So, you’ve just picked up a fancy new iPad and all of your friends want to check it out. Sure, you could show them the iBooks, email or browser apps that they’ve all seen in demos and TV ads, or you could really blow their mind with a few apps that seem tailor made for those “WOW!” moments. Inexpensive or free, these are three apps that every iPad user who wants to show off a little bit should have loaded up on their home screens.
Uzu calls itself a “kinetic multitouch particle visualizer,” but it can be more accurately summed up as an LSD trip on your iPad screen. Uzu’s an app that presents you with particles that float around the screen and respond to your touches. The concept is simple, but it’s easy to spend hours just playing with the particles and discovering all the cool things you can make them do.
Uzu responds differently based on the number of fingers you’re touching the iPad screen with, all the way up to 10, and contains a control panel that lets you tweak settings like motion blur, amount of particles, color, and much more. The different patterns of particles will follow your fingers around the iPad screen, and you can even set it to automatic mode and simply watch the particles fly around and change shape and color without doing anything.
Immediately engaging and easy to use, Uzu is great to simply hand your friends and say “look how awesome this is!” It’s singlehandedly changed people’s opinion of the device.
Plenty of iPad Apps have tried to emulate the print newspaper and magazine layout with varying degrees of success, but Flipboard does the best job of taking content that’s interesting to you and formatting it in a way that’s perfect for the iPad. Flipboard can take your Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds and transform them into an elegant, magazine-style layout.
Just plug in your login information to your social media sites and get ready to experience Twitter like you’ve never seen it before. Twitpic images are blown up and displayed alongside your tweets, linked content is scraped and displayed like you’re reading a newspaper, and all of this happens automatically. Your Facebook feed becomes a morning newspaper, and your Twitter feed becomes a magazine made entirely of content that you’re interested in. Flipboard isn’t hugely useful if you’re monitoring a large amount of information on Twitter or RSS, but it’s a quick way to skim your tweets in the morning and an even better way to show off how powerful and innovative the tablet form factor can be for reading content.
This app might cost a little bit more than the others ($10), but if you’re a fan of football at all or enjoy sports games, you’re getting as much value here as you’d be getting from a $60 Xbox or $50 Wii game of the same name. NFL 2010 shows off just how powerful the iPad can be as a gaming platform, with innovative controls, full 3D graphics and pick-up-and-play gameplay.
NFL 2010 has all 32 NFL teams and stadiums, the best graphics I’ve seen on the iPad platform, and game modes that will entertain football newbies as well as players and coaches alike. The game offers full touch controls–just tap the receiver you’d like to pass to, for example, and even allows you to draw custom routes for your players via a neat multitouch interface. The touch interface feels like what’s always been missing from football games, and showing this off to any football fan will have them impressed in no time.