Super Top Excellent Outstanding Best Most Wonderful Apps, Please.
May 17, 2011 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Very happy owner of a new Ipad2 (with 3g). Are you an Ipad user/owner? What are your absolute favorite apps? And why? I have looked at a lot of prior threads asking for best apps for particular purposes, including this one about best apps for gifting, but I'm actually just interested in finding out the apps MeFi people love the most.
posted by bearwife to Technology (28 answers total) 106 users marked this as a favorite
If you use Google Reader, I like Reeder for iPad better than I like actual Google Reader on the desktop.
posted by ignignokt at 2:43 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I also use a different browser (rather than mobile safari) with tabs, but I can't remember the name right now.
posted by travis08 at 2:49 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Apps I use every day and love include djay for "spinning" records with friends, The Elements for leafing through the more interesting bits in the periodic table, NYT Crosswords for daily puzzling, OneBusAway for knowing when the next bus is coming (albeit in Seattle), Adobe Eazel for painting, Amazon Kindle for reading our library of e-books, Apple Remote for playing music through our wireless AirPlay network at home, and Prompt for SSHing into my office workstation and doing some programming and administration work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:50 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you have kids?
posted by zachawry at 2:52 PM on May 17, 2011

TuneIn Radio
VLC (don't think it's available in the App Store anymore unfortunately, serious bummer)
Anki (only if you're a student or have some serious memorization to do)
Colloquy (for MetaChat!)
TeamViewer (it rocks!)
Angry Birds
Moron Test
Tiny Wings
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:53 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Zite continues to impress me as a personalized magazine.
posted by Nelson at 2:55 PM on May 17, 2011

Best answer: Let's see... (looks at iPad sitting next to me...)

Prompt (ssh/terminal)
Find My iPhone (I lose my iPhone a lot, its nice to find it using my iPad)
Air Video
TuneIn Radio
WeatherEye HD
Terra (tabbed web browser)
Kindle & iBooks (iBooks is easier to sync local content)

I'm still trying to find a good notetaking app that syncs to dropbox. I've tried way too many and still can't recommend any one wholeheartedly.
posted by cgg at 3:00 PM on May 17, 2011

Best answer: iBird Pro HD is great if you like birds.
posted by backwards guitar at 3:07 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Do you have kids?

Not unless you count our pets. I certainly have some childish tastes, though.
posted by bearwife at 3:08 PM on May 17, 2011

Best answer: iAnnotate, if you need to be able to mark up PDFs. (e.g., I can use it to grade student HWs that were submitted electronically, or mark up a paper for editing...)

Oh, and Dropbox, to have some place to be able to put and access those marked-up files.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:14 PM on May 17, 2011

GoodReader - I'm re-teaching myself Algebra using a text book that has been converted into PDFs, and it's a great little app. Lets you mark up the text, add notes to it, underline or box in sections, etc. I absolutely love it.

FIFA '11 - Helps if you like soccer, but I like soccer a lot. Consequently, I find this game to be a lot of fun. But even if I didn't like soccer, I would still find it fun to play. The controls are surprisingly intuitive and easy for just using a touch pad.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:25 PM on May 17, 2011

Here's what I use regularly:

Hulu Plus
MLB 2011
Zombie Farm
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:40 PM on May 17, 2011

Reeder, Remote, Twitter, Google, Google Earth, Instapaper, NY Times, New Yorker, Netflix, NPR, Flipboard, Dropbox, IMDB, Amazon, 1Password, Ancestry, Goodreader, Scrabble, Flixster.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:50 PM on May 17, 2011

Best answer: Instapaper
Friendly for Facebook
Notetaker HD for taking notes, annotating PDFs and filling out forms
NYT Crosswords and Set Pro HD for games
How to Cook Everything
Star Walk for all of your astronomy awesomeness needs
Netflix/ABC Player/Crackle/PBS
posted by honeybee413 at 3:59 PM on May 17, 2011

Mercury might be the browser travis08 was thinking about. It's actually really good (even though half the time I forget I have it!).
posted by misha at 4:02 PM on May 17, 2011

Best answer: Instapaper is probably my top app. Aside from that:

