You may have noticed by now that I am on my iPad a lot. Part of the pleasures of commuting near 4 hours a day.
There is a huge array of Apps available for the iPad.
Here I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourites.
Here’s a quick table of some of my favourites. Thought the layout would make a change.
A very brief note on each follows.
Where you see this then in-app purchases are available or even essential to get the most out of the App.
Where you see this then wireless connectivity, either Bluetooth or WiFi, is required to get the most out of the App. The App may also require an external account, such as Google or Facebook.
The Mail app can be easily linked (though you need guidance from your provider) to all sorts of accounts, including Google and Exchange. I currently have no fewer than 5 accounts on my iPad at the moment. Push notifications or regular checks are options too.
Safari works well as a Web Browser. It’s one flaw, in some people’s eyes is the lack of Adobe Flash support. Personally I feel Flash has had it’s day and will die away as HTML5 becomes more prevalent.
The Calendar app is primarily linked to any Exchange or Google Mail accounts you have configured on the iPad. Simple popup and audio reminders let you when something coming up. You can have as many Calendars as you wish configured (they must be Google or Exchange though) and add to or view them as you wish. The internal iPad calendar is completely bypassed by adding external ones, though.
Contacts, like Calendar, will automatically synchronise with Exchange and Google accounts, if you wish.
If you configure a Google Mail account then you can also synchronise your Notes to that account. Notes are fairly simple, no formatting at all is available.
Godville is an online game with a bit of a twist. It is in some respects very similar to Mafia Wars and FarmVille in that you will need to get online regularly to make a real difference. You have a character, your Hero, to guide through life and help along the way. You are their guiding force, their god. The main difference here though is that you can choose how much you login and check on the hero, he will continue through life (and many deaths) whether you help him or not.
Let’s Golf 2
Let’s Golf 2 is a really fun sports game. As well as being magically animated, the game has a good variation in challenges and levels of difficulty. I loved the original and the is a Let’s Golf 3 too but I’ll stick with this one, until I’ve exhausted it anyway.
Shanghai Mahjong Lite
Shanghai Mahjong Lite does exactly what you’d expect of the classic tile game. Fans of the PC game will love it. A lot easier to play on the iPad than the iPhone. Touch interface was made for this kind of game.
StickWars. Excellent – simple as – and reviewed here.
Trainyard is a puzzle game where you have to draw tracks for coloured trains to reach coloured stations. Lots of options and complex problems and the latest version (sic) is fully iPad aware!
Superb image editing application that puts the big players to shame, ArtStudio does the vast majority of tasks you could. wish for. It works well off the ipad photo album but also has its own file store. Highly recommended.
Convert those images of yours into Comics with ComicStrip! Fun and easy to use. You can speech (etc.) bubbles. An excellent way of distributing several images in a smaller footprint.
ColorSplash is quite simple. It allows you to bleach or tint the selected parts of an image.
All iOS devices are inhibited by a restriction on device miming over WiFi or BlueTooth. PhotoShare fills the gap with versions available for either wireless protocol. Nice way of pushing images from iPad to iPhone or vice versa but this is functionality tha should be automatically included in iOS.
Continuing professional education is a daunting aspect of a modern IT career. Luckily some of the vendors are getting better with helping their bread and butter customers. Cisco have produced “M-Learning”, allowing you to download course notes and important course help guides.
Flixster is a website that shows diverse reviews, as well as the production notes, of many many movies. It distinguishes well between current, coming soon and past movies plus a deliberate distinction between DVD and Cinema releases. Many many extras and this App makes excellent use of the information, presenting. You can link the App to your Facebook account and mark movies as “Want to see” or even review them yourself.
Ah! The best network sponsored video streaming site gets a dedicated iPad app. Intuitive searches and excellent BBC content make the app a must.
Why two Movie DB apps? Flixster offers a very personal view of the the movie industry but IMDb is still the main source of movie, actor etc. information. Usually highly accurate and with vast database of movies, even movies like Monster that aren’t in Flixster.
If you have a Sky TV account then this is an essential. Access anywhere to you Sky channels, Sports and Film.
Another Sky TV app. This one allows you to review all the channels available on sky, all programmes that are available on the EPG. The big, big plus is the ability to send a request to you home Sky+ box via this Sky+ app.
HTML Pro Quick Guide
HTML Pro Quick Guide is simply a run down of the elements available int HTML. Very useful as most Blog and HTML editors have limited direct built-in access to elements. This will help you jog your memory. It covers up to HTML4 and indicates what has been depreciated and what browsers support which elements.
