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iPad

There are thousands of apps available for the iPad, some free, some reasonably priced, and some shockingly expensive - but which is best? Does price tag indicate quality, or can you get great tools free of charge?

We had a rummage through the store and uncovered ten apps, five with a hefty markup, and five completely gratis. It's time to pit fee against free and find out which comes out on top.

Free apps

One: Google Mobile

google ipad app

Google know a thing or two about tinkering with their doohickeys to improve them, but it seems they also subscribe to the ‘if ain’t broke don’t fix it’ rule.

The iPad app is exactly the same as their great iPhone one, just bigger and faster.

While the design may be a touch on the plain side, the integration of voice technology means you get a great quick search engine (and plenty of odd looks as you bellow “Italian Restaurant!” at your iPad on the bus).

Two:Dropbox

Dropbox iPad app

With over 4m users already, Dropbox is a true viral phenomenon and the company achieved in the simplest way possible, by having a great product.

Fortunately their developers must be making enough cash already because the swanky new iPad version won’t cost you a penny. There’s been a lot of consternation over the iPad’s lack of a USB port, but the Dropbox app comes with filesharing, access to your online folder and an email option, meaning it’s the fastest way to transfer documents onto your pad.

Three:Epicurios

Epicurious iPad app

Currently the Epicurious app is fairly US centric (make sure you know your cup measurements Euro-chefs) but it’s still a quick and fun cookery guide with hundreds of easy to access recipes and the option to email ingredient lists to yourself , and the iPad’s size means it will balance nicely on your kitchen worktop –just don’t mistake it for a chopping board.

Four:Bloomberg

Bloomberg iPad app

The iPad is fast becoming the business desktop companion of choice, so the Bloomburg app’s instant access to your portfolio is a great plus. Also included are trackers for currencies, stocks futures and more, Bloomberg podcasts and equity indices, meaning this has a definite advantage over Apple’s own Stock app and real appeal for those with a financial bent.

Five:Twitteriffic

twitteriffic for iPad

Personally I’m a Tweetdeck man, but given the bugs and API problems that particular stream manager has been prone to recently, it makes sense to choose Twitteriffic for your iPad.

Twitteriffic comes loaded with all your usual twittery goodness, including add followers, email tweets, track trends.

There’s also an option to ‘read later’, a search tracker and list viewer, and while this isn’t quite a match for Twitter’s own iPhone app, it’s got all the features you’ll need until an official entry arrives.

Paid apps

Based on the evidence so far the free apps are stacking up quite nicely, providing quality services completely gratis. So surely the paid apps must be evn more useful right?

Let's have a look and see how much bang you get for your buck...

Six:Stone

Stone iPadd app

It’s...erm...some pictures of walls...in Ireland...and it plays Mozart’s Concerto 21...


Well, it’s certainly very relaxing I’m sure, but you’d need to be relaxed when you realise you’ve forked out £25 for it.


No, I don’t really understand it either.

Seven:Superfarm

Superfarm iPad app

Go on, admit it, you scour your Farmville plot daily for ‘unusual Brown Eggs’ , you put up barns, you chase off foxes and you cannot bear the thought of missing out on the melon harvest can you?

Well worry no more, Superfarm will cater to your inner rustic’s every wish, with all the pig herding, potato ploughing action you could ever wish for.

Packed with strapping farm hands, it’s £40 price tag will leave you completely strapped as well.

Eight:Siteclone

Siteclone iPad app

It’s a publishing app, loaded full of bloggy, journo-ey features that will “Turbocharge your web content”.

I have no idea what that means, but if you’re shelling out nearly five hundred quid it’s got to be good hasn’t it?

Nine:Lexi- Complete

Lexi Complete iPad app

Do you suffer from back pain? Troubled by an unruly belly? Have you or any member of your family ever seen a spook, spectre or ghost? Luckily Lexi:Complete can fix at least some of these problems!

For about the same price as the iPad itself, Lexi’s complete medical database is an incredible tool for doctors and hypochondriacs alike.

We’re betting only one of those two groups will be able to afford the hefty £200 price tag.

Ten:Xa1p Audio

Xa1p iPad app

It’s a common enough scenario.

You left the house early, you have your keys, your wallet and your packed lunch…but there’s a niggle…something…Oh no!

You completely forgot to bring your realtime audio spectrum analyzer!

Certainly a case of appealing to a limited audience, the XA1p utilizes the iPad’s own microphone to provide audio analysis making it a useful toy for music producers and FBI phone Tappers alike.

Unfortunately its catchy title and limited usefulness comes at a price: nearly £150.

Matt Owen

Published 2 July, 2010 by Matt Owen

Matt Owen was formerly Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or hook up on LinkedIn.

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Comments (3)

Chris Clapham

Chris Clapham, Account Director EMEA at Silverpop, an IBM Company

I've been looking for an app like the Bloomberg one for months, but didn't know it existed. I've just downloaded it for the iPhone and I've got to say, it's fantastic! Allows you to easily monitor a share portfolio from your phone, reporting on gains (or in my case loses) that you making on your shares. Thanks for pointing out Matt, very useful.

over 6 years ago

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Bangalow Accommodation

Paid apps doesn't necessarily mean it's better than free apps.

over 6 years ago

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Flexispy

I am impressed of the list. Well Google mobile is also very impressive. There must have a deal like "buy one get on free" ;)

about 6 years ago

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