iPad apps? Who needs them? ask the naysayers.
The iPad is nothing but a large iPod Touch, they claim. We answer: With the right iPad apps, that is so not true.
The iPad is an interesting way to read newspapers and magazines, but you need a notebook PC to get real work done. Oh no: with the best iPad apps, this Apple tablet feels right both at work and play.
The iPad’s large touchscreen offers an easy way to view and interact with content. Armed with the right apps, you’ll quickly see why it’s the most personal personal computer yet.
To help you discover new things you can do with your iPad, peruse this list of the 50 most useful, fun, unconventional, and surprising iPad apps so far.
Download some and learn that your iPad is much more than just a digital newspaper. Have apps, will travel.
iPad Apps: Business
The Box iPad app helps you manage your essential files.
1.) Box.net (Free)
Access your content from any location. When you have crucial files stored in a Box.net account, you can open them on your iPad no matter where you are.
2.) Desktop Connect ($11.99)
Turn your iPad into a window to your main computer. With Desktop Connect, you can view and control your Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer as if you were sitting in front of it.
3.) Dragon Dictation (Free)
If you’ve had enough of typing into a flat on-screen keyboard, give Dragon Dictation a try and speak what you want to type. It’s one of the most powerful free programs around.
4.) GoToMeeting (Free)
If you’ve got GoToMeeting and an iPad, you’re always at the office. Join a meeting in seconds and view whatever the presenter shares on screen.
5.) Keynote ($9.99)
The release of the iPad gives Apple another chance to build up its trio of office applications, since they’re your best bet for doing work on the iPad. Keynote lets you create visually rich presentations.
6.) Numbers ($9.99)
Apple’s newest office application, Numbers, is a spreadsheet program that makes far more attractive reports than Excel ever could.
7.) Office2 Pro ($7.99)
The main threat to Apple’s office apps on the iPad is Office2 Pro, which lets you work with document formats that you’re already used to. Use it for Word, Excel, and Google Docs files, and access your MobileMe iDisk account.
8.) Pages ($9.99)
If you’re looking for a Microsoft Word alternative, consider the iPad version of Apple Pages.
It’s a word processor, but it’s also a desktop publisher since it’s even more of a document layout tool.
9.) PrintCentral ($9.99)
The one thing everyone is griping about with the iPad is the lack of printer support. Who wants to e-mail documents every time? PrintCentral adds the printing functionality that should have been there from the beginning.
10.) WebEx For iPad (Free)
Another great online meeting option, WebEx lets you hold a live discussion even when you’re not in the office.
These conference apps will be more attractive to users when some future version of the iPad has a front-facing video camera.
iPad Apps: Play
The iPad app At Bat 2010 puts you in the center of the action.
11.) At Bat 2010 for iPad ($14.99)
One of the most visually stunning games created for the iPad so far, At Bat makes you feel like you’re really at the ballpark, and holds all the player and game stats that you could want.
12.) Dailymotion for iPad (Free)
You’re never bored when you’ve got Dailymotion on your iPad. This apps brings 15 video channels to you, letting you watch whatever you want whenever you want.
13.) ESPN Pinball on iPad ($3.99)
The iPad’s large screen cries out for a pinball game, and this one from ESPN is the best we’ve found. It offers a sports theme, innovative targets, and a bunch of cool minigames. The low price feels like a bargain.
14.) Marvel Comics (Free)
Yes, you can read all kinds of newspapers and magazines on the iPad, but did you know you can also read comics?
Now we’re talking. This app is a comic shop on your iPad, letting you buy and read new titles for $1.99 each.
15.) Netflix (Free)
People are calling Netflix the iPad’s killer app, and after a little testing it’s easy to see why.
This app lets you browse instant play Netflix movies and then watch them on the iPad’s big screen. Remember that you need to get a Netflix unlimited streaming membership to use it.
16.) Plants vs. Zombies HD ($9.99)
One of the biggest gaming hits on the iPad, Plants vs. Zombies offers colorful cartoony fun. Zombies are invading and you need to use an arsenal of plants to fight them off.
