My must have apps for iPad

Ask me which apps I recommend for the iPad and I’ll talk passionately for hours (well at least 20 minutes) about the apps you simply cannot live without. I’m willing to listen too. As a matter of fact, the majority of my apps have come by way of recommendation from friends.

So, here’s the deal. I’ll share then you’ll share. Please leave a comment at the end and let me know what your favorite apps are.

The select few

Although I have filled all my 11 screens with apps (I don’t really like putting my apps in folders), I always come back to a select few. The same does my 3-year-old son, Viggo. The apps I use the most are clustered on a couple of screens and his are collected in another area. Let’s explore my favorite apps in this post. Then, for all the parents out there, Viggo will follow up with his favorite apps next week (read here). Check out links and descriptions below the image.

Facebook. Free app. I know you already have this app on your iPad. What I’m really excited about are the Facebook news apps optimized for the iPad. My favorite is the Washington Post Social Reader. WaPo promises “the more you use it, the better it gets.” Basically, the WaPo app will learn which type of articles you like, and then give you more of that. Download.

the guardian eyewitness. Free app. It’s simple. It’s gorgeous. One photo a day (the best) presented in full screen. As an added bonus, for the photo enthusiasts there’s always a pro tip included. Download.

Netflix. Free app. $7.99 per month. Reed Hastings caught a lot of flak last year with the PR nightmare he got himself into, several times over. However, I’m a big fan of Netflix. No, you won’t get the latest blockbuster movies, but that never appealed to me anyway. With thousands of movies and TV episodes, you’ll be plenty entertained. Check out Lilyhammer starring Steven Van Zandt, Netflix’s first original production. More of that please! Download.

Newsstand. This is the only folder I have on my iPad and only because Apple insists it’s on my home page. The content inside Newsstand is great though. (Quick disclaimer. Since I work at Next Issue, I read the majority of my magazines on an Android tablet). In Newsstand one news”paper” and two magazine apps stand out.

The Daily. Free app. $39.99 per year. This is Rupert Murdoch’s brainchild and the first iPad-only news app to hit iTunes. I’ve been a fan of The Daily since day one. I open this app 3-4 times a week and spend about 15-20 minutes per session. Just like a newspaper, articles are conveniently arranged in sections, and you advance by swiping left to right. I like the familiarity, yet this is completely new. The Daily manages to give me interesting articles (some are deep and plenty lighter), packaged neatly with videos, interactive infographics and much more. Only pages I steer clear of are the Opinion pages. You can try it out free with a 2-week trial. Download.

Project. Free app. $19.99 per year. Here we have Richard Branson’s brainchild and the first iPad-only magazine to hit iTunes. This is how a digital magazine should be done. Filled with interactivity, music, video, hot spots, etc. Only downer is that it’s only designed in portrait mode and I really prefer landscape mode. Although you need a subscription, you can check out the free issue ‘Project Sounds’. Download.

Spin Magazine. Free app. $7.99 per year. I have to admit, I’m more of a Rolling Stone kind of guy. But since RS hasn’t figured out that the iPad is the next big thing, I have fallen in love with Spin instead. There are some complications with the navigation, but this is completely outweighed by the fact that there’s a killer playlist with each month’s issue. Read all the in-depth articles while new tunes are playing in the background. The app also includes a feed of news and reviews from Spin.com. Download.

OC The Peel. Free app. I’m a bit biased. I helped create this app when I worked at Freedom Communications. I have since moved on, but I still come back to The Peel again and again. Taking a cue from both Project and The Daily, The Peel curates news articles and publishes at 6pm every day (except Sunday). The news is layered with video, quizzes, and much more. The real standout is the daily feature. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes of the Fisker hybrid car, a travel guide to Rome or a GRAMMY Awards preview, the producers always manage to surprise and delight me. Download.

