GUIDE: Best iPad Apps
Yeah, everyone and their mother has a post like this, and I’m not Engadget. But I keep this list for me, OK? Essential apps have a * and red font. Please note that I am still on an iPad 1, so no really cool movie or photo apps listed here.
Last Update: 04.24.12
Changes: Added a bunch of games
- * AppShopper – best way to keep a wishlist of apps you would buy if the price changed – it notifies you. Also, good way to see on a daily basis what is hot, what is discounted (many apps go on sale for FREE for a day only). There are others like HotApDeals, AppAdvice ($2), but you might not need them.
- AppStart – this has a nice list of Best of Apps for you.
- Discovr Apps ($2) – great way to find apps related to ones you already know about.
- Car Factor – browse new car specs and pictures, latest year(s) only
- * CarZen – browse new car specs and pictures, latest year(s) only
- * Bible (YouVersion) – best all around multi-version bible reader, and FREE. Has many pre-configured reading plans you can follow. No commentary links, though. It’s usually the first one that comes up when you search for Bible, but look for the one made by LifeChurch.tv
- Bible + – has decent topical index, small Reading Plans, but other really nice features, including Game Center integration for achievements! Coolness factor.
- Bible IS – has audio with text, pretty sweet for free.
- Blue Letter Bible – for all of you Bible studiers, this is a great piece of software that mimics the extensive information on the blueletterbible.com site.
- Four Spiritual Laws – The well known presentation of what it means to be a Christian. Know it, live it, share it.
- Logos – for those of you who have the Logos Bible Software on your desktop, this is their iPad software. Not a great experience, but you do have access to your Library.
None of these readers have all the features you would want, esp. social sharing. But here you go.
- * Amazon Kindle - the industry leader.
- CBD Reader – if you get eBooks from ChristianBook.com (must set up account online first)
- Google Books – not a great option yet, but it could be
- * iBooks – one of the best readers for PDFs, built in intergration with Safari
- Stanza – great reader for .mobi and other free books
- * Atomic Web ($1) – there are lots of alternate browsers out there. Atomic is king. Adds great features like tabs, share to Facebook, Readability integration, gestures, skins, and much much more.
- Readability – making strides into the read it later / reformatting / browsing arena.
- IMDB – you did say you were a movie fan, right? All the info at your fingertips.
- * Movies (Flixter) – See trailers, movie times – I like better than Fandango, which is also good.
- Netflix - If you have Netflix, just get this for streaming, queue management, etc.
I like free games mostly, but there are a few worthy of purchase. I’ve tried many, and am only listing those I think are really replayable over a long period.
- Battle of Midway Pro HD ($1) – Single player or multiplayer BattleShip. Decent animations and sound.
- Infinity Blade ($6) – a fun First Person adventure game, stellar Unreal graphics.
- N.O.V.A. 2 (0-$7) – A great FPS, better than ID’s Rage HD ($2).
- Overkill – a great FREE FPS
- Robokill LITE – if you love it like I do, you can buy the paid version ($2).
- Robokill 2 ($2) – wow, they made it harder and better.
- 4 Elements HD ($5) – get it on sale, fun jewel game, but more!
- * The Treasures of Montezuma HD ($2-5) – the best Jewels-type game around, regularly goes on sale. If you’re not sure, try the FREE version first.
- The Treasures of Montezeuma 3 ($2) – Don’t buy #2, just skip to this one, it’s good. Or try the free one first.
- Angry Birds Seasons ($2) – well, I don’t love it AB, but this version is enough for me, and is cheaper than the regular app (free versions)
- * Diversion HD ($1) – fun 3D side scroller where you jump to avoid death and collect jewels. There is a free zombie version – my kids spend MORE time on this than any game, all ages!
- Feed that Dragon – nice physics game.
- * iStunt 2 – Snowboard ($1) – great sound track, easy physics, kids love
- NinJump HD – simple but fun.
- Lego 4+ – simple fun for ages 3 and 4
- Lego – Ninjago: Rise of the Snakes – those who have boys understand why this mediocre game is a must have.
- Lego – Ninjago: Spinjutzu Scavenger Hunt – also decent.
- * Plantsv. Zombies – just buy it. Best game on iPad. Ever.
- Stupid Zombies ($1) – better than Angry Birds, LOVE this game. The free version has lots of levels, but why not spring for the full version, it’s cheap and awesome.
- * Temple Run – just get it.
- Victory March HD – simple platformer, increases in speed as you go. Not too many levels, though.
- Drag Racing – lots of fun for a free game. Compete against others, build up your car.
- * Draw Race 2 ($3) – great for kids, you draw the path your car will take, then watch the race (free version)
- Ion Racer – space flier, nice
- * Lane Splitter ($1) – ride your motorcycle through traffic.
- Light Bike 2 – Tron light cycles, cool!
- Moto X Mayhem ($1) – a nice side-scroller motorcycle game (free version).
- Reckless Racing ($5) – Single or multiplayer 3rd person redneck racing. FUN! Sometimes goes on sale.
- Sonic Racing – your favorite Sega character, just like the console game.
- Warp Rush – nice spaceship – not really racing, but picking up stuff.
Tower Defense Games
- Anomaly Warzone Earth HD ($4) – a cool twist on Tower Defense – instead of the enemies moving towards your stationary towers, you move through their towers and apply powerups to protect your convoy and destroy their towers.
- Devils at the Gate: Total Resistance HD ($2) – a great children’s version of tower defense, you actually place individual, cartoonish fighters, not machines. Nice.
