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What can I do with my iPad?

December 28, 2010, 12:28 am · 16 comments · Filed under: Apple

’Tis the season. A friend of mine was gifted an iPad for Christmas. After ‘32 hours of playing Scrabble,’ she asked me what else she can do with it. This is the list I sent her.

Now, I don’t own an iPad myself. However, I do own an iPhone and I build iPhone apps for a living, so you could be forgiven for assuming that makes me an authority on the best on offer in the App Store.

Truth be told, when faced with the task of making recommendations, I had a few ideas, but many of the apps listed below are ones I dug up in the course of a little research. I’d be curious to hear what apps you can’t live without in the comments.

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Great list to start with, I love my iPad a lot… here are some of the apps I’m using: Early Editing was one of the first RSS readers I picked up and I still love it to pieces, 2Do is a really useful & beautiful to do app with calendar etc, PlainText is simple, clean organised notes (CrossCheck is worth a look too), Air Hockey is totally fun on the iPad and Dead Runner I picked up for the holidays and it’s perfect for iPad (running in a forest game)! SimCity DLX works amazingly well if you like sim games. iAnnotate for making notes on PDFs, Audiotorium is a brilliant idea, it records audio and you make notes that accompany it, great for students, meetings etc… I could go on but I’ll leave it there :D Good luck!

Great list, besides Angry Birds, my top favorite game is Fruit Ninja! My top score is 774 in arcade more, top that!

Beides that, there is:

Friendly: A Facebook app (not made by FB) Kayak HD - Actually makes finding and buy airplane tickets fun and easy. Netflix - YES! VLC - The popular open source video player that can play ANY video / audio format. Has an easy way for you to drag/drop videos. Tweetdeck - I’m not much of a tweeter - but the IU is great for this format.

And lastly,

Looking at your photos in iPhoto - AWESOME. Watching HD videos on vimeo - AWESOME Viewing PDF’s in iBooks - AWESOME and way better than a Kindle

Christine & Mauvis, thanks for chiming in with some great suggestions!

One thing I forgot to mention that a person can do with their iPad, apparently, is run a country.

Some of my favorites not mentioned in your post, Andrew:

  • BioDefense HD ($1, tower-defense game)
  • Blokus HD ($1 today on sale, the board game)
  • Carcassonne ($10, one of the best board/card games is great on iOS)
  • Galcon Fusion ($5, strategy)
  • Harbor Master HD (Free, I like this better than flight control)
  • NinJump HD (Free, simple jumping game, but I can’t stop playing!)
  • Nonograms ($5, if you ever liked sudoku…)
  • Solipskier ($1 today on sale, I posted about this one on my blog, along with some others)
  • The Incident ($2, extremely clever jumping game)
  • Tilt to Live HD (Free, that’s all you do, tilt!)
  • Words with Friends HD ($1, you can see the entire board, much easier than the iPhone version)

And some non-games:

  • Amazon Windowshop (Free, mesmerizing)
  • Netflix (Free, monthly subscription)
  • ZumoCast (stream video from your computer)

Hmm, I see now that ZumoCast isn’t currently available. That’s a shame. It was free when it was there. Apparently you can sign up to be notified when it comes back:

I’ve got tons of others that are probably only worthwhile if you get them while they’re free or on sale. What I’ve listed above are definitely worth the prices listed, if not more. Even Carcassonne, though I got it for $5.

I would only add a few things not already listed:

  • Geometry Wars Touch: Awesome shooter/puzzle hybrid.
  • The Incident: A simple, addictive yet hard vertical puzzler/game
  • TrainYard: Deceptively simple color puzzler (see a pattern? lol)
  • Bills for iPad: Great little Bill Minder app
  • Budgets for iPad: Budgets too!
  • Penultimate: Like an iPad moleskin. Nice lil writing notepad
  • DropText: Text Editor that saves/loads from Dropbox. Genius.
  • Weather Station: Awesome weather app w/ themes and location options. Reminds you a total weather dock/device from Sharper Image minus the Sharper Image premium.
  • Monster Dash: Marathon running game. Jump over chasms and shoot mummies/vampires/monsters.
  • Tetris: I mean, why not?

There’s a few more apps I know I have and use regularly, just can’t remember off the top of my head. A symptom of “too-many-apps-on-too-many-platforms-itis”


How about a way to have login profiles? I play, so do my kids! Woils like it separate for their games vs. my apps.

Phillip, Jayson, great additions!

Andy, if I understand the question correctly, the answer is that the way iPad works now, it’s up to individual games to implement support for multiple user profiles. It would be nice if, like on Mac OS X, you could have user logins to the device itself. I suspect Apple doesn’t do that because it would significantly complicate the user experience.

Oh, yes! Trainyard! I scanned my iPad to come up with my list, and forgot to check my iPhone. Trainyard is brilliant.

Maybe for the new year, I’ll post about my favorite iOS apps and games. That would be fun.

Christine, I saw you link to this article, Getting Started with the iPad. It’s maybe a little basic for my friend (I’m pretty sure she gets how to turn it on and off!), but could be helpful, nonetheless.

So far I am finding the iPad an excellent alternative!

Another resource: Tim Difford wrote up a nice blog post about which apps you can use to do an impressive demo of iPad’s capabilities.

I’d recommend Plants vs. Zombies HD as well. I don’t think I’ve wasted as much time on any other app as I did on this one :)

I’m a teacher and “ipad challenged”. I create my own lessons but I’m at a loss to know how i can use my ipad for it. Is there a good editing app i can use? where i can track changes in a single document without having to save multiple versions? and add images and music etc.

Man, I keep reading articles like this hoping I will find a use for the iPad I was given for Christmas. I hate games. I don’t use the iPad for work and have no interest in doing so. Reading off a computer screen just gives me eyestrain, I’d rather have a physical book or newspaper. I’m not interested in watching TV on a tiny screen. I can surf the web, I guess, but I’d rather do so on a “real” computer.

I do listen to Pandora on the iPad, but many of the features that are cool about the web program are missing on the iPad. The iPad version of Spotify doesn’t let you stream albums, which is the only cool thing about Spotify to begin with.

I guess I can take pictures with the camera, except the iPad is much bulkier and less convenient than an actual camera.

Should I just sell it on ebay and tell my wife it got stolen out of my car? Or is there more to it than an endless parade of games, “productivity” apps, tv watching and web surfing?

This is rubbish

you can play Hay day, a nice game for ur ipad….

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