Ten Fresh iPad Apps of the Week, Vol. 1

Apr 8, 2010
Tech

Heading into the weekend, now is the perfect time to download the Netflix iPad app. Once you start watching movies on the iPad, going to the cinema on your laptop will never be the same. Also in today’s inaugural Fresh iPad Apps of the Week, we showcase NPR for iPad, JellyCar 2, and a one-time $50 […]

Heading into the weekend, now is the perfect time to download the Netflix iPad app. Once you start watching movies on the iPad, going to the cinema on your laptop will never be the same. Also in today’s inaugural Fresh iPad Apps of the Week, we showcase NPR for iPad, JellyCar 2, and a one-time $50 iPhone app that can now be downloaded for only a couple of dollars.

1. NetflixWhile the free Netflix app for the iPad (subscription required play movies) very much resembles the Web site, the context of tapping into a a film directly from your touchscreen provides for a qualitatively different and superior experience. Of course, the 9.7-inch screen size of the iPad is smaller than most computer monitors and television sets, yet the ability to scroll back and forth within scenes of a movie is much faster than the Rewind and Fast Forward functions of a DVD player. Another great feature is the ability to pick up watching a movie on your iPad directly where you left off from the web. Thumbs up!

2. 170,000+ Recipes and Grocery List – BigOven iPad ProWhile there are more than 500 interesting and accessible cookbook apps for the iPhone, the action of simultaneously cooking over a stove top and squinting to read a recipe on an iPhone is far from optimal. This is why the cook book category is excellent for iPad and tablet computing. This great iPhone app that was entirely reconfigured for the iPad is a great place to start. Also, with an introductory price of $4.99 (eventually it will cost $9.99 to download) you can save five bucks that you can then apply to groceries.

3. NPR for iPadCall it the Fresh Air Fresh App. Fans of National Public Radio who appreciate how all of the network’s great content is packaged here more or less in magazine form. NPR is an innovator in making its content easily available via podcasts and scores of national and locally-focused iPhone apps. All things considered, the navigation and presentation of the free NPR for iPad app is another great advancement for public broadcasting.

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4. KAYAK FlightsI’ve surveyed a number of business travelers in the days since the iPad became available to consumers. Many who didn’t expect Apple’s tablet to have meaningful business applications now tell me that they would be perfectly comfortable leaving their laptops at home on short trips. Accordingly, the iPad-optimized travel aggregation app from KAYAK is great for the airport or anyplace else.

5. Golfplan with Paul AzingerWhile this $7.99 golf tutorial iPad app won’t have you playing at Augusta National for the Master’s this weekend, it certainly makes the cut as a great source of digital instructions. Enjoy content specifically created for the application by the PGA veteran and Ryder’s cup champion. Before too long, maybe golf bags will be providing additional pockets for tablet computers.

6. JellyCar 2 on iPadWhen I brought my iPad with me for Easter brunch last weekend, my 10-year-old nephew immediately went to download this $2.99 puzzle game developed by Disney. It was hard to get him to articulate what he liked most about the app and how it differed from the popular iPhone version as he spent much of the meal entranced by the game. Seemed pretty fun to me, but it helps to have a testimonial from the app’s target audience.

7. WolframAlphaAn extraordinary database of information you never even thought you wanted to know, when the WolframAlpha iPhone app was released last fall, the only reason not to download it was its $49.99 price point. Concurrent with updating its app to configure to the iPad, Wolfram Research Company lowered the download price to a highly accessible $1.99. This is now one of the greatest bargains in the iTunes App Store, no matter what size of screen you are viewing it on.

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8. Craigsphone – craigslist for iPadAfter criticizing Apple’s closed system for application developers, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark explained in a Huffington Post blog that “much of the (iPad’s) hype is justified.” While the freely available version of Craigsphone on the iPad will – like the site – never win a design award, it is an easy way to tap into the countless classified listings the service provides.

9. Free Books – 23,469 classics to goCall this app Kindle killer 2.0. It is obvious to anybody who picks up an iPad that reading anything on Apple’s tablet computer is a superior experience to what is found on Amazon’s Kindle. The only thing standing in the way is the extra few hundred dollars it costs to purchase one. That significant roadblock is mitigated by free applications like this one that provide instant access at no charge to many of the classics you would otherwise have to purchase.

10. The Weather Channel Max for iPadWhile not as visually sparkling of some of the other weather applications already available for the iPad, this free app from the most trusted brand in weather coverage is worth the download. Viewing in landscape mode allows you to see the 10 day forecast all on one screen.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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