Games · Geekery · Technology

My favourite iPad apps so far

My iPad3

I was recently lucky enough to get a new iPad 3 (squeeeee!) and although I’m only a few weeks in, we’re already getting on pretty well. I enjoy watching tv, playing games, writing blog posts and creating photo projects on it, and my boyfriend has been using it to sketch. So far so good. So  I thought I would do a round up of my favourite/recommended iPad apps for anyone who has a new iPad or is thinking of getting one.

I wouldn’t say it’s a definitive list of all the essential apps i’m sure there are lots of better apps out there I haven’t found yet – but it is a list of the apps I’ve been enjoying using so far.

Please note, not all the applications listed below are free. Please check pricing before purchasing.

Creative/Photos

Art Set

I downloaded Art Box and it has done everything I needed it to. I like the selection of papers and brushes – I only recently found the blending tools too!

I’m really not good at art but somehow the fact that you can easily undo something means that i’m more willing to give it a go.

Here’s a few of mine and my boyfriend’s pictures – nothing gallery worth but we’ve enjoyed creating them.

Cityscape

Leaves

Self portrait

iPhoto

Edit photos and create cool photo journals of days out using ready made widgets such as calendars and maps. You can share the photo journals with your friends by sending them the web address.

Pocketbooth

Great app for taking amusing photo booth style pictures in retro styles. I used to love taking photo booth pictures with my friends when I was younger.

Here’s some embarassing photos I took earlier:

Photobooth

Social media and News

Obviously Twitter and Facebook apps are essentials but here are a few others you might not know about.

Flipboard

This app is a must have – it’s a great way of organising your favourite social networking and blog feeds. You can add your Twitter/Facebook etc as well as feeds from magazines and institutions such as Empire, Elle, Pixar and British Museum.

The app organises the updates like a magazine making it a much nicer way of doing your morning social networking review.

WordPress

Does exactly what you’d want it to – update your blog on the move and check your stats!

My Wonderful Days

I always really want to keep a diary but whenever I try I always lose interest or find that I’m so tired at the end of the day that I completely forget.

The focus in this app is on icons and single sentence updates (although you can do more if you want) which makes it a quick and easy way to keep a journal/record of your days. It even reminds you to add an update.

BBC News

Get the latest news in an iPad friendly format. I try to check this before I leave the house in the morning – it’s much less stressful than trying to watch BBC Breakfast.

MiniMins

This is a weight loss themed forum. I’ve recently started trying to be healthier and as a consequence I have started going to Slimming World.

I have found the SW forum on MiniMins a really useful source of information about the plan – and a source of great support. There is a forum app which makes it really easy to post regularly and keep up with threads.

Reading

Comics

Before I got my iPad, people always used to tell me how great reading comics on it was and I have to say I can see why. The crystal clear screen really shows off the colours/art and you can read comics panel by panel which is just… amazing.

A must for fans of comics and graphic novels. Although it will never replace going to Page 45 for me.

Goodreads

This is an app for the website, Goodreads which is quite simply Facebook for book lovers. If you like books then it’s as great as it sounds.

You can use your virtual bookshelf to list the books you want to read, are currently reading or that you’ve already read (and review them). Your friends can then comment on them.

It’s a great way of keeping track of what you’ve read and finding new books. A lot of authors have pages on there (Neil Gaiman included) and the website has groups and lists that you can browse to find new books or people that like similar books.

You can also set yourself a reading challenge. I set myself the target of reading 40 books in 2012.

You can see my Goodreads shelf on the right hand side of my blog.

Kindle

I already have a Kindle so this app isn’t essential for me but I find it really useful to be able to access my eBooks on multiple devices. They are stored in the cloud and I can just download them when I need to.

If you’re interested in readings books on your iPad, the Kindle app is a good option and you can download a lot of classics for free!

The Kindle app on iPad will also play any enhanced eBooks (e.g. audio/video) whereas some older Kindles (such as my Kindle with keyboard) won’t.

Entertainment

TV catch up various

You can watch catch up TV for free on the iPad by downloading various apps including BBC iPlayer, ITV Plauer and 40D. I think there might also be a Channel 5 one.

I really like watching TV shows on my iPad as the screen is much larger and higher definition than my netbook. Perfect for when my boyfriend is watching the football.

You can also watch live Freeview channels with the TV Catchup app.

TV on Demand

Netflix

A useful way to watch films and TV shows on the move. Netflix hasn’t got the most extensive catalogue but there’s some good stuff to be found if you’re behind on some shows. Some of my favourites includ The American Office, Lost, Heroes, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, SNL. You need to be a monthly subscriber though – although you can get a free trial.

Lovefilm

If you have a Lovefilm account (you can get a free trial) you can stream a selection of TV shows and films through the apps too. The streaming service works well and the catalogue is a bit more extensive than Netflix.

Tunein Radio

A great internet radio player – you can listen to a large number of radio stations, search by song or genre and you can record the radio too.

There is a great range of internet radio stations – I usually listen to 89.3 The Current Minnesota public radio because everytime I listen to this station they are playing The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie and lots of good British music too. It’s what I’ve been looking for all my adult life.

I use this app every morning to listen to the radio whilst i’m getting ready for work.

Spotify

A great way to listen to new music but to listen on a mobile device e.g. the iPad you need to be a premium member.

It’s a bit pricey but if you have a few devices and use it a lot it could be worth it.

Games

Where’s Wally?

This game is impossible to play on the iPhone but it’s good fun on the iPad’s larger screen.

Solitaire

A simple app (my boyfriend laughed at me for using my iPad to play solitaire!) but I love it. The app works well and I like the achievement system they use. Simple but addictive.

Puzzler Crosswords

You get a set of  free crosswords with this app (you can buy more) and it makes really good use of the iPad’s large screen and touch screen.

The puzzles can get quite difficult though.

There is also a Puzzler Wordsearch app.

Utilities

Dropbox

A must have. It’s just a really useful way of sharing files between PCs and mobile devices – free up to 2GB

Skype

Great for talking to friends and family, near and far.

So there are my faves so far – has anyone else got any app recommendations? Leave me a comment below. 

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