You've got your iPad, and now you are ready to fill up with great apps. But what should you download? The only downside of having the most popular app store on the planet is some really great apps can become lost in a sea of possibilities. But don't worry. No matter your interest, this collection of the best free iPad apps are "must have" downloads from the app store.
Move over Netflix and Hulu Plus, there's a new best movie app in town. Crackle not only delivers great movies and TV shows with an interface that stands up to Hulu Plus and exceeds the one found in the Netflix app, but it does so as a free download with no subscription costs. That's right: free movies and TV shows. That's perhaps the very definition of a must-have app, and definitely makes it one of the best free apps on the App Store.
Are you ready to turn your social experience into an interactive magazine? Flipboard ties together Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other social websites with traditional news and magazine sites like CNN and Sports Illustrated to create a magazine tailored to your own social experience. If you think Facebook is cool or Twitter is informative, you should see the turned into a magazine.
The iPad is the ultimate eBook reader, with iBooks leading the list of must-have apps for the device. But avid readers need not stop with just iBooks. The iPad supports Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and features the Stanza reader, giving you a whole host of options to choose from for your reading pleasure.
If the iPad is the ultimate couch potato device, IMDB is the ultimate couch potato app. With access to the Internet Movie Database, you'll never be left wondering why an actor's face looks familiar or what other movies were made by a certain director. And you'll quickly become an ace at Six Degrees From Kevin Bacon.
Thus far, we have books, movies and tv among our must-have iPad apps, but we aren't about to leave out music. Pandora for the iPad is both simple and sleek, offering the versatility of the website without too much clutter, and allowing you to play the music in the background while you do other things. When you combine Pandora with the ability to use Home Sharing to gain access to your entire music collection, it's easy to see how the iPad can replace your home stereo. Pandora is easily one of the best apps available for the iPad. And (like the rest of this list) it is free.
If you need to get your news fix, USA Today is one of the best news apps in the app store. And not only do you get a free dose of daily news, you'll also get a daily crossword puzzle. Do you prefer your news to be more visual? CNN's iPad app is made for you. And for those who like news from as many different sources as possible, Fluent News does a great job of bringing a cornucopia of news feeds together in a streamlined app.
Willing to pay for your news? The Daily delivers.
Miss your favorite show on ABC? No worries. The ABC Player will make sure you are kept up to date, and when paired with Apple's Digital AV Adapter, you can watch the shows on your HDTV. Most shows offer the four most recent episodes.
Bored with the same old restaurants? Want to find something new? There's nothing quite like Yelp for finding the best restaurants around you. Combined with a great audience of reviewers, you'll not only found out which restaurants are nearby, but you'll be able to choose the best. A great app for the iPhone, the transition to the iPad is even better.
Want an alternative to Yelp? Yahoo's Sketch-A-Search lets you draw an area of the map and searches within that area for different restaurants. It's actually a bit addictive, so even if you love Yelp, you should check out Yahoo's version.
If you like to get your news from Twitter, nothing beats Flipboard, but if you use the social messaging site to interact with friends and family (and complete strangers), TweetDeck is a must-have app for your iPad. TweetDeck separates your timeline, mentions and direct messages into three distinct columns and allows you to create custom columns. And you can keep everything synced across multiple devices, so your iPad TweetDeck will look like your PC TweetDeck.