Picking the best iPad apps of 2010 was no easy task. In the end, I selected the apps that have made the iPad, for me, less an expensive toy and more a device that has improved my life.
iA Writer ($4.99) removes any software-related distractions to writing, allowing one to focus on the writing itself. With Dropbox integration, files can be saved, protected and accessed from anywhere. With an always-visible word count, plus a clock that will tell you how long it will take to read, iA Writer is a fantastic tool.
I thought about leaving out Flipboard (free), because it seems it’s on every best-of-the-year app list; however, the app deserves the recognition, and I use it daily. It’s a fantastic way to browse through your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and now features streams from Flickr and Google Reader. You can share via any social media tools you want right from within Flipboard, and the developers continue to add functionality and features.
Related: Best free iPad apps of all time
Related: Best paid iPad apps of all time
While the rest of the television networks wring their hands over how to share their content, ABC jumped onto the iPad immediately with ABC Player (free), sharing their shows shortly after broadcast. While you’re going to have to watch an ad placed here and there throughout your favorite episode of “Modern Family” or “General Hospital,” it’s a small price to pay. ABC Player includes the daytime and evening lineup, as well as specials (there are seven holiday-themed shows featured right now in the app).
I’ve been reading The New Yorker for 20 years, at least, and never once allowed my subscription to run out -- until The New Yorker app ($4.99 per issue, though the app itself is free) was released, that is. While I’m now paying quite a bit more for the content, the ease of having all my issues with me wherever I go trumps my previous procedure for keeping on top of reading all my issues, which was to keep them in a basket in the bathroom. Designed specifically for the iPad, The New Yorker iPad app brings all the amazing content, including the infamous cartoons (and even makes it easier for me to read them all first—which is what I always did with the print version), to life. We can gripe about the price all day long, but the fact is that excellent content does not come free, nor should it -- we’re not paying $4.99 for the app every week -- we’re paying $4.99 per issue to get some of the best journalism ever written.
I got a new pair of quality headphones for Christmas this year, and I now love Aweditorium (free) even more than I did before. It’s an amazing way to discover new music. The iPad screen is filled with a grid of photographs featuring musicians and bands. Tap one photo to hear a song, view the lyrics, read pop-up bits of information, share via Facebook or Twitter, access YouTube videos, download from iTunes, and more. You can listen alone with headphones, or run it through your stereo and hand the iPad to guests. allowing the musical soundtrack of your party be an adventure. The developers have taken advantage of the capabilities of the device to bring new music to the masses, resulting in an app that is worth more than its price.
Related: New iPad? Download these apps first
Related: Best iPad games of 2010