Have you just bought an iPad and found yourself wondering which applications to get first? Or are you on the hunt for some brilliant new applications? Well, if you are, then here are my top 10 iPad applications of all time which are well worth checking out.
Let’s dive in…
Education: iStudiez Pro
For high school and university studies alike, iStudiez Pro is an absolutely indispensable tool for keeping track of your timetable and assignments. The app can sync with whatever calendar you are using on your iPad and gives you an easy overview of what you’ve got on for that particular day.
You can categorise each appointment by its category (whether it’d be a lecture, seminar, tutorial or anything else) and you can add individual assignments for each class. iStudiez Pro will also let you store your tutor’s information, including his/her office hours and telephone number and keep track of your grades. If you’ve bought iStudiez Pro for your Mac, the iPad version will sync all your existing data as well. It’s an absolute must for anyone who is trying to be better organised and it’s a really easy to way to stay on top of deadlines and assignments.
Entertainment: BBC iPlayer (Global)
BBC iPlayer has, owing to UK television licensing fee regulations, traditionally only been able to viewers based in the UK but now there is a global version which allows you to watch a wide range of BBC-produced programmes.
Although the range of programmes isn’t as up-to-date as the UK version (i.e. they aren’t uploaded straight after the programme ends), there is still a wide range of stuff on there which will keep most people happy. The monthly subscription fee is €6.99 (a year costs €64.99) and you can watch as many programmes as you want. iPlayer Global isn’t available in all countries yet so check before you buy!
Price: Free (app only). Monthly/yearly subscription fee: €6.99 / €64.99
SilverWiz is your all-in-one iPad finance app and lets you keep track on exactly how much you’ve got in your bank and savings accounts and how much you’ve spent on your credit card in the past month (though you probably don’t want to be reminded of that).
Silverwiz allows you to record every transaction and categorise it and supports multiple currencies, budgets, scheduled transactions and reports. You can even password it to prevent prying eyes peering into your funds. The interface is well-designed and easy-to-use and the app is a real bonus for any iPad user, whether young or not quite so young.
Games: Flight Control HD
Yes it’s true: my favourite iPad game isn’t Angry Birds! I love Flight Control HD because it is such a simple concept, yet it can entertain me for hours. You act as your own air traffic controller, and have to direct planes into land according to their colours and urgency.
As the level progresses on it gets increasingly harder with a busier airspace and more planes to land. The game gives you a warning if two aircraft are heading for a collision and there are plenty of levels to choose from, providing you with hours (or possibly even days) of mindless air-traffic controlling fun.
Apple’s default music-creation software has been available on the iPad for several months now and it is still the best way to create music on your tablet. It is a slightly trimmed-down version of the program that comes bundled free with all new Mac computers as part of iLife, however, don’t think that it’s less powerful.
The range of features and possibilities with the program is simply amazing and you can create all sorts of pieces, from rocking keyboard riffs to kick-ass drum solos. Even if you aren’t a hardcore musician, GarageBand makes light work of simply stringing a few notes together and can keep you entertained for hours.
Flipboard stunned iPad users by its sheer simplicity yet drop-dead gorgeous looks, and it still remains unbeaten (in my eyes anyway) as the best news reader out there on the App Store. To flick through articles you simply swipe across them (as if you were reading an e-book) and Flipboard automatically formats them to fit your iPad’s screen, making for a pleasant reading experience.
You can choose from a wide range of sources straight from the app and you can even integrate your Twitter feed in, meaning that you can read the stories from the people you are following in a more comfortable reading environment. For a free app, Flipboard excels and is an app that no iPad user should be without.
Photography: Guardian Eyewitness
The Guardian Eyewitness app is sponsored by Olympus and provides a daily album of high-res photos based on current events. Don’t think, however, that because the Guardian is a UK-based newspaper the photos are just from the UK: the Eyewitness app provides a snapshot of world events in some truly amazing shots.
For people interested in photography, there’s a Pro Tip which gives tips on how the photo was shot (i.e. what lens/aperture/shutter speed setting) and the app integrates with Photos on iOS 5, meaning you can share any photos you like straight from the app. You can view photos from the past 4 months and the sheer range and variety of photos will keep you enthralled for hours!
I reviewed Pages separately back in October but it is, without a doubt, my favourite productivity application on the iPad and now with the introduction of iCloud and iOS 5, it is even easier to share your documents with your home computer.
Pages allows you to type reports, letter or the odd note on the move and you can e-mail it or upload it onto iCloud in a few touches, and its sheer range of features and ease-of-use make working on the move much less of a chore.
HootSuite is an extremely popular web-based Twitter client owing to its advanced features and the iPad version is no exception. You can integrate HootSuite with your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn accounts and the column view makes it easy to flick between all of them simultaneously.
HootSuite is my favourite social network client because it gives you far greater control over your posts. You can schedule them to post at different times, translate individual posts and view analytics for each one (i.e. how many people have clicked on your link), which can be extremely useful if you are looking to expand your Twitter usage. The one letdown to HootSuite is the lack of push notifications, however this certainly doesn’t make this free app any less usable!
Digits is probably the most advanced calculator you’ll ever get for your iPad and it is certainly the application I use the most. You can do simple maths as well as more complicated sums and the most useful thing is the tape on the left-hand side helps you keep track of the sums you have already done.
Digits allows you to edit individual sums in the tape if you make a mistake and the interface is perfectly suited to the iPad’s larger screen. You can even add comments to individual sums and if you’ve got an AirPrint-enabled printer, then you can print the tape as well. Digits has replaced my trusty Texas Instruments for all little sums and it’s well worth the small investment.
Well, these are my top 10 applications on my iPad and the ones I use pretty much on a daily basis. Please feel free to share your favourite apps in the comments section below – I’m always on the hunt for a cool new iPad app!