Five classic iOS apps made new on the iPad 2

Mar 9, 2011
Tech

The cool thing about all the advanced hardware in the iPad 2 is that it gives new tricks to old apps. After spending some hands-on time with the iPad 2 during Apple’s announcement event in San Francisco, I was struck by how well it handles all the coolest capabilities of the iPhone 4. New enhancements […]

The cool thing about all the advanced hardware in the iPad 2 is that it gives new tricks to old apps.

After spending some hands-on time with the iPad 2 during Apple’s announcement event in San Francisco, I was struck by how well it handles all the coolest capabilities of the iPhone 4. New enhancements like the gyroscope (which enables 360 degree motion control) and front and rear-facing cameras will reinvent the app experience on Apple’s tablet. So will the iPad 2’s amped up A5 dual-core processor.

Here are five great iPhone apps made new again on the iPad 2.

Lifelike Craig HD ($1.99)

Among the iPad’s best apps is Lifelike Craig, which turns the website Craigslist.com into an easier-to-read, familiar page of classifieds. It has a lot of functionality already — the ability to search through posts, enlarge and browse photos, organize by location and post listings of your own. But Lifelike Craig has an update coming that not only will make it universal to both the iPad and the iPhone, it’ll also be among the first iPad apps to use the front- and rear-facing cameras, instantly working with both to add photos to listings posted by iPad 2 owners. It’s a handy increase in functionality for avid Craigslist users. While the cameras don’t seem to be of too high a quality — the front-facing camera suffered some breakup during FaceTime sessions when I demoed it — it still allows for a lot more Craigslist-posting capabilities than have ever been seen on the iPad before.

Netflix (Free)

And you thought Netflix was cool on the iPad before, when it merely let you search through information about TV shows and movies, and then stream them instantly to your device over a local Wi-Fi Internet connection. The iPad 2 does those things, too – and arguably with the A5 processor, it’ll do them better and with higher quality video (assuming your Internet connection holds up). But the real game-changer is a new accessory for the iPad 2 that allows HDMI output from the device. That means, basically, that you can plug your iPad 2 into your HDTV and watch Netflix streaming straight on your set. This is an awesome ability if you haven’t used Netflix in the past with the likes of an Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 or other Wi-Fi-enabled device. Now you can turn your iPad 2 into a Netflix box that will let you watch as many TV shows and movies as you want for under $10 a month.

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Word Lens (Free, with $9.99 in-app purchase)

You might have heard of this awesome augmented reality app for the iPhone 4, which makes use of the iPhone’s camera to allow users to translate words from Spanish to English (or English to Spanish) in real time. You just hold the phone steady in front of the sign and train the camera on the words you want translated, and they appear in the language you want on your iPhone’s screen — great for traveling and translating signs for quick information. The rear-facing camera on the iPad 2 makes it capable of handling Word Lens as well, making your iPad 2 a quick translation tool and especially good for business in a foreign (Spanish-speaking) place. More language packs are on the way to Word Lens, but even with its limited applications, Word Lens is pretty amazing and a great taste of the augmented reality the iPad 2 can make possible.

Hipstamatic ($1.99)

Now that the iPad 2 has a rear-facing camera capable of taking photos of the world around you, why not grab Apple’s pick for the best iPhone App of 2010? Hipstamatic is a photography app that gives you access to several different flashes, lenses and filters to create the retro, stylized photos common to toy cameras. You’ve probably seen Hipstamatic photos all over the Internet by now. There’s a reason they are so prevalent, and it’s because the app allows photographers, amateur or otherwise, to do some pretty cool things with their photos without a lot of hassle. Taking photos with the iPad 2 might not be as practical as the iPhone 4, but you’ll get the benefit of a larger screen for your photography. Hipstamatic isn’t currently iPad-compatible, but I’d expect that to change given the opening iPad 2 market.

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Amazon Mobile (Free)

Chances are, you’re familiar with Amazon Mobile in at least some capacity. The online retailer’s iOS presence is pretty thorough, allowing users to search through Amazon.com’s online merchandise, make orders, get information — everything you can do on Amazon.com. Previously, only iPhone owners had access to the best parts of the app, though — Amazon Mobile’s bar code scanner capabilities, made possible using the iPhone’s rear-facing camera. But now the iPad 2 has a rear-facing camera, too, and that makes it capable of scanning bar codes on all kinds of merchandise, instantly accessing Amazon’s information about the product and making it easy to buy things you see at a friend’s house or when you’re out in the world with your iPad. It also makes for a handy price comparison app if you happen to have your iPad 2 with you in a store. Amazon isn’t the only app with bar code scanning capabilities, either — expect to see new functionality out of eBay Mobile, for one, and the ability to use Google Goggles on Google Mobile.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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