: Free
iTunes Link


There are plenty of Twitter clients for the iPad. Some of them are free and some are not. None of them work nearly as well as the client from the source itself.



Conclusion


That wraps up a sampling of my favorites.

I know what you're saying now. "What, Tom? No games?" Yeah, I know. I had to save something for another post, didn't I?