Tango Text, Voice, and Video (Free)
This app already claims to have 100 million users worldwide and now there’s a version especially for the iPad. It allows you to make video calls, voice calls, send text messages, play games, and share pictures for free with other users of the app. It’s very easy to use and it does the job as described. It will work on your mobile network (just watch out for data usage), but if you use Wi-Fi, it can prove to be a real money saver. Now you just have to persuade your family and friends to install it.
Files App ($3)
Does it irritate you that you can’t see all of your iPad content at a glance? This file manager app might just relieve your frustration. You can view all of the files that are on your iPad; you can suck in files from Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box; and you can drag and drop files from your Mac or PC into your web browser to transfer them over. It’s a really straightforward way to organize your files and view the content you want.
If you’ve got a stand and you’re careful where you put it, your iPad can work wonders as a kitchen helper. This app is packed with recipes, cooking tools, photos and how-to videos designed to help you serve up some noteworthy culinary delights. You can search by ingredient, your favorite Food Network chef, by category, or by cuisine type. You can also use it to create a meal planner and add your own notes and tweaks to existing recipes. The app is updated frequently and an active community ensures that the best recipes are highlighted.
QuickBooks Online for iPad (Free trial, $13 monthly subscription)
Small business owners will love this cloud accounting solution. It allows you to track all of your finances and provide estimates or create invoices on the spot. You can pull in contacts from existing accounts, keep a record of all your expenses, and track all of your invoices. The data can be used to generate charts and gain an extra insight into your business. Monthly subscription is $13 after the free 30 day trial and you can sync your records across your iPad, computer, and iPhone.
Houzz Interior Design Ideas (Free)
Remodeling and decorating your home is an endless process for many people, but where does the inspiration come from? With this iPad app you can access over a million high resolution photos of interiors and filter your searches by style or room. You can also compile your own idea book and discuss your plans with the community. The app can even be a good way of finding a recommended local contractor to carry out the work.
If you have to give a presentation of any kind then Apple’s Keynote app is an essential purchase for your iPad. It enables you to create slides with animated transitions, all manner of regular charts, 3D animated charts, and it features a number of themes and style options. Using Keynote, you can create something professional-looking quickly and easily. You can also present in full screen mode on the iPad or mirror it to a big display and use the iPad as your remote. You can even import from PowerPoint and iCloud syncing is fully supported.
You can access your Mac or PC remotely via your iPad with LogMeIn and the basic app is easy to set up. Install the app on your iPad and the client on your computer for free. You can remote control your computer via Wi-Fi or cellular network. You can open files and edit them, or run applications through the app. With the Pro version ($40 per year) you can stream HD video and sound, get access to cloud storage, transfer files via a file manager, and remote print using AirPrint. There are other options for remote computer access from your iPad, but LogMeIn is one of the most accessible and intuitive to use.
Whether you want to keep a diary or you’d just like to record a specific trip or time in your life, this journaling app is a great choice for the job. The iPad is uniquely well-suited to recording events and the app helps to make the whole experience very easy and accessible. You can add photos, locations, tags, and more to each entry. You can also sync with DropBox or iCloud. It’s a simple and intuitive interface to use and the app will ensure that you capture all those details that help you to relive precious memories in years to come.
Here’s a beautifully illustrated world atlas app that can engage and teach the whole family. Instead of a straight book-like conversion, Barefoot World Atlas presents you with a 3D globe that you can touch and explore. There are lots of interesting little snippets of information to uncover, the narration is excellent, and there are hand-picked photographs, along with live data which is pulled from Wolfram Alpha.
We had no hesitation recommending Camera+ as a great iPhone app, and for anyone who likes to take photos with their iPad, the new dedicated version is a must-buy. The app is packed to bursting with everything from simple adjustment tools to clean up your photos, to stylish effects that help you create real works of art. You can also select scene modes to ensure you capture the best shots in the first place. As you’d expect, there’s social media integration for easy sharing too. This is a great value app for anyone who dabbles in photography with their iPad.
For artists or sketchers, the Paper app is a joy to use on the iPad. It is a simple, straightforward app that transforms your iPad into a sketchpad. It has a stylish interface and intuitive functionality. It’s really a freemium app because the basic version comes with just the fountain pen and you can purchase additional tools for $2 each. There’s a pencil, marker, watercolor paintbrush, and ballpoint. The simplicity is the big attraction here and little touches, like the rewind gesture you can perform to undo, add to the overall enjoyment. Naturally it also features easy share tools for social media so you can show off your creations.
