Now that the iPad is available all across North America, everybody and their toddler has one. But as most know, the iPad does lack some key features, such as a built-in camera. While this and more should be readily available on the next generation iPad, as per Apple’s usual marketing tactics, there are still ways to enhance your current iPad’s roster of features now. Here are some of the best apps, devices, and software that will make your iPad the best.
1. Juice up your web browsing experience.
Safari is a solid standard to surf the mobile web, but you may find some iPad alternatives slightly superior. For just $1, Atomic Web boasts features like multitouch swipe gestures to toggle open sites, optional image omissions to reduce bandwidth usage, search for text on a page, and additional customization and modification abilities to make your web browsing experience truly unique. Check it out here.
2. Connect a camera, keyboard, speakers, and more.
Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit ($29) uses a USB connector to transfer photos and videos from your camera to your iPad. But it also works with many USB keyboards, and other USB-based devices, such as some speakers and microphones. The only worry is how much power they can draw, but you can just attach the device to a powered USB hub, then connect the hub to Apple’s kit adapter. And viola! You can even attach two devices at the same time. Check it out here.
3. Transform your iPad into a secondary computer display monitor.
Air Display ($10) allows your iPad to act as a second screen for your Mac, becoming an extension of your desktop. Simply install a utility on the computer and connect with the Air Display System Preference. (Currently it’s only for Macs, but a Windows version is reportedly coming.) Then the iPad behaves like an extra screen. You can even tap on the iPad to click.
4. Browse the web offline (almost).
3G version or not, iPads can’t always be online—tunnels, planes, etc. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get your web content. Instapaper Pro ($5) manages content ahead of time, while you are online, and stores it for later use. It integrates itself with all the major apps and tools, like Safari and Google Reader, as well as several Twitter extensions. Just hit the Read Later button. Check it out here.
5. Print from your Pad.
This one is still rough around the edges, but something is better than nothing. PrintCentral ($13) will print directly to most WiFi printers, or to all printers and any document type via your Mac or PC, even over 3G. You can view, store, and print anything—emails, attachments, documents, photos, contacts, web pages, and even copied items from Apps. Check it out here.
Do beware that any extreme uses of the iPad may result in “jailbreaking” it (voiding warranty). You may not care, but if you do, research any majorly modifying apps, software, or hardware devices first.
Do you know of any other sweet iPad superchargers? Let us know!