iPad, the revolutionary tablet that does almost everything you need a computer to do. In fact, people have become used to the pithy maxim: “There’s an app for that.” The iPad is a useful weight-loss tool, a great e-book reader, and a fun gaming and entertainment platform.

This article reviews the following useful free apps that are available for i-Pad:

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking,
  • Jot!,
  • Evernote,
  • iBrainstorm,
  • Dropbox,
  • Aji iRead

Useful Free iPad App Trackers

Free App trackers are extremely useful to any iPad user because they simplify the task of tracking iPad apps that were once offered at a cost, but have since been made available to the iPad user for no cost.

Appstream: The most useful iPad app tracker is “appstream,” developed by appsfire. This is an animated apps tracker with handy settings options at the bottom right of the app screen. You can set “appstream” to display in animation, which keeps the icons of the free apps moving around the screen.

You can also set it to “free apps only,” a setting that ensures that only currently free apps appear on the screen. You can also set “appstream” to display only iPad apps. “Appstream” is very useful as an app that can alert you to the many free apps that are available for the iPad (and iPhone too).

Free App Tracker: Another helpful app tracker is “Free App Tracker.” This useful app has a range of settings that enable the user to track either iPad apps, or all apps. The settings also enable the user to track apps that may drop in price, enabling the patient iPad user to get the best price on an app.

Useful Free Productivity Apps

Dragon Naturally speaking, by Nuance communication, is a product that I tried out many years ago on a PC. Back then it had a number of bugs and I found that with my South African accent, a lot of words were misspelled. Dragon’s dictation app for the iPad is superb! You cannot dictate reams of information, but for the quick e-mail, important note or letter it functions really well. It is useful because you simply record your note, correct any errors from the keyboard and then either Tweet, Facebook, e-mail or cut/copy and paste into your word-processing software.

Evernote: Another extremely useful free app is Evernote. This app is useful because it brings the ease of cloud computing to every platform you own, whether iPhone, iPad, MacBook pro or iMac, as well as PC/Windows based machines. Evernote enables the user to clip web pages into notes for later reading, as well as paste photos, word processing documents, charts, in fact almost anything into the note for retrieval and later usage. The search facility is incredibly useful and incisive in its capacity to quickly find information stored in the notes.

Jot! is a useful app for the visually oriented because it serves as a virtual whiteboard on the iPad, enabling the user to draw blocks, circles, and arrows, as well as type text. It is a great brainstorming tool and is useful in a one on one meeting, as well as for those times when you need to think in pictures.

iBrainstorm is similar to Jot! except that it is not a virtual whiteboard but rather a virtual cork-board, onto which the user places different color sticky notes with typed text. The user can also draw arrows and almost any shape imaginable onto the board. This app was immensely helpful in the formulation of an emergent systems model for my PhD.

Aji iRead is a helpful PDF (portable document format) reader, but with some added features, like bookmarking, and tabbed pdf reading! Thanks to Aji iRead, the user can have hundreds of documents available to read on the iPad with the added advantage of easily finding and retrieving key data that has been bookmarked.

Useful Free Cloud Computing Storage Apps

Dropbox is one of the best free cloud computing storage apps! It enables the user to store up to 10GB in the Dropbox. Dropbox is useful because it automatically synchronizes any data changes across multiple platforms, as long as the dropbox app has been installed on each platform. A very useful feature of dropbox is that it enables the user to view a particular document or presentation even if the particular platform does not carry the software that created the document.

The iPad is revolutionary because of its style, battery life and versatility. What makes the iPad extremely useful are the free apps a user can download, apps for almost any application. Many of the apps reviewed in this article provide integration and synchronicity across multiple platforms and operating systems. All of these apps can be found at the Apple iTunes Apps Store.

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