More iPad

Monday, April 12, 2010, 01:23 AM – Product Reviews

What am I doing up at 1:30 in the morning? Just finished my taxes. So I am rewarding myself by talking about my iPad and my favorite apps and why they are special on the iPad.

The first is a game. Being an old lady, I like simple games that don’t tax my thumbs. The first game I purchased is a solitaire game called 12 Solitaire Games from Astraware. It costs $.99. It has all the most common versions of the game. The cool thing about playing a game like this on the iPad as opposed to either the iPhone or the Mac, is you just touch the cards and they move. A single card or a whole line of cards, depending on the circumstances. If they don’t go where you want them to go, just touch them again. It is quick and easy, and one of the side benefits is that people with problems with their hands, such as arthritis, can play computer games again. Every action in the game is controlled by a single touch. This particular game is beautifully designed, has clear directions, allows you to start a game over, and even has a hint button if you wish to use it.

The second app is WolframAlpha. I am still learning all that this app can do, but it is amazing. It is unlike any option we have ever had before. It is not a dictionary, nor is it an encyclopedia. There are categories of questions and you ask something like “calories in carbonated beverages” and get a whole page of information – unit conversions, comparisons to daily intake, ranking among common foods, nutritional facts, and of course, calories. When it was first released it cost around $50 I believe, but you can get it right now for $1.99. There is also a version for the iPhone.

The third is iBooks. At this point there is not a large selection of books to purchase in the books store, but oh my, it is wonderful to read a book on the iPad. The text is easy to read, but if necessary you can actually enlarge it. The price of books start at $9.99.

If you haven’t examined an iPad, there are units to check out at Apple stores and Best Buy locations. Now that things have calmed down a bit, you should be able to get someone to demo one for you.

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