Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A few lovely iPad Apps

I'm still getting to know my beautiful iPad. If you're wondering whether to get one I would say yes, as soon as you can. I fought the urge for a year but in the end I caved and it was well worth it. I can't compare my iPad 2 to the original but this one is lovely.

I got some good advice app wise from a friend which got me up and going but part of the joy of the whole idevise thing is just browsing the app store. The kind of apps that appeal to you will differ from me but here are a few that I have found joyful.

A quick disclaimer; I'm still getting to grips with the iPad so I've worked out how to attach photos but not how to embed them in the blog nicely, hence all the screen shots are at the bottom of this post. Secondly, these are purely apps that have made me feel happy, calm or just nice. I am not claiming that they are useful in anyway (although if they are, that's a nice bonus).

Living earth HD
Fundamentally this is a global weather app. It tells you current weather, weather forecast for the coming week, sunrise and set times and the time at the location you have searched for, but this app is presented beautifully. It shows the real time cloud cover across the earth and for the areas of the earth that are at night, it shows the inhabited areas as they are lit up with street lights etc. The screen shot below is of the third hurricane in the atlanic that I've seen since having the app for less than a week. Oh, you can also set it as an alarm which is very cool in my opinion.

Music ball
This really is the most gentle little app. Basically the premise is that when you touch the screen a coloured ball appears and starts to fall. When it hits the side, it makes a little sound and then bounces up until it hits the top etc. With each bounce it gets fainter and quieter. This creates the kind of gentle tingly music you'd expect to hear in a health spa. but the best thing about this app is if you own a baby. There are many apps for toddlers but, I suppose understandably, there is not much out there for babies to interact with. This app is perfect. Noises that attract, little coloured balls to try and grab, it really is like nectar to a baby. The only thing I need to do now, is convince my 8 month old to use her hands on the screen instead of her face.

Google earth
Now, as a geographer I got over google earth about 4 or 5 years ago. I can be so precise because the last time I looked at it was to check out a resort we were going to on holiday. At the time, google earth only had a very long range view and it didn't impress me at all. However, I downloaded this app last night and promptly wasted a good three hours scooting round the earth. The usability on iPad is fab and it's so much better than years past. The links to photographs and wiki logs have been particularly absorbing. The satellite images have also been updated although I would say they are still a good few years out, depending on which part of the earth you wish to view. It's just a brilliant way to explore the earth if you can't afford or be bothered to travel.

There are many many more cool and interesting apps with specific uses but these are the ones (so far) that I have found to be truly good for my mental health!

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