This week I'll catch up on my favorite iPad apps; next week, Android apps. No political favorites here.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


Appy days are here again

October 7, 2012

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

It's almost that big day -- the one you've been waiting for! -- the day when millions of Americans will go to ... the app store!

I know, I know. You thought I was talking about something else. But FDR probably wouldn't have minded a pun on his campaign theme for today's ultra-connected age. We can shout it out: Appy days are here again!

And I'm not just talking about red apps or blue apps, so to speak. This week I'll catch up on my favorite iPad apps; next week I'll start telling you about some great Android apps. No political favorites here.

Let's take care of iPad voters first. These Top 7 are all from Apple's App Store. (Touch the App Store icon on your iPad.)

My top app is Zite (free), which collects and displays news, features, great photos, long-form reporting, interesting blogs and much more, in a superb magazine format. Zite is updated continuously, and you can customize it in dozens of ways. It's changed the way I read magazines and cut down my use of Google News to almost zero.

I've crowed about this before and I'll sing the same song again: The best way to read Wikipedia is by using Wikipanion (free). You can flip back and forth among a dozen topics, follow links forever, tap tiny explanatory illustrations to make them huge, make the type big or small, and do much more.

ClearRecord (free) could well rank as the coolest way to make audio recordings on the iPad. For voicemail, it's at the top.

Camera+ ($.99) just got an upgrade to turn it into a full iPad app instead of just an iPhone app that worked OK on the iPad. There is no better control app for the cameras in your iPad.

Pages ($9.99) got my vote when it came out in the early months and it's still an amazing word processor, with full Microsoft Word compatibility. Better yet, it's an even more stunning desktop publisher. If you can't make a whiz-bang brochure with this app, turn in your crayons.

if you use iPhoto on a Mac, you'll drool over the iPad version. If you're a Windows maven, see what you've been missing. I count iPhoto ($4.99) as the cleverest iPad app yet and one of the best photo editors for any platform.

Finally, I often encounter iPad owners who assume iBooks, the iPad's own book reader, works only for books you buy. Not so. iBooks (free) is also the best PDF reader I've ever seen. I have hundreds of PDFs in my iBooks library.

Next: Android gems.