I’ve been using my iPad for a couple of weeks now (here in the UK we were late getting our hands on iPads!) and it’s been even better than I expected. The big screen, instant startup and form factor all combine to make this a very useable device.
The built-in apps are great but it’s necessary to go shopping in the App Store to find the apps you need, for the way you use mobile technology.
My starting point was apps I’ve come to depend on, on other devices, that would add value to my iPad experience. I’ve picked five favourites to cover here and will look at others in the future.
Whilst the iPad isn’t a phone out of the box, adding a mobile VoIP app is a must for cheaper and often free calling.
I’ve been a big fan of Truphone since its early Nokia days and the iPad app is brilliant. Whilst the app works fine with the iPad’s built-in speakers and microphone, I’ve been using it with my Freetalk Everyman headset for improved comfort. I suspect the iPad Camera Connection kit USB adaptor would deliver even better performance via the Freetalk USB connector. I know people who use this but unfortunately I’ve not yet been able to track one down in the UK. Truphone uses the existing iPad contacts, making it simple to call people.
Things. Things is another favourite of mine. I’ve been using Things on my MacBook Pro and iPhone for a while and decided that if my iPad was going to be at the heart of my digital life, Things was a must on it. Things is a ‘getting things done’ task manager which makes the whole process simple to manage. Anything I need to do gets added and it does stop me forgetting stuff! I do have a couple of issues with Things – no cloud sync yet (although I hear it’s coming) and by the time you’ve bought the OSX, iPhone and iPad versions the cost adds up! But overall a great app.
Osfoora. I’m a big Twitter user and Osfoora is the best iPad app for Twitter I’ve found so far. Scrolling through your timeline, clicking on links in tweets, checking your mentions, sending direct messages – Osfoora makes the whole Twitter experience simple to use and uses the iPad’s big display to great advantage.
Evernote. Like many people I’ve been a big Evernote fan for a while. Evernote on my iPad is a natural extension to all the other places I can access my notes in. Whilst using Evernote on my iPhone is hampered by the size of the display, the iPad’s display makes Evernote much more usable. Searching notes is speedy, whether it’s titles, text or even the text in photos.
Instapaper. Using Twitter and Safari I regular come across links and pages I’d like to read later and potentially offline. Instapaper makes this easy. Osfoora seamlessly integrates with Instapaper and although the Safari setup process is a little fiddly, once it’s done Instapaper becomes an ideal repository for interesting stuff that you come across online.
These apps range from free (Truphone, Evernote) to relatively expensive at £11.99 (Things) with the others in between. Over the next few weeks I plan to return to some of these apps and look in more detail at how they make a difference to me. In the meantime, what’s on your iPad?