Apple has the most robust app market of anyone making a tablet computer.
It’s great for people that buy iPads, but it’s also daunting. How do you sift through more than 108,000 applications developers have built?
This is how! We’ve put together our list of the best apps to download when you first get an iPad.
Not all of these are best of the best, but we think these are coolest starting apps to show off all the things you can do with the iPad.
That way when your friends come over and ask what’s so great about the iPad you can show them.
Apple will shove iBooks down your throat, but it's OK to skip it at first. If you're going to download an app for reading books, get the Kindle app. It has a bigger selection of books, for now. Really, it's not a bad idea to get both, but if you have to pick one, go with Kindle.
We thought we wouldn't use Instapaper on the iPad because the browser make reading long stories a breeze. Wrong! Instapaper is great on the iPad for reading long stories. If you're not familiar with Instapaper, it allows you to save stories from the web into a nice reader app.
When you get a gadget like the iPad, people are going to want to know what's so cool about it. This is one of those dorky, but neat, things to sate them. It's fish swimming in a pond. As you stroke the screen, fish move around. It's good for three minutes of entertainment. And it's free.
If you're looking for a newspaper on the iPad, we recommend the Washington Post, because its free for now.
Alternate newspaper apps: The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times are both really well done. But in both cases you'll be limited by a paywall of sorts. So, you'll have to pay a little. People like the New York Post app as well, but you have to pay for it...and it's the New York Post, which we like, but we realise isn't for everyone.
Some people in our family call the iPad the 'Scrabble Pad,' because we play so much Scrabble with the iPad. The app is normally $9.99, but the price was lowered to $0.99 for the holidays, so there's no reason to not buy it. (iTunes link)
The piano app is another one of those 'it' apps. Even if you don't play piano, there's something to hammering on the iPad and hearing a piano. It's just a neat experience, and another good one to show people when they want to play with your iPad.
If you've never played Angry Birds, you should download the app. It's an addictive, fun game. The price is $4.99.
If you just want to demo the app, or you want to save some money you have options. You can download the iPhone version of Angry Birds for $0.99. There's also a lite version of Angry Birds for the iPhone that is free. You don't get too many levels in the lite version, though.
With the iPhone versions, you're going to be getting slightly crappier graphics since the image will be blown up, but it's not the most terrible thing in the world if you really want to save $4.
These are the iPad apps we use and love. Everyone is different, if we're missing something, drop a note in the comments, so other people know what to download.