So you have a new iPad… what apps should I get?

So you have a new iPad.  Perhpas got it as a Christmas present, perhaps you have a birthday around now… or maybe you just bought one for yourself.  Now that you have one, and you’ve enjoyed using the built in apps, you want to extend your collection.  But with so many apps to choose from, where do you start?  I’m here to help out.  here are my top 5 Free apps, paid apps, and assorted games to get you started.

The free-
First off the free non game apps.  These will help increase your productivity, communication and just general use… for free.

  • Dropbox : If you need a way to get info on and off of your iPad, DropBox is the app for you.  Already integrated into a lot of programs, DropBox allows you to have online synced storage on the web.  The mobile version also allows you to storage certain items offline, so even for those times you aren’t on the web you’ll have access to starred files.
  • Flipboard : My favorite free RSS and webpage reader.  It converts different RSS feeds into a magazine style interface allowing you to browse the web as easily as reading a newspaper.  They also have curated categories you can subscribe to to get your information about technology, pop culture or pretty much anything you can think of.
  • Skype / AIM : This is sorta to sides of the same application.  Both allow you to chat with people on their respective services.  Skype allows allows you to do video chats with any Skype User (mobile or Computer) so a definitely bonus.
  • Twitter : With the integration with Safari and other apple products, Twitter is a no brainer.  You’ll need to sign up for an account if you don’t have one, but it’s free.  Twitter allows you to share out thoughts, links or photos with a simple click, or just jot down things for you to remember for later.
  • Facebook : This is a no brainer if you are a Facebook user.  Very clean and simple interface, it allows for a quicker and more enjoyable experience of facebook on your iPad.  Not all games are able to be used via this app, but anything using HTML5 or their own native apps will be accessible via this app.

The Paid –
There are tons of paid apps out there, but these are the ones I use constantly and might be of use to you.

  • Reeder for the iPad ($4.99) : This requires a free Google Reader account, but this is probably the best way to surf the web via RSS, especially when offline.  Just add the website’s RSS feed to Google Reader and it will show up in Reeder.  It then caches the feed for offline view.  If you’re online clicking on the article will bring you to the full article if you want to read more.
  • IM+ ($9.99):  I did a full review of this, but here’s the short version… IM+ is a multi service instant message client.  AIM, GTalk, Yahoo, Facebook, and tons of others all rolled into one app.  If you live online and talk to people in various programs his one app will save you a lot of time.
  • Pages ($9.99): Part of the iWork suite, this word processor is great for jotting down some notes, or even writing up a paper while on the go.  Integration with iCloud allows users to sync documents with other devices.
  • Numbers ($9.99): Also part of the iWork Suite, this is a spreadsheet program.  I use it all the time for organization as a simple database, figuring out costs and options, or just creating a list.
  • iCatcher ($1.99) : Another app with a full review of this, but the short version is if you are a listener of podcasts this is the app for you.

Games –
Oh the games that are available…  Was hard to run this down to just a few apps.  But here are the ones that I play that seems to receive the attention of anyone around while I play them.

  • Words with Friends HD Free/Paid ($0.99) : Good old Scrabble wanna be.  Although you could just get Scrabble (which with the built in iphone tile holder is a neat addition), most people seem to be on Words with Friends which will allow you more opportunity for games with Friends.
  • Angry Birds HD Free/Paid ($4.99) : The “solitaire for mobile devices”.  Almost every platform has Angry birds and the iPad is no exception.  For those who don’t know what this game is, it’s a basic physics game where you fling birds at structure to defeat the pigs.
  • Charadium II HD Free/Paid ($2.99) : Pictionary.  Works best if you play with multiple people (as the score doesn’t work right in a 2 payer game).  Turned based so you don’t have to sit around and wait on the other players.  Also available on the iPhone but the larger screen is a definite boost.
  • Jetpack Joyride : Used to be $0.99, but currently free (on sale right now? dunno). Basic idea is of a side scroller where you control Barry as he takes a jet pack and other vehicle, moving him up and down while collects coins and avoids obstacles.  Tons of different things to buy with coins to customize your guy as well as plenty of accomplishments to keep you going.
  • Where’s the Water? Free/Paid ($0.99): A recent addition to my collection and was the app that took over my iPad during Christmas, this simple water physics game involves getting water from point A to the Alligator at the bottom to get clean.  Numerous obstacles and different water types are involved to keep things interesting.  Currently

I’ll add another “basic start guide” for the iPad next tuesday, but hopefully this will get you started on some good apps.

Categories: Tech with TaselTags: , , , ,


  1. Good article, however I would add Keynote from the iWork suite.

  2. Although Keynote would complete the iWork Suite, I left it out since for most average user keynote isn’t nearly as useful than for business user. Perhaps once someone learns the ins and outs and starts using it for more things it would be a useful add, but I don’t consider it as one of the first few apps people should get.

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