My Favorite iPad apps

Actual screen shot from my iPad.

So regardless if you just got an iPad for Christmas, or are waiting for the iPad 2 to come out, read this post. I’ve had my iPad for about 7 months now and have seen many apps come and go across my screen.  I’m going to share some of my favorites, or basically the ones that have had staying power and that I use regularly.

GoSky Watch – This app is amazing.  It picks up on where you are in the world and then you hold it up to sky.  It displays an amazingly accurate star and planetary map that matches what you are seeing.  You can then touch a star, planet, or other interstellar object and the app lets you know what it is.  There is an option to overlay constellation maps, as well as adjust how many stars appear visible to mimic your areas ambient light problems.  The coolest feature of this app is that you can set it to a red tint for night gazing so it doesn’t affect your ability to see the stars.  This is a must if you have even the slightest interest in astronomy.

Wikipanion – This is simply Wikipedia wrapped up in an app shell.  It’s very smooth and doesn’t has much quicker load times than the website does in Safari.  It looks great on the iPad display and has bookmarks, search history, and gives you suggested related content.  Wikipanion is just a simple well made app that all iPad owners should have.

Evernote – If you do any kind of note taking you need this app.  You first need to visit Evernote.com and sign up for a free account.  There is also a desktop app available for either PC or Mac that I highly recommend.  Evernote is a simple note taking app that syncs up with your online storage as well as your desktop app.  It’s really cool, and you will never take notes with Word again.

Pandora – So do you like music?  Of course you do.  Do you like listening to  what annoying DJ’s think you want to hear?  Of course you don’t.  Well Pandora is your solution.  It’s an internet radio app that learns what you like and plays the stuff you want.  You can create stations on the fly by just choosing a genre, artist, or even a single song, and Pandora does the rest.  It even remembers your stations and bookmarked songs so you can use it on other devices as well.

TweetDeck – If the name of this app makes you think of bird watching, then it’s not for you.  For the rest of you who know what twitter is, tweetdeck does for your tweeting what a second monitor does for your work productivity (That’s assuming you use the monitor for work and not watching that Redbox DVD one last time before returning it at lunch.).  The app gives you a quick look into your tweets, your friends tweets, searches, recent followers, etc. all at once.  TweetDeck has a simple interface and is also available for your PC or Mac.

Dropbox – By far my favorite app. It makes transferring files to/from your iPad, iPhone, PC or Mac very simple while keeping those files secure online to be accessed from anywhere.  You will need to go to dropbox.com and sign up for an account.  The cool thing is that the more people you refer to the service the more online storage space you get. And no, the above link is not my shameless plug to get me more space, it goes directly to their homepage.  But, if you want to help me out, let me know and we will be in touch. 🙂

Catan HD – I have many games on my iPad, but this is the only one I wanted to mention here.  It’s the iPad port of the classic board game Settlers of Catan. I’ve been playing the board game at friends houses for years, but always found the price for the game to keep me from buying it.  Well, for $6.00 on the app store it’s a no brainer. To tell you the truth, I could try to explain the game, but unless you play it, you won’t get it.  For those who have played the original, let’s just say you forget you’re playing it on the iPad.

Well there you have it. If you find this post helpful, let me know.  If you have some cool apps that I didn’t mention, leave a comment so we can get the word out.  I think I have a saved game of Catan to get back to.

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