I’m tired of people whining and acting too hot for an iPad. “It’s useless” “too expensive” “too big” “too bla bla bla”. Well, I’ve had my iPad for over 10 months now, and I absolutely adore it. True it doesn’t have a USB port, no bluetooth, no built-in camera (I have the Wifi 16GB iPad). True it’s not the absolute first, or absolute best. But, as usual, Apple saved the day and made a new concept go viral. Just like it did with the iPod and digital music, the iPhone with mainstream smartphones and now the iPad with tablets.
Even though Apple might be the trend-setter, it’s not always the dominant one. After the iPone and iOS’s immense success, Google’s Android has surpassed the iOS as the biggest smartphone OS. The preferences are debatable, for Apple’s close monitoring and filtering of apps and it’s refusal to go open-source, and Google’s ultra-liberal open source policy, both have their ups and downs. I’m more partial to the Google mantra, cause even if the apps and software is buggy because anyone can do it, the sheer potential produces the envelope-pushing developments, that Apple then perfects tweaks.
Anyway, enough techie-politics. Let’s get to the chase: What I use my iPad for:
- Notes. At university
- Books. Both from the app store, and pdf files of my AUB textbooks (which Ghali Bookstore in Hamra would gladly scan and convert to pdf for you)
- Games. Need for Speed series, Red Alert and about two dozen other games, both first-person action games, and god games
- Music. In my experimentation with mixing and producing, the iPad acts as an invaluably versatile tool to both produce and mix music and light effects
- Work. I use it to jot down notes from interviews and events I cover for Beirutnightlife.com
- Internet. I browse the internet from the comfort of my bed, through elegant apps for portals such as the Huffington Post, the NYTimes and even Tayyar.org
- Social Media. Even though Facebook fails at creating apps for itself, there are plenty of awesome FB apps for the iPad. Twitter apps are also fantastic.
- Videos. Despite the fact iOS doesn’t support flash, YouTube and most video sharing websites have special iPad versions.
- Scouts. I use it to present my sessions, preferring the HD, interactive, colored, energy-saving screen versus environmentally un-friendly photocopied papers.
- Navigation. After I traded in my Nokia N97mini for a Bold 2 (horrible mistake) and then an Android Galaxy S (best decision of my life), the GPRS connection was way too slow, on the iPad, Google Maps is built-in with full navigation options that are incredibly accurate, and need no internet connection. There’s also several Lebanese apps that provide superb navigation services while offline.
- Stalking people. Like anyone with an iOS, crank callers and stupid drivers can no longer stay anonymous, with the Lebanon number and license plate directory apps, no one’s anonymous, thanks to our glorious government who somehow believes it will help with security =\
So, spare me your whining of “it’s useless” and “i’m so hot”
Now, why not a Galaxy Tab? Well, I tried it, and it’s no iPad yet… I’ll wait a little before switching to an Android tablet. Plus, with an iPad and Galaxy S, I have the best of both worlds =)
Now, you might be wondering if I buy or illegally download these apps. I do both. Some apps I buy off the App Store, others through Installous. Here’s a YouTube that’ll help you learn how to jailbreak your iPad and then install Installous through Cydia
Now that you’ve done that, here are a few apps I downloaded, tried and loved myself:
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit: this is the latest version. Beautiful HD, plenty of levels as both a cop and a racer. I LOVED this game. Do NOT download shift, it sucks! And NFS Undercover is just for iPhone, so graphix on iPad are not so good.
- Angry Birds: Need I say more? The beloved game, on a 10″ huge screen. Enjoyed it a lot on both my Android and iPad
- Cut the Rope: *nom nom nom* feed the kyoot creature the candy, using elaborate gestures and pure physics. Lovely game
- Ninjump: incredibly addictive. You’re a ninja running up an infinite wall. You need to avoid obstacles and get power-ups. My highest score is 6776 meters, beat that!
- World of Goo: If I ever designed a game, graphics and storyline, this would be it! It’s a very entertaining game, enough said, download it and play!
- Tycoon Millionaire: This is a blend of sims with monopoly, super-addictive, very fun
- Red Alert: It’s impressive, but takes a while to get use to the controls. Challenging nevertheless, a must-try for any Command and Conquer fan
- Shazam: You can tag music with it, handy. SoundHound sucks btw, don’t try it
- Looptastic: I bought this app for 12.99$, worth every penny! Create music in a very simple, yet efficient way, with loops, effects and synth pads in a beautiful multi-touch display
- Loopesque: my less electronic-music-savvy friends drool over this game. It’s basically a circle with several partitions, each with a distinct sound and frequency. Creating patterns and overlaying them will create awesome music every time.
- RJ Voyager: Extremely fun way of combining technical music features, with a more visual control interface. Lovely, and doesn’t just create a loop, but can be used to create dynamic tracks, live.
- TouchOSC: create your own knobs/faders/dials/pads/push buttons and hook them up to your TraktorPro laptop and DJ decks. FREEE. James Zabiela uses it =P
- Friendly for Facebook: these guys did a better job than Zckerberg
- Tweetdeck: My favorite Twitter client, use it on my mac, iPad and Android
- G-Whizz: the solution for your several google services, all grouped into one neat app (gtalk, picasa, google docs, gmail, etc.)
- Stumbleupon: the reason I don’t sleep anymore…
- AJA Live: Al Jazeera live, perfect resource for live feeds, especially with all the turmoil in the arab world at the moment
- Huffington Post: Biased, but love it. Very diverse and very nice “gliding” app
- NYTimes: editors’ picks which are always interesting
- Tayyar.org: Not the greatest app, but a lovely initiative by a Lebanese website. Handy for live news about Lebanon
- 3D Brain: perfect app of the 3D brain, free-moving, and with multiple labels and shading to show you specific areas, circuits and a anything you need for neuroanantomy
- Brain Tutor: see the brain through MRI slices, dorsoventrally and longitudinally
- Molecules: interactive ball-and-stick, space-filling and cylindrical models of any protein. Amazing for visualizing and understanding biochem and organic chem
- Lebanon Directory: punch in any mobile or landline number, and know who it is registered to instantly (not always accurate, especially for post-paid and newer lines)
- Lebanon Car Directory (LCD): punch in any license plate number and find out if it is registered, and to whom
- NRJ Lebanon: awesome app, with 6 streaming radios and lots of other interactive interfaces for NRJ Lebanon, such as charts, social media, etc.
Hope this helps =) Any feedback and recommended apps much-appreaciated