Chapter 5. At Home

At Home

Its lightweight, easy-to-start-up nature makes the iPad just a click or two more convenient to summon for help than, say, a laptop. And in the opportunities created by that small improvement, we’re starting to see the device and its supporting band of apps deliver a collection of aids that would make Martha Stewart smile. (That is, when she’s not creating her own app: not covered in these pages, her iPhone-only Martha’s Everyday Food is still a worthwhile download for fans of the diva of domesticity.) The kitchen category offers the most promise—jiminy, the riches that await a truly top-notch recipe app. But in keeping with our pledge to deliver only the highest quality-bar topping efforts, the first wave doesn’t offer many gems to spotlight. On the shopping front, buying stuff online is something we’re all used to by now; the iPad makes long product listings—not to mention checkout lines—disappear through apps that offer much improved browsing. And who doesn’t want a way to sharpen the minds of kids and parents alike? For those in the mental minor leagues, app makers have done an impressive job in exploring the territory where education meets entertainment. Finally, lifelong learners aren’t left out. A small but growing collection—including some jaw-dropping examples of how things like 3D presentations and video can help teach topics—give post grads a way to better ...

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