Our iPad addiction and our Review of the Crosswords app for puzzles

iPad strengths and weaknesses. Yes there are many. No question that for us the device has become addictive. Step-by-step we are figuring out what it's good for.

Reading. Yes. Everything digital - books, web sites, blogs, newspapers, stock market news, portfolio tracking... and we don't play games, so who knows what the device offers in that department? Music, for sure. Videos, yes. Pictures, once you get them onto the thing, it's great. Use it as a phone, yep, even without 3G, you can use Skype. We spoke to a colleague in India last week. Audio only, but hey, no complaints.

What is doesn't do so well: print (see humor on the topic). Multi-task, no and can you believe that? Word processing. Not tested yet. Using Notes and Evernote, input works. But no fancy stuff. This is too rambling. So let me shift gears.

Review of the Crosswords app for iPad from Stand Alone
We wanted a way to access and solve the NY Times puzzle on our iPad. We first tried another program from Magmic that worked reasonably well with a free trial that lasted a week. Then poof it stopped and asked us to renew. But we pay for the daily NY Times so we have access to the puzzles included. Now we needed to pay again $16.99 for a year. That's double billing in our book. Boo.

Luckily we found the app from Stand Alone. Yay. It is $9.99 and gives you a means to tap into your existing subscription to the Times puzzles. It also has a neat interface, ways to get hints if you get stuck and access to puzzles galore. We give this app 4 stars.

The Crosswords App is currently available for the iPhone and iPod touch for $9.99 on the iTunes App Store at: http://itunes.com/apps/Crosswords. A free version of Crosswords, with a catalogue of sample puzzles, is also available at: http://itunes.com/apps/CrosswordLight. Crosswords website: http://standalone.com/iphone/crosswords/

Next we bought the BeautifulPlanet App to see the photo quality. It rocks.

More iPad apps that we like - Free Edition:
NYC Traffic - many cams to choose from, not such an intuitive interface
NY Times - Editor's Choice is a sample of the paper - nice format
WSJ - Gives you sample content - they clearly want your money
Bloomberg - great graphic charts and gobs of news, a gorgeous app.
QFolio HD - Nasdaq OMX - market tracking, charts with overlays, another winner
Reuters News Pro and Marketboard - both superlative
Skygrid - news browsing, not bad.

Kindle - without the Kindle, you have a Kindle!
iBooks - a nice start towards competition for Kindle
Free Books - not bad for free
Bible - Yep it is the word
Pocket Siddur - just the text sir
Hebrew PB - allows input in Hebrew - yes that is a big problem.

Fun things
iSigns HD - just signs
iBanner HD - iPad becomes a scrolling banner
Newton Free - a cute clock
Adobe Ideas - freehand notes and much more when we have the time (look for that little arrow in the top left to get the menu back out!)

Music - Pandora is good
Skype - it works...

What a great device.

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