30 free iPad applications

Anthony Marshall
Anthony Marshall
7 Sept 2010
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As The Technology Studio launch into developing iphone and ipad applications I was recently given an iPad to play with. I made a point of trying to find good applications that are free. Here is a set of micro reviews complied for your pleasure.

Out of the 30 applications one is for the iPhone, but works on the iPad and two are web addresses that you have to add from the browser to your home screen, but then 'look' like applications.

[Disclaimer] any views are my own and are not be representative of the company. All copyrights and trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. Neither the company or I take any responsibility for damage or misuse arising from installing applications listed here. Some applications may not be available in territories outside the United Kingdom. Some applications may have changed price/functionality since the review was conducted.

Dragon Dictation: Voice based dictation for notes. Very basic but does do dictation without any training. Needs a training mode ! FREE 3 stars

Epicurious: Recipe book. In one word 'lavish', it is beautiful/responsive and has everything you need. Nice layout/options images, reviews and can store all the required ingredients in a shopping list. FREE 5 stars Dictionary/Thesaurus. Just works, no obvious niggles. FREE 5 stars

IMDB: Internet Movie DataBase. Just works and looks brilliant. FREE 5 stars

AudioMemos: Record audio from the microphone. Although heavily ad supported it does do a good job. Just hit record, and rename your recording after. FREE**AD Supported 3 stars

The Guardian Eyewitness: Slide show of the best daily global photography. Stunning, must have. FREE 5 stars

Beatwave: Music creator: very fun, simple and has some useful configurations. FREE 4 stars

SkyGrid: News consolidation app. Bit quirky, nice way to waste five minutes catching up with news about things and stuff you might otherwise have missed. FREE 3 stars

Google Earth: Planet visualiser. Does exactly what you expect, fun and easy to use. Pinch zoom seems to rotate the image every time. FREE 5 stars

Toy Story: Interactive story book, with games and sing-a-longs. Kids adored it, great graphics easy to use, intermixes actual film and audio clips. FREE 5 stars

Saturation: Colour visualiser for the kuler Adobe community. Show the micro palettes either interactively or in a screen saver type experience. Fun but not very useful. FREE 3 stars

VAInfo: System information reference. Find your IP and MAC address, CPU type, OS, memory, battery, location, kernel etc etc. For geeks, it just works. FREE 5 stars

VTrace: Visual tracer. Enter an IP address or web server and get a route described by pins at the data centres the data travelled. For geeks, it just works. FREE 4 stars

Wink Target Clock: A full screen arty analogue clock. Imagine a shooting target composed of colourful concentric circles and then add hands and a second mechanism that changes the colours. FREE 3 stars

PCalc Lite: Calculator. Demo for more fully featured product. Very clear and easy to use, wish it had base 2 and base 16. FREE**DEMO 3 stars

Implode Nature!: Physics game. Demo, containing 10 levels where you place explosives and try and decimate chalk drawn structures. Completed the demo in less than 10 minutes. FREE**DEMO 3 stars

Bub Wider: Tilt game. Control a bubble by tilting the iPad collecting art and avoiding sugar babes. No indication it was only a demo. Basic premise, collect objects and avoid enemies,  but looks really nice. FREE**DEMO 3 stars

RJ Voyager: Audio mixer. Fun interactive audio toy for mixing up sounds. Comes with eight 'scenes' that are a collection of samples each with their own parameters such as volume, echo, reality and filter to name but a few. For acid house, trance dance types. FREE 5 stars

Labyrinth 2 HD Lite: Tilt maze game. Demo containing 20 levels, some easy, some hard. Amazingly well presented and lots of fun, but I got neck ache looking down at the iPad as it had to be flat as neutral. At £4.99 I will consider purchasing the 300 level complete version. FREE**DEMO 5 stars

Pocket Pond HD: Interactive pond. Play with the fish in this relaxing interactive pond environment. Ambient sounds play, you can annoy the fish by touching the water or add lily pads, the only other thing is to drag through the water like all those water demos before it. Simple, beautiful, but a bit basic. Not really a demo but a new more advanced version called iPond with fishing, frogs and dragon flies is available. FREE 4 stars

Clinometer: Spirit level and bubble level. That's it, a nicely presented bubble level (when the iPad is on its back) and spirit level when stood on end, very sensitive (a good thing). FREE 5 stars

Doodle Buddy: Drawing. Lots here for the kids, from multiple backgrounds to stamps with sound effects. As well as having the normal draw a colour pens, it has a smudge and also allows finished art to be saved as the iPad background. FREE 5 stars

PreSchoolMM: Memory match game. Another on for the kids. Match the pairs with colourful illustrations and when they match get a sound and/or voice over. At the end of each level you get three wacky sound toys to play with. Lots of variation on the cards, from animals to instruments to vehicles. FREE 5 stars

IdeaSketch: Mind mapping. Very simple, not very many options, but allows you to create simple lists with associations in either list or graph view. FREE 3 stars

WorldClockPro: Clock. Show multiple clocks from different time zones. Very few customisations and the LED view is not very readable. However the analogue clocks look very nice. FREE 3 stars

Hexius: Hexagon matching game. High speed touch matching with funky explosions sounds, graphics and fun power-ups. FREE 3 stars

Trundle HD: Rolling physics game. Tip the iPad left and right to get your ball rolling, tap the screen to jump. One of the better and more devious physics games. FREE 4 stars

Rafter HD: Drawing physics game. Draw blocks and balls at the top of the screen and let them fall down and activate the mine. Bit limited and hard in places. FREE 4 stars

BBC iPlayer: BBC catch-up service. Not an app but a URL that you can add to your home screen. Select programs from BBC channels from the previous week (or so) and watch streaming. FREE 4 stars (UK only)


TVCatchup: Live streaming TV. Not an app but a URL that you can add to your home screen. Select one of 37 channels and watch streaming live. So not really any kind of catch-up service. You do have to register but its free to use. FREE 4 stars (UK only)


I hope you enjoyed the list. Let us know your thoughts on these or recommend any others you have found.


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