Last week, Apple celebrated the 25 billionth app downloaded from the iTunes App Store. Congratulations to the person from China who won a $10,000 iTunes gift card for being the lucky one who downloaded the 25 billionth app!
In honor of the major milestone, Apple released its list of 25 most popular apps of all time. Top 25 iTunes Apps
A Wonder of Tech reader recently asked me to write an article listing my favorite iPad apps. I’m happy to oblige as sharing great apps is one of my favorite pastimes. Many of these apps I have shared with you in previous articles, but it’s handy to have the list all in one place. My list is quite different from the iTunes list, I have a noticeable lack of apps with infuriated feathered fowl.
My list isn’t necessarily for apps that are iPad-only, but instead are ones I use on my iPad the most often.
Zite was launched last March as an iPad-only app and immediately became my “Go To” app. A year later Zite is still the app I open first in the morning and check throughout the day. Zite is a customized news app that delivers timely topics on subjects I choose. Beginning in July, Zite started including The Wonder of Tech articles and in August the app was bought by CNN. Recently the app was updated to work on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Zite is available for free in the iTunes App Store.
Although I prefer to read books on my Kindle, I often use my Kindle app on my iPad to read books. Whispersync, Kindle’s ingenious feature that allows you to stop reading on one device and pick up where you left off on another device, means I can switch back and forth seamlessly between reading on my iPad and my Kindle.
The Kindle App is available for free in the iTunes App Store.
I loved playing Ball Smash! on my Palm Pilot nine years ago. To play it today on the large screen of an iPad makes the game even more enjoyable. The app was updated earlier this month so you can now post your high scores on a leader board. (Feel free to check out who is #1!)
Ball Smash! is available for $0.99 in the iTunes App Store.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Inquirer iPad app is visually stunning, well-organized and easy to navigate. You’re probably thinking I’m biased because The Wonder of Tech is published on The Philadelphia Inquirer website each week, and you may be right. But don’t just take my word for it. AdAge named The Philadelphia Inquirer’s app as one of Print’s Best New iPad Apps of 2011.
The Philadelphia Inquirer iPad app is available in the iTunes App Store for free. The app gives you seven free editions, after which you must purchase a subscription to use the app.
Show of Hands
This app is not only interesting, it cares about my opinion. Show of Hands asks your opinion on different issues and then shows you how other people in the US voted. The polls are especially interesting in a Presidential election year, but they also ask silly questions, such as “American Idol or The Voice?”
Show of Hands is available for free in the iTunes App Store. Last month the developer launched the app for Android devices.
WeatherBug is a very handy app when you need to really know what the weather is and what it’s going to be. What makes WeatherBug special is the moving satellite map that shows you storms in motion. Color-coding makes the intensity of storms easy to gauge. Live cameras in towns across the US show what’s actually happening with the weather in real-time.
WeatherBug is available for free in the iTunes App Store.
Before there was Pinterest, there was Shnap!, an app that lets you share your photos and vote on the photos of others. Shnap! awards you points for each time someone votes on your photo and gives you points when you vote on others’ photos. You can connect with other users whose photos you enjoy to make sure you see their photos in your stream.
Shnap! is available for $0.99 in the iTunes App Store.
For pure escapism, nothing beats the People Magazine iPad app. The app is beautiful on the iPad and has interactive features, making the magazine fun to explore.
The People Magazine iPad app is available for free in the iTunes App Store. Digital issues of the magazine are available for individual purchase or subscription. Print subscribers can get digital issues for free on the iPad.
If you’re stuck on a long car ride with a grumpy child, Netflix may quickly become your favorite iPad app. Stream movies and TV shows on your iPad and be entertained wherever you go. Best not to overdo the streaming away from Wi-Fi if you don’t have an unlimited data plan. But when you’re stuck and need a distraction, Netflix is a wonderful solution.
Netflix is available for free in the iTunes App Store. A subscription is required to watch the service.
I’ve never actually played a real Mahjong game, but Shanghai is a fun game to play even if you aren’t a Mahjong player. The app is gorgeous with lots of options for tiles and backgrounds. You can choose the type of tile layout and the game mode. Compare your score to others on the Global Leader Board.
Shanghai Mahjong is available in the iTunes App Store for $0.99.
Have you tried any of these apps? Which iPad apps are your favorites? Let us know in the Comments section below!