In a world studded with Photoshop-style image editors and Painter-like natural-media tools, it’s really tough to find a new kind of artistic software that brings something truly unique and innovative to the table. But the little-known Studio Artist 4 totally pulls it off, delivering a one-of-a-kind creative application that can craft visuals like nothing else—if you’re prepared to spend some time mastering its intricacies.
Unison would be perfect if we found ourselves time traveling to the ’80s and needing to look up job listings, download software, or pose questions to an online community. That’s because Unison browses Usenet, the text-based precursor to the modern internet. Once the cutting edge of online interactivity, Usenet is now the domain of niche topics and downloads of varying degrees of legality. Unison makes it easy to grab video files, music, and other media, and its interface lets you smoothly navigate Usenet’s bulletin-board depths. Unfortunately, the web, the iTunes Store, streaming Netflix, email groups, and other, better services now limit Usenet’s appeal. Time travel remains elusive, so there’s little reason for others to get started on Usenet now, but Unison makes a great browser for Usenet regulars.
Zinio's multiplatform reader -- which lets you download digital magazines and view them on numerous devices, including iPhone and Mac -- expands to iPad in a stellar app, delivering hundreds of top publications with single issue and subscription purchases. At launch, the Zinio app displayed a few frustrating stumbles, including slow-loading pages and blurry text when zooming. Luckily, numerous post-release updates have largely addressed these quibbles, making for a worthwhile reading experience on the iPad.
Thomson Reuters Marketboard initially appears to be the most attractive stock market app for iPad by far, with an alluring main page featuring a brief look at worldwide markets and images of top international news stories.
Unlike some of the other stock market apps available on iPad, StockWatch isn't free -- but what you're paying for is slightly more in-depth portfolio monitoring, an easy to use and solidly attractive interface, and the ability to sync your data between multiple iPads or iPhones.
While not as meaty or fully featured as the actual newspaper (or its website), The New York Times' first stab at an iPad reader is a clean and easy-to-read digest of handpicked news stories, features, and editorials. Whether in portrait or landscape orientation, NYT Editors' Choice scales nicely to your preference, delivering clear text, sharp photography, and simple commands that let you quickly change pages with a single tap or swipe.
The Wall Street Journal. app initially impresses with both form and function, combining a striking, print-like visual aesthetic with plenty of available content and some helpful navigation constructs. Each section (updated regularly throughout the day) is packed with the latest stories -- many with photo galleries and embedded video clips -- and a scrolling article listing on the right side of most sections makes it easy to flip between stories without returning to a front page. Like the print version, The Wall Street Journal. is second to none for investment news and analysis, and the iPad version lets you easily access current stock quotes.
USA TODAY for iPad isn't the most attractive digital newspaper on the device, emphasizing function over a print-like aesthetic, but what it does deliver is a lot of different content, currently without charge. Each of the paper's four familiar sections is packed with news stories and features, plus you can access stunning photo galleries, interactive polls, and section-specific bonus features like sports scores. USA TODAY is still something of a work in progress, though, as placeholders for stock quotes and a daily crossword puzzle have yet to replace their "coming soon" notices with actual content.
The Guardian Eyewitness is a very simple app, delivering one photograph a day from the popular UK newspaper, but the powerful images depicted in the app make it a showcase for the richness and clarity of the iPad's 9.7-inch display.