This week has brought a slew of really great new iPad apps. Picking just five that I like the best was difficult. There were a couple, such as The Colbert Report’s The Word for iPad ($2.99) which I would have loved to include but were simply unstable, crashing too much for me to evaluate properly (but you can bet I’ll be checking back to see if they’ve been fixed).
Mexican Cuisine HD
I love Mexican food. It’s probably my favorite ethnic cuisine. I’m forever hunting down new, authentic recipes. The 99-cent Mexican Cuisine HD (Cocina Mexicana HD in Spanish) contains more recipes than I could make in my lifetime (and some that I just won’t make—”Brains in Butter” anyone?). Organized by category, this is an exhaustive compendium of Mexican cuisine. The developers are working to include photos with every recipe, the translations aren’t perfect, and some ingredients may be difficult to find at your local grocery store, but this is real Mexican food that hasn’t been fancied-up by some big-name American chef.
I’m a list-maker. There’s not a list-making app in the iTunes App Store that I haven’t tried out on my iPhone and/or iPad. Docket ($4.99) is one of the simplest and most straight-forward list apps I’ve found. While I do think it’s priced a little on the high side considering its simplicity, the utter lack of extraneous, distracting features is worth it. When you don’t want to have to set a due date or hierarchies or tags just for a simple grocery list, then Docket is your go-to list-making app.
Notorium Notes ($3.99) debuted this week, and it’s one of the nicest apps I’ve used since I got my iPhone two years ago. The UI is very pretty, for a start. But the categorization options are the best part of Notorium Notes. Within the categories, notes are listed by date/time (most recent on top). You can also take audio notes and type at the same time. The app is ideal in a meeting, interview or lecture situation—type notes while recording and later be able to go back to make sure you got everything you needed. Notes can be emailed or shared via a wireless connection.
Barack Obama Organizing for America
The 2008 Presidential campaign really showed how campaign organizers could harness the power of the Internet and mobile devices to spread the word about a candidate. The Obama campaign excelled at this, and hasn’t stopped. The Democratic Party this week released the Barack Obama Organizing for America app, which is free. Regardless of one’s own party affiliation, you’ve got to admire the app itself. Sections for national and local news, events, and discussion points; contact information for your local representatives, including tips for calling members of Congress; videos and photos of President Obama; and of course, a button for easy donating to the Democratic Party.
Imagine this—you’re sketching something out on your iPad as your drawing appears in real time on the monitor of any computer on your local network. Air Sketch ($3.99) allows you to turn your iPad into a portable whiteboard. Simply point your browser to the specified URL, and your drawings and scribblings will appear in real time on the screen. Hook your laptop up to a projector and share with a whole room full of people. The possible uses of this app are endless.