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  • Free

    AppStart for iPad (2012 Edition)

    by AppAdvice.com

    Apple designed the iPad to be easy to use, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you should know before using it. After all, you don’t want to be laughed at like a sitcom dad for misusing current technology. AppStart for iPad takes you through the ins and outs of the iPad and teaches you what to do and what not to do. Full disclosure: I was hesitant to include AppStart because it’s made by appadvice.com and I didn’t want to seem biased, but then I tried to find another app that did something similar and came up blank. AppStart appears to be THE app for starting your journey with the iPad, so it deserves to be here.

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  • $16.99

    Documents To Go® Premium - Office Suite

    by DataViz, Inc.

    Once you’ve made friends with your iPad, it’s time to get to work! For most people, that means an Office Suite. Documents to Go Premium is a great all-in-one solution, especially if you work with Microsoft Word documents. Documents to Go Premium lets you view, modify, edit, and create new Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents. The app also displays tracked changes and integrates with Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, SugarSync cloud services.

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  • Free

    Mint.com Personal Finance

    by Mint.com

    Next on the list is keeping track of the finances, which is easily accomplished with Mint.com, the eponymous app of the popular website. Mint walks you through connecting all of your accounts, then downloads and organizes your data for easy viewing on your iPad. The app allows you to create and edit budgets, tie transactions to budgets and/or categories, and even alerts you when it’s time to take a specific action. Plus, it creates nifty charts and graphs!

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  • Free

    Cozi Family Organizer: Shared Calendar and Lists

    by Cozi

    Organizing your responsibilities at home can be daunting, until you try Cozi. Once you create an account, the “total family organizer" can keep track of shopping lists, after-school activities, important dates (including those all-important anniversaries and birthdays), and tons more. You can even add family members to your Cozi account, share calendars, and assign tasks! And with email reminders, you'll never again forget to pick up the kids at soccer practice.

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  • Free

    How To Videos from Howcast.com (for iPad)

    by Howcast

    Don’t panic if Cozi reminds you of a task that you don’t know how to do—just open How To Videos from Howcast.com. The app is full of instructional videos on diverse topics, from business to first aid to parenting. With Howcast on your iPad, you’ll know what to do in any situation— even if your child accidentally super glues his or her hands together!

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  • Free

    Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List

    by Condé Nast Digital

    When it’s your turn to make dinner, Epicurious will be there to help even the most (or least) accomplished cook. The app can answer tough questions like what to make, how to make it, and will anyone eat it. Epicurious includes thousands of recipes for every situation and skill level that are divided into categories for easy sorting. Epicurious may seem intimidating at first, but it’s perfectly suited to any skill level or food preference.

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  • $2.99

    WolframAlpha

    by Wolfram Alpha LLC

    
Another dad duty is homework help, but it can get difficult when the kids start growing up and taking courses like Calculus. Fret not, because even if you don’t remember (or ever knew) what a derivative is, WolframAlpha does. The app can answer questions on a wide variety of subjects and even solve complex math equations. WolframAlpha is surprisingly versatile— it even knows about television and consumer products— so don’t forget to use it for all of your informational needs.

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  • Free

    Urban Dictionary

    by Urban Dictionary

    If you're a dad with teenagers, you probably need a special class of information only urban dictionary can provide. The app itself isn’t especially impressive, but the content makes up for it. Urban Dictionary includes all of the content from the popular website and "people-powered slang dictionary." Search the app to find definitions for all the words and phrases your teen says. Be warned: you may not like what you learn.

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  • Free

    Halftone

    by Juicy Bits

    If doing homework with your kids starts making you nostalgic for their younger days (or your own), you can flex your art class muscles with Halftone and your photo library. With very little effort, Halftone’s filters, paper stock, and captions turn your photos into vintage comics or pulp paperback covers. If you are so inclined, you can even create a comic strip and send it to your friends and relatives through Flickr or Facebook.

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  • $0.99

    GameRoom

    by Metaversal Studios

    Next, you can create some new memories by implementing a family game night using Game Room. The app turns your iPad into a gameboard for many classics, including checkers, reversi, go, and mancala. The family can gather around the iPad and enjoy the time-honored tradition of arguing about scoring and rules.

