Someone asked with a new iPad asked me today for my top 5 iPad apps. I had a hard time limiting it to 5, so below are my top 7 iPad apps. There are a few apps that I love and use all the time on my iPhone, that I do not use on my iPad. This is typically because the website experience on the iPad is just as good or better than the iPad app. For example, I do not miss the Facebook app on my iPad, because the website experience is just fine on the iPad, as opposed to the sub par Facebook website experience on my iPhone.
That said, here are my current crop of favourite iPad apps:
- Kindle Reader (free) – Amazon’s eBook reader has the biggest selection of current books at the moment. I have read close to 10 books on my iPad and love it as an eBook reader. I appreciate the ability to re-size the font size, look-up words instantly with it’s built in dictionary, and sync my furthest read location to my iPhone. That said, there are a number of books that I cannot buy in digital format (are you listening W.W. Norton & Co, publisher of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels?).
- Flipboard (free) – “A personalized social magazine.” It is the easiest and most user friendly way to browse your twitter feed (if you have one), or browse the online version of the Economist magazine for example. In addition you can see the twitter comments that people have made about the articles. This is a difficult app to explain, but once you’ve used it you’ll love it.
- Air Video ($2.99) – If you already have a video on your desktop computer, but you don’t want to have to spend the time and effort into converting it into an iPad friendly format, Air Video allows you to simultaneously trans-code and stream the video to your iPad or iPhone over your wifi network. This works wonderfully when you’re at home, but will not work when you’re on the road. Even so, Air Video is a app I use on a weekly basis.
- Read It Later (free) – Similar to Instapaper ($4.99), Read It Later allows you to bookmark articles that you’d like to read later while browsing news on your PC, Mac, iPad or iPhone, and then download those articles to read later on your iPad or iPhone. In the case of the iPhone, it re-formats the article so that it can be easily read on a small screen.
- Kayak (free) – If you’re looking to travel, Kayak is a great tool to see what flights are available at what price. It’s hard to explain how pleasant the software is to use. I’ve found myself using Kayak at times even when I’m not traveling just to see how much it would cost to travel to Brazil, “just in case” I was able to go. In this case the iPad software is much nicer to use than the Kayak website. Even if you don’t end up purchasing your ticket through Kayak, it’s a nice place to start your travel plans.
- Navionics Marine: Costal B.C. ($29.99) – If you are a sailer or boater with an iPad 3G or iPhone, Navionics Marine software is a must buy! The iPhone version of this charting application costs only $9.99, and it is well worth the money. I wish I had the 3G version of the iPad with it’s built in GPS hardware so I could use this software on my iPad as well as my iPhone. Not only does the software track your cruises, but gives you access to tide and current information. Once your done on the water, you can upload your cruise track to Facebook.
- iBook (free) – Apple’s ebook reader is very similar to the Kindle software, except that the book selection for purchase is much smaller, but you do have the ability to view PDF documents and ePub books in iBook. I use both the Kindle Reader and iBook depending on what I’m reading.
- Adobe Ideas (free) – Want to draw a quick sketch or doodle? Adobe Ideas is the app for you. Even if you can’t draw, you can always import a picture, and then trace it before exporting the drawing. Fun and functional.
- The Economist (free) – I love reading the economist, but having it on my iPad makes it much easier and convenient to read. It also allows me to listen to the stories if I don’t feel like reading them.
What are you favourite iPad apps?