With ABC and CBS securing free distribution deals with Apple, expect more television-friendly apps to arrive on the iPad. Here are ten great apps for entertainment, trading, communication and productivity that are either already in the App Store will be ready for the iPad by the time it reaches you.
iPad apps for entertainment
1. ABC Player
It should be of no surprise that ABC is the first major television network to distribute its programming for free via this new and approved iPad application. After all, Steve Jobs moonlights at chairman of ABC's parent company Disney, in addition to coming up with an idea from time to time with his other company. Let's just hope this app sets the standard for how popular commercial television will be distributed through applications moving forward. This app will showcase full episodes of programs like Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Modern Family, as well as many ABC News programs. In addition, tools will be available to search for and pause within your favorite shows in this advertiser-supported application.
Another must-have entertainment app that emerged before the April 3 debut of the iPad is Netflix. The new app will allow Netflix customers to stream movies to their iPads wherever there is a wireless connection. The app will also sync with Netflix Internet accounts so you can start watching a movie on your laptop and finish it off on your iPad.
3. VH1 Classic Presents: Intellivision for iPad
Sure, the iPad will deliver state-of-the-art graphics and functionality to games never seen before. But if you're an old-school gamer like me, you will be ecstatic with Saturday's debut of this $2.99 application. In the early 80s, Intellevision set the standard for console games (fitting nicely between Atari and Colecovision). I still remember the code for the bread and butter play (9-5-2-5) on its signature football game, which I hope to eventually see on this application. For now, enjoy reimagined classics including Astrosmash, Chip Shot Golf, and Night Stalker.
While an iPad-specific offering for this CBS Television application has yet to emerge in the iTunes App Store, CBS is currently the only other network to formalize a free distribution with Apple. It remains to be seen if there will be a standalone CBS app, or if programming will be streamed to the iPad in some other form. In either event, this free app figures to showcase at least variations of your favorite CBS shows.
I wouldn't trade anything for these iPad apps
5. E*TRADE Mobile Pro for iPad
Need to stay connected to your portfolio wherever you travel (or at least anywhere within wireless Internet access for the next month or so), but are afraid about typing in the wrong ticker on your iPhone's keypad? Fear not with this new trading application configured specifically to the iPad. Enjoy real-time streaming of stock quotes and information as well as breaking news updates.
6. Bloomberg for iPad
Another great source of financial information on virtually every medium (including its own) is Bloomberg. This free iPad app will provide comprehensive market news and analysis from Bloomberg's world class reporting operations.
Communicating with friends and contacts on your iPad
7. AIM for iPad
For many of us, back in those prehistoric nineties, AIM was the first instant messenger client we ever used. The service is also among the first of its kind to be available as a free iPad app. In addition to allowing you to chat with friends, the app integrates updates from Facebook, Twitter, fourspace and other social networks all into one Lifestream.
8. Truphone for iPad
While there figures to be an abundance of applications that will enable your iPad to place phone calls, this free offering is one of the first to reveal itself on the iTunes App Store. In addition to making calls via a Wi-Fi connection, the app will include free voicemail and instant messaging services. Note: existing Truphone customers will have to create a new account to use the iPad app.
iPad apps for productivity
To some people, paying $19.99 for an iPad application will be an unreasonable expenditure. To many others who swear by the iPhone's ultimate "Getting Things Done" application, having Things on the iPad will be priceless. The success of apps like Things will determine how much the iPad will be used for business and other professional tasks.
It should be of no surprise that the professional presentation application made for the Mac will also be available on the iPad on day one. That doesn't make it any less of a deal at $9.99.