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  • $6.99

    RISK™: The Official Game for iPad

    by Electronic Arts

    If checkers and mancala seem too old fashioned, why not try Risk? On your iPad, the famous game of strategy and war is just like you remember it, but without all the tiny army men that get lost. Risk accommodates larger families (up to six people) and individual play if you need to up your game. You can even change up the rules to suit your mood.

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  • Free

    Netflix

    by Netflix, Inc.

    If your mood is closer to “tired,” Netflix has you covered. Sometimes sitting the kids (or yourself) in front of a TV show or movie is the only answer, and Netflix has something for everyone. The app requires a subscription to Netflix’s streaming service, which can be purchased in-app or online. You can even hook your iPad up to the TV so everyone can watch comfortably.

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  • Free

    Marvel Unlimited

    by Marvel Entertainment

    If there's no time for a movie, use Marvel Unlimited to enjoy the original versions of some of the industry biggest hits. The app offers unlimited access to thousands of old and recent Marvel Comics for a low monthly or yearly subscription. The app itself isn't as polished as Comixology, but the service makes up for it. Anyone who has ever loved Marvel Comics or their characters should at least take a look at the free offerings. A Marvel Unlimited subscription also makes a great gift.

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  • Free

    ScoreCenter for iPad

    by ESPN

    Sometimes you just want to focus on the important things, like sports scores! ScoreCenter for iPad helps you follow your favorite sport(s) or team(s) with video highlights, live play by play, full box scores and scoring summaries, live in-game stats, complete standings, and full game previews and recaps. Push notifications will keep you in the know about your favorite team, whether it’s basketball, football, ice hockey, or baseball. Information on other sporting events like auto racing, golf, tennis, cricket, and rugby are also available.

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  • $4.99

    The Early Edition 2

    by Glasshouse Apps

    Don’t fall behind on current events while you’re keeping track of the family; use the Early Edition 2 to rekindle your love of newspapers. The app replicates the look and feel of a traditional newsprint newspaper but with all the convenience of the iPad. The Early Edition 2 is a fully-customizable RSS reader that lets you add and organize news feeds from any website you want. If you’re new to RSS, the app has multiple suggestions for feeds to follow, as well as options for reading articles later or sending them to other services.

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  • Free

    Pandora Radio

    by Pandora Media, Inc.

    Use Pandora Radio to relax while you’re reading the news. Pandora helps users discover new music with its free streaming radio stations. In fact, Pandora has earned the title of “the Internet radio,” because it builds customized radio stations based on your specified artist, genre, and song preferences. Pandora helps you listen to old favorites or find new ones, all for free! If you hate ads or find you need to be able to skip past more songs, a moderately-priced subscription plan is available.

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  • Free

    Poker by Zynga

    by Zynga Inc.

    If you’ve been too busy to get to your weekly poker game, you can set up a virtual one with Poker HD by Zynga. If you log in with a Facebook or Zynga account, you can play a game with friends. And unlike the real thing, you don’t have to pay real money to start (though there are optional in app purchases for more betting currency). You can also brush up on your skills in between your regular games by playing against strangers— or virtual friends.

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  • $4.99

    Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 12 for iPad

    by Electronic Arts

    Unfortunately, you can’t replace your golf game with your iPad, but you can pretend you’re a champion golfer with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. Whether you’re a Tiger Woods fan or not, the app is a standout in the realistic golf genre. The game puts you in the shoes of a player with characteristics that you choose in the PGA Tour, with its multiple tours and competitions. You can even win prizes you can use to upgrade your players. The tournament element adds a nice spin that most players can’t get even with a “real” game of golf.

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  • $4.99

    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

    by Rockstar Games

    Being a dad is hard work, so you need a game like Grand Theft Auto Vice City to help you blow off some steam. Take all of your frustrations out on rival gang members in Rockstar's popular open-world game. The controls are surprisingly good for a console port. Best of all, you don't have to worry about anyone looking over your shoulder and judging you for your glee at crashing cars and creating other wanton destruction.

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  • $2.99

    Angry Birds Space HD

    by Rovio Entertainment Ltd

    Finally, you need a game for those times you have just a minute or two to spare. There are many great ones to choose from, but you really should see what all the fuss is about and try Angry Birds Space HD. This version of the popular bird catapulting franchise added variable gravity, a twist that deepened its complexity without losing its whimsy. Angry Birds excels on the iPad’s larger screen and is great for a short round or a longer sit down.