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Checkpoint: iPad Apps Early 2012 Edition

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I want to take this long weekend opportunity to rundown some of my favorite iPad apps. These apps have become my go to apps that I believe no one should live without. I’ll start with some that would normally have an Apple made equivalent on the iPhone.

Clock

There is no clock app on the iPad. There isn’t even an alarm clock. I could set reminders, but that’s an inelegant workaround. The app I found to serve this very basic function was surprisingly elegant and for a limited time: free.

My Alarm Clock is a beautifully designed app with multiple clock faces, a built in weather widget and — most importantly — an alarm clock. It’s easy to set alarms and configure them with its built-in alarm chimes or songs from my music library.

Calculator

This was a baffling omission when I noticed this omission on the iPad. I searched for a free alternative and the one I gravitated towards was Calculator+. The reviews griped about calculation errors, but I have yet to encounter any. It works for me, it’s easy to use and it’s pleasing to the eye. The most basic functions are also free which is nice.

Weather

Another baffling omission that was plugged in with a freebie app. The Weather Network app didn’t receive a Retina update yet, but it’s functional, quick to update and offers plenty of information on one screen. For the ad sensitive, there is an ad banner on the bottom of the app.

Notes

The iPad actually has its own “Notes” app, but it’s not something I’d use for anything beyond the occasional bullet points. Evernote is a free app and service that allows me to sync notes across multiple devices and operating systems.

Image Sharing

There are plenty of free image sharing options out there, but they were not created equally. Some are restrictive in monthly bandwidth, some are restrictive with regards to resolution while some like Minus offer unlimited bandwidth, a 2GB file restriction and plenty of storage space. Minus’ iPad offers most of the functionality offered by their website and it’s also free.

News Aggregator

Flipboard is my favorite app on the iPad thus far. The news aggregator offers news articles from a variety of news outlets including blogs, RSS feeds from my favorite sites and even Twitter. It takes all those sources and presents it in an elegant magazine style. It’s incredible.

So Far So Good

The freebies that I’ve download thus far have served their purposes well. I do wonder how much better paid apps fare though. For example, I would love to see how Tweetbot fares compared to the classic Twitter app. Unfortunately, the lack of demos or “lite” version means I’m not rushing into these purchases. You’d think $0.99 would be a barrier for impulse buys for me, but it isn’t.

I may just dive in and pick up TweetBot or I may just wait for that $1 off sale. Or maybe I’ll wait until it’s available through FreeMyApps. Regardless of the method, it looks like my stingy ways carried to the iOS platform as well.

I’ve mopped up all the single player only Trophies for Portal 2 and returned to Battlefield 3’s multiplayer. I’m going to jot down some thoughts on the game post the Spring mega patch later this week. I’ll also post my thoughts on Mass Effect 3 finally.

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