It is iPad season.  The second edition has been flying off the shelves in the US all weekend and Canadians will get their hands on it starting on March 25.

The iPad is a beautiful blank slate and the first thing you have to do is load it with apps to truly feel the power of the tablet.  Here’s a list to get you started:

READING
Kindle-icon-150x150.pngKindle – while the Kindle device is actually a better e-reader, you can get the Kindle app to have full access to the Kindle store and a wider variety of books than is available through Apple’s propreitary eBook store.

NEWS
zite-ipad-icon.jpgZite is the new personal magazine app in the store.  Created by a UBC team this free app will serve up content in categories you preselect and then learns your preferences based on what you read to even better serve you up brain food.

flipboard.JPGFlipboard is an elegant way to access your Google Reader, Twitter and Facebook feeds – as well as a number of other categories of content.  I end up reading more stories since they appear as excerpts in Flipboard instead of a shortened URL like on Twitter and Facebook.  If you follow a lot of news makers, Flipboard is a great way to dig deeper.

instapaper_logo1.jpgInstapaper helps you curate your content to read when you want.  Whenever a social media strategy piece shows up or there’s a longer article in my stream I can’t chomp on in seconds, I send it to Instapaper.  Then, when I have time to curl up on a Sunday afternoon, I can access all of my articles offline through the iPad.  It’s a personal newspaper of articles you find interesting to read on your own time.

nationalpost.jpgPostmedia is the umbrella name for the National Post and it’s newspapers across Canada (including the Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun and Montreal Gazette).  They have specific iPad editions of their newspapers that are udpated throughout the day.  The content is easy to read, the layout elegant and it’s a fast way to stay in touch with traditional media.

GAMING
angrybirds.jpgAngry Birds – there’s a reason it’s been the top selling iPad/iPhone app since it was originally released.  It’s challenging, it’s easy, you can play it for a few seconds or a few hours.  If you’ve yet to experience the obsession that is Angry Birds, now is your chance.

bubbleball.gifBubble Ball is the app that knocked Angry Birds from its perch on the free app download charts (for a time).  It was designed by a teenager and it’s a fun physics game that my 3 year old son loves tryin to solve.

TELEVISION
orig_iphone_youtube_logo.jpgHere are another few reasons why it’s getting easier to cut the cable and maybe eliminate a bill landing in your mail each week.  The major players across Canada offer iPad apps.  Not only can you get recent newscasts available through the apps or as podcasts, but you can catch some of the most popular shows on tv on your iPad.  Yes, you will have to sit through some ads, but when City TV, Global, and CBC  are giving you a chance to watch them for free, that’s a pretty safe trade off

I mostly use my iPad to consume content – it’s a passive device for me, so my list of apps reflects my use case, your mileage may vary.  If you’re diving into the app store for the first time with a new iPad, ask friends with iPhones some of their faves – most apps work on both devices.  Toss it up on Facebook to ask for suggestions or just spend an afternoon poking through the top Paid and Free lists in the iTunes store.  It’s a crazy wonderful world that’s about to open up with your iPad, uboxing it was just the beginning.

What apps are mandatory equipment on your iPad? List them below!

catch the buzz … pass it on.

buzz bishop future shop tech blogThis post was originally published at The Future Shop Tech Blog.

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