Oct 132010
 

It’s been awhile since I last blogged on the iPad – I’m having too much fun with it. It’s become indispensable, my second second brain. After several months of use, these have become my Top Ten iPad Apps.

10. Flipboard. Everybody’s flipped out over Flipboard. I find it the easiest way to read Facebook updates; it’s more attractive with way fewer distractions than Facebook on the web. I also use it to read news, occasionally catch up on tech news, and feast on a few photos. It’s a treat for the eyes.

9. Office2 HD. This is an affordable, easy-to-use word processor. It works well with files on Dropbox or locally on the iPad. There’s no lag time, and it recognizes all the buttons on the bluetooth keyboard (which is why this is in my Top Ten list and not QuickOffice. QO is good to ensure files will open seamlessly in Word, otherwise it’s slow, unintuitive, and doesn’t recognize the cursor keys on the bluetooth keyboard). Office2 HD is a great substitute for your favourite word processor on your computer. Affordable too.

8. Notes. This is the default notetaking app for the iPad. It’s simple to use, has a nice interface, and works with the keyboard to allow you to type up quick notes. I use it primarily for writing out steps for routine tasks.

7. Penultimate. If you want to hand write notes or do quick sketches, this exceptional app is for you. Penultimate’s wrist protection works extremely well. As of the most recent update, it allows you to title notebooks easily and in the grid view to see the most recently opened page in each notebook. I used it to brainstorm character sketches, plot points, themes, and other notes on my novels.

6. Index Card. I’d been looking for an outlining program, and I’d used the index card feature in Final Draft on the computer. Index Card beats Final Draft hollow and is exactly what I needed. I like the fact that one can colour code the cards, which lets me see the structure of my novel laid out in colour. It’s easy to title the index card, write on it, flip it over to add notes you don’t want to print out, then move on to the next or previous card or return to the whole view of all the cards. I was able to see problems in my next novel’s outline as a result of this app.

5. Noterize. Another note-taking app, but Noterize’s strength is in importing PDF files from Dropbox or many other locations and allowing you to mark it up with hand writing, post-its, or highlighting. You can then save to Dropbox or email or to a host of other locations as a PDF. The wrist protection is not as good as Penultimate’s and emailing is a bit iffy; otherwise it’s a well-designed app. I used it to fill in worksheets as I developed character details for my novel.

4. FlickStackr. Flickr has a good website, though it’s a bit cluttered and requires more clicks for routine tasks after its recent changes. That’s why I like FlickStackr. There’s no distractions, like the Start bar or location maps next to the photo or Flickr’s menu bar. All you see is the photo. Press an icon, and the photo flips over, and you see the description, title, and a place to add comments. If it’s your own photo, you can edit the location, tags, groups, description way more easily than in Flickr. My only beef is that I can’t change the date and time on the photos, and I can’t follow my favourite group’s discussion. But those are minor. This is the best way to Flickr on the iPad.

3. Corkulous. I wrote about this fab app in a previous post. If you’re visually inclined, get this app. It’s perfect for brainstorming, setting out goals, working out steps for a project.

2. Pocket Informant HD. I wrote about this in a previous post. One word: indispensable. It is both a calendar and a task app, the only app that does both on the iPad. And because they’ve been in the biz for years designing apps for Palm, Blackberry, iPhone, they know what busy — and organizationally challenged — people need to stay on top of their lives.

1. Twitterrific. If you’re a Twitter addict, Twitterrific is the best app for the iPad. After using this, I find TweetDeck too busy visually speaking and Twitter for the web clunky and confusing. Echofon for the iPhone/iPod Touch is a close second. This app makes it fast and easy to read links, easy to see mentions and direct messages, and provides a lot of useful features to help you follow conversations or see and individual’s tweets and stats.

The iPad. I couldn’t imagine my life without it.

(Blogged on the iPad with BlogPress, a new addition to my iPad.)

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