- The Feed: absolutely beautiful RSS reader
- Flipboard: explores social media links
- HitPad: explains trending topics on Twitter in a smart way
- iBooks
- VLC (no longer available, unfortunately)
- Epicurious: great recipe app
- Plaintext: notepad app that syncs with Dropbox
- Dropbox
- Adobe Ideas: for scribbling quick sketches
- Sketchbook Pro: a really great, very intuitive digital painting program
- Twitter
- GoodReader: good for reading all sorts of files

Games that are really great on the iPad:

- Carcassone
- Ingenious
- Cut the Rope
posted by Phire at 4:22 PM on May 17, 2011

Best answer: First off, download AppStart. The only purpose is to tell you the best apps to download. It should essentially answer your question actually. It was free when I got it. I would pay for it (if I was a new iPad owner) if it's no longer free.

The following are just personal preferences.
  • Note-taking - I've tried nearly all of the note-taking apps and Notes Plus by far has the most function. Penultimate is the prettiest though if that's what you want.
  • Media - Netflix, ABC Player
  • eBooks - iBooks, Kindle. iBooks is prettier and easier on the eyes. Kindle has a wider selection and is often-times cheaper. Also check out Our Choice, it is its own app, and its a book about global warming by Al Gore. It's easily the coolest "book" I've ever read.
  • Games - Any/all of the Angry Birds games are fun. Infinity Blade has stunning graphics and is quite fun.

posted by BenS at 4:45 PM on May 17, 2011

Zite personalized magazine (far and away my favorite app)
Atomic Web (much better browser than Safari)
Kindle for iPad for clear, crisp e-book texts
WolframAlpha when Google just won't do
Penultimate (note taking, doodling)
Pages for easy word processing
Dropbox for cloud file storage and DropDav to tie-in with Pages
DocsToGo to access MS Word documents
Skype for free or low-cost calls

These are good for 99.9% of my iPad usage.
posted by flyingrock at 4:48 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Notetaker HD is the best app out there for ink notes if you're into that (a stylus is a must have). These days it has tons of options but the core function is a "zoom region" where you write in big sloppy letters whatever you want, which is then shrunk and stuck in the page. You then advance the zoom region and continue. Notes plus has the same function, but its not as smoothly implemented there.

This is the best way to take Ink data on any imprecise capacitive screen.

The app also has pdf annoation, text insertion, picture insertion, vector art, but ink is 99% of my use. Its not an art tool, but its a fantastic note tool. I unfortunately pretty much bought all the other options to try them out, now they just sit on iPad, unused.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:23 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Favorite/most used:

Dropbox, Amazon, Dragon Dictation, Epicurious, Evernote, Fandango, Google, Pandora, Smacktalk, Twitter, Yelp, Zillow, Shazam, Artstudio, CNN, CraigsPro, Friendly, Fruit Ninja, Garageband, iHeartradio, and The Weather Channel
posted by mxmm at 5:30 PM on May 17, 2011

Amazon, eBay,#sworcery, iAnnotate, Dropbox, Big Bad Book of Sudoku
posted by Kronur at 6:21 PM on May 17, 2011

Best answer: If you use it to surf the web at all, I strongly recommend installing a different browser. I've had an excellent experience with the Atomic Web Browser -- it's got tabs, ad-blocking, gesture support, a download manager, Facebook/Dropbox/Twitter integration, user agent switching (for when you don't want to be redirected to the mobile version of a site), full screen mode (with unintrusive quick buttons at the bottom of the screen), and a level of customizability that rivals Firefox. And it's free! There's also a "premium" version that adds a few nonessential features, but even that is only 99 cents. It's by far the most cost-effective app I've seen.

Another great app is Skype. If you can get webcam-owning friends and family members to install the desktop version on their computers, it makes video chat really easy. Even my 85-year-old grandmother uses it with aplomb. The only drawback is that the existing app is designed for the iPhone, so on the iPad you need to tap the zoom button and end up with a slightly blurrier interface. But it works great, and it's free!
posted by Rhaomi at 9:07 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

TuneIn Radio is like magic. We live in the shadow of a big hill in our new house, and we get essentially no radio stations. With TuneIn Radio, I can stream any of a vast number of staitons, and I can carry the thing around my house as I go. I love it.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:23 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

ComicZeal - My favourite comic book reader
posted by manny_calavera at 10:15 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whole Foods' Recipe app
something to Kindle-ize your iPad--either the actual Kindle-makin' app or one of the free book DB apps
posted by ifjuly at 11:29 AM on May 18, 2011

Best answer: In no particular order - I'll try and give a reason for each so that you get some sense if its something you might be interested in.

