Reeder ($4.99): Reeder is the minimalist RSS junkie’s dream. Like its iPhone counterpart, Reeder’s UI is sparse, offering only the necessary interface elements to navigate your unread, starred and entire RSS feed articles. You can share articles via Google Reader and Twitter, as well as send them to Instapaper for later reading and the cream-colored background makes long-form posts much easier on the eyes.
Flipboard (Free): Consider Flipboard the “check this out” demo app to show your friends why the iPad is so much cooler than those “other tablets”. Flipboard incorporates your Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook and individual site feeds in order to cultivate a virtual “magazine” of personalized news and status updates. Links your friends share on Facebook and Twitter are expanded with the text, photos and videos behind them right in the app and navigating your feeds is as easy as turning a page. Flipboard makes catching up on your friends’ activities a much more enjoyable and interactive experience on the iPad.
Zite (Free): Zite is a magazine app that captures your “likes” and “dislikes” from dozens of news categories in order to curate the articles you see on a daily basis. When you dislike a particular post, Zite will make sure not to display others like it. Liking an article sends Zite an indication that you want more of the same. Individual articles can be shared across your various social networks, emailed to friends or sent to Instapaper.
NY Times for iPad (Free*): The New York Times app for the iPad provides you with a beautiful, tablet-optimized interface that’s perfect for perusing the day’s headlines, or catching up with a favorite columnist. Articles feature interactive multimedia, such as photo slideshows and videos, embedded directly within so you’re never removed from the content. And the built-in sharing capabilities let you share interesting pieces via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Note: Access to some areas of the New York Times will require a subscription plan
NPR (Free): Scroll through the headlines in a variety of categories, like news, arts & life and music, using NPR’s elegant iPad app. More importantly (because you can find a lot of the news in other apps), you have full access to NPR’s podcast archives, so you can catch up with yesterday’s On the Media or Soundcheck while reading up on the latest hipster-angsty-emo-rock-fusion group out of Brooklyn. Users can also create playlists and listen to stations from all over the country with NPR for the iPad.
Instapaper ($4.99): Instapaper is the one app that makes everyone say, “Why didn’t someone create this sooner?” The gist is pretty simple: see an article online that’s too long to read now, click the “Read it Later” bookmarklet you installed in your browser and have that article beamed right to your iPad, free of ads and all other distractions from the original webpage. You can archive articles for later reference, or share them with friends over your favorite social services. The iPad app also comes with a built-in backlight dimmer and can automatically change the UI to white text on a black background after dark. Once you start using Instapaper, you realize you don’t ever want to read articles on their original pages again.
Valet Magazine (Free): Think of Valet as the ultimate men’s style guide, curating relevant clothing and grooming tips from all over the Web for your benefit. Suit buying guides, proper tie-tying techniques and a “Local Concierge” that provides nearby style resources are just some of the nifty “dude-friendly” things you’ll find once you launch the app.
The best part, however, has to be the “Personal Dossier” – a self-populated breakdown of all your measurements, important phone numbers and dates and most importantly, the “little things” you should know about your significant other. Not so much her measurements, but rather, her favorite drink, favorite flowers, her birthday, her preference for gold or silver, etc… This app won’t just keep you looking good – it’ll keep you out of the dog house, too.
Kindle (Free): Amazon may have you locked in with their eBook DRM, but fear not! If you have an iPad, you can download the free Kindle app and read all your Kindle downloads to your heart’s content. Browse the store, sync your purchased books, download samples – everything you’d do on your Kindle can be done via your iPad and the experience is fantastic. You can even get newspaper and magazine subscriptions sent straight to your iPad each day through the Kindle app.
Nook (Free): Barnes & Noble’s Nook app is often overlooked as a viable Kindle alternative, mainly because “Kindle” has become as ubiquitous as “Band-Aid” or “Kleenex”. However, if you own a nook, or are just looking for a different reading experience than the one provided by Amazon, be sure to download the free Nook iPad app. It syncs your library, bookmarks, notes and highlights across all devices – even the Nook itself, so you can pick up right where you left off in that page-turner,regardless of the device in your hands.
iBooks (Free): Apple’s own eBook app combines a book store with the printed page to present readers with one of the most beautiful applications ever created. “Turn” each page with a simple swipe and watch the corner curl over to reveal the page underneath. Tap the iBookstore icon from your library and the whole shelf flips over so you can purchase eBooks right from the device. IBooks also organizes and presents PDFs, giving users a one-stop-shop for the majority of their reading material.