The iPad is just days away from landing in our palms. And we’re not just desperate to see how this oversized iPod feels in the flesh. We’re also gagging to break out some of the App Stores best add-ons on its epic touchscreen and see how they work with some proper screen real estate.
1 Kindle for iPad
Apple’s iBooks store isn’t launching here this week. But Kindle for iPad is already shaping up to be a worthy alternative. That’s if Apple gives it the nod to land in the App Store, of course. You’ll be able to view your ebooks by cover before tapping into them and flicking through them using the multitouch panel, just like on the iPhone. Except the 9.7-inch screen won’t mean you’ll exacerbate that childhood squint.
2 Sonic The Hedgehog
Already up for grabs in the App Store, this Sega classic is bound to look better on the iPad. Sure it’ll be low res, but we want more room to manoeuvre our thumbs while going into speedy spins and donning power boots in an effort to see off Dr Robotnik. Plus having it on the iPad will mean doing that classic up-down-left-right cheat won’t give us a nasty case of RSI every time we attempt it.
3 BBC iPlayer
Although not an official app available in the online store, access to the BBC iPlayer through Auntie’s excellent mobile portal on the iPad will offer a true TV alternative in the home. Prop it up and catch up on the stunning Wonders of the Solar System while your better half hogs the box and stares at Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies. This is what the iPad was made for.
4 The New York Times
Sure it’s a US paper, but this is more about how newspapers will work on the iPad rather than the latest gossip from the Upper East Side. The New York Times was one of the first apps to be shown off for the iPad at Apple’s launch event. It bypasses the iPad’s lack of Flash support, instead using Apple’s own Quicktime tech. But this isn’t simply an aggregator, looking more like a proper newspaper. If it takes off, expect UK outlets to be clamouring for some of the action.
5 Need For Speed
The classic driving title was also shown off at the January 27th iPad unveiling. And it drew more than its fair share of coos from the crowd, with that beefed-up screen letting you tap inside the car to get a driver’s eye view of the road, and swipe the panel in order to change gear. This’ll make other handheld driving titles look a tad pathetic by comparison.
Just because Adobe’s Flash hasn’t been invited to the iPad party doesn’t mean Photoshop isn’t coming along. The iPhone version of this app is astonishing. And free. An iPad version would let you doctor your snaps on a far bigger panel, making better use of multitouch gestures to crop snaps, using brush and eraser tools with your fingers. For creatives this will undoubtedly be the ultimate iPad add-on.
This iPhone 3GS video editing tool has been a raving success, allowing you to overdub music and drag and drop clips to make your own home movies, a la iMovie. With the latter yet to land on the iPad, surely this would be the perfect port. You’ll have more room to see your shots and a bigger timeline to keep track of your masterpiece. The lack of video shooting on the iPad, however, may make this one for future generations instead.
8 Microsoft Office
Yes the iPad will come with iWork access. But Apple’s productivity suite still has some nasty compatibility kinks that workaholics are none too fond of. Microsoft has said it’s looking into an Office iPad app and it would certainly make sense. Load that up, dock the iPad and you’ve got a word processor that the whole world can get on with. This will make the iPad a proper netbook beater.
Seeing as Garageband isn’t making an appearance on the iPad yet, the need for a music recording extra is ripe. Gigbaby! is one such- add-on that’ll benefit from the iPad’s extra large front. You’ll need an external mic, as on the iPod touch, to record tracks, but you’ll be able layer four tracks, including voice, drums, guitar and bass, making the iPad ideal for budding musicians on the move.
10 Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasies I and II both rolled up in the App Store in February. But what fans are really gagging for is the classic in the series, Final Fantasy VII. The first 3D version of the game, this classic PlayStation port would surely be able to do the business on the iPad, with its A4 chip and winning graphics taking geeks and gamers back to the heady days of 1997. Come on Square, make it happen!