Since then, in addition to my personal Gmail email, I have added my work email to the iPad email client, along with syncing my work Calendar and Contacts, and now regard the iPad as a true BlackBerry replacement (to the point on my recent work trip to the United States I left my laptop and BlackBerry at home, making do quite nicely with only the iPad, relying on WiFi at the hotel and conference centre and using the Skype app for when I needed a phone).
Having work email, along with my Calendar and Contacts, makes the unit much more functional. I also use it for note-taking and checking the Internet in meetings. My only regret remains the relatively slow speeds I get when using 3G (whereas WiFi is consistently fast). I also need to activate the RSA SecureID app (to remotely access work applications) before I can entirely replace the BlackBerry (since my RSA tokens currently reside on my BlackBerry).
- iTranslate: I am very impressed with this translation app (it was free, with ads, but I paid the extra $2.99 to get the full, ad-free version). It translates over 50 languages and includes 11 voices. It is very easy to enter or paste text and to switch between languages. Although not qualified to vouch for the accuracy of most of its languages, it appeared to have no problem with my attempts to trick it translating from English to Japanese or French (the screenshot shows the correct translation into Japanese of the phrase “My dog’s name is Yuko”).
- Soundview Executive Book Summaries: Although this is not an iPad app per se, I paid for an online subscription to this book summary service and read the summaries on my iPad, usually in PDF format (although the service provides multiple formats, including .MP3). I only recently got this subscription and the "jury is still out". On the one hand, it is expensive and I feel guilty/lazy reading only summaries. On the other hand, it does expose me to a much wider variety of business-related titles that I otherwise would not likely be exposed to.
- xFeed: I find I still don’t read my RSS feeds on the iPad. I have installed this RSS Reader, which seems quite good. However, I think it is simply a matter of not equating the iPad with the habit of checking feeds. I tend instead to simply go to Google News on the iPad when I am in the mood to "catch up" on news.
- TED app: No this isn’t what you might think (although I am toying with creating a legal research app for the iPad). And this one sort of straddles work and fun. This is an app providing free, easy access to the Ted Talks (did you know that TED in this situation is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design?).
Now for the purely fun stuff:
- Netflix: I went for the "first month free" option and have been too lazy to cancel the subscription (so assume I am now paying monthly for this service). Content is dated but I am enjoying re-watching Season 1 of Rescue Me, one of the better TV shows out there.
- Lineup 2: This is a fairly silly (but free) "blocks" game (with the blocks appearing from the bottom, moving up (opposite to Tetris). Perfect for passing time while on the subway when I am too tired to do substantive work.
- Sudoku: I have tried various Sudoku apps but find the one I usually play at least once per day is Sudoku 2 HD Pro.
The other lesson I have learned is that, although I have purchased some of the more expensive racing or hockey games, their "re-play" value is extremely low. Instead, the games I play the most tend to be the cheaper ones (e.g., Doodle Jump, although my high score remains a relatively low 31, 002). The Fotopedia World Heritage app is a free app with an amazing 25,000 photos of UNSECO World Heritage and other sites. The New York Times crossword puzzle app remains “high value” and I find that I have purchased and read more books on the Kindle app in the last few months than I have read in years.