The iPad app guide


iMean business?

Apple has counted it’s way to ten billion apps sold for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. I thought it was about time that I mentioned a selection of apps I use, which may help you to productively use your iPad. Many apps are free, and some are even built in, all are useful. – Darren

Calendar, contacts, mail – built in.

Microsoft exchange server works a treat with these built in apps. There are some great features such as auto-detecting data keywords in emails allowing you to automatically add a calendar entry.



Evernote – free.

Is an indispensable note taking app working together with an app for your computer and the web. Features like shared notebooks, extensive tags, a great interface, very speedy foolproof sync and OCR that makes the text in image notes (taken with your camera phone) instantly searchable just complete the perfect notes package.

Watch the 30 minute free screencast showcasing Evernote 2


Zenbe lists – free.

Another free todo list, although this one is special. Seamless sync of multiple todo lists with date completion across iPhone / iPad and a great website. You can even share lists of things todo with others.


Photogene – £2.50.

This is like Photoshop on your iPad. There is an official Photoshop app available, but this easily outclasses Adobe’s app. The quality of editing tools and incredible speed make this app the best of its type. Images can be saved directly to dropbox, twitter, flickr, Facebook albums, and much more.


YouTube – built in.

Although (just) a built in app. YouTube is implemented brilliantly on the iPad. Able to fully utilise your YouTube subscriptions, favourites, and allow you to ‘go social’ and manage your comments. Speedy and elegant.


PowerOne FL – free.

In the absence of a built in calculator this is a fine app. It includes currency conversion and can even be customised with it’s own very powerful programming option, allowing you to create your own calculator solution.


Google – free

Although this app simply acts as a way to gain easy access to Googles cloud services, it is very useful, and includes Google Goggles on the iPhone version.


iCabMobile – £1.79

This app is one of many replacement web browsers available. However, it is utterly stunning. The range of features cannot be listed here, as they are too vast. A web browser suitable for novice and expert alike. A small selection of it’s features include, full screen mode, private browsing, browser ID select, and dropbox bookmark sync.


Flipboard – free.

This is a different but brilliant way to read. Build your own magazine from RSS feeds, Google reader managed blogs, and even your own twitter followers and Facebook friends. Presented beautifully, genius!



Twitter – free.

The official twitter app includes an astoundingly intuitive and fast UI. Although lacking a few features compared to Osfoora (my preferred twitter app) it is still a great twitter experience.




Friendly Facebook – 59p

Mark Zuckerburg apparently doesn’t think the iPad is a mobile device. Therefore there is no official Facebook app for the iPad, which is a shame since the iPhone Facebook app is excellent. However, friendly has become a really nice Facebook app for the iPad and includes some great features.


iPod – built in.

I mainly use instructional videos as a great way to train myself, it is so much easier to watch a video of a technique demonstrated in a screencast, than to wade through the equivalent pages of a manual.


Everytrail Pro – £1.79

Although this is actually an iPhone app, it works well on the iPad showing hi-res maps allowing you to view guides you have created using your iPhone / Android phone and website.


Trails – £1.79

This iPad gps editor is really good, able to show elevation as well as captured gps trails and edit them, uses great open-streetmaps


Cubits – £2.99

If you are a fan of google sketchup, then you ‘need’ this app. I use it to check and show the campus 3D models we are making both online and offline.


Google Earth – free

The only thing missing from this wonderful way to explore the world is 3d buildings. Other than that it is very fast, showing great topography, has an intuitive UI, and even allows you to show map overlays from your own google account.


Map Projector – 59p

There is one restriction I hate about the iPad, and I think it is a very silly one. Apple does not allow everything on the iPad to be projected. This means only a few apps can be used with a projector. If you are planning to show your map plans to an audience, this app is a must.


Pages – £5.99

A full word processor on an iPad? Yes, although it is part astounding, part genius, and part flawed. Compatible with Microsoft word, using a stellar interface and capable of creating great documents.


Numbers – £5.99

In a similar way to Numbers on a Mac, this spreadsheet rethinks what a spreadsheet should be. You probably wouldn’t run a 50,000 employee payroll on it, but you can use it to create many business solutions. Compatible with Microsoft excel.


Keynote – £5.99

While pages and numbers are pretty good apps, keynote has no equal on any platform. Together with it’s Mac version, keynote represents the best of the best presentation systems available. Only PowerPoint 2011 comes close to Keynote’s quality and poise!


Dictionary – free.

