Category Archives: Best of the Best

Todoist: Simply the Best To-do App

Todoist iPad app

Todoist is a fantastic and gorgeous to-do list or task management app for the iPad and iPhone, Android, Mac and Windows, and web browsers. Its iPad app just came out a little over a week ago and I installed it that same day. Within 24 hours of starting with it, I had signed up for a premium account, installed the Mac app, and switched over entirely to Todoist across all my devices.

For me, that’s a big deal – as I rely heavily on a great task management app to run my work and life. I’m not a big power user of calendar apps, but managing tasks is something I’m obsessive about and focused on day in and day out.

I’ve used a lot of to-do and task management apps over the years – everything from Outlook Tasks and OneNote, to Pocket Informant on Windows Mobile, to Remember the Milk and Toodledo online and on the iPhone, to Things and OmniFocus on the iPad and the Mac, and most recently Wunderlist due mainly to its cross platform (Android and iOS) capabilities. So it takes a lot for an app in this category to impress me. In fact, even more these days, because now I want an app that works great on Mac, iOS, and Android.

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Today’s Best iPad App Ever: Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo iPad app

Petting Zoo is a fantastic storybook app for the iPad and iPhone. It features beautiful, fun, interactive animations of over 20 animals, and it’s bound to be a big favorite for kids and animal lovers of all ages.

Here’s a slice of its App Store intro:

From acclaimed author and illustrator Christoph Niemann comes this interactive picture book. Swipe and tap the 21 animals and be surprised at how they react. This app combines the charm of hand made animations and Niemann’s wry humor with state of the art technology. What would an elephant in your bathroom do? Can a dog breakdance? A storybook app unlike all others!
• Thousands of frames of hand-drawn animation
• Playful, musical sounds for each animal
• Fun for all ages, from infants to adults
• No english required; animals don’t speak english

I saw the app mentioned at Daring Fireball recently and decided to give a it a try yesterday. I’m very glad I did and I’ve already gifted the app to my daughter as I know she’s going to love it too.

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The Best iPad Apps of 2012

2012 Best ipad Apps

2012 has been another banner year for the iPad App Store. There are now more than 328,000 apps designed specifically for iPad available (as at 12/21/12) – very close to double the number that there were at this time last year. There are iPad apps for just about any use that can be imagined for them – from excellent business and productivity apps to iPad editions of leading newspapers and magazines, to amazingly capable apps for enhancing our photos and videos, to stellar apps for education and of course plenty of entertainment apps and great iPad games.

Great iPad apps continue to be a major reason why the iPad is the leader in the tablet arena and such a hugely popular device. Apple knows what they’re doing with all their iPad TV ads focused nicely on highlighting all the wonderful things you can do with iPad apps. Once again this year I’ve spent huge amounts of time looking at and reviewing iPad apps, and I’m ready to share my annual list of choices for the Best iPad Apps of 2012.

It’s worth noting that there are a number of repeat winners in this list, because they are still eminently worthy of being on it. Of course there are plenty of new choices too.  Any apps that are repeat choices from 2011 will be marked with an asterisk next to the their names. Here we go …

Best iPad App of 2012

PhotoToaster Icon

PhotoToaster: A fantastic photo editing and photo effects app. It offers a superb range of effects that can be applied with a single tap or adjusted to a fine level with a simple slider. The lighting effects in particular are just stunning. The interface is elegant and minimal and makes it easy to enhance your images. The app also has a great array of sharing options. If you only want to have one iPad app to improve your photos with, this is a great choice.

Price: $1.99

App Store link

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Review: Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy for iPad

Leonardo da Vinci Anatomy for iPad

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomyis one of those iPad apps that reminds you of the amazing things that can be done on an iPad. It’s just the sort of app that Steve Jobs would’ve loved to show off while sitting in a comfy chair when unveiling the iPad back in 2010.

For starters, the actual content of this app is incredible and I’m not sure it could be shared so effectively or impressively anywhere other than in this iPad app:

This sublime collection of drawings of human anatomy by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. All 268 pages from Leonardo’s notebooks are presented here at the highest resolution, optimised for the pin-sharp retina display of the new iPad. For the first time it is possible for anyone with an iPad to own and explore this remarkable testament to Leonardo’s scientific and artistic genius.

The apps’s list of features is also very impressive:

• Beautiful interactive book interface
• All 268 of Leonardo’s anatomical drawings pinch-zoomable at high resolution
• Takes full advantage of the new iPad’s retina display
• A magic spyglass to decode Leonardo’s mirror writing
• Touch any of Leonardo’s extensive notes to read in situ a typeset English translation
• Eleven story chapters, written by Martin Clayton, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at Windsor Castle, explaining Leonardo’s anatomical investigations and presenting over 70 selected works with interactive features

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Review – Order and Chaos Online for iPad

Following the success of the RPG, or role-playing game, another form of gameplay decided to take things to the next level: the MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing game, which allows groups of users to meet together in a virtual world and collaborate on missions, trade and barter, or just goof around for awhile.

Some of the more popular MMORPGs today include Second Life, Star Wars: The Old Republic and City of Heroes. However, the king of the crop is the fantasy-based mind suck otherwise known as World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, any rumors of bringing WoW to the mobile platform are just that, rumors. At this point, it may be at least one or two years before WoW is introduced  to the iPad.

Order & Chaos Online looks to be, at first glance, a mobile rip-off of WoW. There are similar environments, characters and quests that seem to mirror those of its computer-based counterpart. Upon playing the game, I discovered  it really can be quite the WoW copycat. However, I don’t consider this a bad thing.

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Review: Word Ladder by Sporcle for iPad


Word Ladder for iPad is the iPad version of the hugely popular word game from the trivia quiz website The iPad game is simple and big fun to play if you like word games. Here’s the definition of a word ladder:

First popularized by Lewis Carroll, a word ladder is solved by altering a single letter in a chain of clues.

And here are some of the main features of the app:

Play a new word ladder quiz that is pushed to your device every day. The fun never stops!
Network access is not required to play, so have fun while on the train or in the middle of the woods. Word Ladder is optimized for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, so play with any device!

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Today’s Best iPad App Ever: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a spectacularly great iPad eBook and app. So much for review verdict spoilers eh? I couldn’t help it – this is just a fantastic and charming app. One that I already love, and one I know my daughter will love equally – and I can’t wait to show it to her.

Here’s a bit of the developers’ description of the app:

Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a new narrative experience that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.

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