Following numerous Looptastic iterations on iPhone, Sound Trends compiled all its portable music creation knowledge (and loop sets) into Looptastic HD, an approachable music creation suite for iPad. Using a simple drag-and-drop interface, Looptastic HD lets you arrange loops from a variety of genres into original creations, with the ability to swap between song parts in separate zones, apply special effects, adjust the tempo, and even record your own loops with the iPad mic or a Bluetooth headset.
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 BBC has long been trusted as an excellent source for worldwide and European news, and the BBC News app for iPad happily matches that journalistic prowess with a well-designed and info-packed free offering.
Though we may be waiting some time for an official Twitter option for iPad, fans of Twitterrific for iPhone and Mac will be pleased to hear that the iPad version leads the current pack of third-party options. Twitterrific's grey-heavy interface is simple and clean-looking, letting you clearly scroll through the tweets of those you follow and take in Twitter's trending topics all on the same page (in landscape orientation).
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.
SoundHound takes Shazam's pioneering song-recognition approach to a whole new level, letting you not only identify recorded songs, but also use your own vocal cords to generate a result. The ability to sing or hum a few bars of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" or Rihanna's "Rude Boy" and get a correct identification is pretty mind-blowing, and a testament to the power of SoundHound's inner workings.
What is WolframAlpha? Think of it as a cross between a search engine and Wikipedia, though more intelligent and to the point than the former, while significantly more authoritative than the latter (though currently less robust than both).