After almost three months with my iPad, it's safe to say that I love it. Long before they were even announced, I told Mr. Awesome that I loved my iPhone, but that a tablet-sized version would be killer. No, I didn't want to hold the giant version to my head like some sort of douchebag - I barely use the thing for phone calls at all - but the screen on the iPhone was perfect, the responsiveness so right there, that imaginings of a bigger version were really just too cool to be true.
And then Apple went and done it. They gone and did it. They made my dream come true.
I realize at this point I sound like an Apple fanboy to the nth degree. I'm cool with that. Why? Because Apple really has created a new tool for connecting to the hive mind that is the internet. The iPad literally puts the Web in your hand... it all feels very Tom Cruise in Minority Report, without the Pre-Cog business or necessity to wear tight-fitting black clothing while using the device (that would be cool, though - I may have to try that).
Anyway, the purpose of this post isn't just to rave about the genius that is iPad. I want to talk about Apps for a moment. An iPad is only as useful (or entertaining) as the Apps installed on it, and with a virtual universe of Apps to choose from, it can be very daunting to find the ones that are a.) legitimately excellent and b.) worth the money. That's the kicker, folks - most of the really good Apps cost money. Sure, you can have a great experience with the free Apps, but if you want to kick it into high gear and fall madly, deeply in love with your iPad, you are going to have to do what any good suitor does and fork over some cash.
Based on my experiences thus far, here are some of my absolute favorite, must-have Apps of the moment, in no particular order:
NetNewsWire - Google Reader never felt so good.
Plants vs. Zombies - Loved the PC version, drool over the iPad one.
Twitterific - The instant accessibility of the iPad pairs beautifully with the fast-food feel of Twitter.
Pages - Word processor. You don't think you need this, but you do.
Scrabble - I'm a Scrabble junkie, and Scrabble + iPad = Scrabble heroin.
Todo - Sync tasks between Outlook, iPad and iPhone. Keep organized, people.
GoodReader - Nice PDF reader.
iBooks - The Kindle killer is really all that.
What do you think of the iPad? What are your favorite Apps? What do I need to download?