...an Apps for iPads Super Review!
When people realize I own a website that reviews iPad apps they invariably ask “so what’s the BEST iPad app?” I always find that question mind-boggling. There are over 1/2 million apps in the Apple App Store! We weed through hundreds of new apps each and every week just to find the gems among them. The “best” apps for your iPad is going to depend on you. I depends on who you are, what you like and what you use your iPad for.
All that being said I am going to try and answer that mind-boggling question by selecting an app for several different categories and give our opinion on which one(s) are our choice for the best app in that application as of today. Why do I say today? Because new apps, and new capabilities on the iPad are being discovered and developed each and every day. It is a brand new field filled with some astonishing individuals and companies that are continuing their quest to push the envelope to bring you the very best they have to offer.
We hope you enjoy the list after the break. We have included videos when possible so that you can see the app in action. In the end you have to decide which apps and accessories work best for you on your device, but we can, as always, try to steer you in the right direction to help narrow your search. Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know what are YOUR picks for particular areas too!
So you got a new iPad and it only has the pre-installed apps on it? Okay, so let’s get going and see what else you might want to add!
Are you a big reader? Most public libraries let you download digital books now! There are also LOTS of ways you can download them onto your iPad, the biggest one that comes to mind being Amazon.com and their Kindle ebooks. So the first two apps you might like to download are iBooks and the Kindle app. They are both free and both work extremely well.
iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBookstore, where you can download the latest bestselling books or your favorite classics – day or night. Browse your library on a beautiful bookshelf, tap a book to open it, flip through pages with a swipe or a tap, and bookmark or add notes to your favorite passages.
The iBooks app is free to download to your iPad.
The Kindle app is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface. You’ll have access to over 1,000,000* books in the Kindle Store plus hundreds* of newspapers and magazines. Amazon Whispersync automatically syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across devices (including Kindle), so you can pick up your book where you left off on another device. The Kindle app is absolutely FREE to download to your device!
FLIPPING THROUGH “MAGAZINES”
Next consider whether you like to read magazine-type publications. If you do you are going to want to download Flipboard.
Named Apple’s iPad App of the year and one of TIME’s Top 50 Innovations, Flipboard creates a personalized magazine out of everything being shared with you. Flip through your Facebook newsfeed, tweets from your Twitter timeline, photos from your Instagram feed and much more. Fill Flipboard with the things you like to read, from niche blogs to publications like Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair, and use Instapaper or Read It Later to save articles to read later. Flipboard is FREE so go ahead and download it to check it out!
USING RSS READERS
Now that we have you doing all sorts of reading and flipping through magazines on your iPad I am sure that you will find all sorts of things that you would like to go back to read about again. That’s where an RSS reader comes in very handy. What an RSS reader? The video below will give you a simplified idea of what an RSS feed is, and what it can do for you. I recommend that you set up a simple Google Reader account. It will change your life. Now, once you’ve done that you can access Google Reader through your Safari browser on your iPad, but I use Mr. Reader, which is a GREAT iPad app that you can read about below.
Yes, I know, it’s kind of silly, but it gets the point across… and it really is a simple process, it only sounds scary. Now that you have a Google Reader account I want to show you Mr. Reader. No, it’s not free, but it makes using Google Reader on your iPad so enjoyable! If you use RSS a lot the small investment into Mr. Reader is more than worth its cost.
If you are a big Facebook fan some people like using their official iPad app for accessing your account. It allows you to see all your info and the left-hand navigation margin stows right out of the way so you can see everything full-screen. I think the biggest asset it has going for it is that it holds your place on the wall when you are checking out links, pictures, etc., something that the Safari browser is not so good at. The official Facebook app is free so get started with it now.
If you take lots of notes, whether you are in meeting or school you are going to 1) buy a stylus (watch our stylus video-review to see which we recommend because you’re not going to want to use your finger for very long) and then download Notes Plus, which is the best note-taking app we have found. Okay, before your get your feathers all ruffled, YES, there are lots of other note-taking apps on the market, but this is the one we use every day.