Kobo. Free app. Buy books at kobobooks.com. You have iBooks, Google Books, Kindle and Nook, but Kobo wins by a mile. As I have written before, Kobo nails social reading. Check out Reading Life and Pulse. Reading Life is where I keep track of all my reading activity and where I can see what my friends are reading. Pulse is a feature that tells me who else are reading at the same time I am. I can leave comments and give thumbs up for my fellow readers to see. Download.

SubText. Free app. Buy books from various sources. I actually don’t use this app very much, but only because I’m becoming a Kobo loyalist. In fact, SubText might actually be better. You get points the more you engage with other readers. You can highlight text in a book and leave comments for other readers to see. Check out the Steve Jobs biography, and you will see how much these comments truly add to the reading experience. Download.

Shuffler.fm. Free app. I’m not a big fan of the aggregator apps (i.e Flipboard, Zite, LiveStand, etc.), but here’s one I come back to again and again. Shuffler.fm is an “audio magazine made by music blogs.” It basically curates the best new music in different channels such as Indie, Rock, Electronic, etc. Use it instead of Pandora as background music, or immerse yourself in discovering new music. Shuffler.fm is also a Website, allowing you to stream music from your laptop. Download.

Evernote. Free app. Who doesn’t love Evernote? Write notes, scrape Web pages, and then sync the content across all your devices (laptop, smartphone, iPad). I primarily use Evernote on the iPad when I’m at conferences or seminars to take copious notes. I can easily switch from my iPad to my iPhone knowing that my latest keyboard strokes are captured and I can pick up exactly where I left off. Download.

Ghostwriter. $1.99 for a limited time. I actually haven’t used this app yet. I still write all my meeting notes on paper. Evernote works for me at conferences, but in regular meetings I’m simply not fast enough to tap-tap and still pay attention. I wish there was a good stylus, so I could write on my iPad and finally get rid of paper completely. So far, they have all been crap. This is all about to change (I hope). I purchased an iPen from Cregle on Kickstarter. Check out the video, and you’ll see why I’m excited. It arrives in a week or two. Ghostwriter is so far the only note-taking app that’s compatible with the iPen, so there you go. Download.

ABC and NBC. Free apps. I just cancelled my cable subscription two weeks ago. I simply don’t need it anymore. With Netflix, Roku, ABC and NBC for iPad, there’s no incentive left to turn on the cable box. The ABC app gives me Modern Family and NBC gives me SNL. What else do you need? Download ABC. Download NBC.

Huffington Post. Free app. I love the content and I love NewsGlide, which is one of the methods you can navigate the app. If you don’t like the NewsGlide mode, you can pick Classic instead. The app is not perfect. Since Huff Post basically ports over the same news they have on their Website, there are some compatibility issues. When the article promises a video, often times, it’s not there. Damn you Flash! Nevertheless, I keep coming back. Download.

360Panorama. Free app. This app works for iPhone as well. In fact, I’m cheating a bit, because I’ve primarily used the iPhone app. But the app is so cool, it’s making my list anyways. 360Panorama lets you take 360 degree photos and it’s dead easy. Just turn it on and swirl. Check out one of my shots hiking with Viggo. Download.

Trailers. Free app. The only app made by Apple to make my list. Not only does it give you a plethora of trailers to watch (which is cool in itself), it also gives you the best overview of movies playing in a theatre near you. Download.

Chase. Free app. Bank account needed. This app works for iPhone as well. The app lets me check my bank accounts and transfer money. It also allows me to pay individuals directly via the Person-to-Person QuickPay, granted the recipients have signed up. I don’t understand why checks still exist. But they do. With the Chase app, at least now I don’t have to go to the bank to deposit them. Simply snap a photo of the check, front and back, submit and you’re done. Download.

Funnyordie. Free app. Need a chuckle? Just open and start laughing. Funnyordie gives you short, funny videos ad libitum. Search for the classic clip The Landlord with Will Ferrel or find Jeff Goldblum At Coachella (I was there – it’s me with the sunglasses). Download.

