After three full weeks of using the iPad and checking out a lot of apps, here are the ones I’m currently using, and why:
My absolute favorite music app is ProRemote from Far Out Labs. This app gives me a 32 channel control surface for Logic (it works with Pro Tools as well), as well as a transport control, and drum pads to boot! It works over WiFi, by running a server app on the Mac. The installation is simple and works incredibly well. At about a hundred dollars, it isn’t cheap, but a hardware version would cost at least 5 times as much. A less expensive alternative which also works well is the AC-7 Pro from Saitaro. This is a $10 emulation of a Mackie Control, with 8 channels of controls. The setup is fairly easy, but if you want integration with Logic’s track names you’ll need Midipipe on the Mac and a setup file.
StudioTrack is a multitrack audio recorder, complete with effects, eq, and compression per channel. From Sonoma Wireworks (who make the great Mac tools DrumCore, KitCore, and Riff Works) this is a great portable recording device. I’m hoping that someone makes a small USB audio interface that can plug into the dock port! I’m also waiting for the Blue Mikey for the iPad – these accessories would make Studio Track a must have!
For software instruments, I like the Pianist Pro (check out Chinese pianist Lang Lang playing Flight of the Bumblebee in San Francisco), Accordion, and the best so far is Korg’s iElectribe, a soft version of their popular hardware synth/DJ device.
Sheet Music let’s you bring in PDFs of music and it scales the pages to fit the iPad display and gives you options for how to turn pages as you play. Pretty cool, but large PDFs like the Real Book don’t transfer in. Too bad…
Shazam and Pandora Radio have both updated their iPhone apps to run full screen on the iPad, and they are must haves!
As I mention in a previous post, I find the Apple iWork apps very useful and easy to use. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote all do the job syncing files between the computer and iPad, translating Microsoft Office files in both directions.
For PDF viewing, I like PDF Reader Pro and Good Reader. Both do a good job at bringing in PSF files and rendering them accurately. If you’re a musician, PDF Reader Pro brought in the big Real Book PDFs that Sheet Music could not. I think that if your music is already well scaled for the screen size of the iPad, PDF Reader Pro could do the job as a music stand application.
Dragon Dictation is AMAZING. It is very accurate, and if you want to do a lot of writing and don’t mind talking into the machine, this is a great tool!
SoundPaper is a great note-taking tool. You can type and record audio at the same time, and the audio is synced to the text! I have been using a PULSE smart pen to take notes during meetings, but this looks like it could replace that tool, and then you have text rather than handwriting…
For Reading, the Amazon Kindle software works great and if you have been a Kindle user, you’ll be able to download all your books to the iPad. You’ll enjoy how fast the pages turn, and how crisp the text looks. The Apple iBook reader is great, and the Apple eBook store with all the Gutenberg project books for free is an amazing tool!
I like the way the NY TIMES works, but would like to have the full data, not just the editors choices. The USA Today app is great, if you like that paper. SkyGrid is a great way to keep up with trends on the net, and Early Edition is a great RSS reader.
For Social Media I am liking Twitterific, but wish FaceBook and LinkedIn would update their apps – of course you can still use Safari to access these sites.
For getting things done, I really like Things. It syncs well with the Mac, has a great UI, and also syncs with iPhones and Touches. Of all the GTD apps I have seen, this has the most intuitive interface.
Evernote has an iPad app, and it is great for notes, and syncing with the Mac and iPhone via the Evernote web site.
Wolfram Alpha is one of the coolest apps I’ve seen. If you do math, get this app…
SketchBook Pro is a great app for doodling and making drawings. It really feels good to draw with this program.
The ABC player gives great TV shows for watching on the iPad, and the Netflix app is a great way to watch movies from your Netflix account. I like Mondo Solitaire, Labyrinth 2 HD, Sudoku Tablet, and Crosswords for having a little fun…
Well that’s a quick run down of my current apps, at least the ones I’m actually using regularly. There are lots more coming as iPhone developers rework their apps to take advantage of the added screen real estate the iPad provides. The ones I’m really waiting for are SplashID, TravelTracker Pro, Todo+Cal, and Indigo Touch.