I purchased an iPad 2 recently and have really been impressed with the versatility of the platform. I keep finding new uses for it, including some that are new roles instead of replacements for more limited options. I don’t have the bandwidth for a full review of the iPad 2 and all its great features. But I did end up going on a bit of an app spree, so I’d like to share some of the more interesting ones I’ve found so far.
- Flipboard: This has become my favorite news application on any platform. You provide RSS feeds (or select from pre-entered sites) and Flipboard generates a digital magazine style view of the articles, complete with images and cleaned up typography. You can slide the item up to view the original article, email articles and share with various social networks from within the app as well. I’ve been surprised how much faster I can get through my daily news. One big complaint: get with it guys, add Read It Later support!
- Read It Later: Lovely interface to read through your Read It Later list. There’s a flipboardesque style view available for an additional cost, which was a little disappointing. I do love RIL though, so I’ll probably fork over another few bucks to support them as well. [Update, 2011-05-09: I highly recommend buying the Digest view, and anything I said about it disparagingly can be safely ignored. Aside from turning your list into a great Flipboard view, it figures out categories for you, and does a fine job. Good form, Peter.]
Terra: An alternate web browser. I started using this because of the very intuitive and useful gesture navigation. Two fingers swiped left or right takes you back and forward in your browsing history and three fingers is used to switch between tabs. This greatly speeds up browser use. There are plenty of other cool features as well! [UPDATE, 2011-05-11: Apple has apparently told Readdle to remove Terra from the AppStore. Sure, there's some duplication with Safari, but everyone I've shown it to thinks it's a clearly improved experience. Curmudgeons.]
- Adobe Ideas: A drawing app that makes your art a little more… artistic. It smoothes out lines and curves, so your shaky squiggles look a bit more intentional. Not bursting at the seams with features, but great for some quick brainstorming and illustrations.
- TED: Awesome free app to view all current TED talks. Easy to search and get summaries at a glance. I’m watching a lot more of these now!
- tChess Pro: Very full-featured and well-made chess application. You can use it to learn via the decent AI, move analysis, gameplay instructions, hints and other features. There are a variety of views, angles and appearances so you can view the board however you see fit. You can even email games back and forth and move the board around with gestures!
- FlickrFrame: You provide your Flickr credentials and select a set or other criteria and FlickrFrame pulls up a full-screen slideshow of your images. Rotation speed and animation are configurable, so it makes a great photo frame from your iPad.
- Netflix: Not as full-featured as you might wish, a cause of some complaints, but it still works wonderfully to stream from your instant queue, search for items, etc. And the iPad form factor definitely works out very well for a mobile movie center.
- Speed Test: Just what you might think: easy and quick way to view your current download and upload rates. Good for checking on the go or verifying home network speeds.
- TWC Max+: Was just looking for a simple weather app, but this was free so I gave it a shot. Turns out it’s pretty great! It provides current radar and other usual weather fare for as many locations as you’d like to configure. Alerts and some (rather useless) social media stuff is available as well.