VidRhythm. Free app. Make your own music video in seconds. This app is for the whole family. First you record your own video and audio samples, VidRhythm then adds autotune and some sassy tunes and voila, you’re a superstar. It’s just fun. At least the first ten times. Check out our killer videoDownload.

Words With Friends HD Free. Free app with advertising. Are you addicted too? Well, it’s been said to improve your mental fitness you should do crosswords 15 minutes a day. I think Words With Friends falls in that category, so I’m not ashamed of my addiction. Search for “Claus Enevoldsen” if you want to play. (Or try Scramble for iPhone and find me there). Download.

Angry Birds HD. $2.99 (there’s a free ad-supported version too). I had to sneak in Angry Birds. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to this app, but after 15 minutes of Words With Friends, your mind needs numbing. Angry Birds does the trick. Download.

Mog. Free app. $9.99 per month. I almost forgot. My beloved Mog. This is by far my favorite service. Ever. Mog gives you unlimited streaming of more than 13 million songs available on all your devices. Buying music is so two years ago. The app on my iPad is actually just the iPhone app. Mog supposedly is working on an app optimized for iPad, but no one knows when it will be done. Who cares anyway, as long as I can continue to stream the music I love. Download.

Ok, your turn. Do you agree with my list? Which other apps should I place on my home screen right away? Let me know in the comments.

8 thoughts on “My must have apps for iPad

  1. Love the list! I used Chase yesterday for the check app….and I agree with you, why are checks still in use?

    I would however add a couple from my list of apps that I used daily.
    Flipboard would be first on the list. An awesome app that allows me to view all of my social media sites in one location. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Google Reader, just to name a few. Actually, come to think of it, you are the one that recommended that app..so thanks!

    Another would be WhatsApp. A lot of my friends/family still refuse to pay for texts! This app is by far the best messaging app around (my opinion). It’s fast, you can send pictures and video quickly and it’s free once you download the app.

    My last two honorable mentions, are apps for the outdoors. If you like to look for cheep, outdoor equipment and clothes (biking, hiking, skiing, etc) then the ODAT tracker is a must. The application itself is a bit rough but it will allow you to track sites like, Steep and Cheep and Chainlove in real time. Once you get the goods and go out for a hike, the EveryTrail app is another must! An easily formatted app to track anywhere you want to go on a trail. You can add pictures or video and the app automatically tracks your speed, distance, elevation and much more! You can then email the finished trip to friends or family.

      1. Ha, well your suggestions are still good. I know I recommended Flipboard, I just don’t use it that much myself. I’ll check out WhatsApp and ODAT. I use EveryTrail too, love it. You can find me under: cenevoldsen. Also, check out a 360 photo I snapped from the trail: http://360.io/XLnEY8

  2. I appreciate your list but could ever get Kobo to run properly for me. I’ve read several reviews and it seems that I am not the only person to encounter difficulties with this app. I will revisit it in a few months. Cheers!

    1. Interesting. I had problems once with a book, turned out the file was corrupt. Kobo gave me a full refund of course. Wonder if there’s a difference in performance on iPad vs. iPad 2. I have never had problems. Anyways, I hope you will check it out again. If not, check out Subtext.

  3. I’ve got a couple to add and expand your games repetoire as you seem to like a lot of news apps!

    World of Goo – really nice to play on the iPad. Check out my review here:
    http://wp.me/p2cIul-1s

    Bejewelled Blitz – if you need your mind numbing and to waste ten minutes then this always does the trick for me.

    WhaleTrail – by UsTwo. I beta tested this game so I’m slightly biased, but it’s very, very addictive and definitely one to try. Buy once and you get it on your iPhone as well. Only 69p / $0.99. Was also Game of the Week back in Dec.
    http://bit.ly/AxDgc6

    Granimator – another one by UK design studio UsTwo studios. http://bit.ly/xJac0B This Free app lets you design your own desktop wallpaper for your iPad using different themes from different artists. It’s pretty fun, and lets you really customise your pad. Not a game, but fun nonetheless.

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