I spent the most of the past 2 days playing with my iPad. The apps I’ve tried so far are pretty amazing. Other than the obvious apps such as Netflix and ABC Player, here are some apps that I find really useful:
GoodReader for iPad ($0.99 limited time intro price, iPad-only). This app lets you move and read large PDF documents on the iPad, it has an iPad-optimized reader. You can search, there is even a button to dim the brightness of the display. To transfer files into GoodReader all you have to do is to go into the app and switch on WiFi transfer, and then you can connect to it in Finder on a Mac. You can also transfer files in iTunes, or link up your Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox (I’m a huge user of Dropbox!) accounts and download from them. You can also get to any WebDAV servers inside the app. You can even connect to your Gmail or other email accounts and download your attachments into GoodReader!
You get this under the Apps tab in iTunes:
Kindle (free, universal version for both iPhone/Touch and iPad) and iBooks (free, iPad-only). Books in iBooks look cool, the Delicious Library look-alike bookshelf is a nice touch. But Amazon has a much larger selection of books available for the Kindle. I’d held out not to buy a Kindle for so long, so it’s great to have ebooks options on the iPad. The Kindle iPad app dims the background and the book lids up the kid’s face when you use it at night.
NewsRack ($4.99, universal version). On the iPhone I use Google Reader in Safari and it works okay, but it doesn’t work as well on an iPad, and an RSS reader with offline sync is important especially because this iPad is wifi-only. NewsRack can sync with my Google Reader account, and by that I mean it can grab my subscriptions, maintain read/unread data, and even share articles back at Google Reader. It also has sharing features to email article, add to Instapaper, Readitlater, Twitter, Delicious, etc. It’s a universal app so I get to use it on my iPhone as well, great deal for $4.99 IMO.
Instapaper Pro ($4.99, universal). I am a long time user of Instapaper, Tweetie has Instapaper support so I save a ton of links in tweets that I want to read later. The Instapaper Free app worked fine for me on the iPhone, but the Pro version is universal and is iPad-optimized. If you don’t use Instapaper you really should.
1Password Pro ($14.99, universal), or 1Password for iPad ($6.99, iPad-only). If you use a Mac, you have to use 1Password. I bought a family pack of the desktop version, and the Pro version after iPhone 3.0 to get the ability to copy password into clipboard easily. I think I paid a lot less than $15, and at some point it was even free for a short while. I am glad Agile Web Solutions did the right thing and made the Pro version universal (unlike Cultered Code with Things, which I’ll talk about later).
Photo Pad: Flickr ($3.99, iPad only). If you use Flickr heavily for photo sharing and storage, you will like this app. It basically helps you sync your photosets on Flickr onto the iPad and displays them in amazing resolutions on the iPad’s gorgeous IPS display. There is no slideshow feature, so you can’t use it as a digital photo frame, and you can’t search photos on Flickr by tags (you can search the photos already downloaded by tags though).
Bloomberg for iPad (free, iPad-only, but there is an iPhone version too). This app pretty much turns your iPad into a Bloomberg terminal, well, there is no Bloomberg IM and it’s not really the real thing, but it’s pretty damn close, and it’s free!
SketchBook Pro ($7.99, iPad-only). This is the best sketching/drawing app on the iPad at the time of this writing. Really amazing app, definitely worth the $7, considering a comparable desktop sketching app will no doubt cost a lot more. I wish iPad was pressure sensitive though, it still can’t replace a Wacom tablet for serious illustrating or photo retouching work.
There is one app that pisses me off – Things for iPad. Things is my GTD app and I use it heavily. I bought a family pack ($75) for the desktop version , as well as the iPhone version ($10). Now instead of releasing a universal version upgrade, they wanted $20 for Things for iPad. $20 is just a bit much even though the app looks gorgeous and I’m sure it works really damn well. For now I’m going to run the iPhone version on the iPad until I can’t stand it anymore.