Why pay more than you have to? With AppShopper you can check out the top rated apps, find independent reviews, and track changes. The idea is that you can compile a wish list and then have the app update you when one of your desired apps comes down in price. It can send you push notifications or email updates. You can also use it to track updates in any apps that you already own.
If you’re looking for a powerful note-taking option on your iPad then you have to try Notability. Handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing features make it flexible enough to cater for any style of note you want to take. You can add in photos using your iPad camera and combine text editing features and even audio recordings to create complex notes that illustrate whatever you like. It also has an auto-sync feature for backups and you can use DropBox to share files.
Mint is still probably the best personal finance managing service around. We’ve been using it on the Web for years now and Intuit has finally started pushing it forward on mobile platforms. The new iPad app version lets you view all of your recent transactions (connect up credit cards, bank accounts, etc) and now you can set and manipulate your budget as well. In some ways, it’s actually more fun and easier to use than the Web version. In other ways, it’s still a bit clumsy. Overall, though, you won’t find a better way to manage your money.
Weather HD ($.99)
It’s not the most complex or ingenious app we’ve ever seen, but the 99-cent Weather HD app makes checking the forecast as beautiful as everything else on your iPad. The app shows users the day’s forecast over a stunning weather image showcasing the current weather status, be it a starry dark blue sky, a beautiful watercolor sunset, or a bright sunny day. Users can scroll through different cities and enable a 12- or 24-hour clock in display settings. With each forecast, the app shows helpful information like chance of rain, visibility, humidity, pressure, winds, and high and low temperatures.
Photoshop Express (Free)
The essential photo-editing tool for basic adjustments on your iPad, Photoshop Express offers enough tools to fix simple problems or jazz up a dull photo. Users can crop, straighten, rotate, flip, and adjust basic saturation, contrast, exposure, and more. The app also includes a variety of borders and filters, as well as special effects like vignette, warm vintage, vibrant, and soft black and white.
Star Walk ($4.99)
A handful of schooled astronomers can gaze up into the speckled abyss over a campfire and beginning rattling off Greek heroes from memory. For the rest of us, there’s Star Walk. The app uses your GPS location and the iPad’s gyroscopes to act as a guide to the stars, displaying constellations in real time as you move the iPad around above your head. It may not be as impressive as rattling off latin names off the top of your head, we’ll guarantee it makes it a lot easier to find Coma Berenices and Virgo.
If your drawing skills fall a bit below that of Jorge Columbo and your aspirations are more whimsical than artistic, try OmniSketch. Like a throwback to the days of Kid Pix, OmniSketch is a procedural drawing program with brushes that pull strange effects as you draw, from crosshatching the spaces between lines to leaving trails of dots that get bigger the faster you draw. Sure, the final pieces will tend toward the abstract, but you’ll have a lot of fun getting there, whether you know what you’re doing or not.
Can the iPad actually be easier to use than a full desktop with mouse and keyboard? If you’re booking a flight through Kayak, yes. An incredibly intuitive interface with multiple panes lets you choose the fine details for your trip in a snap, then view a list of flights and pick and choose. Although it’s missing the “best fares” pane from the Web site that makes it easier to see cheap days to travel (note to Kayak: please add this in the next version!) this is a phenomenal app that may just have you reaching for your iPad over your laptop next time you need to get out of town.
For the cooking fiend, the Epicurious app is a no-brainer. This colorful and well-designed app offers a wealth of recipes in every possible category, featured recipes by season, as well as a ‘favorite’ button, an easy-to-use built in shopping list, a search feature, and even the option to sync your recipe box with, say, the one from the app on your phone, for $1.99. Most recipes include professional photos and ratings, and users can easily add the ingredients of the recipe to their shopping list with the click of the shopping list icon.
Instapaper Pro ($4.99)
The lack of 3G on the first iPad models can be a real downer when you want to read Web content – like Digital Trends – on the go. Instapaper resolves this fundamental content crunch by making it incredibly simple to save Web sites for later viewing. It will even automatically reformat them to clean, all-text versions to make them easier to digest on the go.
Movies by Flixster (Free)
For movie buffs everywhere, this app has everything you’ll need to watch the latest trailers, find theaters/showtimes, and get the latest ratings from well-known and well-trusted rating site Rotten Tomatoes. You can’t buy tickets directly through the app, but you’ll save some money when you realize that movie you were about to go see only has a 17% RT rating. The app also offers lists of what is hot at the box office and in DVDs and has a list of upcoming releases. Users can favorite local movie theaters to make choosing a flick and time even easier.
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