Having just spent anywhere from $499 to $829 for the new iPad, many of our readers are probably looking for a way to save some money on what to put on their new tablet. There are a lot of apps out there (approximately 550,000 for the iPad) and it can be daunting to try to figure out the right ones at the right price. That is what we are here for.
In addition to PadGadget’s daily roundup of iPad apps on sale, our editorial staff has compiled some of our favorite FREE apps from the App Store for your entertainment and productivity needs. Check out the list below, and please add your favorite free apps in the comment section to let others know what to look out for.
Temple Run– This endless runner game has been a runaway hit in the App Store since it first came out. Players must run, jump and dodge their way through challenging courses while collecting useful coins and gems. As casual games go, this is one of the best, free games in the App Store right now.
Atari’s Greatest Hits– Fans of retro games will love Atari Interactive’s collection of games. The free version only comes with Missile Command, but do your really need anything else? If you are a retro game junky, you can purchase as many as 100 classic Atari games for as low as $9.99, or buy four-pack collections for only $0.99.
Triple Town– There are literally thousands of puzzle and strategy games out there for you to discover. Triple Town is just one that stands out for being unique and cute and free. It combines puzzle gaming with city building and Tetris-like planning strategies. It will take up hours of your time and you won’t feel bad about it.
The Weather Channel– Everyone needs to know what the day’s temperature will be like. What makes this app so good, other than the fact that it is free, is its simplicity. It has an elegant design and intuitive user interface. You can find out what the weather will be like in 15-minute increments on the current day, see if it will be raining at your vacation spot next week and be alerted when there are extreme weather warnings in your area.
Epicurious– You’ll quickly discover how convenient it is to use your iPad for cooking and baking. Not only can you bookmark your favorite food blogs in Safari Mobile, but there are beautifully optimized apps that are full of culinary delights. Epicurious is one of the best recipe apps because it is filled with more than 30,000 professionally created recipes for you to choose from. Plus, you can save your favorites, create a shopping list that you can sync with your iPhone and search recipes by a variety of ways, including using ingredients that you already have in your fridge.
Dolphin Browser for iPad– The iPad’s native Web browser, Safari Mobile works just fine, but some people prefer something different when they surf the Net. This app offers a multitude of user-friendly options for Internet browsing, including multi-touch gesturing that makes much better use of the iPad’s capabilities. It offers ad-free loading of news sites and blogs, speed dial efficiency for accessing your favorite sites, tabbed browsing, sidebar controls and a full screen mode to allow for uncluttered Web browsing.
Zite Personal Magazine– There are some amazing news and blog aggregators in the App Store that help you personalize your reading experience. Most of them are based on Facebook and other social networking website behaviors. What makes Zite special is that it customizes your experience by first offering articles, not actually from your own RSS feed, but based on it. Then, as you “like” articles and ask to see more like it, the app flushes out a very personal “magazine” based on your own reading behavior, not Facebook’s.
500px– There is no better way to show off your iPad’s abilities then with a photography app that is full of high-definition, professional quality images. This app is the official iPad app of the user-based website 500px.com there are thousands of beautiful photos that are constantly updated for you to discover. By signing up for an account, users can save favorite images, follow people, vote for favorites and leave comments. You can even create a slideshow using your iPad’s music library.
iReddit– While not the most attractive looking app, iReddit is the free, official app of the social news website. Anyone who has spent any time reading reddit.com will need an iPad companion app. Alien Blue is actually a much better app, but it is not free, so doesn’t belong on this list. If you are a fan of Reddit, but don’t want to pay for it, this is just right for your needs.
Draw Something– One of the best turn-based game currently available on the App Store. The game is very similar to Pictionary: the drawer chooses one word (out of a three), and tries to draw pictures which suggest the picked word. The other player needs to guess the word the drawing is intended to represent to move forward. You can challenge your friends on Facebook or Twitter, or play with random folks.