Spelling letting you down? This is a great dictionary with audio pronunciation and a thesaurus, multitasking with your favourite editor works very well.


iThoughtsHD – £5.99

Want to create stunning mind maps? This app produces the best, and it has great output options. Files can be saved edited and exported between dropbox and ithoughts for iPhone.


A Touch Computing mindmap that I am currently working on.

Wyse PocketCloud – £6.99

From the well known Wyse people, this professional remote control app can do everything. Fully compliant with Microsoft’s latest rdp protocol and open vnc servers. It even allows easy remote access across firewalls. It has a great interface and is incredibly fast!



Dropbox – free.

You have to ‘think different’ when using any tablet computer, and the iPad is no different. Working in the cloud is essential, and nothing does this better than the ubiquitous dropbox. It is like a multiple user, high speed, multiple platform share point sync service. Dropbox is probably the most useful software you will ever install.






Skype – free.

Although just an iPhone app (nothing for iPad yet), it works great on the iPad. Talk to another skype user for free anywhere in the world, ring any phone using skype out minutes, conference call from a meeting room using the iPad’s great built in mic, IM chat, even show video from any other version of skype. With the ipad2 rumoured to have front and rear cameras skype will become the greatest messaging client.


Dragon Dictate – free.

Prepare to be shocked at how good this app is. For those unable to type, yet able to talk, dragon can understand what you dictate with great accuracy and speed. A stunning example of cloud processing.


GoodReader – 59p

This great app allows you to manage your files and attach to lots of different servers, it even includes the ability to annotate pdf’s!


WritePad – £2.79

The handwriting recognition feature of this app is one of the best I’ve seen. An excellent note taking application for meetings, saving files directly into dropbox to be edited instantly on your computer.



WordPress – free.

Apart from not being able to log into our hosted blogging service, the wordpress app offers great features. If only I could log in 🙁


iMockups – £5.99

A really useful app for the web professional, this. Use a Projector to show your design mockups for websites on computers or mobile devices, then interact with your audience redesigning your design proofs in real time. Essential app for the web designer.


BBC News – free.

A better quality news app, you will not find.


Discover – free

A new way of presenting wikipedia.


Yell – free

Wonderful location based services and augmented reality view when run on iPhone. The iPad version features extensive maps and searches.

3D maps coming soon, see for an example


Reeder – £2.99

Need a stunningly fast and efficient google reader app? This is a stunningly fast and efficient google reader app! Manage your blog reading with aplomb!


TED – free

The TED talks are world famous. Access them here, tons of video and an ‘inspire me’ button!


XMarks – free, Premium version available

Keeping your bookmarks in sync across all the computers and different web browsers that you use can be a nightmare. Xmarks will solve all these problems. However xmarks is more useful on your desktop and laptop computers, where it is indispensable.

A mobile Xmarks web application also works very well.


iBooks – free

While I have not bought any books, yet, I use iBooks to sync my pdf’s which it does a great job of viewing. Great for looking at complex building plans on a great UI



Kindle – free

Electronic textbooks are going to be huge, allowing students to carry tons of books around with them, search them, annotate them and sync information between computer, tablet and phone.


Stanza – free

Great alternative book reading app, especially for free content.



TuneIn radio – £1.19

A very special digital radio. You can not only schedule recording of any radio station in the world, but you can also play it back at low speed without distorting audio. Want to learn another language, this is a great way to practice.



Zinio – free

Like Kindle, but for magazines. Really good adobe air app for you computer and mobile app syncs the magazines you buy in the cloud.



Autodesk sketchbook pro – £5.99

Whether you are a talented artist, or just want to edit screenshots (tip: press home and power button to get the iPad to take a screenshot) this is a wonderful painting app.


SpeakIT – £1.79

Natural speech is produced by this app, you can even save the speech as a sound file to use later. For example I use it to set my recorded phone messages.


Listen to this example text from the screenshot above, read by SpeakIT

Speedtest – free

An iPhone app to test your download and upload speed.


Wifi Finder – free

Very useful location based service finder for wifi access points.. It has the highly useful ability to show free and paid access points.


Prezi – free

The extremely popular cloud based presentation and ideas creation service now has an iPad app, allowing you to project your web presentations.



Plaintext – free

This is the greatest app that money can’t buy, because it’s free! It very simply and elegantly allows you to write text, which is then synced to dropbox so seamlessly that you forget you are working in the cloud.

This blog page was written using Plaintext.


Further reading and resources.

A screencastsonline free video detailing project management tool Omnifocus.

Geekbeat.TV – Tools for iPad productivity show.

Apple’s iPad in business page

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