ipad apps

I’ve downloaded over 500 apps for iPad, most of which, I’ve deleted. I did this trying numerous note taking apps, to-do trackers, news aggregators, etc. It took a while to settle in to what works best for me. All of these apps can be found in the iOS App Store, and free if you are patient and search for them.

Yes, I use iOS7. I think it’s awesome.

Calendars5 by Readdle – I use this to handle all the “GTD” (Getting Things Done) stuff. It syncs with Google Calendar and Google Tasks and it is the to-do-ish app that works best for me. This update came out with iOS7, and this blows all the other calendar and task apps away.

TextExpander Touch – This is the iPad version of the fantastic Mac application TextExpander. The list of supported apps continues to grow (OmniFocus was just added recently). I use Dropbox to sync my TextExpander snippets with my Mac. TextExpander was another application I found via Merlin Mann. Merlin has a brilliant weekly podcast on the 5by5 network with Dan Benjamin called “Back to Work.”

Day One – I use this journaling app daily (this app also syncs with the Mac). It’s quick, easy, and makes a nice journal overall. I do wish I could export portions/posts to other apps. Maybe in a future version.

Chrome – Google’s Chrome browser is now on the iPad. The sync can be a bit tedious, since I use two-factor authentication. I still use Safari (can’t change the default browser), since it’s painful to try to use bookmarklets in the iPad version of Chrome.

YouTube – is back on the iPad and better than ever. This is a new version. It’s a beautiful app that replaces YouTube, which Apple yanked from the block of default apps in iOS.

Merriam Webster Dictionary – I use this all the time. You can speak words to the app and it looks them up (about 70% success rate). I use it to “star” words I want to learn. About a year ago, I started making lists of vocabulary words, just like David Foster Wallace used to do. You should never stop learning.

PDFPen – another Merlin Mann find – this is the best/easiest PDF viewer/markup app available. It integrates nicely with other iPad apps. You can manipulate, markup, highlight, scribble in the margins of any PDF.

GetGlue – I use this app to share what I’m watching, reading, etc. It posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Like Foursquare, sometimes I forget to use the app.

Downcast – I use this podcast app for audio podcasts (5by5 network shows, Security Now, Greg Proops ‘The Smartest Man in the World’ podcast). It has a really nice interface, and the way 5by5 show notes appear in the app works brilliantly. Both Downcast and Instacast blow Apple’s Podcast app out of the water. I recently switched from Instacast because Downcast will play video podcasts, Instacast won’t.

Twitter Apps – I use Twitter, Tweetbot, and Birdhouse (an app that lets me draft tweets, refine them, and post them later). Twitter has gotten a little control happy, and I find myself using the “official” Twitter app more than Tweetbot.

News Apps – I use Flipboard, Feedly, and the WCPO weather app (which is much better than listening to Steve Raleigh explain every last cloud ad nauseam).

Photography appsSkitch. I don’t do a lot of photo work on iOS beyond what the basic tools do.

Notetaking apps – My primary notetaking app is now Editorial, I used to use “Drafts. Drafts is still good, Editorial is much MUCH better.