Upon the iCloud API being introduced, it was no secret that developers were somewhat slow to take advantage of what it offered. The feature allowed game developers to do things like store users’ game saves in the cloud, but many developers already had systems in place that did exactly this. What benefits would they get from moving to Apple’s service? This of course wasn’t the only functionality that came with iCloud, but, regardless, developers weren’t exactly enthusiastic. There wasn’t much reason for them to do extra work and adopt a new system that came with little up front benefit. Especially when, in the case of game developers, they already had things like OpenFeint that managed many of the same things.
Slowly but surely, however, developers of all different kinds of apps started to adopt iCloud as an easy way to back up and sync various kinds of data across devices. Games use the service to back up your save states for future recovery, to-do list apps use it to keep your lists in harmony across all your devices, and word processing apps — including Apple’s own Pages — use the service to save all your work to the cloud, accessible from anywhere you may need it. I’ve compiled a list of ten apps that do these and more on your iPad, so hit the break to read about them–you might even find an app you’ve never heard of before!
Starting off our list is iA Writer, an app that aims to be a minimalist writing experience. The interface is noise free and lets you easily spill your thoughts on “paper” without distraction.
Writer is very much a contender for best iPad word processing application, and its iCloud integration makes syncing your work across all three platforms a breeze. This, combined with its keyboard extension feature makes it a must-have for iPad productivity.
There are countless option in the App Store when it comes to todo apps: Evernote, Clear, Wunderlist, Remember the Milk, you name it. Many of these sync across devices in various ways, but simply named “Todo for iPad” is one of the only task apps that syncs through iCloud. The app also features repeating tasks, multiple task alerts, and password protection.
Boldly advertised on their website as being “the world’s sexiest writing app,” Daedalus lies in the ranks among iA Writer and Pages as being one of the best get-your-work-done apps for iPad.
With its Path-esque action menu and skeuomorphic stacks of paper, Daedalus is surely beautiful. But is it functional? Like the other text editors on this list, it supports full iCloud sync and back up for your convenience.
You may find it interesting that I chose to include this game on the list, but there’s a reason for it. Civilization Revolution received a major update in December of 2011 that brought the ability to upload and sync your saves between iPad and iPhone, effectively allowing you to pick up and play from wherever you left off when you launch the game on another device.
If you ever think your DJ juices are flowing, be sure to try out djay. It’s been out a while, but this app is definitely one of the most polished the App Store has seen to date — it even won the 2011 Apple design award. Heavier users and professionals will surely appreciate djay’s cloud features. Cue points and other metadata generated while using djay on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will be automatically synced between devices using iCloud.
Camera+ is one of the App Store’s best selling utilities — ever. The developer, taptaptap, desired for it to be the iPhone’s “ultimate photo app” and if I do say so myself, they darn well succeeded. While the app has long been available for iPhone, it was only more recently launched on the iPad. If you have the app on more than one device, its iCloud integration will seamlessly sync your photos between all your devices–much like Photo Stream.
While our own Jacob Penderworth once wrote a praising review of Apple’s Podcasts app, many consider it to be sadly feature poor.
Of the alternatives currently available on the App Store, Downcast takes the cake for most. It supports not only podcast playlists and gestures, but also iCloud. You can synchronize podcast subscriptions, episode information, playlists and more.
Upon opening up Apple’s own Pages app, you’re presented with a dialog asking if you would like to use iCloud. The iWork suite of apps for iOS are definitely Apple’s showcase of iCloud’s power and convenience.
They all work basically the same, but Pages is probably the most commonly used with iCloud and also competes directly with other apps on this list.
As long as iCloud is switched on, Pages (and all other iWork apps) will automatically back up your documents to the cloud and sync them across your devices as needed.
Listening to a song and can’t remember its name? Shazam was once the go-to solution for coffee shop song tagging, but SoundHound has since proven to be a worthy competitor. Like Shazam, you can simply hold your device up to any music source and, assuming the song isn’t too obscure, you will be presented with the name of whatever’s playing.
If you are a frequent tagger, you may be interested in the app’s iCloud integration. SoundHound will keep track of your tagging history and keep them in sync between all of your devices without you having to do more than just going to the app’s settings pane and clicking “Use iCloud.”
Native iOS Apps
The above nine apps are definitely great options for utilizing iCloud on your iPad, but some of the most useful iCloud apps are absolutely free and come pre-packaged with iOS itself. Of these, of course, are Safari, Calendars, Reminder, Notes, Photo Stream, and Contacts. You may not even realize it, but all of these apps use iCloud; they’re constantly backing themselves up wirelessly, and will automatically sync across any iOS device that is set up with the same Apple ID. Use them to your advantage!
Apple’s iCloud has been around for a couple years, but it’s only just now being implemented to its full potential. I’m sure there are plenty more useful apps featuring iCloud out there, but these ten should keep you occupied for a while. Do you have a favorite iCloud-enabled app that I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below.