Five Apps for your new iPad

iPad photo by Todd Jordan tojosan

iPad photo by Todd Jordan tojosan

You’ve unwrapped the iPad, synced your music, and checked your email. Now what?

A hundred thousand apps

Downloading apps is overwhelming. Thousands of choices paralyzes new users.

I’m highlighting five of my favorite applications one for each category: Photography, Games, Productivity, Art, and Relaxation. These will get you started.


Photos are the most fun on the iPad. You’ll find apps with frames, filters, and funny faces. Colorizing and posterizing exist as well.

Photogene stands out for enhancing your photos with tons of options. I purchased this on the original iPad and am still using it.

Photogene goes beyond standard features, such as adding frames or adjusting brightness. You can make collages, put in text bubbles, and add captions.

Uploads go everywhere including Twitter, Flickr, Dropbox, and of course Facebook.

Bonus: supports RAW images and large files up to 8 MP on iPad and 21 MP on iPad2.

Get Photogene


Who doesn’t love games. Sure, you purchased the iPad for business use, but no one says you can’t have fun as well.

There are plenty of work safe games, and kid friendly as well. My favorites are word games, be warned.

Words with Friends is the most popular word game for iOS. Think Scrabble but not heavily branded, no slow transition screens, and a minimal interface.

WWF, as it’s known, is a multiplayer app supporting one on one match ups across the Internet. Opponents can be located via Twitter, Facebook, and from all other Words with Friends users.

Scoring is a bit different for each letter but letter and word bonus squares play the same. Players can shuffle their tiles, trade them in, and take a pass on a play.

Games are played by turns, with notifications received when your turn is up. The game doesn’t support live play, or local swap.

Free and pay versions exist, but the play is the same.

Get Words With Friends – link is to free version
Words With Friends - Swap


Productivity app choices are staggering. Note taking, sharing, and presentation apps range from free to high end. Few of them will make you more productive.

I’m giving you two favorite productivity choices: Dropbox and Evernote.

Dropbox is aptly named. You put anything here, like drop and go, and it’s instantly available everywhere. Need to have that photo on your desktop at work, this is your app. Dropbox requires an account, which includes free storage.

Transferring docs to your iPad works as well. I’ve used this to shuffle Word documents, photos, and PDFs. It’s often less of a hassle than email.

Evernote is a note taking cousin to Dropbox. Evernote is about jotting down notes and having them instantly available everywhere you have Evernote installed.

Note taking used to mean just typing things in. Evernote gives you geotagging, putting in photos, and even audio.

Blogging or prepping notes for a presentation is what this app is about. Being a universal app allows you to work on your iPhone, go back to the iPad for touch up, and then have it available on your PC.

Get Dropbox

Get Evernote


Creating art on the iPad is addicting. Sketch Club stands out for versatility and addictive fun.

Built with brushes and over 40 brush tips, you’ll create delicate flowers to bold dragons.

Taking real advantage of the iPad  Sketch Club supports pinch, zoom, and rotation.

Like to share? Posting to Facebook or sending by email are supported.

Bonus: free online community. Built into the app you have access to the Sketch Club site and the ability to upload directly.

Get Sketch Club

Twitter Avatar sketch for @RadishSpirit - Faithful version - Radish Spirit

Relaxation and Time Wasting

Blowing off steam. We all have our ways. You’re not an explosion nut though. Neither am I.

Zen Bound is the answer. Zen Bound, now a universal app, is a meditative puzzle game.

It’s you, a floating object, and a bit of rope.

No timers count down as you rap the rope around at your own pace. Beautiful scenes grace each level.

It’s a game for non-gamers. Once you’re wrapped up in it, no pun, you’ll forget the stress of work and overwhelming holiday celebrations.

Get Zen Bound – link is to their homepage to you can see the video first.

Go exploring. Find your favorites. Come back and tell me what you like, dislike or just don’t understand.

I didn’t cover big areas like Social Networking, Music, and apps for children. I’d love to hear your ideas.

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