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Dead Space

Dr. Seuss e-books



Friendly Facebook

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4

OverDrive Media Console


TeamViewer HD

USA Today

Admittedly, a third-person survival-horror adventure isn't everyone's cup of tea, but Dead Space flexes the iPad's gaming muscles like few other apps. It's the game you show your friends to make them weep with envy. Plus, it's an original chapter in the mega-popular saga (which debuted on consoles), with a new story and new weapons. It's scary, too: play with headphones on and I guarantee you'll jump out of your seat. Dead Space is not only one of the best action games ever to grace the tablet, but one of the first to feature "enhanced" graphics for the iPad 2.
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Forget games, video, and all that: the iPad was made for children's books. Look no further than Oceanhouse Media's growing library of e-book versions of Dr. Seuss classics, which lovingly recreate each and every page of beloved stories like "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back," "Horton Hears a Who," and "Yertle the Turtle." Kids can read the books themselves or have them read aloud by the apps. Plus, individual words are spoken when tapped, so there's extra educational value as well. And most of the books are priced at $3.99 apiece--much less than the hardcover editions.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Rick Broida
On-demand exercise classes? Ingenious! FitnessClass serves up more than 200 videos for just about any kind of workout you'd want: fat burning, core strengthening, arm toning, and more. You can search for classes based on your goal (weight loss, strength), available time (from 10 minutes to a little over an hour), and even equipment (dumbbells, Swiss ball, and so on). The app comes with seven free classes to get you started, but you'll have to rent or buy additional videos. They're a little pricey, but the convenience is hard to beat--and you can preview any class before plunking down your cash.
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Magazines aren't dead; they're just being reinvented. Flipboard turns blogs, news sites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and more into gorgeous, magazine-style pages. It's the kind of app that justifies the iPad's very existence, as it makes for fast, easy, efficient, and just plain fun consumption of Web content. Amazingly, Flipboard is free, without so much as a single ad interfering with the experience.
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This may seem hard to believe, but Facebook still doesn't offer an iPad-native app. Sure, you can use the iPhone version, but that's an anemic solution at best. What you need is Oecoway's Friendly Facebook for iPad. It lets you chat with Facebook friends, upload photos (an especially slick feature given the iPad 2's new cameras), and even switch between multiple FB accounts. If you can live with a small ad banner, the app is free; otherwise, grab ad-free Friendly Plus for 99 cents.
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A near-perfect replica of the outstanding console game, Lego Harry Potter loses almost nothing in its transition to the small(er) screen. All 40-plus original levels are there, along with the clever cutscenes, over 100 character choices, and huge helping of in-game "collectibles." The only thing missing is cooperative play: for now, Lego Harry Potter is a solitary experience. Even so, it's a steal at $4.99, especially considering that some console versions sold for 10 times as much! Here's hoping Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, and Lego Batman are soon to follow.
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As e-book readers go, OverDrive is pretty rudimentary. It does a mediocre job of formatting text and offers no font or background choices. So what sets it apart from more polished apps like Kindle and Kobo? Two words: library books. OverDrive is currently the only iPad app that lets you check out e-books and download them directly from your public library--free of charge. Setup's a bit of a hassle, but once it's done, it's done.
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Will tablets like the iPad put newspapers out to pasture? Time will tell, but in the meantime there's PressReader, an app that provides access to a whopping 1,700 full-content newspapers (complete with ads, obituaries, and crosswords) from 92 countries in 48 languages. You can buy papers one at a time (for 99 cents apiece) or get unlimited access for $29.95 monthly. That may seem steep, but for serious news junkies or anyone who misses the daily paper from "back home," PressReader delivers (literally).
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The Web version of TeamViewer is a terrific free service that provides remote access to other PCs. TeamViewer for iPad extends that accessibility to your tablet, letting you take control of any Windows, Mac, or Linux system (with permission, of course). This is incredibly handy for things like grabbing a PowerPoint presentation from a thousand miles away, shutting down the PC you accidentally left running, or providing remote tech support for friends and family. Amazingly, TeamViewer HD is a freebie.
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By itself, I think USA Today ranks as one of the best newspaper apps for the iPad. It may not be as hard-hitting as, say, The New York Times, but it's not as dry, either. Plus, it contains a "secret" feature that has little to do with news: crossword puzzles. Just head to the Life section and tap the Crossword button for a new puzzle each and every day. It stores weeks' worth of past puzzles and lets you play them offline. There's even a timer option for those who like to challenge the clock. Most crossword apps for the iPad will cost you a few bucks; this one's free.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Rick Broida
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