It not only lets us take notes, it lets us import pics and text with a simple drag and drop feature available in the newest release and the next release (watch for the new review soon) is rumored to enable the Byzero Studio Digital Pen. Don’t know what that is yet? It’s a state of the art pen made just for iPads that will allow you to… well let’s just say that I have had the awesome opportunity to test this tool out and if you do any fine-line drawing or just are tired of big rubber-balled styluses you are definitely going to want to watch for our review. The long and the short of it is that its the Montblanc of styluses!
Notes Plus ALSO will now convert handwriting (not just printing) to typewritten text! Add in the fact that it can record audio while you take notes, multi-tasking while you do it, and you have one awesome note-taking app for your iPad! Imagine, you can record your professor so if your mind wanders, you still have him “taped” so you don’t miss out on that lecture! It’s a godsend for referring back to after important meetings!
At only $6.99 (plus $1.99 for the handwriting to text add-on) it is the BEST note-taking app in the App Store. Do we sound excited about Notes Plus? Well that’s because we are. We have had it since shortly after its inception back in 2010 and we have seen it grow and get better and better! If you are serious about taking notes, then we feel this is the one app you really need.
The iPad isn’t the best device for taking pictures (although the video is pretty darned good) but if you have been using Instagram on your iPhone you can download it onto your iPad too! The app is free so go ahead and give it a try.
Snapseed was picked by Apple as the APP of the YEAR for 2011 for a very good reason. Snapseed has already grown to a fabulous app and the developer is constantly making it even better! Snapseed is the only photo app you’ll want to use every day. It makes any photograph extraordinary with a fun, high-quality photo experience right at your fingertips.
You can even actually TAKE your pictures with Snapseed, and then immediately edit them in so many ways that you’ll just have to catch our video-review to see what it can do. Keep in mind that that review is 1/2 year old and Snapseed has even MORE options now! For that reason I have also included one of the developer’s new videos that will give you a quick glimpse at how powerful this editing tool it and how simple it is to manipulate.
Anyone can enhance, transform, and share their photos with ease using incredibly advanced features from the leader in digital photography software.
No, Snapseed is not free, but worth every single penny you’ll spend. At less than $5 it is a steal. You’ll find yourself using it for pictures taken on AND off your iPad, so download Snapseed today and get your pictures in shape now.
HAVING FUN ON YOUR iPAD and ENTERTAINING YOUR KIDS
Looking to have fun on your iPad or entertain your kids? Those sections of the App Store are HUGE! Our best suggestion in both is to follow our RSS feed or scroll through the links at the top of the page to narrow the field. It is simply too subjective to say one particular app will fit all your needs when it comes to these areas. We find new ones every day! We’re going to do separate “best of” reviews for those too, so look for that soon!
In the meantime, what do YOU think are the BEST first apps for the iPad? What do you tell your friends to download and why???
Over 11,000 libraries in the US now have access to free ebooks viewable on Amazon’s Kindle devices & apps. Unlike checking out a book with Adobe Digital Editions, the process is dead simple, and in this video I’ll be showing you how.
Transcript and show notes: http://www.thoughtshots.com/2011/09/how-to-borrow-kindle-ebooks-from-the-library
Background music featured in this video is “The Boss” by Multifaros and is used under CC-BY license from Free Music Archive. Visit:
Photos by Flickr users cybrgrl & kodomut are used under CC-BY license:
The photo by Flickr user Joshua Kaufman is used under CC-BY-SA license:
Introducing Flipboard’s Latest Edition: Getting More Social
Video RSS in Plain English
http://appsforipads.net brings you your very first virtual tour of a HOT new iPad app called Mr. Reader! This app allows you to synchronize with your Google Reader acct to quickly scan, read & process all your RSS feeds in a FLASH! Join us on the website for our full review & interview or GRAB it NOW: http://appsforipads.net/MrReaderApp
Facebook finally releases a native iPad app for its addicting social network. Sharon Vaknin shows you all the features and how to navigate the new app.
Notes Plus, the popular iPad note-taking app, had been totally redesigned for version 3. Visit http://www.notesplusapp.com/ for more information.
Review of Instagram by http://www.AppVee.com
Snapseed was selected as the iPad App of the Year in App Store Rewind 2011 in the U.S. The year’s best apps are chosen by the App Store editorial team for customers to explore and download. We produced this short trailer to commemorate the event. Check out the App Store Rewind 2011 feature here for more details: http://www.itunes.com/AppStoreRewind.