App Update: AppStart for the iPad

iPad 1G owners are being inundated by the inevitable question posed by new iPad 2G owners,”I just bought an iPad! What apps should I get?” Unless one is keenly familiar with the interests and needs of their friend, the query necessitates more discussion. Or one could just direct the eager tableteer to the app AppStart for the iPad (currently free in the App Store). The app was created by the team behind the website, an app-centric site with breaking news, reviews, lists of app bargains, guides and the like. The web site has a separate app (AppAdvice, $1.99 USD in the App Store) that culls content from the site.

AppStart for the iPad has iPad tips and app round-ups. Over fifty-five categories and interest areas are covered including those for artists, students, musicians, gamers, and non-gamers, apps for planning trips, shopping and utility apps. Broader subject areas such as ebooks, reference apps, browsers, rss apps, etc. are explored with a brief explanation and a list of several pertinent apps, some free and others not. The iPad tricks are as rudimentary as copy and paste to the more “advanced” option of activating gestures in iOS4.3.

Read on for more details and screenshots.

The app’s design is decidedly retro and kitschy, with a pleasant color palette. The app round-ups are spot on for the most point, with several of the best developed apps around. However, a few choices seem misguided. In the “Plan a Night” section, they suggest a tip calculator app that costs $.99 USD. There are several excellent free alternatives in the App Store,  such as the one found in App Box Lite (free), which contains eleven utilities including a tip calculator. Additionally, their “First 10 Apps Everyone Needs to Download” (my italics) chapter is populated by iWorks, iMovie and GarageBand which are arguably unnecessary for the average user. The coverage of ebook readers and the comparison of iBooks vs. Kindle is comprehensive and helpful, as are the social media app recommendations.

Choosing apps is as individual as the user, and rarely easy, but AppStart for the iPad provides a good starting point for covering the basics and a variety of niches as well.

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