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Need iPad app recommendations
February 6, 2014 4:52 PM   Subscribe

So I have joined the 2010s and bought an iPad. Please help me outfit it with apps.

I'm want recommendations for a few specific things (see below), but I'd also love to hear general recommendations for apps that you love in any category (productivity; games; cooking/food; or anything, really).

* Twitter: what's the best Twitter app for managing multiple accounts (personal and work). I use TweetDeck on my laptop and currently have a dozen or so columns that I use to manage my employer's Twitter account. I don't expect to be able to duplicate that on the iPad, but the ability to manage both accounts and easily call up one of my lists or saved hashtag searches would be great.

* Email: I'd like to keep my personal email (Gmail) and work email in separate apps for better work/life balance. Right now I'm using the Gmail app for personal and the Mail app for work, but I'm not in love with either of them. I don't like how the inbox slides in and out on the right in both apps. Are there any other fantastic mail apps?

* Weather: what's a good weather app? I was surprised there wasn't one preinstalled.

* Are there any local Austin apps I should check out?

Bonus question:
* Should I buy AppleCare+ for iPad?
posted by donajo to Technology (26 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm also reading through psycheslamp's two-year-old app question, so thanks to all of the people who answered there.
posted by donajo at 4:53 PM on February 6


Always buy AppleCare for highly portable Apple-things. Repairing one screen is worth it.

Sadly I don't have any other answers, but Marvin is such a wonderful ePub reader I can't shut up about it.
posted by Jesse the K at 5:04 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Yahoo weather.
posted by sevenless at 5:14 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Weather+ I think it's pretty.
posted by kathrynm at 5:30 PM on February 6


iThoughtsHD. A mind mapping app. Worth getting just to see how stunning a tablet can be. Spectacular. Very well supported.
posted by PickeringPete at 5:44 PM on February 6


I have had Apple Care for almost everything I've ever bought. They have replaced screens, hard drives, cables, keyboards, cases. There is never any question of whether a thing is covered. The only thing I didn't gets coverage for broke, and I was out of luck. Get it and don't look back.
posted by clarkstonian at 5:47 PM on February 6


I use Tweetbot for Twitter on the iPad and I believe it has the functionality you need.
posted by immlass at 5:59 PM on February 6


Dark Sky is great for weather.

For Mail, there's Mailbox, Boxer, Triage and Cannonball. I've not tried any of them, but all of them have their proponents.
posted by tomierna at 6:03 PM on February 6


You might find The Sweet Setup useful.
posted by Silvertree at 6:07 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


King of Dragon Pass is a beautifully made Bronze-age tribe simulator that is not quite like anything else, made for PC in '99 and lovingly translated into iPad. Absolute must-have. Garage Band is a great music program that is worth getting just to marvel at what they can do these days.
Space Miner HD is a hilarious astroids style 2D overhead arcade game with great characters and writing.
Tiny Thief is an adorable puzzle game with nice animations and just-right puzzle game play.
If you have children anywhere around you, the Toca Boca games are uniformly excellent.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:40 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Longform single handedly makes the iPad mini worth owning.

Also the NYT app and the Economist.
posted by modernnomad at 7:01 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


There should've been a weather app installed w/ iOS, but I also use Weatherbug's app.

I really like Tweetbot, for Twitter. You can manage multiple accounts and lists, etc.

Yes on AppleCare, definitely.
posted by jdl at 7:05 PM on February 6


Sunrise: clean calendar app
Mailbox: clean and productive mail app
Simplenote: for taking notes
Duolingo: for learning a new language
Readability: for read web articles you've saved
Wikipanion: Wikipedia browser
Coffitivity: helps me focus when I'm reading or studying
posted by Lowwen at 7:19 PM on February 6


Wiki Offline is nice to have.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:22 PM on February 6


Tweetbot as your Twitter app.
posted by AD_ at 10:22 PM on February 6


What kind of games do you like?
SpaceTeam is an amazing multiplayer game (you need 2 or more people in the same room to play, but it works across iOS and Android devices and is free so the barrier to entry is low).
Ticket To Ride and Carcassonne are great boardgames with good iOS implementations.
XCOM is a great strategy game that was made for the PC and I hear the iOS version is good (caveat: I can't confirm that since there's a bug which means it crashes on my iPad Mini).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:22 AM on February 7


