10 Apple iPad apps to enjoy this summer

My iPad is an essential travel companion and there are some apps that come in handy during certain times of the year. I enjoy using these 10 apps during the summer season.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

My iPad goes with me on all my trips and is in my bag for my daily train commutes as well. With the orange ZAGG Keyboard Case and slick black keyboard I am finding I use it more for dedicated writing, reading, and media consumption than my laptop. The fantastic battery life, amazing display, and pleasant user interface have it serving as a valuable mobile device. You can check out screenshots for my favorite ten apps to use in the summer in my ZDNet image gallery.

Check out screenshots from my 10 favorite iPad apps that I enjoy using in the summer.

Kevin has been talking a lot about the Google Chromebook on our MobileTechRoundup podcast episodeslately and almost convinced me to pick one up. However, after I discovered some of these apps below (in no particular order) I realized that my iPad, with a good Bluetooth keyboard, does more and is something I already own so I am sticking with my new iPad for now.

  • Flipboard: Flipboard launched on the iPad and is a fantastic way to view news and social networking updates. It gives Internet feeds a magazine look and feel and after testing it out a while ago I now use it every day to enjoy content.
  • MLB At Bat: When you travel outside your local area you end up having to watch whatever sports are on in the hotel for that particular destination. With MLB At Bat you can view and/or listen to your favorite home team on the go. I love the pitch tracking feature and all the real time stats too and as you may know serious baseball fans love their stats.
  • Angry Birds Seasons: Rovio just released an update to Angry Birds Seasons for the iPad that includes a new water feature. That's right, you sling your bird through the air and then figure out how to get through the water in the scene to knock out the pigs. I love that they keep updating the game with new levels and functions.
  • Evernote: I use Evernote to capture lots of things and with the solid camera on the new iPad it is handy for receipts, lists of movies to watch, attractions you want to visit, and much more. Evernote takes advantage of the large display on the iPad to give you an excellent experience that I even prefer over the version on my Macbook Pro.
  • ABC Player: We no longer have cable TV in my house so I catch up on all the shows I missed on ABC through the ABC Player app. I can't stop laughing through episodes of Modern Family and enjoy the intrigue in Castle. The ABC Player app is free and is great for viewing TV content. I even use the app with the adapter to play shows on my HD TV at home so the whole family can enjoy TV without paying for cable.
  • Facebook: My family and friends share most of their photos and activities on Facebook and during the summer it is fun to see where people have been, invite people over for barbeques, and share memories with Facebook on the iPad. Every once in a while I will login too and use Facebook to chat live with family and friends.
  • Newstand (Mac Life): I am moving away from paper magazine subscriptions and have a couple magazines I subscribed to through Newstand. The iPad is perfect for modeling the magazine experience and it is much easier to carry an iPad loaded with five magazines rather than five physical magazines. There is quite a good selection of titles and you can buy single issues or subscribe at a much lower monthly rate.
  • Kayak: I use both TripIt Pro and Kayak for travel, but have to say the Kayak iPad app is much better than TripIt. I love the way it uses the full screen to present your itinerary and since my iPad is always with me when I travel it is great to have along, especially since it is free. You can also use Kayak to plan trips on the go with its powerful search features.
  • IA Writer: I was using the default Apple Notes application to write in the past, but when I sent this content to copy and use in my posts the margins were all goofed up. I recently discovered IA Writer for the iPad, after hearing others talk about it for quite some time, and already wrote a couple ZDNet posts and extensive Facebook posts using this app. IA Writer gives you a full screen, basic experience for writing and is already proving that 99 cents is cheap for such a powerful document creation tool.
  • Skydrive: There are a number of cloud storage solutions out there now and I have accounts with several of them. I was signed up early for Skydrive so I have a free 25GB account and use this on all my devices to keep documents backed up for easy access from my devices.

Do you enjoy using any of these applications? What apps do you like to use in the summer?

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