Does your iPad pull a lot of desk duty? Does it adorn your kitchen counter or even your nightstand? Do you routinely leave it on a dock or charger? If so, you should put that sucker to good use--even when you're not using it. After all, a big, beautiful screen is a terrible thing to waste.
As you learned yesterday, the iPad already knows how to function as a photo frame--and a damn fine one at that. But not everyone wants to look at photos all day. Maybe you'd prefer stock updates? Tweets? How about fish? Here are five apps to keep a docked iPad interesting:
Bloomberg: Want to keep tabs on the stock market? It's hard to imagine a lovelier window on Wall Street than Bloomberg for iPad. It delivers news, equity indices, a personalized stock portfolio, currency exchange rates, and plenty more, all wrapped in a gorgeous interface--and updated at regular intervals. Best of all, it's a freebie!
iQuarium HD: Real fish are kind of a pain, don't you think? You have to feed them, clean the tank, yell at people to stop tapping the glass, and all that. iQuarium provides all the joys of fish-tank ownership with none of the hassles (or expense--it's a mere $1.99). Actually, the app is as much a Tamagotchi-style game as it is a virtual fish tank, as you have to feed your fish daily--eventually earning "fish points" to decorate your tank with accessories, backgrounds, more fish, etc. If you want more instant gratification, check out Marine Aquarium (also $1.99).
Magic Window--Living Pictures: An absolutely dazzling alternative to family photos, Magic Window serves up 15 gorgeous animated nature scenes--everything from sunrises to mountain valleys to tropical oceans at dusk. Actually, they're time-lapse photos, but they look animated, especially if you adjust the time slider so the action moves slowly. Magic Window is by far one of my favorite apps for a docked iPad. It's currently on sale for $3.99 (normally $4.99).
My Frame: Like the iPad's own Picture Frame on steroids, My Frame lets you view photo slideshows--but with your choice of information overlaid on top of them. You can add a clock, a weather forecast, a Twitter feed, birthday/anniversary reminders, sticky notes, and even
iPod controls. Not bad for a $1.99 app.
Have you found any other interesting apps to run on your iPad while it's docked or charging? If so, tell us about them in the comments!