• Austin’s new addition

    Austin emailed me this morning to tell me of the new addition to his family – an iPad. This is a big deal, as Austin is not nearly the early adopter that I am.

    He asked me what are the most important apps to get. I was preparing a list for him, and thought I might as well throw it up here. I’d ask all of you to help him (and maybe me) as well.

    I’m going to break things out by caterogy, and also note when apps actually cost money. So many awesome apps are free.


    • Netflix – maybe the best reason to have an iPad
    • Kindle – love that I can read my kindle purchases on every device
    • Instapaper ($) – totally worth the money
    • Orb live ($) – yes, you have to set your home computer up with Orb and cable to stream, but every time I break out the live TV, someone is amazed
    • Twitter – I think the basic Twitter app is best
    • SiriusXM Online – yes, you need the service ($)


    • Starbucks – nothing beats reloading my Starbucks card while in line at the Starbucks drive through
    • Planets – yes, I’m a telescope nerd.  Have you seen Saturn from your backyard lately?
    • SugarSync – yes, you need the basic service, but being able to send documents from my iPad/iPhone is invaluable
    • Movies – love the showtimes
    • Southwest – how else do you get in the “A” boarding section 24 hours before your flight?
    • HotBoxPizza – I wrote this app for a friend, so it’s awesome, of course
    • Skype – making international calles over wifi for pennies is amazing
    • WeatherStation – much better than the simple weather app
    • Find iPhone – so great they made this a free addition


    • Angry Birds ($) – ridiculously addictive.  Get the “seasons” addition, too
    • FlightControl ($)
    • Monopoly ($) – my kids can’t get enough
    • Words Free
    • WSOP
    • TowerMadness – prepare to give up all your free time.  Get the flamethrower ($) upgrade.  It’s worth it

    Games my kids love that don’t appeal to me as much

    • MyMakeup ($) – I love my little girl.
    • MyHair ($) – did I mention how much I love my little girl?
    • NFL 2011 ($)
    • More Grillin ($) – It’s just a grill and fixins.  But they love it.
    • JirboMatch
    • Cooking Academy ($) – actually, I secretly love this one, too
    • Creamy Ice

    What am I missing here?

    • Good Reader. Hands down the best PDF reader I know of, with annotation capabilities. Also allows for wireless bulk file transfer. Will display pics and play movies and music as well.

    • @Austin — Good Reader can do all that too, so if you find you really like PDF Expert, please come back and tell us why. I would consider switching, if the reasons are compelling.

      Also glad to hear you might now be a Dropbox user!

      • I’ll add a plug for Xmarks. It allows me to sync my bookmarks from Chrome (which I use on all my PCs) with Safari (which I must use on the iPad). Until Chrome is available on the iPad (if ever) Xmarks is the only way I’ve discovered to do this. I’m pretty sure it requires purchase of the premium service ($1/month).

        @Paul – I’m just going on Ian’s advice and I’m satisfied with PDF Expert. I can’t really say more. If it is worth your time, just compare for yourself.

    • You must also get Plants vs Zombies (for the zombie lover in all of us) and Fruit Ninja.

    • I thought Pulse from alphonso labs is a really good RSS reader. It just has such a nice UI behind it.

    • Flipboard is a new newsreader that is so good it will make you squeal with delight. Even better than Pulse.

    • You mentioned WeatherStation above. There are 3 in the app stor, 1 has a space between weather and station so I don’t think that is it. 2 are spelled like above but either have Pro or HD behind the name and are by different developers. Which one were you speaking of?

    • Just FYI. I’ve been using the handwritten note-taking app Noteshelf with the Alupen stylus ). In a word: Amazing. Noteshelf integrates with Evernote, thereby enabling one to search for text across all uploaded handwritten notes.