iElectionDay tops iPad Apps of the Week

Oct 24, 2010
Tech

This week’s best iPad offerings include apps that will help you get informed about the candidates and issues in your area prior to voting, a classic kid’s learning game franchise, the ability to send real postcards, and a gorgeous weather app — and all can be found in the iTunes App Store. iELECTIONDAY (99 cents) […]

This week’s best iPad offerings include apps that will help you get informed about the candidates and issues in your area prior to voting, a classic kid’s learning game franchise, the ability to send real postcards, and a gorgeous weather app — and all can be found in the iTunes App Store.

iELECTIONDAY (99 cents)

At 99 cents, iElectionDay is a bargain. You can either enter your zip code or allow the app to find you by location, which is then followed by a wealth of information you will need to make informed decisions at the polls. Tap “Who are my candidates?” and the app provides a list of all candidates that will be on your ballot on Election Day, including their website, current offices held and committees they might be serving on. “What are the ballot measures?” lists any items you’ll be asked to vote for or against; in Illinois, there’s a proposed amendment to the Illinois constitution — something about the impeachment process for a governor. The app provides an explanation of the proposal, as well as a link to the full text. iElectionDay will also allow you to determine if you’re registered to vote, as well as where you’re polling place is.

JUMPSTART PRESCHOOL MAGIC OF LEARNING ($2.99)

My kids loved JumpStart computer games when they were little. The franchise has hit the iPad with JumpStart Preschool Magic of Learning 1. Four different games allow preschoolers to match upper-case letters with their lower-case counterparts, practice counting and number recognition, learn shapes and colors, and more. If you’ve got a preschool-age kid who likes to play with your iPad, JumpStart will keep them busy learning — while they have fun doing it.

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SIMPLY POSTCARDS (FREE)

Though I’m a gadget hound, the fact is that I’m wistful for the analog days. I often bemoan the fact that nothing good comes in the mail anymore — no letters or postcards — until now. By creating an account and purchasing some credits (~$1=1 credit=1 postcard) with Simply Postcards, you can turn your photographs into real, live postcards. Choose a photo from your library, add one of four fun overlays (or none, if you so choose), flip the card over, type a message and enter the address of your recipient, and Simply Postcard will print and mail the postcard. Disclaimer: I have not yet received the postcard I sent myself, but I created it just a day or two ago. How cool to be able to send postcards home when traveling!

WX FOR IPAD ($3.99)

I’ve been on the hunt for a new weather app for my iPad ever since The Weather Channel’s app started throwing car commercials in my face every time I want to check the temperature. Enter WX for iPad. Long available on your Mac, WX allows you to set locations, and choose the National Weather Service observation site, the radar location and alert zone, then lets you name your location. With a beautiful interface, WX provides information even the most obsessive weather hound needs—wind speeds, pressure, dew points, visibility distances — along with the standard temperature and “feels like” temperature. Detailed forecast-at-a-glance shows daytime and nighttime forecasts. National Weather Service radar shots can be looped — handy for those of us who like watching clouds move, and even more so for those who look for tell-tale signs of dangerous storms in the way clouds rotate. This is my new go-to weather app.

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Viki Gonia

Viki Gonia writes a column for her local paper, teaches writing at Columbia College of Chicago, and has had her iPhone surgically attached to her hand.

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