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Best Free iPad Apps: Awesome New 10 Apps at Launch

With the launch of the iPad yesterday, iPad Apps are live in iTunes and we’re sorting through the awesome new best ones as fast as we can. But with more than 2,000 iPad apps in the App Store, the choices are already daunting.

To help you find the best free iPad apps at launch, we’ve put together the definitive list below. Also we will keep updating through the launch of the iPad.

Best free iPad apps – iBooks

Apple’s answer to the Amazon Kindle, iBooks turns the iPad into an electronic book reader with 60,000 books at launch to choose from (the app is free, the e-books are not). Although the Kindle has many more titles (450,000), iBooks lets you flip through virtual pages with your fingers on a color screen. The built-in search and dictionary will come in handy. The font size and brightness can be adjusted. Pages can be bookmarked or highlighted. Books can be read vertically in a full-page view or horizontally in a two-page view like a regular open book. The book store is part of the app and looks like iTunes for books, with best-seller and most-popular lists. Every time you buy a book, it downloads directly to your iPad. (iTunes link)

Best free iPad apps – Kindle for iPad

Not to be outdone by Apple’s iBooks app, Amazon released its own Kindle app for the iPad which nearly matches the iBook app feature for feature: Full-color touchscreen app, animated page-turning, adjustable font size and brightness (plus you can change the background color), portrait or landscape mode, and the ability to buy books right from the app. Of course, Amazon has a lot more books to choose from (450,000 vs. 60,000). (Search and dictionary functions are “coming soon.” It also includes Amazon’s Whispersync technology, which lets you pick up where you left off on your regular Kindle, your iPhone Kindle App, Blackberry, Mac, or PC. And the Kindle store includes all the regular customer reviews you can find on Amazon’s site. Let the digital book battle begin. (iTunes link)

Best free iPad apps – Tap Tap Radiation

The new game is similar to the series of iPhone games in many ways — you still tap on-screen buttons in time to the music. But some key changes were made to optimize gameplay for the iPad. For one, most people will be playing the game with their iPads lying flat on a table or on their lap (as opposed to held at an angle with one hand like an iPhone). Because gamers will have both hands free, Radiation’s gameplay is more involved, prompting gamers to rhythmically tap these glowing blobs as they dance across the iPad’s entire screen. Multiple people will also be able to play simultaneously on the same device.  (iTunes link)

Best free iPad Apps – Netflix
From our post: “Assuming you’re a Netflix member, the new iPad app lets you watch as many movies as you want (assuming they’re available on Netflix’s Watch Instantly service) streaming to the device. Yes, this gives you access to some 20,000+ movies and television shows. You can also browse movies and manage your queue from the app. And you can even pick up watching them from where you left off on your TV or computer.”
(iTunes link)

Best free iPad apps – Loopt Pulse

The iPad may be better suited for planning events around location, rather than actively participating in location. With Loopt Pulse, you load up the main screen to see where you are and everything that’s going on around you. On the left side of the screen you get a list of places, and on the right, you can see each of those places on a map and more details about them.

These featured places appear because a lot of Loopt users liked the place, or are currently there. Or maybe the place has positive reviews in the local paper. You can also sort by events and friends. On the friends tab, you only see places that your Facebook friends like (you connect via Facebook Connect). But Loopt also wanted to take advantage of the iPad’s big, beautiful screen, so they also built a new feature that allows you to browse local places by pictures. (iTunes link)

Best free iPad apps – TweetDeck for iPad

TweetDeck’s iPad offering is very similar to its popular desktop stream reader. You can split up your Twitter and Facebook streams into different columns, and swipe across to see more or up and down to read through them. You can compose Tweets using the iPad’s touchscreen keyboard. One new feature is a map showing all the geo-tagged Tweets from the people you follow. It looks gorgeous.   (iTunes link)

Best free iPad apps – Pandora Radio

Version 3.0 of Pandora is a Universal app, meaning it includes builds for the iPhone and iPad. The iPad version takes advantage of the large 9.7 inch screen of the device. Rather than having to switch views to see things such as your stations, they can reside on the left hand side of the screen as your album artwork and artist information is on the right hand side. Artist information is a particular area of emphasis with this new app. The top player looks similar to iTunes now, with play and pause buttons, as well as thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. There is also an easy-to-access search box along the top.  (iTunes link)

Best free iPad apps – eBay for the iPad

eBay is launching an iPad app that aims to engage the user by putting the image at the center of the design, using oversized thumbnails and bleeding image close-ups to the edges of the device. The iPad’s touch screen functionality augments the traditional eBay search by letting users dash through several search pages with a few swipes of the finger. There’s also a price histogram at the bottom of the page that will let you narrow your search to a certain price range— the histogram also includes a volume chart so you can see how the goods are concentrated along the price scale. It seems to be a vast improvement from the website and the iPhone app, in terms of feel and design.  (iTunes link)

Best free iPad apps – Gilt for iPad

Gilt Groupe’s sales on luxury goods on its properties, including Gilt, Gilt Fuse, and Gilt Man, can all be accessed directly from the app. The app allows you to receive real-time sale alerts, check upcoming sales and receive an instant Gilt membership when you download the app. The app’s shopping cart, that is always visible, allows members to quickly touch and drag desired items into their cart. (iTunes link)

Best free iPad Apps – ABC Player

ABC’s free episode player for the iPad streams ad-supported videos from the network’s roster of shows. You can watch full length episodes of select shows from the network including Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and Modern Family. You can also browse through shows and episodes, pause an episode, watch it later and see your viewing history. The videos stream into a player that takes up the top half of the screen, while letting you browse other episodes along the bottom. (Presumably, there is a full-screen option as well). (iTunes link)

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