As with all things Apple I never knew that I needed an ipad until I bought one. Now I can’t leave home without it. And for long trips away, whether on the train or the plane there are certain apps that are simply indispensable. In this article I’ll outline my five favourite apps for travelling:
(1) ibooks – I’m a sucker for the smell of old books so I wasn’t convinced about the idea of reading books electronically. ibooks has changed all that. A combined online store and e-reader, ibooks offers the usual mac experience when it comes to consuming content. The interface is crisp, easy to use and the e-books open and close smoothly with the easiest of swipes or taps. Throw in some excellent annotation tools and a tricked out bookshelf for all your books and pdf’s, as well as syncing with other ios devices to keep pages opening at the right place and ibooks is the perfect reading experience.
(2) Comics – Not everyone will want this one, but Comics is as important to me as ibooks. I’ve never quite grown out of comics and this is the first comics reader that has worked well for me. The ipad seems best suited to displaying comics – you can read them fullscreen and don’t need to scroll or zoom. This app includes hundreds of free comics before you even think about subscribing to any of your old favourites.
(3) Zinio – Quite simply the best ipad app for reading magazines. If you have any doubts about reading books on an ipad, at the very least try magazines through Zinio. Offering high res versions of your favourite magazines (you’ll need to pay to subscribe although the app is free) and seamless and fluid scrolling, Zinio offers a wonderful reading experience.
(4) Flipboard – Possibly the most elegant computer app ever created, Flipboard collates your Flickr, Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as RSS Feeds and your Google Reader accounts. It then bundles them up into the most beautiful magazine interface you could possibly imagine.
(5) Ted – Ted is gloriously addictive and a nice antidote to the rubbish on TV and on YouTube. It advertises itself as offering ‘riveting talks by remarkable people’ and is as good as its word. With free talks by some of the most interesting and inspiring people in the world, and with content able to be viewed offline too, this is a wonderful free app to keep you entertained for hours.
Of course there are hundreds of other apps that are more useful or more productive when you’re travelling, from Dropbox to Pages, from Evernote to all of the different apps for planes, trains and bus timetables. But when it comes to getting through long journeys, these five ipad apps will have you wishing that you never get there.
Alex is a travel writer and blogger based in the UK. He likes to write about luxury travel to exotic places but normally ends up writing about rainy days and cheap holidays in Wales.