I have been thinking that I should write this post for a long time. You see, in my little world, I’m the person that people ask when they want to know what apps are best for such and such. I don’t know that I’m as expert as some, but I definitely try out and use a lot of apps so that may make me qualified enough. And, the reality is, whether I’m the most knowledgeable or not I’m going to write this post anyway! So, here goes… my very favorite iPad apps:
1. Zite: news app (free)- The best thing about the Zite app is that it’s totally personalized. At first I didn’t really appreciate what that could look like. I thought it was a nice idea that I could read articles and rate them so the app would fine-tune the choices it made for me. What I’m finding I really like though, is the fact that I have a whole magazine where almost every article I read is about something I’m interested in. I currently have a magazine that includes articles on knitting, web design, education, technology, crafting, and the Philadelphia Eagles, among other things. I love that! And, as I rate the articles, authors, and news sources, my magazine just keeps getting better and better! Also, I can share my article in Twitter, Delicious, Facebook, Evernote, and email just by clicking a button; saving to Read It Later and Instapaper is also just a button click. Any time I can do something with only one click and without having to navigate to multiple sites, it’s a good thing!
2. USA Today: news app (free)- I like the USA Today app because it looks and feels the most to me like a real newspaper. It has just the right amount of news in an easy-to-navigate layout with sections for Money, Sports, Life, Tech, and Travel. It also has a nice colorful interface that I prefer over the plain black and white format of some of the news apps. Like the print version of USA Today compared to the print version of The New York Times, it’s simpler and less packed, which makes it more approachable when I only have a brief period of time to get caught up on the latest news. If you’re looking for the end-all, be-all of news apps, USA Today probably isn’t it, but if you’d just like a quick overview, I think it does a great job of presenting it in a clean, appealing format.
3. Photogene: photo-editing app (2.99)- Photogene is great because I can do all my cropping, editing, and photo-filtering in one place and save it or share it easily. Exporting is supported to twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, Picasa, email, and FTP. There are multiple filters and tweaks you can use to modify and enhance any picture. I also like it because it can handle (and resize if I want) larger files than most of the other photo-editing apps I’ve tried.
4. BlogPress: blogging (2.99)- Need I say more…I’m using it to write this post. Probably my favorite aspect of this app is that I can save an online or local version of whatever post I’m working on. The local save option is nice for when I don’t have wifi access, but the online draft is really useful for times when I begin a blog on my phone, then work on it from my iPad or laptop later. I can modify or post it from any of my devices- super convenient, especially when I’m traveling!
5. Blogsy: blogging (4.99)- I think Blogsy works well for when I want to be a bit more techy with my blogging. If I want to mess with the code, Blogsy allows me to alter the HTML code of any blog I’m posting and makes it so I can modify specific settings a bit more. Blogsy also allows me within app to grab pictures or videos from Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, Google, or my photo library and add them into my post.
6. Hulu Plus: entertainment (free, but Plus subscription is 7.99/month) – I started out with the free version of Hulu, but quickly upgraded to the paid version so I could have access to all my favorite shows. I’m not a great exerciser, but I find that if I put on Glee, 30 Rock, Psych, or Raising Hope on my iPad, I can run on the treadmill for a lot longer! I’ve actually gone farther just so I can finish my show! Now that has to be a good thing!
7. AppAdvice: iPhone and iPad app news (1.99)- Every morning while I drink my coffee, I read the latest news on AppAdvice. AppAdvice is simply what the name implies, advice about apps. It tells about free or on-sale apps, gives reviews and comparisons of apps, and throws in tidbits of iPad, iPhone, and iPod news. I look forward to my morning reading it because I always feel like I’m about to learn about something new and exciting that I want to try out.
8. MyPicsHD: photo organization (3.99)- MyPicsHD was a life saver on my most recent Spring Break trip. I was able to download my pictures from my digital camera to my iPad, then use MyPicsHD to create albums for uploading to my picasa account. I found it to be a really easy way to stay ahead of the digital picture avalanche that I tend to create on vacation. I came home from the vacation with my pictures already all organized and uploaded and available for viewing. Pretty cool!
9. Dropbox: cloud-based storage/access (free)- If you don’t know about Dropbox yet, you need to just stop everything and sign up for an account! Dropbox is basically a cloud-based storage unit somewhere in the sky. (?) Okay, maybe not really like that, but I don’t have to know how it actually works in order to love it. My first use of Dropbox was when I worked in a school that only used Microsoft based computers while at home I only use my Mac. With Dropbox I was able to store a file from my school computer to my Dropbox file and then access it later from that same computer or any other computer I log in to Dropbox from. I didn’t have to worry about whether I was looking at the most recent version of whatever I was working on either because any time I made a change to a document, Dropbox updated it across devices. Also, because I have the Dropbox app on my iPhone and iPad, I can access my files from either of those devices just as easily. You get quite a bit of storage for free (and even more if you refer new people), but there is also an option to pay for more on a monthly or yearly basis if you need LOTS of space.
Another benefit to Dropbox is that it’s integrated with a number of other apps you may already use, making file saving, syncing, and sharing even easier. And, even if it isn’t a part of the program you work with, Dropbox is still easy to use; when you sign up for a Dropbox account it asks if you would like to download the software, which will allow you to drag files in and out of Dropbox just like any other folder on your computer. It’s really easy and made my life between multiple computers much simpler! In addition, you can share any files or folders you want with others by clicking the appropriate buttons within the app. I love it!
10. Evernote: cloud-based filing system/storage/access- Pretty much the same thing goes for Evernote as for Dropbox. Get it. Really. The thing that’s great about Evernote is the filing system aspect of it. It reminds me of beautifully organized, searchable notecards. You can save pictures, documents, audio, etc to Evernote and it tags them (if you write a tag) and organizes them so you can find them later. Like Dropbox, you can access them and share them from anywhere you have Evernote or you login to it. It is great destination for clipped news articles, pictures, and even knitting patterns I want to access later.
In general, I’m a big fan of Free apps and don’t buy a lot of apps that cost more than that. However, as you can see in my Top Ten list, I have recommended a few for which I shelled out some money (although some I got on sale or free before they were big hits). I only put those in because I really feel that they are worth the money I spent on them. Sometimes a free app that only gets you part way to where you’re trying to go isn’t as good a value as one that you pay for that does the whole job seamlessly; that’s where I’m coming from on the paid apps. If you know of one that works as well as (or better than!) one of my paid ones, by all means, tell us about it!
Finally, I called this post the “Top Ten iPad Apps” so I’m feeling like I really need to actually write only ten, but as I am doing this I’m realizing that my top ten actually includes closer to twenty apps. Hmmmm. I guess that means you can look forward to a “Top Ten iPad Apps: Part Deux.”
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad