Five iPad apps to consider on your first day of ownership


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Now that the iPad has hit stores, new owners and prospective buyers are probably wondering which applications to download as soon as they break the tablet out of its box.

That’s where we come in. Below you will find five applications available in Apple’s App Store that are ideal for new iPad owners. Some are free and others will set you back a few bucks, but in any case, they’re worth having.


Let’s take a look.

1. WeatherBug Elite for iPad

The built-in weather application in the iPad is fine, but it offers only basic functionality such as current conditions and forecasts. WeatherBug Elite for iPad, on the other hand, delivers a full-fledged weather experience. The app boasts information on severe weather alerts, live images of weather around the U.S. and more. It even allows users to view live Doppler radar. Plus, it’s free.

2. Netflix

Netflix’s streaming content is available on the Web, on all three major video game consoles and, now, the iPad. The free app allows users to stream thousands of movies and television shows directly to the iPad wherever a Web connection is available. In order to use the service, iPad owners must have a Netflix unlimited subscription plan, starting at $8.99 a month.

3. SoundHound

SoundHound is one of the most intriguing apps in this roundup. When users load it up, they need only hum or sing a song near the iPad’s microphone and the app figures out the name of the song. Once the track is found, users can opt to buy it on iTunes or stream it over YouTube. It’s a really neat app, but it costs $4.99.


4. Twitterrific for iPad

The iPad is a great social-networking device. That’s precisely why the free Twitterrific for iPad app is a must-have. The program allows users to check in on their Twitter feeds to see what followers are saying. They can also update their status and respond to direct messages from within the app. Twitterrific for iPad even allows users to search and filter content.

5. Desktop Connect

The iPad may be a nice computing device in its own right, but some folks might want added functionality available only on their laptops or desktops.

If so, Desktop Connect, which costs $11.99, is the app for them. The app allows users to access their Macs or Windows PCs from the iPad and totally control those computers over the Web. Users can open programs and perform any other operating-system task right from the iPad.

-- Don Reisinger