There are an overwhelming number of apps available for your iPad, in virtually every imaginable genre. Whether you’re looking for a recipe database or a first-person RPG, there’s an app for that. Unfortunately, because of the low threshold for production, many of these iPad apps are, to put it bluntly, junk. The rush to bring new apps to market means that they are often ill-conceived, hastily created, and full of bugs and glitches.
The problem for most iPad users is separating the wheat from the chaff. In the almost limitless sea of apps, how can you possibly find the winners? I’ve compiled a list with the very best iPad apps, to help you separate find the diamonds in the rough.
The Kindle app, from Amazon, is a free app which converts your iPad into an ebook reader. This handy app allows you to store and organize all of your ebooks right on your iPad, eliminating the need for multiple tablets. Just as with the traditional Kindle, the Kindle app for iPad can download ebooks directly from the Kindle store across a wireless Kindle. Transfer your purchased ebooks to your computer or other device during your regular iPad syncs.
Take your recording studio anywhere you go! This full-featured app allows you to record, edit, sample, and mix audio tracks, right from your iPad. Also included is a suite of touch instruments, including piano, guitar, and drums. With the streamlined interface, you can make your own music, as well as record it.
This handy app allows you to record, organize, and store your thoughts. The visual interface mimics a shelf full of blank memo books. Get started by labeling each book with a topic or subject, and then start writing! Although the app does not recognize handwriting, the typing interface is simple and clean. Use the app for taking notes in class, journaling, or keeping track of important client projects.
Where would the world be without Facebook? This ubiquitous social media platform is as at-home on your iPad as it is on your laptop. The important thing that makes the Facebook app stand out from the crowd in comparison to many other platforms, is that the interface is designed for iPad from floor to ceiling. The user experience is easy to navigate, nicely mimicking the original site without removing features or introducing unnecessary clutter.
Hands down, Accuweather is the most accurate weather reporting app available for iPad. Unlike many other apps, the Accuweather app actually recognizes locations outside of the United States, making it particularly useful for travelers, or those with loved ones in other countries. Although the navigation is a little clunky, the overall user experience is excellent, expecially considering the app’s pricetag – free.
While most free dictionary apps are not worth the digital paper they’re printed on, the Dictionary.com app provides users with a fully-functional dictionary, with almost 100,000 entries. Perhaps the most useful function is the app that unlike other dictionary apps, the Dictionary.com app works online or offline, allowing you to look up words on the go.
From the makers of Wikipedia, Wikipanion allows you to easily search and navigate Wikipedia entries on your iPad. While it’s possible to access Wikipedia through your iPad’s web browser, the interface can be extremely slow to load and difficult to get around. Wikipanion irons out the wrinkles, removing many of the peripheral features that make Wikipedia difficult to navigate on your tablet.
8. Google Earth
Although it seems slightly strange to see the Google brand associated with an iPad app, it makes perfect sense that Google would issue an iteration of its exceptionally popular program, Google Earth, for iPad. While almost all of the necessary navigational components have remained intact, Google did choose not to include “street view,” an unfortunate choice which makes the app somewhat less functional for last minute directions. In spite of this flaw, the Google Earth app remains one of the most well-rounded, easiest-to-use navigational apps available.
Starwalk is, by all standards, one of the most innovative apps available for iPad. Once you open the program and point the iPad’s camera towards the night sky, starwalk will create an interactive map of the sky, showing the location of stars, constellations, planets, and comets. As you tilt and pan the camera, the map moves along, reorienting the map to show celestial bodies which should be in view.