iPad & iPhone Reviews for Kids, Parents, Educators, Artists, Art Lovers: Fine & Performing, Readers, News Junkies, Writers, Casual Gamers & anyone interested in the Best iPad and iPhone Reviews, Tips, Contests, Sales, Exclusive Sneak Peeks & Swag

Whether you just unwrapped your iPad last night or you are celebrating your one year anniversary with your tablet d’amour, you need to read this review!

Happy Saturday,

I don’t really have time to blog much on weekends, but as soon as we got home from hockey practice and I was back online with my iPad, I did what I do every time I turn it on; I checked out everything that had changed in the App Store since I last logged in. Which made me realize that even if you are not an App Store stalker like I am, I have been remiss in not posting about these apps sooner, since they are essential tools to discover which apps are right for you and how to get them at reduced prices or often even free.

So here you go, a list of my secret weapons (shh!)

The App Store is impossibly large as you might have noticed. If you are a new iPad owner, like saving money, or you are a fellow app junkie, you must have what I call App Apps. But there are many so let me make it simple for you. Get these:

The Best: AppShopper

This app is the best deal in the whole app store. Not only is it free, it will save you money. Lots of money. The app shows you every new app, updated app, and price change in the App Store. Yup seems like all of them, or at least it hasn’t out-stalked me or any of my other App Apps to date.

I love how easy this app is to use. You can search by category or select paid, free or both, to narrow your search, or you can seek out any specific app. You will get the app description from the App Store as well as a chart showing you all updates and prices changes the app has ever had, and a direct link to the app to make sure you don’t miss out.

You can also narrow your search by only checking the most popular apps that have undergone change. The app may not be in real-real time but it is pretty close.

What makes this app indispensable is that it allows you to create an app watch list, and it will notify you with optional push notifications and badges when any of your tracked apps has changed in any way.

You will never hit yourself over the head for buying an app only to find it free or 1/2 price the next day again, but neither will you wait forever for a sale that’s never going to happen.

AppShopper gets 5 stars from me!

Find it here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/appshopper/

Ok, great, so now you know where to find apps on the cheap and have a way to ensure you get the best price, but that still doesn’t help you sort out which apps to buy.

There may be as many app-review apps, magazines, articles and websites sites (and yes blogs, I know..) as there are apps, and dozens of apps go on sale every day. But I always tell Pump a sale is never a good deal if you don’t need what you are buying. I have the solution, but it depends on your level of experience.

FOR NEWBIES: AppStart for iPad:

If you are a new iPad owner a great way to start is by spending .99 to get AppStart for iPad. It will guide you through all the categories of apps, offer useful tips for getting the most from your iPad and help you start learning what YOU like.

The interface looks like an old-time classified section, the reviews and tips are clear, concise and pretty comprehensive for an enhanced starter’s guide. It is brought to you by AppAdvice.com, whose website does comprehensive app reviews, app guides, and even has regular video broadcasts bringing you the best stuff for your IOS devices. I do wish the app were free though since the info is available on their website, but they do a terrific job of selecting exactly the right balance between too much and too little information. SAHGeekMom gives it 4.5 stars.

Buy it here: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/appstart-for-ipad/

AWESOME FOR ALL: AppAdvice.

For everyone including the most seasoned app maven such as yours truly.

AppAdvice is chock-full of news, reviews, videos, lists, and guides, for every genre of app you can imagine. It is a bit pricey at 1.99, but AppAdvice’s habit of jointly posting app lists, which just explain and often demonstrate how apps in a certain category differ from each other and comparative guides with rating makes this a must have for all iPad owners. It may not look like it’s saving you money but if you know which apps are not worth your time, you will know which ones are not even a good deal when they are free! Again you can get this free from their site or feed, but this is a really nice-looking app, organized to take away almost all the agony of browsing aimlessly. SAHGeekMom gives it 4.5 stars.

Buy it here: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/appadvice/

Others worth looking at:

FAAD
The biggest free app site, freeappaday.com (FAAD,) has 2 apps out, one paid one free. Neither are universal nor native iPad apps and since almost all their featured apps go free for only 24 hours you can find any relevant reviews and trailers right on their website homepage from your iPad, so save your money and stick to the free version.

That said, the free FAAD app is still a good resource. The website collects votes from users on which apps we want to see go free and urges developers (of largely middling levels, but with the odd hit) to make their app free for a day essentially for the publicity and to boost their ranking in the App Store which is the single biggest determinant of which apps will make money, so the concept is of benefit to all parties: the devs, FAAD, and of course us.

FAAD tends to be game-heavy and are geared toward the smaller devices, but universal apps go free all the time too. The app will send you push notifications daily of what they have gathered for those of you who prefer not to spend the entire entertainment budget on your IOS device. They also have archives of previously free apps, the point of which, I assume, beyond bragging, is to cause the buyer’s remorse that AppShopper helps avoid, but it’s useful and free nonetheless.
3 stars.

Appolicious:
Based on the website of the same name, the Appolicious app has great reviews and a web-like interface. Like FAAD it is free, but it has app guides for all IOS platforms. It can be a bit crashy say some iTunes reviewers, but I have had no trouble with it and it’s really not too terribly difficult to restart in order to gain easy access to their advice right on your iPad without opening Safari.
4 stars.

Ok that’s it, happy hunting and let me know if you found any great apps or deals! And don’t forget to surf the web, you will quickly get a feel for whose reviews suit your personal taste best, and almost all have RRS and/or email feeds (like mine, so please subscribe!)

Also don’t forget to enter my FREE APP contest here: http://wp.me/p1jbjr-2e

Ciao for now,
The SAHGeekMom

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