Though only a select few people actually have iPads at the moment, Apple went ahead and popped all of the available launch titles into iTunes anyway--and there are a couple thousand already. There are a ton of very impressive-looking apps in there, and they're also impressively expensive.
The apps range from video titles to newspapers and other periodicals to crazy new ebooks to games, and while a lot of them are merely ported iPhone apps, a lot of them are brand new. Gizmodo has a nice roundup of the most "essential" apps now available, but here are my picks:
- Netflix: the killer app for videophiles. It's the first major mobile device to boast an app that can stream Netflix Instant Watch titles, and it's a must for any video-loving iPad owners. Read more about it here.
- Scrabble: finally, you can see the entire board without panning. Plays nice with iPhones as well as other iPads, and even lets you use an iPhone (or iPod Touch) as a letter tray, if you want.
- Mirror's Edge: holy crap! The innovative parkour-inspired Xbox 360/PS3 title that's all about running, climbing, jumping, grabbing, and sliding comes to iPad. No idea how it'll control yet, but if it's remotely similar to the console version, it'll be a ton of nausea-inducing fun.
- NPR: really takes advantage of the iPad's multimedia capabilities, and doesn't look anything like a newspaper while doing it.
- NetNewsWire: the best Mac OS RSS reader could be the best iPad RSS reader.
- The Elements: possibly the first real next-gen ebook, this periodic table guide (that's so much more than a periodic table guide) was described as "the version you'd check out from the Hogwarts library." Totally interactive, totally new.
- Crosswords: maybe I'll finally finish one, now that I can see the whole board.
What's most noticeable in most of these app listings is the price--if the app isn't free (like NPR, Netflix, and most of the other newspapers), it usually costs at least $10. That's far more than we're used to from the app store, and it remains to be seen if people will really want to pay, say, $13 for a periodic table app, no matter how groundbreaking it is. You can check out the entire (huge!) list of iPad apps in the iTunes store here.