Ten Apps for the iPad You Could Have Thought Of

by David Ning · 24 comments

What do you think of the iPad?
No other product has even come close to the buzz that iPad generated. We were talking about it amongst friends, family and colleagues; at dinner, home and twitter too.

Yet, many of us are spending our time wondering why anyone on earth will pay for this, while others are scratching their head with its name choice. Still, there are a select few who are very excited about this announcement. These people, who are making millions with the iPhone, told me about some of the apps that they are thinking of developing. I will list 10 of these, which should help get your own creative juices flowing.

1. Board Games


The size of the iPad brings multi-player games to the next level. Can you imagine how much better Monopoly is without needing to pick someone as the banker? No more clean ups too.

And how about using the iPad to display a Texas Holdem table while everyone has their hand shown on their own iPhone?

2. Advertising


This is a bit commercial, but no more HDTVs in the corner of the restaurant that becomes more of a wall art. With the iPad, you can have lots of them, and they can be much more interactive.

3. Digital Menus


Better yet, how about a waiter bringing over a digital menu without a taped over price because they want to make more money? Or, how about a popular menu based on actual data that changes every month, week or even day?

4. Kiosks


Did you know that the kiosks you see everyday costs $20,000 or more and it’s really nothing but a computer hiding under a chunk of metal? How about shrinking the size by ten times and just having an iPad there to do the same thing? Self serving iPad station to buy Starbucks coffee. It could actually speed up service.

5. Smart Home


It would be cool if someone came up with software that could control the thermostat, or actually, any device in the house. Oh while we are at it, how about adding a baby monitor in there too?

6. Portable Devices


If I were any portable device maker, I’d be scared out of my minds right now. Hand held gaming devices, portable DVD players can all be replaced with one machine with a better and faster processing power.

7. In Car GPS


I still think that the commercialization of GPSs is one of the best advancement of the last decade, but $3,000 is a very steep price to pay for one inside the car. Now, with the iPad, I have a device that will naturally have the most up-to-date maps and routes.

8. Sales Professional


I see too many uses for someone who’s on the road 24/7. It’s light, easy to turn on in a rush and pretty much does most tasks of a laptop. Who can say no to less luggage?

9. Digital Picture Frames


I know what you are thinking. $500 for a picture frame? No, I’m not kidding, because if you think about it, the $50 picture frame is sort of a waste. If you already have the iPad, you can just set it there so it stays with you. Added bonus: No need to teach your parents how to get the pictures onto the memory stick.

10. Stock Trading Geeks


If geeks are labeled by those people who has no life and sits in front of computers all day, then those who are into stocks definitely fit the bill with their multiple screen setup. My friend already said he’s buying an iPad for his wife because she is always trying to carry her laptop everywhere to check stock prices, trends and stay up to date.

This is Interesting and All, But Why Does it Matter?

This site, after all, talks about personal finance. Why does this matter at all you ask? I labeled this post make money, because while we are all complaining about this new device, there are people thinking about capitalizing on this opportunity.

Luck is a huge part of life, but spotting and then acting on it is even more important.

When the iPhone came out, we were talking about its bad reception, the soft ringer, the bulkiness, its weird keyboard and its weight. Yet, two years later, we read headlines of companies who made $25 million last year with a few iPhone apps.

Most people complain and then admire, but you can seize the opportunity instead. The possibilities are limitless. But then again, when everyone is busy making fun of the name, there’s no spare time to think creatively.

Spot, Seize, Do. Train yourself to prosper.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Fruxo says:

    Seriously, even if these ideas weren’t complete and utter garbage (and they are, I assure you) they would still be nixed by Apple. Try to write an app that fits into any of these suggestions and if it gets approved by Apple I will personally come by and < < censored >>.

    I mean… a menu application? Are you insane? What restaurant would buy a bunch of ipads to hand out to people? Or, what kind of moron would have a bunch of menu-apps in their ipad on the off chance that they decide to eat in a “supported” restaurant?

  • Pathogen says:

    Ok, so I’m not as PO’d as StumbleUpon User. It doesn’t mean I don’t think this article isn’t completely ridiculous though. Most people are not made out of money. Most of the things on this list could be done with dedicated hardware and still come out costing less than an iPad. Seriously, a netbook with a 3g card would be just as effective for about all of this stuff. With the exception of using the iPad as a game board, most of this is plainly contrived. Even the board game concept is strained beyond reason. Each player has to have an iPhone in addition to someone having a iPad? A toy for the rich indeed.

  • StumbleUpon User says:

    What…is this? Who decided to post this and why do they still have a job? I sincerely hope this article was just sent by Apple along with a giant bag of money. This single article is so bad I just blocked your entire domain. The first idea is just seriously insanely idiotic, and every idea after that is WORSE. THAN. THE. LAST. This article made me want to punch my girlfriend.. Thanks a lot, guys. You made an article so bad, it ruined a relationship.

  • Ruairi says:

    good point about not having to teach parents about moving pictures on a memory card…oh wait…the ipad is so lame it doesnt have a memory card slot…

  • Miami Web Design says:

    No way hand held games would be replace by the iPad. Talking about blowing Nintendo and Sony out of the competition.

  • Kasey says:

    Really? Hand-held gaming devices could be replaced by the iPad? lol Doubtful.

  • Todd says:

    Typo under #5

  • Chris says:

    I love the card game idea. Of coarse it would really only work with a OLPC style mesh-network though I think that system will be showing up soonish in commercial devices like this. As far as the “traveling salesman” idea goes, I think the first person to make a cradle for the ipad with a built in micro projector will clean up that market. Archos is already making a general purpose home tablet. It is everything the iPad is with functions for home system control etc built in. Hang it for a digital picture frame, take it down and read a recipe, watch youtube in bed.