TuneIn Radio
Evernote
I added Forecast.io to the home screen. Intellicast has good radar.
Dropbox
PDF Expert
posted by professor plum with a rope at 1:04 AM on February 7


Weather: 2nding adding forecast.io to homescreen
Multiple twitter: hootsuite
Calendar: EasyCalendar simple and clean, syncs with googlecal
Health/Fitness: Sworkit and MyFitnessPal
Food/cooking: AllRecipes
posted by atlantica at 3:07 AM on February 7


I will have to disagree with all the AppleCare recommendations. If you take decent care of your gear it's a total ripoff. It won't cover broken glass or water damage or theft, the most common ways people lose iPads. Any hardware failure is likely to be covered under warranty, and even well after warranty if you are nice to the a Genius Bar kid (I just had a 2 year old iPad 3 replaced with a factory refurb for a noisy headphone jack!). Buy a good water resistant and glass protecting case. Save your money. You're under warranty for a year and after that you can sell the iPad and buy a new one for just a bit more than the difference between the cost of the bare unit and the AppleCare plan.

AppleCare has never not been a ripoff. I've been an Apple user and customer for 30 years. I've owned dozens of Apple machines. I have never bought AppleCare and never regretted it.

As for apps, I rely on Notability for PDF annotation; I love Paper for drawing; Scanner Pro plus Dropbox for document management; and go for Google Maps cuz Apple Maps still sucks.
posted by spitbull at 4:53 AM on February 7


EndsofInnovation, I generally play puzzle games, but would also like recommendations for other types of games. Non-puzzle games are in my blind spot and therefore harder to discover on my own.
posted by donajo at 5:55 AM on February 7


I recently got an iPad mini (thanks mom and dad!), and here's what I''ve been using.

Sky Guide is absolutely my favorite app on the iPad. I would pay a lot more than $2 for it. I can spend hours searching around the sky in total wonder. But I'm an astronomy nerd, so YMMV.

Day One is awesome, maybe even life-changing. Enough said.

If you listen to podcasts, Downcast is good, although a bit complex at times. I'm looking forward to trying out Overcast when it comes out.

For books, Readmill is the best ebook reader on iOS. I've tried Kindle (awful) and iBooks (semi-decent), but Readmill blows them out of the water.

Reeder is a great way to keep up with RSS feeds if that's your thing.

I've gone through phases with all of the major read-later apps, but the new Instapaper is my favorite.

For writing, I use Simplenote for notes and Daedalus for longer things.

Wikiweb is a fun way to explore Wikipedia.

For photo-editing (which is much better on the iPad than on the iPhone), I've found Afterlight to have an ideal combination of ease-of-use along with more complex features. Snapseed is also great, albeit less refined.

If you use Pinboard, Pinner is the best iOS app for keeping up with your bookmarks.

There are lots of weather apps. On the iPhone, I want something quick. But on the iPad, I find Living Earth to be quite fascinating.

The iWork suite is generally very good, especially after the iOS 7 update.

Seconding:
Sunrise, mentioned above, is very good (and very free).
Duolingo is amazing.
posted by rensar at 6:19 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Buy a good water resistant and glass protecting case.

For what it's worth, I have an Otterbox Defender case for my iPad Mini, and it so far has survived all the abuse a 2 year old can subject it to, including a fair amount of vomit. I chose an Otterbox case because I had one on my Samsung S3 when I accidentally dropped it about 10m onto concrete (don't ask) and the phone survived without a scratch. Cheaper than Applecare too.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:23 AM on February 7


Don't know if this is something you're interested in but I got this rec somewhere on askme a while back: You Are Your Own Gym and it's kicking my butt. Or I guess I am - since its an exercise app using your own body weight as resistance. It's $2.99 and has a lot of variations.
posted by dog food sugar at 6:39 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Don't forget to check your local library to see if they offer e-Books and which platform they offer.

My library offers magazines as well, including the economist, Saveur, and other goodies.
posted by cacofonie at 7:06 AM on February 7


Things that I use a lot that most anybody would like:

Kindle & Marvin ereaders
Feedly
Pocket
TuneIn Radio Pro
Yahoo Weather
Battery HD+

More niche things:

BBC iPlayer
iMusic (listen to Youtube music playlists in the background)
Garageband
Voice Record Pro
Pocket Wavepad HD
Pythonista
posted by philipy at 11:50 AM on February 7


I've just discovered Threes! and I wish I hadn't. Fun.
posted by firstdrop at 5:07 PM on February 8


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