Best iPad apps

Best iPad apps8

All free and paid applications that are worth being on an iPad. Help me to grow this list and add your comments!

Pocket Pond HD

Sliced by
08-10-2010 08-10-2010
- Sure, the Pocket Pond HD iPad app doesn't actually do anything to enhance your life, per se, but what's more serene than having a your very own Koi pond? If you like to dock your iPad on a stand, Pocket Pond HD can act like a screensaver, digital fish tank, or just used to brighten up your room. The Koi fish, a symbol of love and friendship in some east-Asian cultures, swim across the iPad's screen in no particular order and even react to splashes you make in the water when you tap parts of the pond.

Pocket Pond HD iPad App Review

Pocket Pond HD iPad AppSure, the Pocket Pond HD iPad app doesn’t actually do anything to enhance your life, per se, but what’s more serene than having a your very own Koi pond?

Customize your pond by adding any of three types of lilly pads, dragon flies, or change the weather to have a thunderstorm hover over the pond. To prevent you on abusing your Koi fish, you’re limited to just five lilly pads and four dragon flies, but c’mon, do you really need more? To rid your pond of dragonflies, just double tap them (Mr. Miyagi style) and swat them into the water.

The HD graphics, beautiful water texture, and vibrant Koi fish all make Pocket Pond HD a beautiful app to leave on when you dock your iPad to a stand (find

Sound is equally serene as you experience the sound of nature full of birds chirping in the background, dragonflies fluttering, and water splashing as you play with the Koi.

The app itself really does nothing, but is free and an excellent and essential app to download if you ever want to space out and gaze into something beautiful.

Publisher Description

Create relaxing ripples while you enjoy the sounds of nature. Interact with the fish – scare them, feed them, and watch their schooling behavior. It’s your own personal pond to cleanse your worries and free your mind.


  • Interactive water reacts to touches and swipes
  • Feed the koi by double tapping
  • Relaxing nature soundscape
  • Stereo sound effects (best experienced with headphones)
  • Customizable lily pads
  • Thunderstorm effects

Media – Videos & Screenshots

Pocket Pond HD iPad App



Sliced by
08-10-2010 08-10-2010

Preview: Instapaper on iPad

I’m probably supposed to keep this secret and build everyone’s anticipation to hype this up. Oh well. Maybe I’ll do that for the Instapaper edition for Apple’s next revolutionary computing platform.

First: Instapaper is definitely coming to iPad.

Second: Instapaper is coming to iPad very soon. Possibly even on day one — yes, I’m going for it — but that’s optimistic.

Third: Instapaper Pro will be a universal iPhone/iPad application. That means that you only have to buy Instapaper Pro once to have it on both devices, and the iPad edition will be available to all Pro purchasers at no additional charge when it’s released.

You probably have some questions.

What does it look like?

The short answer: It looks like Instapaper Pro, but bigger, and with slight interface tweaks and redesigns where appropriate.

The longer answer: It looks like this.

See? No huge surprises, except maybe that I changed to dark toolbars. No multi-column reading, no fake book-page animations, and no giant newspaper graphics.

I’ll probably move the reading-view toolbar to the top in the future, like most iPad apps, but I don’t yet know how I’ll hold the iPad when reading.

The biggest visual changes were made to the landscape-orientation list screen:

Honestly, I’m not crazy about the iPad’s split-view mechanics from the videos, especially the way they differ between portrait and landscape. But this is how Mail works, and Instapaper has always been navigationally designed like Mail. (Tip: If in doubt, follow Apple’s lead.)

Plus, exposing the folders more obviously in the interface will promote usage and reduce requests to implement features that I already have. (You’d be surprised.)

Everything you’d expect from Instapaper Pro is there, including dark mode, pagination, and adjustable fonts:

Instapaper Pro on the iPad is still the same app: you already know how to use it. It has just been modified in a few places to better fit the form factor and platform paradigms.

Why is it designed this way?

When everyone else was stalling their iPhone development for months in order to redesign entire applications for the iPad, I made the obligatory cardboard prototype and mocked up a bunch of radical interface departures.

Ultimately, none of them were very practical. Some worked well, but only with ideal content (which, in practice, is rarely the case except in the Editor’s Picks folder). And I didn’t want to commit to any huge risks because I don’t have an iPad to test them on.

Once I nailed down a few definite iPad-friendly features, I realized that I could port all of them to the iPhone version of Instapaper Pro. And if I did that, all of my customers (and I) could use these great new features now.

So, rather than rewriting my entire interface for the iPad over the two months that we’ve had, I spent the first few weeks finishing and launching the 2.2 update to my iPhone app, a major undertaking that added a lot of great features, using techniques that would allow me to easily adapt all of the features to the iPad. And I spent the remaining time adapting my interfaces, rewriting or modifying where necessary, for this new platform.

I’ll experiment with more radical interface changes in the future, once I’ve had time to actually use the iPad for a while and figure out what really works on it, what doesn’t, and what the hardware can handle.

Why now?

Developers have been put in a difficult position: if we submit our applications for review and sale before we’ve ever used an iPad, we can be in the App Store on (or near) day one. But we won’t have had a chance to test our applications on a real iPad — we’ll just need to rely on Apple’s reviewers to tell us whether they work. This is risky, since we don’t even know some critical details about the iPad yet, like how much RAM it has or how quickly it will execute our animations and number-crunching.

So we’re left with two options:

  1. Release the app for day one, but it might be buggy or non-ideal in a few areas.
  2. Release the app after we’ve had a chance to test extensively on a real iPad, but it may not be available for many weeks after the iPad’s launch, during which time our current and new customers will be clamoring for a native version, and they’ll be stuck using the pixel-doubled version.

The second option seemed more sensible at first. That was my plan at the beginning.

