Book and PDF Reading:
Stanza: This PDF and e-book reader is no frills but just as competent and this is my primary reader for reading pretty much anything on my iPad. The brightness adjustment and text size deems this an anytime-of-the-day app. It handles any ebook format, including comic-book formats like CBR and DiVU. Add books through iTunes or browse the built-in library of public domain works.
Bookman: For all those comic book buffs and readers who like detailed imagery in their PDF files, Stanza just misses the cut. Bookman has a much faster PDF rendering machine, meaning it has a quicker load time, it also creates thumbnails of pages so navigating a PDF file is made much easier. If you prefer to use Apple’s own iBooks reader, you can always use these tools to make your own iBooks to read and view them with that.
Kindle: If you prefer to do your e-book shopping over Amazon or you already own a Kindle then the Kindle App is just for you. The books selection is much broader than Apple’s own iBooks, as they’ve been in the business quite some time, but if you want to broaden your horizons even further then why not use the Barnes and Noble App too. If you want books for your kids, the Barnes and Noble Nook for Kids might have just what you need.
A peculiar little eBook app that stocks 1.9 million books (or at least claims to) that tries to turn reading into a sort of game, with achievements, Facebook sharing, a personal dashboard and a page full of statistics. The books here aren’t just ancient classics, there is a wide range from children’s books to reference books. You can even set up a daily newspaper delivery of your Instapaper clippings. It’s rather enjoyable so I’d say give it a go.
Drawing and Photo Apps
Draw for iPad: Draw for iPad offers a very nice interface for the kids, with its crayon and paper look it is very familiar and you can draw cooperatively with your kids via Bluetooth, along with playing games like tic-tac-toe and other built-in games. Your kids can save their digital masterpieces for eternity or you can tack your iPad up on the fridge (Don’t actually do this).
Adobe Ideas: The free version of this app is limited to one layer but is still the ultimate sketching tool for adults. Anything you sketch is automatically vectorized, so zooming doesn’t have to mean losing definition any more. It’s really good for those among us who have shaky fingers (i.e. Me) because it removes any imperfection when it renders each stroke- meaning any one of us can become an artist. I use this to sketch up logo ideas and just about anything that makes its way into my right brain but you might actually put it to use. You can save your visual delicacies or email them as a PDF.
Adobe Photoshop Express:
Ah, finally it has made its way to the iPad. Everyone’s favorite photo editor is here and in the best way possible. It stocks a bunch of basic editing tools and fantastic effects making it the best photo editor offered on the iPad. I commend Adobe for making it free so here’s a big thank you!
Photobucket: Since there’s no free way of getting Flickr on the iPad…yet, I would say that Photobucket is the next best thing. If you’re already happy with Photobucket then this is perfect for you as the app incorporates all key elements of Photobucket; Showcasing featured photography or just letting you do your own thing and searching for images and viewing in slideshow mode. It has adult content so there is a 17 rating on this one.