10 Essential Apps Every iPad Owner Should Own

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10 Essential Apps Every iPad Owner Should Own

by Don Reisinger

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Apple's iBooks application doesn't come preinstalled on the iPad. Because of that, it's undoubtedly the first application iPad owners should download when they finally buy the tablet. Apple's iBooks application is free. Upon downloading the app, owners can sift through the program's store to find the books they want to read. Pricing on each book depends on when it was published and how desirable it is, but for the most part, few books will cost more than $10. The app works just like a normal book, complete with page-turning animations. It's a neat app.

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The Netflix iPad app works just as most might expect. After downloading the free client, users can sift through Netflix's streaming library to find films, television shows and documentaries to watch on the iPad. The image quality is quite good, and the selection of content, while not ideal, since it lacks most new films, is getting better by the day. In order to use the app, iPad owners will need to sign up for an unlimited Netflix membership. Prices on those plans start at $8.99.

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Pulse News Reader

The Pulse News Reader, which retails for $3.99 in Apple's App Store, can accommodate up to 20 different news sources, and display them in a "mosaic" to make it quick and easy to read content from the iPad. The idea behind the app is to make users more productive, and cut down on the amount of time they spend going to each Website they frequent on a daily basis. The app also has a "smart search" feature, so users don't need to input a site's specific RSS feed to get content into the app.

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The Weather Channel Max

Weather Channel Max is arguably one of the most useful weather applications available to the iPad. Since Apple's tablet doesn't come with a built-in weather application, several developers have been trying fill the gap. So far, only The Weather Channel has. The company's free app allows users to see their local weather, view current maps and more. The app even boasts some extras such as local traffic cameras from major cities, and forecast videos for the user's area. If an iPad owner wants weather, The Weather Channel Max is the way to go.

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Penultimate is designed for those want to be more productive. The app, which costs $2.99, allows users to take notes while they're working. And thanks to the iPad's touch display, users can create sketches in the program. Recently, Penultimate's developers added a "wrist protection" feature to the program. The new feature stops the program from erroneously adding marks to a note when a person places their wrist on the screen while they're writing. Those that need to take quick notes or simply want to be more productive on their iPads should like Penultimate.

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There isn't much to say about the Pandora iPad app that hasn't already been said by so many other folks that have used it. Simply put, the online-music company's iPad app is fantastic. It allows users to stream music from any genre directly to the iPad over WiFi or 3G. And by calling on the Music Genome Project, its ability to find songs that relate to a particular artist or track is second to none. Thanks to the iPad's larger display, the Pandora app features biographical information on an artist while a song is being played. Pandora is available for free.

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Documents To Go Premium

Documents To Go Premium is simply a must-have for any iPad owner that wants to be able to view and edit Office documents while on the go. The application, which costs a whopping $14.99, helps iPad owners create Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from within the application. The iPad version of the application even includes an e-mail feature, allowing users to send and receive attachments from within the app. And since Documents To Go isn't tied to Microsoft, users can even open and sync files they stored in Google Docs, iDisk and other services. It's a well-built app.

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Apple's decision to offer iWork to iPad owners was certainly welcome. But that doesn't mean that all the programs - Pages, Numbers and Keynote - are worth it. In fact, for most enterprise customers, the best option is Numbers. Apple's spreadsheet app, which retails for $9.99 in its App Store, is quite powerful. It includes the ability to create simple spreadsheets but adds in more advanced services, such as graph-building, flexible tablets and, according to Apple, more than 250 functions to manipulate data. The app also comes with "an intelligent keyboard," which changes based on what the user is doing within the app. It's a nice program for enterprise customers.

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A1 Perfect Web Browser

The A1 Perfect Web Browser does a fine job of living up to its name. The program, which costs $2.99, delivers a far better browsing experience than anything iPad owners will find in Safari. Aside from being quite proficient at quickly loading Web pages, A1 Perfect Web Browser also includes real tabbing functionality. In other words, users will be able to click on tabs below the address bar, rather than open separate windows as in Safari. The developers recently added scrolling by touch, allowing users to hold down the up or down arrows to the right of a page and scroll through content. It's definitely worth trying out.

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Amazon's Kindle application is an ideal choice for those that don't want to use Apple's iBooks app. The program, which is available for free, features Amazon's library of more than 540,000 available books. And thanks to the iPad's graphical ability, Kindle users can flip pages back and forth as if they were holding a real book. Admittedly, Amazon's Kindle app doesn't have all the flashiness of iBooks, but it still offers a fine reading experience. Any iPad owner that loves to read will be happy with Kindle.

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