Remember, HTML5 is not yet a standard. Oh, but if you want HTML5 they have that in a separate guide.
Ah! What I write this blog with.
blogPress is easy to use. Offsite editing is well supported with a local drafts. Support for multiple blogs at the same time, posting to single or multiple blogs and many of the most common blog platforms.
Facebook have still (rumour, rumour) to produce an iPad app. Why is beyond me but Friendly is the best app for Facebook on the iPad I have found so far.
Browsing, feeds and such are well and good but loads of content is not easily found. StumbleUpon allows you to share, like and find yours (or others) favourite or interesting web content. Highly recommended as you can choose a topic, say Information Security, and hit the Stumble button get a random, previously recommended content. Anything from a single image or video to a full site might be returned. Very well presented and the service is reviewed here.
Twitters own app is perfect for following the timeline. Other apps are more sophisticated but this works very well for me, allowing toto follow, search, tweet etc. freely.
Linking all my information and social sources into one lovely interface, I’d recommend Flipboard to anyone. My review is here.
Apples word processor is simply excellent value for money. All the standard WP functions are present and the formatting is easy and intuitive, even for a MS Office addict like myself. Pages is well worth the few pounds it costs.
Apples spreadsheet is even better than the word processor. I use Numbers to keep my budget in check on a daily basis and the free format pages are a real breath of fresh air.
Lovely looking book readers are common enough but the Kindle has an astonishing number of volumes available. Amazon is always an inexpensive source of books and the iPad is a wonderful format for reading.
With my work and some of my private life revolving around the Google Apps platform, the Google app helps. You can link to the various options in the Google. Sphere,like Reader,as well as get quick access to mail, calendar etc. (the websites give access to more features than the access available in Mail etc.). You can link several Google Apps accounts to the Google app.
Google Maps is available by default on the iPad. Maps is well presented and mostly accurate enough. Directions as well as searches can be made and the “List” function really helps for those long journeys with no connectivity. if you leav the app on Lists the contents remain visible even offline.
Linked to my Google Readeracount, MobileRSS allows me to easily review my 60 odd feeds and hundreds of articles per day quickly and easily. Also has the ability to share articles on many formats; social, email etc.
Music. Loverly and still the best. Video on the iPad is handled by the simpler Video app.
In concept oh so similar to Kindle, but the iBooks app can, rarely, have books that aren’t available on Kindle. Also an excellent way of reading PDFs.
WebEx presentations are nicely presented in their app and joining is easy enough. Headphones are essential though.
Calculator for iPad
Why is the no calculator on the iPad. Well, Calculator for iPad fills the gap well. Again as with PhotoShare, fills a gap that just should not exist on the iPad.
if you need to access Linux or Unix servers directly then pTerm is the app for you. Saved sessions; Telnet, SSH or Raw TCP; easy access to CNTL, TAB & ALT (which aren’t on any of the iPad virtual keyboards); plus access to cursor keys. All this plus a good style.
Sometimes you find a program that isn’t going to help you earn a fortune, isnt that game you’ve been waiting for your whole life, isn’t going to add a huge function that turns the iPad to an (even more) mega device. Some just plain fun. Substrate is a difficult to categories program that just looks good and is done well. It draws as you watch a art of cracked crystal or rock pattern (thus the name). You can easily save the image at any point and tweak how the design is built.
I cannot touch-type to save my life. Not on a normal keyboard, not on an iPad. Typing Test is one of many apps that aim to help. Just follow the phrases.
Only in Japan does the iPad come with all the lovely smileys and icons. Like the ‘bag of money’ and ‘network’ icons used in this article.
The huge range of content available on the iTunes is amazing. Everything from blockbuster movies to university lectures to obscure indie hits to world class podcasts. Still the best, regardless of the bad press.
Where all the loveliness above come from. I highly prize the closed and protect nature of the App Store. Too many poor apps on Android Show the power of the Apple approach.
The Default Apple Apps
The main default apps have good (and poor) alternatives you can buy in the App Store. However the defaults simply work and link to my Google environment and home email system well.
Please feel free to let me know your favourite. I am particularly interested in value for money and the common 59p/69p level is astonishing. As the above show I will buy and use more expensive programs if the quality justifies it.
Let me know your favourites.
Calculator for iPad
HTML Pro Quick Guide
Let’s Golf 2
PhotoShare (Bluetooth or WiFi)
Shanghai Mahjong Lite