I am so grateful for the huge range of apps that we can get these days.
It seems there is an app for everything and although, some of them are unnecessarily complicating our lives, others are absolutely life changers.
So between the many apps that I use with my iPad, here is the top 5 – the apps that I simply couldn’t do without.
1. MG Camera HD
This is a must have app if you have kids, pets, are a sports fan or simply want to capture the unseen.
MG Camera takes pictures very fast, up to 28 a second in VGA mode or 5 per second in HD. You can use either front or rear camera and either shoot continuously up to the predefined number you decide; shoot in a burst by simply holding down the start button and letting go when you want to, or you can select manual mode which is determined by how fast you click the Start button. The total number of photos is limited only by your iPad memory.
There is also an iPhone version available for the same price as the ipad app
The only problem I encountered is if you hold the iPad in portrait mode with the start button at the bottom the image is upside down so illogically you need the Start button at the top.
Machine Gun Camera HD – Fastest to Capture Precious Instant Digital moments High Speed & Least Shutter Cam for iPad by Gladrap Studio
This is a great free app that runs your Apple device (iPad, iPod touch, iPhone) into a webcam for your PC / Laptop. If you already have a webcam this is still a great app as it switches easily over in Skype and lets you walk about during your Skype call or display whatever the iPad/iPhone/iPod touch can see up to 10 meters away. Just download the drivers from the website and install, the selection from Skype is simple and works very well.
The paid for full version is worth every penny as it adds 720p HD, opens the microphone and stops the adverts which to be honest are very discreet in the free app anyway.
Most of the popular video tools are supported; Skype, Windows Messenger, Google Hangout, Facebook video…
3. FilmOn Live TV Free
If you are away from your home country working, on holiday, an ex-pat or simply want more viewing choice then FilmOn is the iTunes app of choice bar none. Many VPN and DNS solutions to getting video restricted by location at best come with slow ping times leading to picture breakup, stuttering and slow loading, at worst they are a haven for criminals intent on defrauding you or stealing your online details. FilmOn stands out by delivering a huge choice of content in a quality delivery for free. Of course being free means some compromising as you do not get Hi Def and you do have to wait through adverts – though these are not too intrusive. The stand out feature is the PVR allowing you to record very easily for playback later. There is a paid for service which is expensive compared to other VPN / DNS solutions but not by much (maybe 20% more) and you do significantly reduce your risk exposure and reap the benefits of a better quality HD delivery. Another advantage if you have Apple TV is that this app supports Airplay so it is easy to watch on the big screen.
No other service matches FilmOn unless you go direct to the broadcast providers own sites which usually check for your location. This is by far the best offering available and should be in everyone’s app list
This is a great example of how a software solution can triumph over a book or even a teacher. My daughter wanted to learn to play the recorder but we could not find a local teacher so we’ve got this app.
It appeals directly to kids by giving an hands on experience right from the opening screen where you can dress and configure your character – this makes kids identify with the on-screen character being taught and in so doing they empathize and feel that in some subconscious way they are learning with a friend.
The next step is to get the child to hold the recorder correctly and learn how to blow, once the very quick basic step is made it is straight into the fun with games that listen to the sound via the microphone and progress is swift and assured which immediately reinforces what has just been taught. Next comes the fingering exercises which are made very easy with clear finger positions shown – again the app listens to the note played and progress is made when the note is blown correctly. Now with a few notes mastered the child can progress onto playing some well knows tunes such as Old McDonald etc. The notes are displayed as letters with the finger positions displayed below and again progress is made when the app hears the note played correctly.
All tunes are presented as letters but also the notation is shown on the stave above, which simple helps to visually associate the letter of the note to the musical symbol.
The free version is very comprehensive and provide many hours of tunes, once mastered the paid version is great value for money as it unlocks many more tunes.
No 5 is a very special must have for all star gazers out there :
OK so most of us can spot the Big Dipper (The Plough in the UK) and some of us might even be able to find Venus in the evening sky but how many more of the 9000 (with the naked eye) or so in the northern hemisphere do you know? Star Chart couldn’t be simpler to use, just point your iPad/iPhone at the sky and the constellations, planets and stars are displayed in beautifully rendered Augmented Reality right before your eyes.
Over 120,000 stars and 88 constellations are available, you can even travel up to 10,000 years into the past or the future using the time shift button so you can see the sky as the ancients did.
When your arms get tired you can still scroll around the sky with finger gestures or take fly-by tours of planets in our solar system which not only show the stars but the planets are animated too so you can see the swirling clouds on Jupiter and fly through Saturn’s rings. There is so much available from this advert free app. Upgrades are available for very reasonable prices which include more moons in the solar system, distant stars and my favorite, Meteor Showers which tells you where and when to find all the major showers due in the year.
Star Chart – Feel Great Publishing Limited is the perfect gift for anyone who likes the stars …hmm that is everyone!
All the aforementioned iTunes apps are available to download, some for free at the iTunes store. And while you’re there, why don’t you have a look at the podcasts section on iTunes, Mostly are free and it’s impossible not to find something you’ll adore in there.