Unwrapping your app-titude

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 05:00 05/01/2013
Bastion

BASTION: A role-playing game that follows 'The Kid' through numerous fantastical worlds and environments.

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Sapphire screen unlikely for iPhone 6 Kiwi rocket company ready to blast off Sneak peek at Microsoft's 'selfie' phone Amazon opens 3D printing store US 'neighbourhood watch' satellites take off Will resticting drones hurt research? Beats sued over noise-cancelling patent 'Dronies' take-off creating aerial headaches iPhones extract deep personal data Has the iPad already passed its peak?

Got a new iPad for Christmas and wondering what to download? We round up some top apps for the Apple tablet.

TO READ

Flipboard (free)

Keep abreast of what's happening with your personalised news app. Select topics you care about and Flipboard will serve up related news from around the web. You can also see which articles and pics that contacts on Facebook and Twitter are viewing and sharing.

Instapaper ($5.29)

Save interesting online articles, blogs and web pages so you can read them offline at a more leisurely time. The app also removes ads and other distractions from web text so you can enjoy a clutter-free read.

Pocket (by Idea Shower, free)

Very similar to and often preferred ahead of Instapaper, Pocket also lets you save video to view later.

Kindle (by Amazon Mobile, free)

This app lets you download e-books through Amazon's Kindle Store and read them on the iPad. Kiwis can choose from 1.5 million books through the store.

❏ Stuff.co.nz (by Fairfax NZ, free)

Read the latest New Zealand news through Stuff's app, which also lets you view video and photo galleries, get local weather reports and share stories via Facebook, Twitter and email.

TO CREATE

Paper (by FiftyThree, free)

Hugely popular and singled out by Apple as one of the top two apps of 2012, Paper turns the iPad into a sketchbook. Budding artists have a range of tools and a vivid colour palette at their disposal and can share their creations online.

Day One (by Bloom Built, $6.49)

Turn your iPad into a journal with the Day One app. You can jot down and tag entries, save photos and web addresses and tag locations. Day One also syncs across the iPhone and iPad (via iCloud or DropBox) so you can access it from either device.

Pinterest (free)

The social scrapbooking site that has taken the online world by storm can also be enjoyed via an iPad app. Members' digital pinboards are displayed to great effect and you can - of course - manage your own board and pin new content through the app.

GarageBand (by Apple, $6.49)

GarageBand transforms the iPad into touch-operated instruments (piano, guitar, drums etc) so you can create and record your own music.

Vimeo (free)

Browse and watch from a huge range of videos, or create your own and share them through the Vimeo app.

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YouTube (by Google, free)

The ultimate video watching and sharing app, YouTube also lets you subscribe to your favourite video channels.

Snapseed (by Nik Software, free)

Tweak your photos to perfection with the highly rated Snapseed app, which has a great range of editing tools and features.

Evernote (free)

A "to-do-list" app, Evernote syncs your reminders so you can access your list from multiple devices, and also lets you include pictures and voice reminders.

FOR REFERENCE

Dictionary.com (free)

With more than two million definitions, synonyms and antonyms and offline access this app is a handy reading/crossword/Scrabble companion. There's also an audio pronunciation feature for those words that leave you tongue-tied.

Barefoot World Atlas (by Touch Press, $6.49)

Tour an interactive 3D globe from the iPad's touchscreen with Barefoot World Atlas. You can select countries to see their basic info, learn about the cultures and way of life of people around the globe, and tap on little icons representing different wildlife, landmarks and buildings to find out more about them.

iTunes U (by Apple, free)

School up with iTunes U, which provides free courses - including more than 500,000 free lectures, books, videos and other resources from universities and other schools - on a wide range of topics.

TO SOCIALISE

Twitter (free)

Twitter needs little introduction and the iPad app does what you'd expect - letting you view a stream of tweets from those you follow and make some tweets of your own. A bonus though is the ability to see photos and other links in your stream - meaning you don't need to navigate to a new web page to view them.

Facebook (free)

Again, the app for Facebook will need little explaining. Just like on the website, users can view their newsfeed, photos and post messages and status updates.

MyPad+ (by Loytr, $1.29)

Save social networking time with the MyPad+ app, which pulls together your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can see all your activity and updates from the sites in one place.

TO PLAY

Kingdom Rush HD (by Armor Games, $4.19)

An addictive, critically acclaimed medieval fantasy tower defence game that sees you fight off more than 30 fearsome enemies, including orcs, trolls and evil wizards.

Bastion (by Warner Bros, $1.29)

An action role-playing game in which you create and fight for a safe haven for civilisation in the wake of a (quite literally) earth-shattering disaster. You explore a series of beautifully hand-painted environments, accompanied by a narrator who reacts to your every move and reveals the story as you go.

Words With Friends (by Zynga, free)

For slightly more cerebral and social entertainment, there's Words With Friends, a Scrabble-esque word-building game for you and friends (funnily enough). You can also sign in with Facebook and play with friends on the site. There's a free version with ads, or you can pay $4.19 for an ad-free version.

Spotify (free)

Listen to millions of songs on your iPad through Spotify, one of the world's most popular music streaming services. The free version comes with ads, or you can upgrade to the premium version for $7.49 a month for ad-free listening, and the ability to create playlists and listen offline. You'll need Facebook to sign up.

TO EAT

My Recipe Book (by Cross Forward Consulting, $2.59)

Compile your own cookbook using recipes pulled from all over the web, your head or the back pages of women's magazines. Then prop your iPad up on the kitchen bench and get cooking.

Jamie's Recipes (by Zolmo, free)

This beautifully designed and illustrated Jamie Oliver app gives you ten free recipes and three videos to whet your appetite for the naked chef's creations. After that you'll have to pay $2.59 for additional packs - containing at least 10 recipes. Cheeky choc chip and cherry cookies anyone?

Sources: Metacritic, IGN, ABC News, The Telegraph, TechRadar, Mashable, The Verge, Apple.

- The Dominion Post

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