I’ve had an iPad for a couple of months now. After a few months of thinking it wasn’t my sort of toy, experiments with my wife’s pad slowly changed my mind – especially when I think of it of being an ebook reader on steroids.
Since getting my iPad, my reading has been revitalized, but I’ve found a bunch of other uses for the device. I use it to play games and read books with my two-year-old son. I surf the web (though I still prefer a laptop for that), and explore reference apps. I play the odd game while watching TV – I’m definitely not a gamer. The little machine has found a niche in my life, and I have quite a few apps to thank for that.
So here are my favorite free iPad apps by category:
- Evernote. I have a love-hate relationship with this app. But it’s undoubtedly the easiest way of automatically syncing my apps on every machine I own.
- Plaintext. A free text editor that accesses my Dropbox files.
- iBooks. I know this one comes preinstalled, but I want to mention it because it’s my favorite e-reader. If only there were more books in the store.
- Kindle. Another free iPad ebook reader that links with a much bigger bookstore.
- Stanza. The third ebook reader I use, this one with links to many free ebook repositories.
- OliveTree. My favorite way of reading the good book.
- AccuWeather. I have relatives all around – Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth and Mexico. Some of them like to boast about how good their weather is compared with our “beautiful one day, perfect the next” conditions on the Gold Coast. This app lets me keep tabs on how truthful their boasts are, and what clothes to bring when we visit.
- Dropbox. I install this app on every machine I own. On the iPad, I use it as an easy method of getting PDF ebooks and other material into my reading list.
- IMDb. This app is my favorite way of exploring the Internet Movie Dababase – ever!
- Discover. A really enjoyable Wikipedia reader with an interface that shows off the capabilities of touch.
- AppShopper. An alternative way of exploring the apps store, with lots of extra options. One thing I love to do is to click on “What’s New”, “Free” and “Price Change”. That shows me all apps that used to cost money, and are now (maybe temporarily) free. I’ve picked up some good kids books for my young son that way.
- PCalc Lite. My favorite calculator – the one with the big “42” on the icon.
- Flipboard. This is one of my favorite iPad apps – I love it’s interface. Even though I use separate apps to access Facebook, Twitter and my RSS feeds, this one presents them in such an unusual way that I keep going back.
- Twitter. The free official Twitter client is actually really good. I’ll use it at least until Hootsuite come out with an iPad version – whenever that will be!
- Friendly Lite. Facebook also seem not to have heard of the iPad. Until they do, this app is pretty good. I also use the web interface from time to time, but the keyboard doesn’t always pop up when it’s required.
- Remote. I use this to control my Apple TV, and iTunes on my iMac. I still use the little plastic remote most of the time, but I grab this app whenever I want to quickly look through all of my movies and video podcasts (vodcasts?) because I can’t make my mind up.
- GoSkyWatchP is a pretty good star chart application for amateur astronomers that also helps you find the stars you’re looking for.
- Real Solitaire Free and Hearts HD are two of the games I play from time to time – normally when I’m watching TV.
- RedFish Alphabet for Kids. My youngest son’s favorite game – for now. This is one app that I discovered through AppShopper – it used to cost money, but I scored it for free.
Well, there’s my list of favorite free apps. I use lots of other apps as well, but they cost a bit of money.
Do you own an iPad? What are your favorite free apps?