Sunday, September 16, 2012

7 iPad Apps I Like... plus 1

There is an interesting difference in the Apps that I select and use for my iPad 2 versus apps that I select and use with my Android phone (or even the iPod Touch that I owned prior to the Android phone).  Specifically, the iPad does a great job of rendering websites.  Thus, if the website is full featured and does a nice job, there is little reason to install (and consume space) with an often down sized interpretation of the original.  Therefore, my criteria for iPad apps is that they must provide value beyond what can be found on a website or somehow enhance the iPad as a tool or entertainment device.

I will interject one exception to this general guideline for iPad apps which is that if you anticipate that you may be working from a slow wifi connection, it may be worthwhile to explore and install an app as the app may be optimized for a mobile device and provide greater utility on slow connections.  For example, I have experimented with "tethering" my iPad to a 3G device (cell phone) and for this slower connection, I have found that the proprietary app from my stock trading company works better than attempting to trade using the Safari browser and a log on.  This exception aside, here are 7 apps that I enjoy:

Dragon Dictation - I am a touch typist and while the touch pad on the iPad is nice, it does not compare to a keyboard.  I really missed being able to speak and have the application translate my words to text as I was exposed to in my Android phone.  This speech to text capability somewhat compensated for the lack of a keyboard as an input device.  This application does a nice job of translating my words to text.  In fact, in all truthfulness, it likely does a better job with the translation than my Google phone.  My daughter thought she would outwit this app and tried "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".  To our amazement, the app picked it up correctly.  After dictating, I can easily send my written text in an email or copy and paste into some other application.

Google Search - I love Google and this app let's you use speech to search - great combo!

iTunes U - A great resource for free learning all provided in one site.

TWC TV (Time Warner Cable) Very handy, although I probably haven't made as much use of this as I could.  You can set your DVR, watch TV on your iPad and (although I never have tried) use your device as a remote control.

iGarageSale - This app uses Craig's List to find garage sales near you.  It is not 100%, but I suspect much of this has to do with the way that Craig's List users enter their data when they post on Craig's List.  You can also search by keyword if you are searching for a specific item to help your garage sale hunt.  As shown below, the app will provide a map with pin points which you can click to obtain additional details about that sale.

CraigsPro Free - I use the free version of this app.  I have an Craig's list app on my Android that provides notification so I haven't upgraded to the paid version of this app yet.  I think these apps find and display items from Craig's List better than the the Craig's List site itself.  This is a great way to search for items on Craig's List.

Stock Market HD:  Stocks and Shares for iPad - Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity... easy to read and get the information that I want to see at a glance.

Now for a bonus, Appsfire Deals (Free) - There are so many apps out there so unless you are looking for something specific, it is somewhat hard to sample what is out there.  This app provide a nice medium to find new apps, particularly apps that are free or going on sale.  It is very possible that your favorite app may be one that you haven't found yet - here's one way to find it!

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