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20 Great iPad Apps

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The iPad 2

Image © Apple, Inc

Are you looking for some great apps to download from the App Store? There are over 225,000 different apps made specifically for the iPad in addition to the 400,000 designed for the iPhone. That's a lot of apps. And it can sometimes be difficult finding a great app among all of the apps available.

So to help you get started, I've compiled this list of great apps ranging from video streaming, monster slaying, news reading and even an app to create your own radio station. Some are free, some cost a dollar, some cost a little more, but none of these apps should disappoint.

Productivity:
  • Pages. The word processor of Apple's iWork suite, Pages can quickly create letters, reports, flyers and cards. Compatilbe with Microsoft Word, you can also import files from Mail or transfer files from your PC via iTunes File Sharing.
  • Numbers. Apple's spreadsheet designed specifically for touch devices, Numbers has 16 templates from Budget to Travel Planning and can view Excel spreadsheets as well as Numbers and comma separated files.
  • Keynote. One of the nice features of Apple's presentation software is the ability to edit and show them across multiple devices and use the iPad's ability to connect to a TV to show them off on the big screen.
  • Dragon Dictation. Not great with the iPad keyboard? No problem. Dragon Dictation will let you take notes or work on an important email without the need to tap out the letters on your iPad.
  • Dropbox. What good is it to work on your spreadsheet if you can't pull it up on your PC? Dropbox gives you easy access to cloud storage, which lets you share files between your iPad, your smartphone, your desktop and your laptop.
News:
  • Pulse News. If you love to scan the Internet for headlines from across the web, Pulse News is one of the first apps you will want to download to your iPad. It was one of the earliest news aggregators to arrive on the iPad, and it is still among the best.
  • The Daily. Originally designed specifically for the iPad, The Daily is Rupert Murdoch's attempt to bring the news fully into the digital age. An interactive app with everything from video clips to crossword puzzles, The Daily is available for a subscription price, but you can try-before-you-buy for a few weeks.
  • Sports Tap. Of course, it is not all about headline news. Sometimes, we just want to keep track of our favorite team. Sports Tap isn't the prettiest app on the app store, but if you are a fanatic about your local team, it's a great app to have installed on your iPad. Not only can you check the latest news and scores, but you can set it up to alert you when your team begins a game or scores a point, which is great if you want to keep track of your favorite MLB team without watching every single game in a very long season.
Social Networking:
  • Flipboard. One part social networking app, one part news app, and one part interactive magazine, Flipboard is definitely one of the best iPad apps available. And it's free. This is definitely a must-have download.
  • MyPad for Facebook and Twitter. Even if you only use Facebook, MyPad makes a great substitute for going directly to the website (which can be awkward on the iPad) or using the official Facebook app (which could have taken more hints from third-party clients). But for those that use both Twitter and Facebook, MyPad is easily one of the best apps to get.
  • LinkedIn. Social networking used to elude more to schmoozing your boss than hanging out with your friends on the Internet, and in that regard, LinkedIn remains true to its roots. For those that frequent the social network for business, LinkedIn is a great app.
Entertainment:
  • Crackle. Most people have heard of Netflix and Hulu Plus, but it's easy to miss Crackle. This great app is Sony Picture's answer to the digital age, and rather than charge a monthly subscription, these movies and TV shows are free.
  • Pandora Radio. The iPod may be the perfect music player, with its small size and ability to hold a lot of digital music, but the iPad's speakers aren't bad. And because Pandora Radio let's you choose an artist or song to create a custom radio station, you can get your music personalized.
  • Amazon Kindle Reader. I've already mentioned the iBookstore, but if you have already built up an ebook collection through Amazon's Kindle service, there's no reason not to keep buying books through Amazon. The iPad Kindle app essentially turns the iPad into a Kindle Reader.
Games:
  • Temple Run. Move over Angry Birds, there's a new casual addiction in town. If you haven't checked out Temple Run, you will want to download it right away. It's the perfect game for wasting a few minutes waiting in the doctor's office or killing time between classes.
  • Infinity Blade 2. Casual games not your style? No problem. Infinity Blade 2 not only brings great gameplay to the iPad, it is also one of the most beautiful games available.
  • Music Challenge. How about a music trivia game that will use your own music collection as one of the categories? Even if you don't play with the "My Music" option, Music Challenge is one of the best trivia games for the iPad.
  • Civilization Revolution. If you love strategy games, you don't need an introduction to the Civilization games.
  • Real Racing 2. If you feel a need for speed, you can feel free to skip Need for Speed and go straight to Real Racing 2. It's hands down the best pure racing game for the iPad. (Though Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is pretty good too.)
  • Dungeon Hunter 2. Did Diablo 3 disappoint you? Dungeon Hunter 2 is one of the best Diablo clones available and sticks to Diablo 2's style of character customization, item collecting and monster slaying.
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