Category Archives: Free Apps

Free Apps: My Go-to Five

Five Great Free Apps

Why pay for what you can get for free? Keep in mind that some of these are free versions that have more functional pay versions, but you should always try before you buy, so they still make the list. I also appreciate App designers who are smart enough to offer free versions as a means of letting the user assess whether they can use the App or not – thanks, guys!

Also, I never endorse an App that I don’t use, and I use most of these on a daily basis.

  1. Textilus – I dabble in other forms of writing on occasion (I’m working on the nerdiest novel in history), and so I really wanted a full-featured writing App that had things like font control (font face and size), formatting, and exporting to universal formats like rtf. Textilus does it all, and its free version handles most of these things. I upgraded to the pay version, which was $5 well spent for a control freak like me.
  2. Evernote – Many people use this to sync notes between their iPhone/Android, PC/Mac, and their iPad. I don’t really use it on my PC too much, but it is the most useful note-taking tool ever on the iPad for me, especially with how easily you can drop in pictures, video, sound, or just type an outline for a post (like this one). It has some pay features, but the basic functionality is all I really need, so I stuck with the free version.
  3. Printer Pro Lite – Read this carefully: Printer Pro Lite will not give your iPad printing capabilities, but is a compatibility checker to be used with your PC or through a network to make sure that the full version of Printer Pro can talk to your printer and print stuff out. So again, if you want to see whether your printer is capable of connecting to your iPad, download the lite version and if printing from the iPad is workable and worth $7 to you, upgrade to the pay version to start printing. I did, and it works fantastically with my printer.
  4. Adobe Reader – For better or worse, the PDF is pretty much the standard format for important documents these days, and though there are some non-Adobe Apps that claim to enhance your ability to navigate and/or change the PDF’s on your iPad, my primary use for PDF’s is to read them, so I go with Adobe’s App, which works great.
  5. Chrome – I’ve written about Chrome’s features and capabilities before, so check that review out if you’re unclear on why I love this browser. I use it all the time, and the bookmark sync is particularly useful since it’s built into the browser and allows you to organize them into folders for easy access. The only time I use Safari is when I need to download something App-specific that Chrome doesn’t know how to handle (like brushes in Procreate).

So there you have it, five apps that I couldn’t do without, and all of them have free versions. Again, make sure you always read the descriptions of the Apps you’re downloading to make sure it does what you think it does. Printer Pro Free in particular has a lot of unnecessary negative reviews because people assumed it would help them print, something it never claimed it would do. Keep your objectives in mind as you App shop – reading the description is never a waste of time, even for free Apps.