Omnifocus - The best "task management" app around, brilliant on the ipad as a way of keeping track of and managing commitments. Expensive but worth every penny.

Flipboard - A great way to read website feeds and things your friends have posted on twitter / facebook, less "geeky" than a full blown RSS feeder and much easier to browse with, like a personal magazine

Instapaper - For reading long form articles, the best reading experience of any app on the ipad, there is an astonishing amount of love in this app

Ithoughts HD - intuitive mindmapping software, never used mindmaps before because they were paper based and hard to make / store - but i now start almost every project with a mind map to clear my head and organis my thoughts visually.

How to cook everything - originally a book, its better as an ipad reference manual on how to cook literally everything (written by a NYT food critic, full of good basic recipes and advice, cooking 101 really)

Swords and Sworcery [sic] - Brilliant audiovisual experience/game, a postmodern zelda crossed with a point and click adventure. Difficult to describe but wonderful to play.

Omnioutliner - New omnigroup app, for outlines, another great organisational tool

IMDB - their app is free and offers a much better than the outdated website. Its also fun to have nearby when watching a movie for those "what else was he/she in moments" without having to stop the film

Stanza / Kindle for ipad - There are no great ipad ebook readers, ibooks has horrible text formatting and icky page effects. Stanza is best for reading .epub books, a bit fiddly but you can set it up to look like instapaper (which has the best reading experience). If you are not worried about DRM then the Kindle app is also excellent.

World of Goo - A great construction / puzzle game where you make bridges with balls of black goo. A wonderful indy game.

For British Mefites:
The Times (of london) Ipad app - The times recently implemented a silly policy of charging for access to their website, but their new ipad app is the best "newspaper" app I have ever seen. (Some dubious text justification apart) its certainly worth the money and you get their new excellent website as-well in the cost. (Sadly, the Sunday Times app is a train-wreck experience, avoid)
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:59 PM on May 18, 2011

I find that I use my iPad for two things primarily: making music and reading.

• ComicZeal - awesome comic book (CBR, CBZ) viewer. The iPad really is an amazing platform for reading comics and graphic novels.
• +1 for Instapaper, iBooks, Kindle, Zite, Flipboard

Music Production:
• GarageBand, natch
• SoundPrism - Cool chord/circle of fifths-based synth with midi out capabilities.
• KORG iELECTRIBE - Classic drum machine and synth sequencer (there's a newish Gorrillaz-branded version but it's just a reskin of the regular iELECTRIBE)
• KORG iMS-20 - emulated Korg MS-20 -- amazing synth, sequencer, drum machine, and mixer with Kaoss pads and patch panels.
• Moog Filtatron - Emulated Moog waveform generator. Bleep, bloop, blorp.
• djay - two turntables and a crossfader for your MP3s. Automated beatmatching and support for looping and multiple cue points.

Misc. Apps:
• Planetary - browse and play your MP3 collection in an astronomical simulation. An artist is a star, their albums are planets orbiting the star, and the songs are moons orbiting the planets. A little gimmicky but very pretty.
• RememberTheMilk - They finally put out an iPad app. Web-based To-Do management on the iPad.
• AirDisplay - Use your iPad as another computer monitor, wirelessly.
• NYPL Biblion - new multimedia app from the New York Public Library. Free and neat.
• Air Video - On-the-fly transcoding of video files on your desktop wirelessly streamed to your iPad and AirPlay compatible. Really nice if you have an AppleTV.
posted by devnall at 7:45 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Just wanted to drop back in to let everyone know how enormously helpful this thread was for me. I am using many of the apps recommended here now, and thinking daily with appreciation of all of you who provided input.
posted by bearwife at 10:09 AM on June 1, 2011

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