Apps For The App-Averse
Not every iPhone or iPad user is an app expert. Some people are content with just using their iDevice for phone, text, email and browsing. There's nothing wrong with that. At the same time, apps do not need to be the intimidating challenge they're sometimes perceived to be. While there are certainly apps with complex user interfaces and steep learning curves, there are also apps which not only demonstrate the power and versatility of Apple's products, but also their simplicity.
One of the simplest and most practical applications of the iPhone is its ability to double as a flashlight. There are many flashlight apps out there. This one was chosen for its lack of ads and ease of use. Even the most technologically challenged will intuitively know to push the big power button in the center of the screen. There is also a strobe function, controlled by a visible slider. Please note that older iPhone models do not have a flash to use as the light, but there are flashlight apps which use light from the screen.
GasBuddy - Find Cheap Gas Prices
GasBuddy is another simple, but useful application for the iPhone. Input your city, state, or zip code, and you can price shop for the cheapest gas stations near you. Technological issues aside, everybody wants to save money on gas. This app helps you do it.
Apps Gone Free (Best Daily Top App Deals)
Speaking of saving you money, AppAdvice's own AppsGoneFree app is designed specifically for that purpose. This app isn't listed here just as a plug; it's featured because it's easy to use. You open the app and immediately learn which of the best normally paid apps have gone temporarily free. Click on a link and directly download that app from the App Store. Granted, some of the apps featured in AppsGoneFree may seem daunting. But at the cost of free, it won't cost you to try them.
An app that's easy to use, yet profound in function, is Google Translate. First, choose the language you're translating from, and then the language you're translating to. Type in the phrase you want translated, and voila! You can immediately know that voila means "here" in English. You can also find out what it is in Russian, Chinese, and a host of other languages. For many of the languages, you can also hear the phrase pronounced in its native tongue.
Living Earth - Clock & Weather
This app is basically a clock and weather dashboard, but it's a really nice-looking clock and weather dashboard. It especially pops on the iPad's brilliant screen. If you can figure out how to use an alarm clock, you should be able to figure this app out. Plus, waking up to a majestic view of our lovely planet beats the cold hard stare of clock numbers.
Cut the Rope HD
The iPhone and iPad have become a huge market for games. One of the most popular games is Cut The Rope. Cut the Rope is not only one of the best games available, it is also one of the friendliest to those who aren't tech savvy. Its gameplay is composed of nothing more than simple swipes and touches. More than that, however, the game takes the time to walk you through those simple swipes and touches. Yes, Cut The Rope is extremely fun. It's also highly accessible.
Watching video is a delight on the iPad. There are many options to choose from. Ted is a great one to start with. For those who don't know, Ted invites some of the world's most renowned experts, from a wide variety of fields, to give its Ted Talks. Ted's content is diverse, thought-provoking, and often inspirational. It also has a fairly user-friendly interface. Even for those intimidated by the black bar options at the bottom of the screen, Ted's main screen features many interesting videos, which you can easily scroll through by swiping right and left.
Video Time Machine
Ted Talks are great, but do require a certain investment of both time and mental energy. YouTube clips are great for another reason. They often present short mindless entertainment. This app collects some of those clips and packages them in the form of a video time machine. Simply choose a year and category from the wheel at right, and you are instantly transported down memory lane, through some notable video clips from that time. You can even hit the "random" button to be surprised by a random clip from a random era. The app-averse are often non-tech people, unfamiliar with the nuances of YouTube; they are not going to go scouring the web for videos. Video Time Machine makes it so they don't have to.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Although this app's user interface is not complicated, it has a slightly higher learning curve than the other apps on this list. Still, it's an amazing example of the enormous potential for e-books on the iPad. It is doubly fitting that it's a story about books! Before even reading the book, I would recommend watching the animated short film. If the film reminds you a Pixar film, it should; the director of the app helped create conceptual characters for "Toy Story" and "A Bug's Life." After witnessing the stunning animated presentation, it will become more apparent how impressive the book is, with its film-faithful in-app interactions.
Tips & Tricks — iPad Secrets
After braving the new frontier of apps, you may find yourself curious to learn more about your iDevice. Tips & Tricks - iPad Secrets is an excellent next step. It lays out some simple tips, in a clear and user-friendly manner. Many of the tips may seem basic to those who are proficient with their iPad. But for the beginner, who has just tried apps for the first time, it will unlock a lot of additional knowledge. The developer also makes a corresponding app, available for the iPhone, as well as other similar guides.
AppStart for iPad (2012 Edition)
Finally, it is necessary to mention our own AppStart app (versions available for both iPad and iPhone). This app is great for the app-averse, as it walks users, by hand, through the plethora of available apps. As a personal note, I also used to also be averse to apps. AppStart is one of the first iPad apps I downloaded. It was my gateway drug into the wonderful world of apps. Countless apps later, I now have the privilege to share that wonder with you.