I wrote this list up for a personal friend, then I thought I should share it with the world. My favorite apps aren’t necessarily the most mainstream well known apps for their respective tasks, but ai find them very helpful and gratifying. I hope some of these might be rare gems you benefit from as well.
This app is my task manager. It’s easily to figure out, full-featured, sync-able with MobileMe and ToodleDo, etc. I love the design of it and it’s easy to track personal and work projects with it. I use it instead of a desktop task manager or written todo list.
When it comes to the simplest of note-taking, there is nothing like Notes which comes already installed. If you use Evernote, it’s good too, but I find Evernote does too much that I don’t need in my note-taking. This list was written in the Notes app.
If you don’t care to write in Notes for the aesthetics, or you simply want a clean interface to write lengthier texts in, PlainText is the economical route coming in as free of charge. It syncs with Dropbox, so it’s easy to keep your files in order. PlainText keeps it all super simple (feature poor) but it’s very robust, easy to use, and clean.
This was the best app I ever spent money on in the App Store. This is my favorite writing tool on the iPad. You can format text in HTML, so when you open it on your desktop all the formatting is good to copy and paste into a web browser, or paste into some other word processor. This app also syncs with Dropbox. Oh, and one of the handiest features: ‘undo’ mistakes as you would with desktop apps. ‘undo’ isn’t available in many iOS apps.
This is a swell way to read your Google Reader RSS feeds. Mr. Reader makes it easy to share articles with others. The only short coming for the reader is that if you have a lot of feeds it can take a few minutes to update.
If you don’t want to pay for an RSS reader, and it isn’t important to you to keep you feeds in sync with your Google Reader, then Flipboard is the very best reader for you. It has a uniquely fun way to read your feeds, it’s easy to add new ones, and it simply gives you an enjoyable reading tool. I’ve read with Flipboard for many hours straight.
This is a great way to save web pages you come across to read later on the iPad. You can read articles free of all ads or other distractions. It syncs articles with wifi so you can read them later offline. The app seems a little pricey at $5, but it’s worth it to me because I use Instapaper continuously.
Words HD (Free)
What used to be called ‘Words with Friends’ is one of my favorite games. It’s basically Scrabble, but it’s cheeper. The free version is easy to use. Many people play it, so you will find (most likely) people you already know play it on their iPod, iPhone, or iPad (like em). Networking with others and playing on the network is a breeze.
My personal alternative to Safari is Terra. This web browser has tabs, but otherwise is very similar to Safari. It seems to run faster than Safari, and has a nice simple ‘full screen’ option. You can import bookmarks to Terrence from iTunes on your Mac. Inevitably, I end up in Safari at times, but when I can, I use Terra.
This great app is AppShopper.com designed for the IPad. The website and app are very useful. Whenever I’m shopping for new apps, AppShopper is where I begin looking for something I have in mind. It can be easy at times to find good free apps from their ‘popular’ list as well.
I don’t use Dropbox for very much on my iOS devices, but when I do, it’s extremely helpful and easy to use. I trust Dropbox more than I do my own hard drive. I’m sure there will be more helpful uses for it in the future too, so it will only become more useful.
This is a simplistic flashlight of sorts. Use your screen to see in the dark when any other light source is inconvenient. It’s handy in a dark hallway when you trying to find the bathroom.
Friendly (the free version) is a great app just for Facebook-ing. I don’t spend all my FB time on the iPad in this app, nut it’s a good interface for many casual social networking tasks.
If you do much on Twitter, Facebook, or both, HootSuite is simply a no-brainer. This app let’s you send links/updates to one, the other, or both at the same time for multiple accounts. And you can read from the feeds of multiple accounts simultaneously! All it requires is an account on HS’s website, and last I checked the app was free. While you can’t do all of your FB browsing with HootSuite, anything that it can do it does so much better than FB’s website or Friendly can.
There are several ways to browse Wikipedia on the iPad, but this is my personal choice, and it’s free.It’s easy to use and loads quickly. One of it’s best qualities is the text size is largely by default for Wikipedia pages than if you go to Wikipedia in a web browser.
This is the Bible I use for personal study and church services. The ESV is my favorite translation, and this free app is hard not to like. It’s be nice if it had more study tools, but I’m okay with it since it’s free.
For the history trivia you didn’t know you wanted to read, This Day. As it implies, it offers tid-bits of relevant date-related facts for each day out of the year. you can read it as a daily digest, or look up specific dates (like your birthday).
There are several good air hockey games on the iPad, but this one is free and I like the way it plays two player. The computer player isn’t half bad either.
This is one of the most enjoyable pastimes on the iPad. This clever game has you firing off birds in a sling shot to attack pigs that have stolen the bird’s eggs. If you haven’t heard about this game, then you’re the last person on earth to hear about it.
This is a fantastic multiplayer game. I enjoy playing this game with people who like trying new things. It can get pretty zany. What’s really cool is that it’s fairly enjoyable in the three and four player modes.
Labyrinth 2 HD
This is the most expensive game I’ll recommend, and because of the expense I almost didn’t mention it. Abut it is one of the best designed apps for the device and has many mind boggling levels. This is a great single player game that will take a long time to finish.
Art Studio for iPad
I personally don’t think it’s very practical to draw pr paint on the iPad yet, but if you’re interested in giving it a go, this is the app I’d use. It’s got lots of great features, and tools. It is used by many professional artists that have shown off what the iPad is capable of.
Everyone talks about the Kindle, and if you have one it makes sense to sync it with the Kindle app on your iPad, but if not, I would recommend B&N’s Nook app before I would recommend the Kindle’s. nook has several handy features that outdo the Kindle app, and it syncs well and is easy to make online Nook purchases.
iBooks almost ties with Nook, and overall, I like to use it for reading PDFs and reading the occasional book. If I’m not in the mood to use the Nook app, I use iBooks before I use the kindle app. The dictionary is the best of the three, and I like the note-taking of iBooks. Oh, not to mention highlighting….
For kicks, this is a great free piano app. It sounds good, works well, and shows off the power of the iPad to others if you’re giving a demo. Of course, if you buy GarageBand, then Virtuoso is unnecessary, but it is a good substitute for goofing off with the keyboard.
Who doesn’t like to hold the world in their hands? This is another app for kicks. It’s not as practical as the Maps app, but it’s a good demo for friends.
I wouldn’t use any other way of getting my ema on the iPad at this time. I’m sure there are good options, but none if them that come near the efficiency of Mail. Mail just works, and it’s easy to get all you email in one place (if your provider is compatible with it).
This is one of the greatest pleasures of the iPad. It’s in some ways easier to use than putting your music on the iPad if you usually have a wifi connection.
If you would have any usefulness in remotely controlling your Mac with the iPad–say, while using the computer to watch movies–then this is a handy tool to do so.
If you could use an app synced to Rotten Tomatoes, then this is the app for you. I use this to look up showtimes, plot summaries, watch trailers, etc. In my case, it’s especially helpful for Movieology.
If you want a good free clock for, well, the, y’know…nightstand, this is the right one. Still, it doesn’t have a good alarm, so I recommend you look elsewhere for a good clock for waking up in the morning.