You've got a new iPad and you want to know the best stuff to load it up with?

Every time a friend of mine buys an iPad, I end up spending a great deal of time crafting a new list of my favorites. Partly to save myself the trouble and also because I figure that other people might benefit from the list too, I’ve decided to publish it here. I will flesh it out and add to it over time, so check back every now and then.

Here’s my list of apps that you should think about, in no particular order:
  • Netflix is awesome
  • ABC Player is cool if you have shows on that network you like to watch.
  • Pages, Keynote and Numbers are great productivity tools.
  • Pulse News is an excellent RSS reader.
  • Flipboard is a beautiful way to look at Facebook and Twitter.
  • Social is the best Facebook specific app I’ve found.
  • Evernote is awesome for taking notes. They make versions for the desktop and probably your phone that sync between each other wirelessly. I use this at work all the time.
  • CraigsEZPro is a good Craigslist interface.
  • Photogene is the best photo editing app I’ve found.
  • Sketchbook Pro and Brushes are great artistic tools.
  • ColorSplash and Zen Brush are fun too.
  • Pandora is great for music.
  • AirVideo is a great app if you have video content on your PC or Mac that you’d like to be able to watch on your iPad over your wireless network. It even works great for watching Recorded TV on a Windows Media Center machine. The quality degrades a bit, but you can also plug your iPad into your TV with Apple’s composite AV cable and watch on the big screen.
  • IMDb is fun to have for looking stuff up while you’re settling an argument over something on TV.
  • Marvel and DC Comics both have their own apps. There’s usually a bunch of free content in there for when you feel the need to geek out.
  • TV Guide is pretty good for TV listings.
  • Hulu Plus is great for watching on demand TV. App is free, but you have to pay a $9.99 monthly subscription. Only thing I’m disappointed with so far is that TV out hasn’t been enabled yet.
  • Calcbot is a good calculator, since they left that out of the OS.
  • Discover is a really cool way to browse Wikipedia.
  • AccuWeather is a decent weather app.
  • You’ll probably want to get the Kindle app if you haven’t already. The reading experience isn’t as nice as iBooks, but they have way more books you can buy.
  • You found the free book section in iBooks, right?
  • StudioTrack is awesome if you want to do 8-track recording on the iPad. It’s expensive though and I don’t know if they have come up with any professional mic interfaces yet so you might be limited to the built-in or the one built into a set of Apple headphones. I haven’t checked lately though. I think some people were trying to get USB mics to work through a USB connection on Apple’s Camera Connection Kit.
  • TabToolkit is awesome.
  • JamBuddy is awesome for bluegrass backing tracks.
  • Agile hasn’t made an iPad specific version of GuitarToolkit, but the iPhone version runs great on the iPad for now. It’s got a tuner, chord dictionaries, fretboard maps and metronomes for guitar, mandolin, banjo and a bunch of other stringed instruments.
  • If you get an electric guitar, you should look at Agile Partners AmpKit and Peavey’s AmpKit LiNK combo. See my review here and follow the links to YouTube –¬†
  • OnSong is a very powerful app for people that play music regularly. It was developed with worship music group leaders in mind, but really anyone that could benefit from customizable lead sheets that can be stored and organized into sets for live performance will be able to use the app. Dig in deep and you’ll find a bunch of cool things like video out to project lyrics and slick chord diagrams when you tap on a chord in the music.
  • Google Earth is nice, of course.
  • Skype works great.
  • Corkulous is cool for taking notes, as is Penultimate.
  • Star Walk is an absolute must. Whether you like astronomy or not, it turns being outside at night and looking up into a crazy experience. Beautiful map that syncs to the sky as you move around up and down and side to side and it plays moody ambient music that makes you feel like you’re in a movie.
  • Sudoku Book.
  • Plain Old Sol.
  • Dropbox is great for having access to files and it has built in support with the iWork apps now.
  • Yellow Pages is handy.