Many iPad users skip Notes, assuming it's a low-octane version of a to-do list. But it's surprisingly powerful.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


Top iPad apps for school

August 5, 2012

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, The Post-Standard

Back to school? Going off to college? You'll have your iPad, of course. But you also need the right apps.

Here are my top 10 iPad apps for students. They're all available at the App Store and are free or cost very little (or in some cases come with the iPad). Search for them by name.

Notes: Many iPad users skip this app, assuming it's a low-octane version of a to-do list. But it's surprisingly powerful and can handle notes of any length. Notes can include photos, drawings and web links. The built-in search is one of the best things Apple has ever done. Comes with the iPad.

Facebook: The official Facebook app, designed nicely for the size of the iPad screen. A scrollable friends list runs down the right, with messages and comments taking up most of the page.

Bonjiovi DPS: Plug your earbuds into this jet plane and take off. This app turns your tunes into high-flying mojo, using special digital processing. You'll never want to go back to the regular Music app.

Zite: Catch up on stuff (news, views, winners and losers) using this amazing customizable what's-going-on app. You tell it what you want to know and it updates those subjects continually. It reads like a magazine, with photos and links.

Pages: A professional word processor on the iPad? Yep. Do those reports when you don't have your laptop handy.

Talkatone: Call any phone number and talk through your iPad's built-in microphone -- for free. Call any number, anywhere in the country. If you're paying for cell phone minutes, save money and get this app.

WordBook XL: What an online dictionary and thesaurus should be. Teachers won't challenge your choice of words if you keep this app handy.

IMDb: Win those arguments with your roommate using the Internet Movie Database, made into a magazine format with this app. It might become just as familiar as your remote.

Find iPhone: This app locates your iPad (or, of course, your iPhone) if it's stolen or just plain misplaced. I used this app to discover my missing iPad was ... under my bed.

Alarm Clock: No second guess if you're wondering what this app does. It looks great, makes fearsome sounds and is almost guaranteed to keep you from missing that first class of the day.