Gadgets and Games

7 Must-Have iPad Apps



Every week I get 10 tweets like this: "Hey, Clayton, I just bought an iPad. What are your favorite apps?"

I've spent nearly six months with my iPad and there a few apps I use every day -- I simply can't live without them. In an effort to answer all these tweets at once, here's a list of my seven favorite apps.

1. Twitter: The app used to be called Tweetie -- until Twitter came along and bought the company out. Twitter (as it's simply called) is my go-to Twitter app for the iPad. Sure it's a little busy looking, but it reminds me of a mall food court where there's a little something for everyone. The column view makes it easy to view links right inside the app, no more clicking a link. It's great for users with multiple accounts and Twitter lists. I like it better than any other Twitter app in the App Store.

2. Skype: Who says you can't make phone calls with the iPad? With the Skype app on the iPad you can make and receive calls anywhere in the world, send text messages-- and even save a boatload of cash in the process by downgrading the plan on your cell phone. There's no video calling just yet, but this is a great app that provides near-CD call quality over the 3G network.

3. Pulse: if you're like me then you're on information-overload these days. Check out the Pulse newsreader, designed to bring a clutter-free environment to your news consumption. Pulse is a news aggregator that lets you pick a few of your favorite sources and scan the stories in an easy to read format. One tap takes you into an article, which you can read, share with friends or mark for later viewing -- using the next app in my list.

4. Instapaper: One of the best apps in the App Store, Instapaper lets you save web pages for reading later. Let's say you're browsing the web and come across a 15-page New Yorker's article. You don't have time to read it now, so send it to Instapaper for later reading on your iPad. The company offers a video that shows you how to install the Instapaper bookmark in your web browser. Trust me you'll want to do this.

5. GoToMeeting: Business users will love this one. If you've ever attended an online meeting you're familiar with GoToMeeting, and now the same great desktop app is on the iPad. Imagine sitting in the park or a coffee shop while attending a meeting. You can talk to other participants of the meeting, read slideshows, and interact on graphs and charts. Just plug in your meeting invitation and you've joined the meeting on your iPad.

6. iBooks and Kindle: I've lumped these together because they're both book-reading applications, iBooks from Apple and Kindle from Amazon. The iPad is now my main book-reading device, and I use these apps interchangeably. I have a whole library of Kindle books and the Kindle app let's me read my archive of them, make highlights and notes, and purchase new books right from the iPad. 

Apple did a better job designing its iBooks program, however. Flipping pages, highlighting passages, and bookmarking pages feels more like a real book -- but Amazon crushes Apple when it comes to selection.

7. Flipboard: If there's a killer app for the iPad, this is it. I would buy an iPad just for Flipboard, which pulls your Twitter and Facebook stream into a magazine-style format for easy reading. Links from my friends show up as full text articles that I can re-tweet, e-mail or post to my Facebook wall. You'll get oohs and ahhhs from your friends when you show this one off.

Sent from my iPad -- of course.

Clayton Morris is a Fox and Friends host and the host of the Gadgets and Games show. Follow Clayton's adventures online on Twitter @ClaytonMorris and by reading his daily updates at his blog.