The Week's Best iPad Apps

Speakeasy Cocktails: It's a cocktails recipe book app that will transform the way you see, judge and drink cocktails. And because it's one of those book/app blends, the info is on par with the best cocktail books. There's a consistent narrative to the app, the chapters are set up to teach you the basics first and then branch out to show you each alcohol's different recipes. And even though there's a boatload of information (hundreds of recipes, videos and graphics) that covers every little detail (the minute details of ice, barware, etc), it doesn't seem overwhelming because it's seamlessly interactive-there's pop up overlays within each page and smart links that illustrate what you need to be doing. $10


123D Sculpt: AutoDesk (from the smart folk behind AutoCAD, SketchBook Mobile) has added Sculpt 123D to their product portfolio. You start with a blob that is something like the shape you want to sculpt (human, elephant, T-Rex, etc.), and then you can turn it and manipulate it at will. I was surprised to see just how much control you have the over forms and how detailed you can make something. Free.


Composite: Using the iPad's built-in cameras, Composite lets you reinterpret the environment any way you like on the fly. It's a really cool departure from your typical paint app. Inspired by the work of Robert Rauschenberg, whose "combine paintings" incorporated a variety of mediums and materials into collages, the app takes the toolkit you'd expect from, say, Brushes and combines it with a video feed. From there, you can record your subject in real-time, toy with how it appears on your screen-all the way from the brush thickness to the video contrast-and make something really expressive. $2


The Week's Best iPad Apps

Converse: Converse is a dual keyboard translator where two people can communicate with one another even though they speak different languages. Basically, one person will type in let's say English and it'll be translated to Spanish on the other side of the screen while another person types in Spanish and it'll be translated to English on the other side. Get it? Multiple languages are supported too. $5


The Week's Best iPad Apps

VUDU: VUDU, the streaming movie and TV service, is trying to cut Apple out of the profit picture by circumventing the App Store with a webapp. You can just access VUDU by going to Vudu.com in Safari. The new web app uses Apple's HTTP Live adaptive bit rate streaming to maintain good quality streams but movies are limited to only standard def streaming. There's over 20,000 movies to rent or buy on the website and all previous purchases will be instantly watchable.


The Week's Best iPad Apps

Kindle Cloud Reader: If you were wondering how Amazon was going to get around Apple's new rule banning developers from linking to their own stores from within an iOS app, here's your answer: an optimized web-browser Kindle reader, for iPads. It works by pulling your books from the cloud and rendering them in HTML5, and also lets users download new books and read them offline.


The Week's Best iPad AppsS

Boxee: Boxee for iPad manages your streaming media from the computer to the big screen. There's also neater features like saving videos to watch later and send videos from your iPad to the Boxee box too.


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