17.) Tap Blaster HD (Free)
Currently free (grab it quickly), Tap Blaster HD is an ideal two-person game for when you’re hanging out with a friend. Defend your planet while sending missiles at your opponent’s planet.
18.) VH1 Classic Presents: Intellivision for iPad ($2.99)
Kids today with their game consoles don’t know what they’re missing. Well, maybe they do, but these titles are still fun for those who don’t mind a little old-school pixilation and repetition.
Choose from six classic Intellivision games, including Skiing and Night Stalker. Here’s hoping they add more titles as in-game purchases.
19.) We Rule for iPad (Free)
This sim game has never looked better than it does on the iPad. Build your own kingdom, then grow and expand it. Join up with friends and grow your realms together.
20.) Yahoo! Entertainment (Free)
Yahoo! has created a stunning interactive programming guide and they’re giving it away for free. Remember TV Guide? Well, you’ll never need anything like it again.
Cool iPad apps, Both Free And Paid, That Are Simply
The AP News iPad app keeps you up to date on all the day’s headlines.
21.) AP News (Free)
People in the news industry were hoping that the iPad would prove a huge boon to their bottom lines, getting people used to paying for content again.
We’re not sure why anyone would pay, though, when AP News is giving away the day’s news for free.
22.) iBooks (Free)
Sorry, Kindle, but the iPad is here now and it’s just better. Hope you enjoyed your brief time in the spotlight. iBooks makes buying and reading books electronically a pleasure.
23.) NPR for iPad (Free)
If you like public radio but never catch your favorite shows, check out this free app. You can listen to a live NPR stream or call up hundreds of on-demand shows.
24.) Pandora Radio (Free)
Terrestrial radio, as it’s called now, should be worried. Pandora lets you customize stations with your personal likes and dislikes, and it’s now available on the iPad.
25.) SoundHound ($4.99)
What’s that song? If you’ve got SoundHound you’ll never need to wonder. This handy app can identify a song in seconds, then bookmark the results and even show you the lyrics. For frustration avoided, it’s worth every penny.
26.) The Weather Channel Max for iPad (Free)
Start checking the Weather Channel’s app and it’ll soon become a daily addiction. The multi-day forecasts are always helpful, and the full-color weather maps look fantastic on the iPad’s large screen.
27.) World Atlas HD ($1.99)
An atlas used to be a must-have in any home, but in the days of the Internet that’s been forgotten.
This National Geographic app offers the best of both, letting you and your kids pore over maps and learn things you never knew about our world.
28.) White and Yellow Pages (Free)
If you’re green-minded, white and yellow page directories make you see red. Why should so many trees be chopped down when most of us now get our listings info online? Download this free app and ban the book.
29.) Zagat to Go ($9.99)
Yelp is a joke. There, we said it. People like it because it’s free, but it simply doesn’t have the filtering power of Zagat.
This is the only app you should use to find a great new spot in some attractive part of town. New views in the iPad version make it just like reading the printed guide.
30.) Zillow Real Estate Search (Free)
Looking for a home? Then you’ve got to get Zillow, which lets you view home price data as you walk through a neighborhood. Of course, the rest of us like it too, just so we can see what our neighbors paid. Shhh!
iPad Apps: Functional
Cool iPad apps, both free and paid, to improve your iPad’s overall functionality.
The Air Sharing iPad app provides wireless syncing.
31.) Air Sharing HD ($9.99)
Air Sharing HD provides the wireless synching that Apple forgot to include. (Seriously, Apple, can we get that wireless synching built in?) It’s a seamless way to make sure you have your crucial docs whenever you need them.
32.) Bento ($4.99)
If you’ve been looking for a reason to like Bento, an organizer created by the people who make FileMaker Pro, the iPad provides it.
You can organize anything you like using the customizable templates, and make sure your records are always on hand.
