iPad apps — first week likes, dislikes

So here is my first week of good and bad apps, I have spent way too much trying things out. My motto — “Buying iPad apps so you don’t have to!”

These look good and I actually use them:

* “iAnnotate”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iannotate-pdf/id363998953?mt=8. As “previously discussed”:http://theludwigs.com/2010/04/the-ipad-and-pdfs-conclusions-for-now/, the user interface is byzantine, but it works largely as promised — i’ve read and annotated close to 100 pdfs now. One commentor says it dies on large PDFs so not perfect yet.
* “WordPress”:http://iphone.wordpress.org/. Really a much better interface than the iPhone version. It is not bugfree, a lot of people including me are having problems with copy/paste. But nice.
* “Evernote”:https://www.evernote.com/about/download/iphone/. Solid effort, works well.
* “Wolfram Alpha”:http://products.wolframalpha.com/ipad/. Now that the price is no longer insane, this is a great app to have. I wish it failed a little more noisily when the wifi connection was lost, but still good.
* “Pages”:http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/pages.html. Nice looking and adequately featured.
* “Kayak”:http://www.kayak.com/news/creating-kayak-ipad-app.bd.html. Nice extension of iPhone app.
* “Tweetdeck”:http://www.tweetdeck.com/desktop/. I find the portrait display to be a little odd but in landscape mode does a nice job of using screen space.
* “Weather HD”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weather-hd/id364193735?mt=8. Doesn’t display nearly enough forecast data, but it is beautiful. The night scenes make me feel like I am getting forecasts for a moon of Jupiter.
* “NPR”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/npr-for-ipad/id364183644?mt=8. I’m not a major NPR junkie but a lot of useful info in here.
* “Bloomberg”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg/id281941097?mt=8. Don’t know if this is the best stock app but it is free!
* “Soundhound”:http://www.appsforipad.net/soundhound-ipad-song-recognition/. Nice looking and faster than Shazam.
* “Minigore HD”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minigore-hd/id364238135?mt=8. Beautiful, my timewaster of choice on the iPad.
* “Statsmate HD”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/statsmate/id351404712?mt=8. Might all be available in Wolfram Alpha but I find this useful as a way to quickly get stat table info.
* Apple’s calendar app. It looks beautiful.

Close but…

* “Papers”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/papers/id304655618?mt=8. I really really wanted this to work but I cannot get Web of Science access to work via UW proxy. Sigh.
* “Kindle”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000490441 and “iBooks”:http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/ibooks.html. Both look fine and I am glad I have them, but I will still do most of my reading on the Kindle, better battery life and easier on the eyes and lighter.
* Apple’s mail app. OK it works and in landscape mode has a nice message list, but not much else featurewise.
* “Marvel”:http://marvel.com/news/comicstories.11835.download_the_official_marvel_comics_ipad_app. Beautiful and I could see using this, but difficult to figure out what to buy/try.
* “Crosswords”:http://www.standalone.com/iphone/crosswords/. Looks nice but fatally fatally fatally flawed. Won’t download the NYTimes daily puzzle here on the west coast at 7pm the previous evening when it is available. Pisses me off. I will stay with 2 Across even tho it is lo-res because it downloads at the right time.

Kind of a waste:

* Apple’s Contacts and Maps apps. All this new screen space and nothing notable feature wise. Yawn.
* The iPad store. I use this a lot but boy does it need work. With a kajillion apps, it is hard to find what you want, hard to remember what you’ve already mentally discarded, etc.
* Numbers. Does not have enough spreadsheet functionality to be useful.
* USA Today. No depth.
* Twitterific. All this screen space and I get one lame list.

Never used — what does that say?

* Apple’s iPod and iTunes apps. I just don’t use this as a music consumption device.
* Apple’s Notes app. This one is so lame compared to so many of the other billion alternatives.

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