Ten Great Paid iPad Apps
You can find a ton of iPad apps for sale — so how do you decide which ones are worth your money? These apps definitely give you a good return on your app investment.
iPad only $9.99; Pro (hybrid) $14.99
1Password can open a Web page and then fill in the appropriate username and password with just one tap of the finger. 1Password refers to this little trick as Go & Fill. The Go & Fill trick relies on 1Password’s built-in Web browser because (at present) Apple doesn’t allow third-party plug-ins for Safari on the iPad (or iPhone). It’s a bare-bones Web browser with no bookmarks or history, but it’s certainly usable in a pinch.
In addition to its awesome login trick, 1Password provides secure storage for other sensitive information, such as account numbers, software licenses, and notes of any length.
With Air Display, your iPad turns into a wireless extension of your Mac or PC screen, giving you an additional 1,024 x 768 pixels of screen real estate. It’s a great place to park windows or palettes you don’t need on your main screen — and it works great. Just download and install the free Air Display server software on your computer, fire up the Air Display app on your iPad, and presto — you have another computer display screen! Think of Air Display as a second screen for your laptop or desktop computer that costs less than $10.
The iPad has either 32 or 64GB of storage. A maximum of 64GB for all of your apps, music, movies, TV shows, photos, podcasts, audiobooks, and everything else. If your videos exceed the iPad’s storage limit, Air Video can help you out. It streams your videos from home, and the app handles conversion behind the scenes, so no matter what format the original video is stored in, you can watch it now on the iPad. Or add the movie to the queue and let your computer process it for improved viewing later.
In Angry Birds, the object is to shoot birds from a slingshot-like apparatus to knock down structures and kill the green pigs who have stolen the birds’ eggs. Kill all the green pigs on a level and you get to advance, but leave even one little green piggy alive and you’ll have to try that level again.
There are 180 levels to date — and they’re all physics-based puzzles that require a combination of logic, skill, luck, and brute force. The developer releases content updates regularly, with new levels and, occasionally, a new bird type.
Bill Atkinson’s PhotoCard
The PhotoCard app lets you create absolutely gorgeous high-resolution postcards and send them from your iPad via your choice of either e-mail or the U.S. Postal Service.
To create a postcard, first choose an image. You can use one of the 150 Bill Atkinson nature photos included with the app, or you can select any of your own pictures from the iPad’s Photos app. After you select a picture, you can customize your postcard, using over 150 different stamps and more than 300 different stickers. And you have a choice of dozens of fonts for the text on your postcard.
Atomic Web Browser
Atomic Web Browser includes several useful features, including tabbed browsing and full-screen browsing:
Atomic Web Browser does tabbed browsing right, offering an unlimited number of real tabs.
In full-screen browsing, the toolbar, bookmark bar, and tab bar disappear — so all you see is the Web site and a set of user-configurable translucent buttons at the bottom of the screen.
The myriad settings include Load on Startup, which allows you to determine what you see when you launch the app.
The setting Identify Browser As lets you impersonate another Web browser, which can be useful if a site tells you it “requires Internet Explorer 6 or above.”
With ImproVox, you can manipulate the sound of your voice in all kinds of ways. ImproVox’s opening screen urges you to “Please put on your headphones,” and that’s good advice indeed. You’ll get the best results using an iPhone-style headset with a microphone. Listen for yourself to see whether you agree that Improvox is pretty darn amazing.
Instapaper is an iPad app that lets you save Web pages from any browser and read them later on your iPad, with or without an Internet connection. And give the tilt-to-scroll option a chance. It takes some getting used to, but it allows you to scroll down the electronic page easily.
$2.99 for 230 days; $24.99 unlimited
iTeleport lets you control computers running Mac, Windows, Linux, or AMX (another touch-screen operating system) from your iPad screen, no matter where in the world you might be.
To prepare a computer to use a VNC (Virtual Network Computing, sometimes called screen-sharing) program, you first install software called a VNC server. For iTeleport, you download the free server software from the iTeleport Web site. As long as the computer has an Internet connection and is running the VNC server software, you can use a user name and password to connect to and control the computer from iTeleport on your iPad.
OmniGraffle for the iPad allows you to create flow-charts and mind maps. One of the best features of OmniGraffle is the way it uses Stencils, collections of pre-made shapes, images, and connectors to use in your documents.
Another powerful tool is the Contents popover, which lets you
Select an object or multiple objects according to their style.
Change the stacking order of objects.
Create and manage layers.
Create and manage multiple canvases in the same document.