I recently bought my 88-year-old Uncle Leonard his first iPad as a gift and had it mailed directly to him. It seemed like a good idea until I realized -- wait a minute -- he doesn't know how to set it up.
So I quickly dashed out instructions, along with suggestions for 10 great apps to download, to begin his iPad experience.
It's a good list, so I'd like to share it with all of you who might have gotten a new tablet in your life this holiday season. All the following apps are free.
1. Facebook. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook) This has to be the first app download, because with 1.2 billion people in the social network, you want to begin by staying in touch with everyone. Plus, Facebook looks so much better on the tablet, where it has been optimized to accentuate the videos and photos.
2. Flipboard. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook) Read the news -- from everyone from USA TODAY to Fortune and Rolling Stone -- via the app that turns Twitter feeds and Facebook posts into a magazine-like experience.
3. Skype. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon) Make free calls to your friends via a tablet. What's not to like about that?
4. Amazon Kindle. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook) Sure, Apple's iBooks app has plenty of e-books, but Amazon's store has way more. Via the Kindle app, you can read them on your iPad.
5. Dropbox. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon) The downside of the iPad is there's no storage slot to add or remove media. The Dropbox app can take care of that for you -- just upload on your computer to Dropbox, and pull it down on the iPad.
6. Netflix. (Apple, Android, Amazon, Windows, Nook) Movies and TV shows look great on tablets -- they were made for consuming entertainment.
7. Pandora. (Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, Nook) Free Internet music. On a tablet, you can also read more about the artist to whom you're listening.
8. Snapseed. (Apple, Android) Because it's so much fun taking photos with the big tablet -- and even more when you have a great app to pretty them up. Snapseed is my favorite mobile photo app, and way better on a tablet than the phone, because you have a larger canvas to work with.
9. Candy Crush Saga. (Apple, Android) Make time for the year's hottest game, which is even more addictive on the larger screen.
10. Weather Channel. (Apple, Android, Nook, Amazon, Windows) Everyone wants to know whether it will be cold or dry tomorrow. The weather app has cool graphics and animation that make it fun to discover the coming week.
© 2014 USA TODAY under contract with MarketWatch. All rights reserved.
Posted: 2014-01-05 @ 1:36pm PT
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