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iPad in-depth

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Video

A few months ago I mentioned the National Film Board's free iPad app. But the NFB is hardly the only organization to take advantage of the iPad's video capabilities. The iPad ships with a YouTube app and a Videos app (which lets you play movies and tv shows that you've purchased through iTunes or imported from your computer). Third-party video apps include Air Video ($2.99) which streams videos from your Apple or Windows computers onto your iPad; Video Vault ($2.99) for movies you'd like to keep private and Muviez (free) which gives you access to films made by indie filmmakers from around the world. 

Dining In

Since I've had my iPad, my cookbooks have been gathering dust. The iPad screen size is perfect for displaying recipes, whether from a cookbook app like Epicurious (free) or from my collection of recipes, which I organize in Evernote (reviewed last time). There's even an app to time your culinary masterpieces appropriately called Cooking Timer (free). It looks and sounds like a retro mechanical cooking timer.

Dining Out

If you don't feel like cooking, why not use your iPad to find a restaurant? Again, there are lots of choices. I use Open Table (free) because of its selection, ability to make reservations from the app and wide selection of Vancouver restaurants. Other choices include Where to Eat? ($2.99) and Zagat to Go ($9.99). Vegetarians with a craving for Indian food should check out bEVegetarian-Vegetarian Restaurants (free), which includes some Vancouver restaurants in its list, along with choices from India and around the world. As a bonus, it even includes a few recipes.

Health

iPad medical apps are plentiful. WebMD (free) is the only one I use, but there are others available, covering everything from first aid (Army First Aid, $1.99) to family planning (iOvulation HD, $2,99) to eye care (TestMyEyes, $2.99).

Games People Play

The iPad's screen size, portability, tactile responsiveness and vibrant display make it idea for games. Not surprisingly, games represent the largest category in the iTunes app store with more than 7,000 games available at last count. Any review can only scratch the surface, so here are some of the games I've enjoyed playing. Osmos HD ($4.99) is probably one of the few computer games where patience is rewarded and frentic action punished. X-Plane 9 ($9.99) is a flight simulator that features several types of planes and varied scenery from around the world. Scrabble ($9.99) is a joy to play on the iPad (unlike the iPhone, where the playing surface is just too small). You can play against other people or against a computer opponent. And best of all, you don't have to add up the scores yourself. Some other games I've enjoyed: Real Soccer 2010 ($4.99), PAC-MAN Lite (free); Angry Birds ($4.99), and Wallace and Gromit: The Last Resort ($4.99).

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