But then I saw the pixel-doubled version of my app in the simulator.

It sucked, and it was completely unusable by my standards. I don’t think I’ll want to run any pixel-doubled apps on my iPad in practice.

As far as I’m concerned, Instapaper isn’t really available on the iPad until it’s native. (This also influenced my decision to make it a universal iPhone/iPad app: I don’t want anyone subjecting themselves to the iPhone edition in pixel-doubled mode.)

While I could have taken the conservative option and waited until a month or two after the iPad’s release before launching Instapaper for it, an iPad without native Instapaper Pro is not a device I want to own.

And I’m buying it on day one.

So I’m doing my best to make the day-one submission deadline. Even if the first version ships with a few edge-case bugs, I’d rather have that on my iPad for a couple of weeks than no Instapaper at all, and many customers have told me that they feel the same way.

This is a risky decision, but I feel that this is the right thing to do for me and my customers, so I’m going for it. If any bugs do crop up in the first version, I appreciate your patience and trust that I’ll fix them quickly. Thank you.

Posted at 10:35pm Permalink ∞

SketchBook Pro for iPad

Sliced by
08-10-2010 08-10-2010
- Autodesk’s new SketchBook Pro for iPad delivers a complete set of sketching and painting tools through a streamlined and intuitive user interface.

Autodesk® SketchBook® Pro for iPad™ is a professional-grade paint drawing application. It combines high-quality digital pencils, pens, markers, and airbrushes with a Multi-Touch gesture-based user interface, enabling you to create everything from quick sketches to high-quality artwork on the iPad.

How to Buy
Autodesk SketchBook Pro for the iPad is available on the App Store.

Product Info

Services & Support

SketchBook Pro Brochure (pdf - 201Kb)
SketchBook Pro FAQ (pdf - 17Kb)
SketchBook Mobile FAQ (pdf - 17Kb)

Things for iPad

Sliced by
08-10-2010 08-10-2010

thingsthumb thumb Review of Things for iPad

Things from Cultured Code is one of the first programs that I install on all my Macs. This task management software helps organize my busy and somewhat hectic life. If you keep a “To Do” list on you all the time then Things is a program worth owning, especially used in conjunction with an iPhone/iPod Touch or now the iPad. For more information about Things for Mac please check out my review from last year.

Today I’ll be looking at the iPad app iteration of Things. This version is designed to take advantage of the iPad’s strengths such as larger screen real estate and capacitive interaction. Its user interface is very reminiscent to the OS X version. Things for iPad can be used in isolation or in conjunction with the Mac version. Personally, I think using Things with both the iPad and Mac provides the best user experience.


Things for iPad

Things is a beautifully focused and amazingly intuitive task manager. Other todo applications either oversimplify or are too difficult to use. Things instead offers the perfect balance between ease of use and powerful features.

Price: $19.99

Data is easily synced between the OS X and iPad versions. Simply have Things running on your Mac and run Things on the iPad and the two will automatically share and sync their data.

Things01 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things02 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things03 thumb Review of Things for iPad

Things for iPad works in either portrait or landscape mode but is more functional and Mac like when running in landscape. In the latter view there are two sets of columns. The one on the left side is comprised of list categories – Inbox, Today, Next, Scheduled, Someday, Projects and Logbook. The right side of the screen provides detailed information for these list categories.

Things04 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things05 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things06 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things07 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things08 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things09 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things10 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things11 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things12 thumb Review of Things for iPad

When switching between list pages there is a nice page flip graphic similar to the one seen in the iBooks app. This is more eye candy than a useful feature but is still cool to see in action.

Things13 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things14 thumb Review of Things for iPad

Settings can be adjusted from the cog icon seen to the right of the List label when the screen is in landscape view. From here the user can control the Badge count, ability to Log Items, Advanced Settings that basically indicates whether you are willing to send crash reports and an About Things section.

Things15 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things16 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things17 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things18 thumb Review of Things for iPad

On the right side of the screen above the list section is an Edit button that allows bulk deletion of items and towards the right of the List label are Tag, Move, Star, and New To Do icons. Tagging items is especially helpful when trying to sort your tasks.

Things19 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things20 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things21 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things22 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things23 thumb Review of Things for iPad

Flipping the iPad to portrait mode causes Things to mimic the function of the iPad’s Mail app with the information normally found in the landscape’s right screen taking up the entire display. A drop down list is used to show the List categories.

Things24 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things25 thumb Review of Things for iPad Things26 thumb Review of Things for iPad

Badge counts such as the ones found with the email and App Store apps appear on the Things main screen icon to indicate any impending items that need to be addressed.

Things27 thumb Review of Things for iPad

For more in depth descriptions of Things capabilities please check out my previous review.


If you plan to carry your iPad around all the time and need to keep track of your projects and To Dos, then Things for iPad is an essential app to own. Feature wise is it almost identical to the Mac version and syncing data with the desktop version is easily accomplished without much user intervention. There are really no complaints about Things for iPad other than the price. It is one of the more expensive apps in iTunes and the iPad version does not work with the iPhone/iPod Touch. Cultured Code should either lower Things for iPad’s price or make this a “universal app” to gain a larger user base. Not a major issue but it may be something that keeps some people from investing in the app.

I know Things for the iPad will be residing on my Apple tablet for quite some time. Now please excuse me I have to check off my Things for iPad review task.

10 thumb Review of Things for iPad

+Easily Manage your To Dos and Projects
+Tag your tasks for easy sorting
+Syncs between OS X Things version

-One of the more expensive apps

Overall score 10 10 thumb1 Review of Things for iPad
Design score 10 10 thumb1 Review of Things for iPad
Performance score 10 10 thumb1 Review of Things for iPad

To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.