Front Page iPad apps: Real Racing, GarageBand, iMovie, CNN and 60 Minutes

The iPad 2 has totally re-invigorated my interest in the iPad. It's what the iPad 1 should have been. Here are the first five apps that I installed on my newest toy.

After dutifully ordering my iPad 2 on March 11 at 12:59am -- one minute early -- I'm finally in possession of an iPad 2. But not the one that I ordered from Apple 11 days ago, it still hasn't arrived.

My ticket got punched when I received a text yesterday morning that a friend was in line at a local Apple store and only buying one iPad. "Would you like to get one too?" You bet I would. Boom, I've now got a black iPad 2, with 64GB, and 3G via AT&T. (It's funny how much more $887 is than the psychologically-safe $499 starting price that Apple advertises.)

The iPad 2 has totally re-invigorated my interest in the iPad. It's what the iPad 1 should have (could have?) been. More on that soon... Rather than restore a backup from my iPad 1, I chose to set the iPad 2 up as a "new device."

Here's a list of the first apps that I installed on my newest toy:

Real Racing 2 HD ($9.99) - The best iPad racing game gets better in the sequel. This is a must-have game on the iPad 2 that features full-screen anti-aliasing, amazing reflections, surfaces and full gyroscope support for even tighter steering.
GarageBand ($4.99) - Ridiculously fun instrument app that allows you to play guitars, drums and pianos (with dozens of variations) allowing you to pick up the iPad and play decent-sounding music without too much effort.

iMovie ($4.99) - Another standout effort, this version of Apple's popular video editing software adds a multitouch precision editor and multitrack audio editing with 8 soundtracks and 50+ sound effects. (CNet review).

CNN app for iPad (free) - With so much world news happening right now (Japan, Libya) I turn to the big dog in mainstream media for my daily update of what's happening outside of the U.S. It's got a sleek UI that includes an awesome slideshow mode (just stills though) that is excellent for wall-mounted applications. There's also a live video feed if you're away from a TV. (Runners up: BBC News, NPR)

60 Minutes ($4.99) - Speaking of news, I also love the 60 Minutes iPad app. It allows me to catch up on the weekly news institution from the comfort of, wherever. It includes high-quality video of all of the week's segments plus extra video from 60 Minutes Overtime. It's worth it alone to watch the Julian Assange interview.

Of course, there are some other must-have iPad apps, including Flipboard (free), Pulse News Reader (free), djay ($20), The Elements ($14), Star Walk ($5) and Reeder for iPad ($5) but I've covered them before.

What are your must-have iPad apps?