Everyone’s got a similar story: the excitement over getting a new iPad is dampened only by the fact that you don’t know what to do with it. That’s what apps are for. Some people know long beforehand what apps they want, but many end up navigating the app store for hours not knowing which ones are worth their time. There’s no single answer, of course: every iPad user has his needs and preferences. But if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick guide to help you out.
Internet and browsing
Worried about busting your download limits? Use Instapaper to save offline copies of web pages for later reading. If you’re one of those people who open the same websites every morning, put them all together with Flipboard–it stacks all your favourite websites into your own customized digital mag.
News and entertainment
Sunday TV guides are a thing of the past with the OzTV for iPad–it offers free listings for all Australian channels, along with show information and a search and save feature. Tired of waiting for the morning paper? Stay on top of current events with the SBS and BBC News apps–features include customizable content and up-to-date video reports.
The Kindle reader has saved university students thousands of dollars and freed up miles of bookcase space, and it continues to work its magic with its iPad version. Use it to buy and store your favourite books in one tap. If you don’t plan on buying books online, Goodreads is a great alternative–you can use it to organize and share with fellow readers.
Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and other social networks all have considerable presence in the iPad market, to no one’s big surprise. The Facebook app is especially well-received; the experience offers pretty much everything you would find on the computer version. IM Pro allows you to access all your instant messaging accounts in one place, making it easier to stay in touch on the go.
Surprisingly, the iPad doesn’t have a calculator function, something they’ll probably fix in future versions. In the meantime, there’s a load of alternatives, such as the free Calculator++ app. The eye-candy interface comes complete with scientific and trigonometric functions. At the end of the day, make sure you wake up on time with Night Stand, a clock app that doubles as a nighttime display and alarm clock.