My 5 Favorite iPad Apps

JK iPad

This lazy Sunday morning has me thinking about all the gadgets I use, and the apps that make them zing. I bought a 32 GB Wi-Fi iPad on launch day, and it has been a constant part of my day since picking it up. Putting the form factor and usefulness of the iPad aside for a moment, the apps I use play a big role in the utility it gives me. Here are my favorite iPad apps of the moment. The cool thing about apps is it’s so easy to pick up new ones, thus frequently changing the fave list.

Kindle. Kindle for iPad is the app I spend the most time using. I am a voracious reader, and the iPad quickly became my device of choice for reading e-books. I can read comfortably for hours using this app, and having it always in sync with my Android phone is a boon. Operation is lightning fast, and everything I do in the app is intuitive and aimed at providing a good user experience. Free.

Reeder. I spend far too much time each day keeping up with hundreds of RSS feeds. Keeping informed about the news of the day is vital for what I do, and a good method to do that is important to me. I use Google Reader to track these feeds, but working with so many feeds using the web interface for Reader is not my favorite method on the iPad as it’s not optimized for touch control. That’s where Reeder comes in, and while I have tried at least five other apps that do the same, Reeder gets the nod in ease of use. Where the app shines is in the speed of operation, from going online to update thousands of web items to the process of skimming those items to flag those of interest. I can tag them for later, or tap them and read them right then. The app is fast, and it’s become an integral part of my iPad usage. $4.99.

Twitterific. The iPad is perfect for jumping on Twitter and seeing what my friends are up to. I like a Twitter app that has a clean interface that lets me see the most information on the screen at once, yet makes it easy to interact to tweets. I need to be able to do all the standard Twitter functions (reply, retweet, etc.), and also work with my defined lists. I prefer speed and enjoyable user experience over fancy features, and Twitterific is still my favorite app for this. I’ve tried several others, some quite good, but I always come back to Twitterific. Free (ad supported) and paid version ($5). I use the paid version which removes the ads and handles multiple Twitter accounts.

ToDo. The iPad has become the electronic version of the old paper planner, and managing my task list is a big part of that. One of the first things I do each day is fire up ToDo on the iPad to check the to-do list for things I need to do that day. ToDo syncs with my online ToodleDo account, and it offers a lot of ways to view my tasks so that nothing falls through the cracks. It looks good, and works as advertised. It’s nothing fancy, but it is a good way to track lots of tasks. $4.99.

iThoughtsHD. I have covered this app in the past, and it is still one of the most-used apps on my iPad. I use mind mapping to do creative article outlining, and iThoughtsHD makes this very easy to do on the touch screen. The developer keeps adding features that make the app get better, and I use this every day. I especially love the way I can email a map to colleagues, which sends both the graphical mind map and an indented outline. $7.99.

Related content on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Can Anyone Compete With the iPad?

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