Monday, August 1, 2011

Ten iPad Apps That I Am Glad I Have

I am one of those folks that decided to wait for an iPad2 to come out before making a purchase so I have only had mine for a little over 4 months at the time of this post. That being said, I felt that 4 months of playing around with the device and some of the many apps out there made me qualified enough to offer an opinion on some of the apps out there.

I have read many posts on apps and used some of that information to try them out and make some my own decisions but I wanted to frame this post on my satisfaction with the apps. I have easily downloaded a couple hundred apps and tried them out and I know I have only scratched the surface on what is available but I thought I would share my thoughts on the ones that I am glad I decided to download and actually use quite often. These are not listed in any particular order.

1.  Dropbox (FREE)

Dropbox on the iPad, to me, is genius! I know that I was one of those folks that was concerned about lack of USB support and the ability to get files on and off of the device. With Dropbox - problem solved! If I know I will be needing a file on the iPad later - just put it in the folder. I also have an account with SugarSync and for extra storage but I find that I use Dropbox the most.

2.  Clock Pro HD Free (FREE)

Since the iPad does not come with a clock app like the iPhone does, I needed to find one. I really like Clock Pro HD, not only because I got it for free but because the ADs on it are not obnoxious like some other free apps out there. You also have alarms, stopwatch, timer, sleep timer, and many other features too. It is nice to plug it in and leave it on the nightstand - especially on trips. (Yes - plug in so you don't drain the battery too much)

3.  Office² HD ($7.99)

I like this program because it allows me to not only edit docs, spreadsheets, and presentations but I can also download files and save files to and from Dropbox! That makes the iPad just a little bit more of a tool for creation of information as opposed to just consuming information.

4.  PCalc Lite (FREE)

In case you haven't noticed, there is no calculator app on the iPad either. Again, I chose a free one but beautifully enough, I have yet to see a single ad during the times I have used it. I don't know about you, but I am not too fond of annoying ads and since this app doesn't have any - it wins.

5.  ToDo's Lite (FREE)

I was on the hunt for a decent ToDo list app and I did try several out. Although each of them had pros and cons to them I didn't find one that really did everything I wanted it to but this one represented the best of them for me. There is a paid version of this app as well but I can live with the ads on this one since they are not overly obnoxious.

6.  UPad ($4.99)

I really like this app! I started with the free version for a while and eventually upgraded to the paid one. The free version only allows up to 5 documents to be stored on the device while the paid version allows unlimited documents. You can also save as a PDF with the paid one. This app allows me to take notes in my own handwriting and save it, email it, etc. The interface is very good and I really like the magnified area for printing so you can get much more on the page.

7.  Keeper Password and Data Vault (FREE)

Got to have a place to store all the passwords for those million accounts you have in the Web 2.0 world, right? Huh? - Tell me you are not using the same password for all of them... OK so I really only have to remember one password which gets me into this app. Inside I can put all the rest of them. Why not put lock combinations and other sensitive things to remember in there? You can also pay to back up your data to the cloud incase of catastrophe.

8.  Sign -n- Send ($1.99)

This app has come in handy on more than one occasion. I can open up a PDF, let's say, that was emailed to me, sign it, and send it back. Time sheets, permission slips for the kids, and other kinds of request forms are just a few examples. The free version places an ad as the first page when sending it as an email so I chose to drop the two bucks to avoid sending ads out to others .

9.  AppMiner (FREE)

OK - I need to term this one a must have! I check this app a couple times a day. Basically it tracks down all the apps that have changed in price for you and puts them together.  You can sort by free and paid. I have found many good apps that were free just for the weekend or perhaps dropped in price for just a short while. For example, I was able to get the $9.99 Monopoly game for just 99¢ on a promotion. (Yeah, I like to play games just like the next guy.)

10.  Terminus ($2.99)

Terminus is an SSH client that works really well and allows me to have access to the back end of a server. For those of you who are working in IT - let me just say - 'so worth it'!

OK, so that is my list. I know there will be more in the future that I could say I really like and there are more than ten on my iPad now that I enjoy but these are ones that I really make good use of.

So what are some apps that you are glad you have?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reflections on Twitter

So I am sitting here with my iPad at the Mocha Moose and Internet Café enjoying a raspberry truffle latté and catching up on the news when I realized that I really do enjoy Twitter as major source of my news and information. So I decided to write my first blog entry from my iPad with the WordPress app.

Sure, I have the USA Today app, the BBC app, Journal Sentinel app, etc but the wide range of links to relevant articles that I get from my Twitter family is like having a special aggregator just for me. Way better than what Google Reader or other aggregators have done for me in the past. As I have sat here for the last hour, chilling on my vacation, I have come to realize how much I enjoy the articles, videos, and sharing of intellectual ideas through this medium.

I do not follow a great many people but despite that, I have learned a great deal and will continue to engage in learning this way. I should probably seek out more great people to follow so that I can expand my learning even more. I should also spend more time on this blog but for now I will just say thanks to Twitter and all the people I follow for the great inspiration and learning you help facilitate.