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Getting the most from your iPad

  • Apple iPad HD 3.jpg

    The new iPad features a sharper screen and a faster processor. Apple says the new display will be even sharper than the high-definition television set in the living room. (Apple)

  • Apple iPad HD 5.jpg

    March 7, 2012: Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller discuss features of the new iPad during an event in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

  • Apple iPad HD 2.jpg

    The new iPad features a sharper screen and a faster processor. Apple says the new display will be even sharper than the high-definition television set in the living room. (Apple)

  • Apple iPad HD 4.jpg

    March 7, 2012: Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller stands in front of an old iPad, left, and new iPad, right, during an Apple event in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The iPad is an incredibly powerful and versatile tool with enormous potential for customization and personalization. A wide range of apps can help you tap into this potential and make the most out of your iPad. 

Here are five must-have apps for maximizing your experience.

Storage

With so many apps, videos, books and songs occupying an iPad's limited hard drive space, many users may find themselves scrambling for extra storage options. The Dropbox app compliments the iPad perfectly, allowing users to browse, download and upload content onto a cloud server, which can prove invaluable when storage space becomes limited. Dropbox is also perfect for backing up your most important files, connecting you iPad to your computer, and accessing media content directly from the app.

E-books

While Apple's built-in iBooks app offers users plenty of options for transforming your iPad into a portable library, when it comes to selection, Amazon still retains the lead. The Kindle App for iPad enables users to browse through thousands of titles in a virtual web-based bookstore. While Apple may offer a sleeker and more polished e-reader experience, you simply can't beat the price and selection of Kindle.

Web Browsing

While Apple's default browser, Safari, offers all the features you'd expect from a top-class web browser, there are alternatives available for those looking for a more comprehensive and customizable web browsing experience. Atomic Web adds many features usually reserved for desktop web browsing, such as easily accessed tabs, in-page search options and full screen browsing, as well as multi-touch shortcut and other conveniences. One particularly nifty feature is the ability to omit images from web pages to save on bandwidth while browsing on the go.

File Management

The iPad has become far more than a recreational device. Students and professionals alike have begun integrating the tablet computer into their work. While Apple's native file management system may offer many of the fundamental file management features, any professional iPad user will avail the added functionality of GoodReader.

This convenient document reader and file manager is compatible with all the most common file types, including Word, Excel, TXT, PDF and JPEG. In addition, GoodReader allows you to download files from the web, connect directly to cloud servers, and open documents within other programs for hassle-free editing.

Movies

The iPad's large, hi-res screen makes it perfect for watching videos, but larger files such as movies and television shows tend to take up an absorbent amount of storage space. Indeed, even the highest-capacity iPad will likely have difficulty fitting a sizeable video library on its hard drive. Luckily, a range of video streaming apps have been developed to tackle this all-too-common problem. Among the best is Air Video, an app which allows you to remotely access and stream videos stored on PC or Mac. With a decent Wi-Fi network, this convenient app can stream high-resolution videos straight to your iPad.