We got our Apple iPad about 6 weeks ago, so the newness hasn’t worn off as of yet. The more my wife and I explore the applications available for this device, the more we are impressed. Here are five free apps we have found that are fun and enjoyable to use.

The Amazon Kindle free app for the Apple iPad is one of the best apps on the market for those of us who are avid readers. Amazon offers a huge selection of free and paid e-books on the Internet. Though the Amazon Kindle is a great e-book reader, I believe that the Apple iPad does an equally good job, except for the glare factor. The iPad does have a glare from the screen when viewing an e-book, but a slight tilt of the iPad usually cures this quickly.

Even though we have a book case full of cookbooks and printed recipes stacked up under one kitchen counter, my wife still struggles with finding the perfect recipe for the perfect meal. Epicurious has solved this problem by providing thousands of tested recipes right at her fingertips. Using the free Epicurious app for her iPad she is able to save and even email recipes to other family members. This app is a must have for those who enjoy cooking or who, like myself, enjoy trying and eating new cuisine.

Netflix offers a free app for your iPad for those of us who are Netflix members. You can stream your favorite flicks right to your device and use it as a mini-TV. When the iPad is not being used for viewing recipes, it now doubles as an entertainment device.

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking on my work computer and it works fairly well. It does make mistakes and I need to correct some misspelled words on occasion. But the free edition of Dragon Dictation actually works very well on the iPad. When sending email messages and for short notes, Dragon Dictation is definitely worth trying for yourself. Just remember that all voice recognition programs still have issues so do not expect perfection.

Flipboard is a free app that allows any Apple iPad user to obtain all of their favorite news and information in a fun and easy to read format. Flipboard provides access to your Twitter, Facebook and RS feeds in one simple and convenient location in what looks like a magazine. I used the app last evening and this afternoon and I can only give this app a one word description and that is fantastic.

The more I use the Apple iPad with apps such as these, the more I can see an Apple iPad in my future.