I’m having some mild bandwidth problems lately and I was disappointed with the lack of a good WordPress app on the iPad so posting has gotten mildly sporadic. I swapped out my netbook for my iPad as my “go to” travel computer and, after having used it for a while, came up with a list of apps with high value. I am hoping to find something decent for blog posting but nothing has come up yet.
Stuff I have given high marks to so far and are worth buying:
Amazon’s Kindle Reader: I found I cannot stand Apple’s iBook’s application but I can read from Amazon’s Kindle Reader for hours without eyestrain or issue. Also, it syncs up with my Kindle seamlessly, grabs me books from our eBook archive, and looks very nice on the screen. It must be the iBooks choice of font because I don’t use it. Amazon Kindle Reader for the win.
Reeder: A beautiful RSS reader that integrates seamlessly with Google Reader. It makes reading feeds feel natural and has clean integration with services like Instapaper, ReadItLater, etc.
myTexts: A clean full-screen editor that turns the iPad into a distraction-free writing work surface. Works beautifully with a bluetooth keyboard. It performs all the saving and backing up of documents automatically, has several syncing/exporting options to get text off the iPad. Integrates with myTexts for MacOSX.
Good Reader: PDF reader that gets better with every update. Beautiful presentation of PDFs on the screen with easy navigation options. It looks beautiful with full color PDFs and the text is easy to read. It makes purchasing gaming PDFs seem like a good idea.*
DropBox: Easy access to cloud storage. Integrates with several apps, including Good Reader, for file display. Makes it trivial to carry around a huge number of PDF books and call them up at will, WiFi Gods willing.
TabToolKit: The reason I wanted an iPad — the app that sold it to me. (You can look at it here.) It plays fully voiced Guitar Pro tabs — thousands and thousands can be found complete and of decent quality online. For learning songs on the guitar, it’s fantastic. It is not quite as good for piano because it only shows one hand at a time — if it could multi-track, it would be the perfect piece of software.
Plants vs. Zombies: No one gets their life back until the game is defeated.
Wikipanion: It makes Wikipedia feel like a Real Boy. In landscape mode, it integrates table of contents, links, and inline media beautifully. Want to learn about the Han Dynasty? Portugal? It feels like reading from a book and it’s comfortable.
Instapaper: Instapaper alone is magic. Instapaper long-formatted on the iPad with no ads for clean reading makes long articles on the web worth it.
Carcassone: Yes, this is only the iPhone version of this application but it scales nicely. It has local LAN iPad support. It has internet iPad support. It’s Carcassone!
There’s other stuff, of course: my addiction to Puzzle Quest, Battle of Wesnoth, Youtube, etc. But these are the apps that have, so far, really stood out with usability and utility.
Update: I use the word “beautiful” way too many times in this post and I apologize for way lazy writing. But they do look nice on the screen when it isn’t all smudged up with fingerprints.
* I have a hard time reading PDFs off normal computer screens.