33.) Brushes ($4.99)
Get creative with your iPad and paint some works of art. Brushes was already popular on the iPhone, but the iPad’s larger screen makes it much easier to create your masterpiece.
34.) Calculator XL (Free)
You didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on an iPad just to turn it into a giant calculator…but as long as the app is free, why not?
There will be plenty of times that you need to do a little math, so be sure to have this loaded.
35.) Evernote (Free)
Ever have a great idea for work or play or anything else, and struggle to remember it later? With Evernote, jotting that idea down is a snap. It synchs with your computer and even lets you make voice memos.
36.) GoodReader ($.99)
The iPad is ideal for reading, and GoodReader is the best way to read any type of document. Wirelessly transfer Office, PDF, or text documents and read them with a full screen view.
37.) PDF Reader Pro Edition ($3.99)
If PDFs are a regular part of your workflow, you’ll want this powerful PDF reader. Use it to open password-protected PDFs, e-mail PDFs directly from the application, and more. It also offers wireless document transferring.
38.) SugarSync (Free)
Don’t be limited by your iPad’s storage size. With the amazingly free SugarSync you can access all of your files at any time. You can even use it to stream audio files kept on another computer.
39.) Things For iPad ($19.99)
Somehow, Apple has never thought a fully-functional to-do application was necessary, so it only offers a basic list with its iCal and Mail apps.
But if you need to connect to-do items to specific days and schedule events, you need this powerful and easy app.
40.) Voice Memos For iPad (Free)
Don’t type when you can speak. This free app lets you make audio recordings whenever you like, and a $.99 in-app purchase adds the ability to e-mail them to yourself.
iPad Apps: Weird
Weird and cool iPad apps, both free and paid. Strange!
The Backgrounds HD iPad app lets you jazz up the look of your iPad.
41.) Backgrounds HD (Free)
There’s no reason to stick with the iPad’s default look, especially when Backgrounds HD, which offers over 100 artist-designed backgrounds, is free.
You can also use it to turn your own photos into background images.
42.) Bubble Snap (Free)
Do yourself a favor and add something to your iPad that’s completely silly. Bubble Snap puts the fun of popping bubble wrap on your iPad and even turns it into a game. Pop quickly for the best score.
43.) Chakra Tuning ($1.99)
Ancient meets modern and east meets west. How could the people at Apple have possibly imagined that their slim new computer could be used to tune people’s chakras?
Colors and sounds help you balance all seven of them, and then you’ll feel just peachy.
44.) Fireplace HD ($1.99)
No fireplace? No problem. If you’ve got an iPad, you can call up a crackling fire anytime. This inexpensive app isn’t going to fool anyone, but it’s good for instant atmosphere.
45.) iFish Pond HD ($1.99)
With iFish Pond HD, you can enjoy the soothing sights of fish and other water creatures making their way through a sunlit pond. Play catch-and-release fishing, or just double-tap to feed them.
46.) iTarot Xtreme for iPad ($14.99)
The problem with tarot cards is that you never have a tarot reader around when you need one.
With iTarot Xtreme that’s not a problem, and you can get a custom reading anytime you want. Choose from over 50 decks.
47.) iZen Garden for iPad ($5.99)
Like the iFish Pod HD app, iZen Garden is all about relaxation. Create your ideal garden with over 100 stones, plants, and other objects, then populate it with fluttering butterflies.
48.) Magic Piano ($2.99)
The magicians at Smule (who created the iPhone’s Ocarina app, a viral sensation) have created the iPad’s first must-have music app.
Play included songs on the spiral keyboard or play Piano Roulette with players around the world.
49.) Point Inside iPad Maps for Malls (Free)
This one falls into the “What will they think of next?” category. This app offers maps for over 500 U.S. and Canada shopping malls, and lets you locate your current position. Perfect for when you really need a bathroom.
50.) Star Walk for iPad ($4.99)
If you’ve ever regretted that you can’t identify constellations, then Star Walk is for you. It uses the iPad’s internal compass to tell you what stars are in front of you and helps you find and identify groupings.