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iPad: The missing apps

As we suspected back in March, the iPad shipped without apps that are standard on the iPhone: Stocks, Calculator, Clock, Weather, Voice Memos, and Compass. Instead of going without, we've found the best examples of each for you to install and get your iPad on par with your iPhone.

Clock

Our own Steve Sande pointed out several options for iPad owners, including Night Stand HD (US$4.99) and Clock Pro HD ($5.99). Go and check out the full article.

In the meantime, click below to read the rest of our list.



Stocks

The portability and always-on connectivity of the iPhone and iPad (3G model at least) make them appealing for those who want near ubiquitous access to the market's performance. For some reason, the Stocks app was left off of the iPad, but we've got you covered! Here are several apps to choose from.

Paid apps

Daily Stocks ($19.99) uses the iPad's large screen beautifully. The UI is divided into three sections: Stock Scans (the S&P 500), which pulls data from 56 popular technical conditions like moving average, gaps, and more; Japanese Candlesticks (All US stocks), which displays candlestick patterns under three categories: bullish, bearish, and uncertain; Overextended Stocks (S&P 500), which lists the most oversold and overbought stocks.

You can also create your own watch list and search for stocks. That's the aim of the Daily Stocks team, really -- to help you find the data you're most interested in quickly and efficiently. Plus, as we said, it looks great.

Stock Portfolio for iPad ($9.99) is an aggregator for all your stock brokerage needs. Use it to create custom watch lists, manage your cash accounts, view real-time data, and add your own broker. Additionally, each view features quick access to a help menu should you get stuck.

Free apps

QFolio HD - NASDAQ OMX Portfolio Manager is the official app of NASDAQ. As with others, it features watch lists, real-time data, and charting. What's especially nice is the integration with StockTwits, which lets investors communicate and share via Twitter. It's all accessible from within the app.

Bloomberg for iPad is the official iPad app of Bloomberg.com. It offers news, quotes, and descriptions as you'd expect. You can also create a custom list of stocks to follow from worldwide markets. The real standout here is the look. The white and brown on black is super legible, even when the text is tiny. It's so very easy to read, and data is sorted in a logical way.

Calculators

I'm not a math guy (my calculator skills amount to little more than spelling "BOOBS" on the display), and that's why I need a calculator for even the simplest functions. Inexplicably, the iPad does not have one. Fortunately, the App Store does.

Paid apps

PCalc RPN Calculator ($9.99) will make any scientist or engineer happy. A far cry from the Texas Instruments calcs we tried to sneak into the algebra final, PCalc RPN Calculator means business. Some of this app's cool features include your choice of button layouts, a paper tape, and a huge set of unit conversions. Your pocket protector never had it so good.

Calcbot ($1.99) is just as attractive as you'd expect an app from Tapbots to be. The cool thing about this app is the live, as-you-type expression view. The iPad's roomy display let Calcbot's developers create a repository for your calculation history. Just swipe the calculator aside to view the running list. You can even email that history to yourself or a colleague. Great stuff.

Free apps

PCalc lite is PCalc RPN Calculator's free sibling. It lacks some of the paid version's features, like the paper tape and scientific notation, but it's still among the best free iPad calculators as far as we're concerned. You'll get two themes to choose from, multiple undo, and lots of conversions. As with Calcbot, we don't all require scientific calculators! This one fills our modest needs.

Complex RPN Calculator offers a lot of bang for the buck, and it's free! It's a scientific RPN calculator that performs calculations with complex numbers and offers, of course, RPN notation. Plus, the white and purple on black is quite legible.

Weather

I tend to check the weather by looking through a window. The rest of you can feed your Doppler fetish with these sweet weather apps for iPad.

Paid apps

Weather HD ($0.99) isn't the most comprehensive weather app ever (there's no live radar, for instance), but boy is it pretty. Once you've identified the area of the world you'd like to monitor, Weather HD finds the current conditions and displays a beautiful animation depicting what it's found. For instance, watch as the "camera" sweeps over green grass as rain falls, see the full moon on a clear night, or watch the blazing sun warm a wheat field. Additionally, you can get the week's forecast and navigate between a collection of cities.

Weather Station Pro ($1.99) is another looker. While Weather HD provides photo realistic beauty, Weather Station Pro is minimalist and effective. All of the information you want, like temperature, wind direction and speed, local time, sunrise and sunset times, and a five-day forecast are presented in a pleasing, highly-legible layout. It looks great in both portrait and landscape modes, and it supports multiple cities. I'm often tempted to just let it run as a stand-alone weather station.

Free apps

WeatherBug Elite for iPad offers much more in-depth information than the other two. The main screen features several widgets across the top that can be re-ordered or popped out for a better look. A large panel presents a zoom-able map of your target area and animated radar maps.

You can also choose from local live weather cams (which it finds on its own) and watch daily high resolution (640x480) weather report videos. During the recent east coast hurricane, I found WeatherBug Elite for iPad very useful.

WeatherStation Free is similar to Weather Station Pro in that it provides a clean, minimal presentation of the day's weather. It provides the NOAA's data in real-time for the US (excluding Alaska). In addition to the usuals, like temperature and a five-day forecast, WeatherStation Free provides a barometer, dew point, wind chill, heat index, and more. Plus, there are seven themes to choose from.

Voice Memos

This one's a bit tricky, as the iPad's internal mic isn't being advertised by Apple. But it's in there, and we've found two apps that let you record with it.

Paid apps

Voice Memos for iPad ($0.99) mimics Apple's own voice memos app for the iPhone and lets you record via the iPad's internal mic, external mic, or headphones. A note can be as long as you like, and you can attach text notes as well. It's free to record and play back, but you'll need to cough up a buck to export memos or email them.

Free apps

Evernote is "your external brain." You can use it to capture, store, organize, and share all kinds of data, including voice memos. Best of all, it will sync them with the desktop or iPhone versions all on its own.

Compass

Apple's Compass app was introduced with the 3GS. Alas, the iPad is without this helpful little tool. Here's how to put it back.

Paid apps

Compass HD ($1.99) offers four themes (some rather eye-popping), Google Maps integration, tags for your own location, and "hours of navigational pleasure." How could you go wrong with that?

3D Sun & Moon Compass HD ($2.99) is long on looks and functionality. It presents a 3D virtual representation of the sun and moon's position in the sky relative to your own. The compass and accelerometer combine to create the virtual effect, which moves very fluidly. Additionally, you can change the date and time to see the sun and moon move to where they will be. It's a lot of fun and looks great, too.

Free apps

Compass HD uses the iPad's built-in magnetic compass (yes, it has one). It lets you choose between absolute mode, north mode, declination mode, and relative mode. It's got other tricks up its sleeve as well. For instance, it can be used as a metal detector. It will be free until the developer releases a universal version, so grab it while you can.

Free HD Compass provides basic functionality with a nice, nautical-themed compass. The needle is labeled with "N" and "S" and, unlike some other free apps, there are no ads.

So there you have 18 options -- some free , some not -- to fill the missing slots on your iPad's home screen. We hope you find some to be especially useful, and that your iPad will envy your iPhone just a little less.



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iPad

As we suspected back in March, the iPad shipped without apps that are standard on the iPhone: Stocks, Calculator, Clock, Weather, Voice...