For the last week I’ve been exploring my iPad, and I still love it. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on it, have watched a few videos, and even played a game or two. Battery life is fantastic — it lasts all day or more, even playing music or videos.
Apps move around
I’m still struggling to find the best arrangement for my apps, and still find it disconcerting that they move around when I flip the iPad from portrait to landscape.
I realise that while my memory of what things (and people) look like is poor, I have a strong connection to where things are. I might expect an app to be in the top right corner or on the bottom row, but am probably unable to tell you what its icon looks like.
I guess the way to ‘solve’ that problem is to make sure my most-used apps are always the first four on any page, as they’ll stay there when I flip the device.
Osfoora HD for Twitter
Osfoora is my favourite Twitter app for iPhone or iPad. The developers pack a lot of functions into a pleasing design. It’s slick and fast, integrates nicely with Read it Later, and is just a pleasure to use.
In Portrait mode you see just a list of tweets. In Landscape the list of tweets is on the left and a selected tweet is displayed on the rights, with buttons for various actions such as Retweet, Translate or Reply.
Relax HD provides ambient sounds
Recent back problems have prompted me to take up again my long-forgotten practise of yoga. I did yoga stretches once or twice a day for at least a decade when I was in my teens and early 20s. Then somehow I stopped and in spite of a couple of feeble attempts to pick it up again, have never kept it up for more than 2 days.
Now, however, I’m very motivated, and of course feel so much better for some stretching every day.
I found a very nice free application to ‘keep me company’ while I stretch: Relax HD. It creates a pleasing background soundtrack for working, relaxing or stretching.
It offers various ambient sounds such as a waterfall, birdsong, waves, storm noises, night sounds, thunder, crackling fire and so on. Select one or more, and perhaps a duration and volume, then press Play. Save your favourite combinations for later easy access.
Dark Nova HD
I’m not much of a gamer. Somehow though Dark Nova appeared on my radar and I decided to give it a try.
You play the part of a space trader — luckily the game advises you how to get started: keep your head down and obey the rules. Pick up fuel and cargo from various planets, travel to other planets within range and sell your cargo, for a profit if you can.
So far, so good. I’ve been able to do that, with some success. Sometimes freelance traders or pirates appear, or space police who may wish to inspect your ship for contraband.
Until now I’ve simply fled from pirates, ignored traders and submitted meekly to all inspections. I’ve done well enough to trade up to a superior ship, and even once carried illegal goods for a huge profit.
As I’ve played I’ve become aware of possibilities, and things I should remember, such as which planets have few police, many pirates or exorbitant fuel charges.
Obviously the most fun is to be had by going boldly, trading illegal goods, fighting pirates and so on. I’m guessing I’ll be ready for that soon.
This game definitely appeals.
Starwalk show you the stars
At last I have a device that can do Starwalk justice. Until now I’ve used it on an iPod touch or an iPhone 3G. The iPad has the Digital Compass that allows me to hold the iPad up against the part of the sky I’m viewing and see the same view on the iPad screen. Then I can tap on objects to learn more about them.
Starwalk is a great companion for anyone who likes to look at the night sky.
GoodReader for ebooks and more
About the first thing I did when I got my iPad was to download the free ebook Take Control of iPad Basics.
They strongly recommended GoodReader for ebooks, including their own, and I can see why.
Within moments of downloading GoodReader, you’ll be transferring files directly from your computer over a USB cable (iPads only for now), a Wi-Fi connection, from the Internet or from email attachments. It also easily integrates with MobileMe iDisk, box.net, MyDisk.se and other popular WebDAV servers, and also with non-WebDAV services like Google Docs and Dropbox.
One very impressive feature is that after giving it access to my Gmail account I can now choose to read any and all attachments directly in GoodReader. I don’t have to mess about with downloading, transferring and so on.
I’m still finding out everything GoodReader can do — it’s a lot, including browsing and downloading web pages. It’s very impressive.
What are your favourite iPad apps?