Some iPad Essentials

With the release of the iPad 2 here are some things I recommend.

Flipboard (Free)– is a social magazine that aggregates information and web links from your social circle, i.e.Twitter and Facebook, and displays the content in magazine form. If worried you are not very active on these sites, that’s okay, they provide lots of other interesting content and photos as well. As you flip the pages and see the dynamic layouts, it is as if your friends’ posts have been published in a magazine. Most entertaining way to digest social media. Apple themselves named it “iPad App of the Year” in 2010. Local youngin’ from Healdsburg thunk it up. Good on you!

The Daily (Free for 2 weeks, then 99 cents per week)– No better example to support the high claim that iPad can save the newspaper/magazine industry, then with Rupert Murdock and Steve Job’s pet project. The interface is well designed to offer dynamic transitions, video content and interactivity in a easy to read format (see demo below). What is most impressive is the amount of content per issue, with a new one being delivered every day. It is apparent that a huge editorial team is in place, bigger then most newspapers. I particularly like Sports, which cater specifically to your teams and movie reviews that put context to the written article with specific movie clips. Roz can be found doing crosswords and sudoko almost daily in a great Apps and Games section. After watching the events of the the big Japan quake on television, I actually found better coverage here. This outstanding proof of concept, will be exclusive to iPad till the end of 2012.

Their are also many other periodicals to chose from and recommend. I love the beautifully designed Project Magazine, backed by Richard Branson. Roz goes to USA Today (Free) which has a daily photo section she likes. If you are into comics, this is a outstanding format for reading, with plenty of free content to try with ComiXolgy and Marvel Comics.

Xfinity(Free)–  turns your tablet into one awesome remote control. If you are a Comcast subscriber you can scan shows and switch channels more easily to the now clumsy cable box menus. The search and sort features allow to find your favorite show fast with a better description, then record the ones you like. I go through the nighttime talk shows weekly and check out the guests coming on. Comcast isn’t done improving this app. They just added live and On Demand shows and movies streaming directly on your iPad. If you subscribe to premium channels like HBO and Starz, you’ll also get access to that to. This is convenient on your iPhone, but really comes together better with the extra screen space. Other cable providers like Direct TV have similar solutions as well.

If you are a Netflix subscriber the free app is also a no brainer. Complete access to thousands of movie and TV streaming content.

Apple TV($99)– If you had to get one accessory for your iPad, this is it. This allows to project all your photos and video on your iPad wirelessly to the best screen in your house. You are also able to put up app and web browser content too. I really enjoy using the Apple Remote app to control all my music content in multiple rooms and on my patio via AirPlay. Many third party AirPlay compatible device are set for release this year. This will make your iPad a truly “magical” appliance in your home.

If you have a young child the iPad is also a great learning device and I won’t even start on all the gaming and productivity options. With over 350,000 apps it will provide the best choice for a long time to come. It’s a great place to look up your specific interests. Enjoy exploring!

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One Response to Some iPad Essentials

  1. Curlyfish says:

    Very informative. Good writing and easy to read and understand.

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