- Epic War TD Pro ($3) – my 5 yo boy’s favorite TD game, has nice tower functions, nice giblets.
- Monster Trouble HD ($6) – Nice pan/zoom on this ogre v. humans, 3D view defense game.
- * Sentinel 3 ($2) – the most fantastic graphics, but hard to beat the enemies! Think you got skillz? Try Sentinel.
- * Spice Bandits – fun, tough!
- * Starfall HD ($5) – a great space station TD game – pricey, but worth it for hardcore TD fans.
- Tower Defense: Lost Earth HD – another more cartoon-like, traditional tower defense game.
- * Bookworm ($3) – if you are a word person, this game is without peer.
- Draw Something – not really a word game, but it belongs here with the other Zynga games.
- * Hanging with Friends – still only a scaled up iPhone app, but it is fun, look forward to HD version.
- Moxie 2 ($2) – fun, not frantic, and tough!
- * Scramble with Friends – No HD version yet, but don’t wait. Get this now.
- * Words with Friends HD ($0-3) – The free version is good enough, but you may want to spring for the ad-free version if you are a scrabble fanatic. And I didn’t tell you this, but there’s also a good free word helper.
- Word Slam – fun way to play live against another person.
- Analytics – nice free way to access the basics of your Google Analytics. Can upgrade ($7) for adv. features.
- GoTasks – a simpler, easy to use Google Tasks program. Likee.
- Google Books – not a great option yet, but it could be
- Google Apps Browser ($1) – access to seven Google apps plus Facebook, twitter, myspace, all in one tabbed app. The free version has less apps, but is worth a look.
- * Google Univeral App – all the google stuff in one official Google app.
- * Gmail – the official Gmail app.
- MultiG – allows multiple users to access their email accounts on one device. Not perfect, but FREE. Also, one click to your email if you are not using the default mail client on your iPad.
- Discover Music ($2) – great way to discover and explore artists similar to the ones you already like.
- Currents – Google’s entry into this space, pretty good but still has flaws that kill it for me.
- Engadget – this just lets you see all your favorite Engadget content, including video, in an easy to use interface.
- Feedly – Magazine style, nice way to browse your G-reader feed, but has other hooks to internet content.
- * Flipboard - Newspaper layout, great way to read the Twitter content of your favorite sites in a magazine style. Get this! You may prefer Pulse, which has a different layout.
- Hitpad – nice graphics, but not my favorite UI. Try it.
- I Can Has Cheezburger – just an iPhone app scaled up, but the only one I can find for getting a daily LOLcat fix.
- Pulse – Thumbnail layout, popular if you like this layout (I don’t). Try it!
- * Pocket – List layout – if you see an article while browsing on one of your devices, you can save it to your RIL account, and view it in an easier to read format on any other device. There is a free version. The other big player here is InstaPaper ($5!). Which you prefer is kind of a Coke/Pepsi thing.
- * YourVersion HD – List layout – browse the internet based on keywords you enter. Awesome.
- Zinio – Magazine layout – subscribe to your favorite magazines for a fraction of the cost (sometimes). Limited selection, but growing.
- * Zite - Newspaper layout, very similar to Flipboard, but with a twist. You don’t choose the feeds you want to read in magazine style, you choose or add the topics, and as you give it feedback on individual articles or sites, it learns and finds you similar stuff to read. I’ve found some really great content using this.
- Hope Poster Photo Filter – allows you to make one of those Obama-like hope photos out of your own photos.
- * Luminance ($1) – nice set of tools, allows upload to Facebook.
- Photoshop Express – not only does this allow you to modify photos, but to upload to the web.
- * Realtor.com – the big boys are out there now. Has search alerts, nice.
- Zillow – the best known, but data is a little behind actual.
- * ZipRealty – more up to date than Zillow.
- * WikiPanion – best Wikipedia search app. Love it.
Remote File Access
- PC Files – Wirelessly transfer fiels to and from computers
- * Splashtop Remote - access your computer remotely, even supports multiple monitors.
- SugarSync – sync files between your PC and your iPad.
- ZumoDrive – Stream your music, iTunes playlists, get your files from your home PC.
- * Amazon.com – just get it
- Amazon Windowshop – interesting way to browse for stuff, but not sure how useful for real shopping.
- Apple Store – kinda lame, scaled up iPhone app. But it is easier to use than the Apple site!
- * Craigsphone – best FREE Craigslist app. There are some better paid ones, like CraigsEZList Pro ($2).
- Deal Drop - alerts you to customizable list of deal sites.
- * Ebay – official app from ebay, not bad.
- Boxcar – alerts you to all of your incoming messages. I don’t love it, but some swear by it.
- * Facebook - yes, finally they have an iPad app, and it’s decent.
- FriendCaster – the best Android Facebook app comes to iOS. No twitter support, and no ad free version yet – and based on the price of the Ad-free version on Android ($5), probably pricey here too.
- Friendly for Facebook – used to be the best Facebook app out there, but has gotten cluttered over time. The FREE version has ads, but they are easy to dismiss once each time you open the app, and are not persistent like in some readers.
- Google Apps Browser ($1) – access to seven Google apps plus facebook, twitter, myspace, all in one tabbed app. The free version has less apps, but is worth a look.
- Imo Instant Messenger – to log into all your chat accounts
- * MyPad – one of the better Facebook/Twitter clients, clean layout. I bought the upgrade.
- Twitterific - Does it simply and gets out of your way. Hootsuite is also worthy, with a more advanced feature set.
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