  • Steve says:

    The author of this article as well as his audience clearly doesn’t have any real knowledge about consumer electronics. A giant ipod that has the hardware of a hundred and fifty dollar computer? And I can get it for what, five hundred? And it doesn’t even have a real operating system on it? I have to admire apple’s business strategy; buy cheap crap, mark it up five thousand percent, and sell it to people who don’t know any better. They are a success story of the power of marketing, because their products are ripoffs and usually a decade behind the rest of the market. There is nothing revolutionary about the ipad whatsoever. People have been doing all of the things above with computers since the eighties. You think that it’s revolutionary because that’s what apple told you. That doesn’t make it true, or even the slightest bit intelligent.

  • Shannon Peil says:

    Please tell me this article was sent to you by an apple exec with a check and a thank you note. None of these uses are fiscally reasonable, and most of them are done more efficiently by pieces of hardware specifically made for each purpose. This is shameful.

  • ha says:

    Ha, 500 dollars for an oversized IPOD. “It can double as a picture frame.” Steve Jobs couldn’t have wrote this article better himself. Personally, I can’t wait until me and my friends play a 1200 dollar game of monopoly :p.

    Lackluster proprietary technology used to make money off of the decadent boutique crowd.

  • Monevator says:

    Some nice ideas. I think we’ll see several apps that interact more with what is happening on the Television, so your iPad becomes almost like an auxillary dashboard giving you extra insight and information. You’d possibly have to strike deals with broadcasters to make that happen though.

  • Jason says:

    How about having the ability to download the menu in fast food restaurants ? You can order the food right there and then just upload the data back and you will never really have to be in line.

  • Craig says:

    I would argue against the GPS because you can buy a quality one for $400 and just have it sit on your car with the adapter, the same thing the ipad could do. May even be more difficult for the ipad cause of the size.

  • CD Phi says:

    Regarding the monopoly example, I think that kind of kills the fun… I mean we view monopoly as a family board game played on a Friday night and all this technical stuff just takes away from the original fun of the game in my opinion…But I mean other than that, I think the ipad will be a very useful device but I’ll probably wait until the second generation comes out.

    • Jason says:

      I actually like playing it electronically. I used to play a Chinese video game much like Monopoly (though it’s not the usual square interface) and it was a ton of fun with friends. I can see playing this at coffee shops, at restaurants etc. It will be so cool.

  • marci says:

    I only own a laptop and a basic cell phone – nothing fancier than that.
    When I heard about this, I was actually intrigued….
    My reasons are that it seems to incorporate so many other things under
    one little package…. a book reader, so no need to get the kindle, no need
    for the iphone, no need for the dvd player, no need for a gps, etc etc etc…
    It can hold a bare geneaology program also.
    Versatility – and NOT owning any surplus electronics already – those are the only reasons I was intrigued…. but with the cost of it, I’ll wait til the cost comes down. It will go on my “Think about it for a year before buying List”… 🙂

    • MoneyNing says:

      When a tech device reaches a frugal, happy without spending, retired grandmother like yourself, you know the marketing campaign was really strong. 🙂

      I see a lot of value in having one device that does everything instead of 16. Of course, it will all come down to the apps, which I’m hoping many will start developing for.

  • Kyle C. says:

    I haven’t thought of these non standard uses of the ipad. But in reality that s what it is beat suited for. Like the iPhone it is a single use device. You can only do one thing at a time, and no flash support. I really think apple dropped the ball on those two items and it going to cost them. It will be interesting to see what level of success it has.

    • MoneyNing says:

      They did, but then again, if everyone does move to HTML5 instead of adopting flash, Apple’s big bet will pay off and also kill Adobe at the same time.

      • Me says:

        Do a quick Google search on HTML 5 and you will see why flash is still around and will be for a while. If you’re too lazy the main issues are codecs and DRM. HTML 5 is not going to rid us of flash just yet. Not ever probably.

        Back to the post though…

        1. Board games – If you have an iPad and 4 iPhones already sure but if not that’s one expensive scrabble board.

        2. Advertising – Wait what? you go from advertising to the TVs in restaurants? Flat screen TVs are fairly cheap compared to iPads. You can have more? Doubt it. You might see this some day soon in $200 a plate restaurants.

        3. Digital Menus – Holy wow that’s an expensive menu. Nothing more on that subject.

        4. Kiosks – This is silly. iPads aren’t designed with the amount of security needed to be used as a kiosks. Those kiosks are not just big boxes with computers inside. They are designed with a specific purpose. You cant just expect a rich person’s gadget to be able to compare.

        5. Smart Home – Since you can’t multitask this seems like a waste of an iPad but sure this is possible as it would be with any tablet. Or a dedicated device built specifically for this purpose. Same difference.

        6. Portable Devices – What? I’m not dignifying this with any more.

        7. In Car GPS – The iPad with 3g would do this fine i suppose. As would a netbook with 3g. or a tablet with 3g. Or anything with 3g for that matter.

        8. Sales Professional – This is one way to use any tablet.

        9. Digital Picture Frames – Call me old fashioned but, Nice picture frame + 400 pictures printed out at wherever would still cost less than an iPad. It’s a tablet, not a picture frame. Picture frames stay at home. In once place. And make your living room look nice.

        10. Stock Trading Geeks – Again…. What? You can check stocks on anything with an internet connection…

        This post is about making money? I dont see how.

        • MeToo says:

          Yep, you summed it up rather well. Especially about the kiosks, except you didn’t mention the stupidity of man, which inclines most average citizens to slam against a touch screen like the only way it will respond is if it is introduced to brute force. A tablet would last about three days in any market because normal civilians who did not actually buy the machine will abuse it like a red headed stepchild.

          As far as web related activities go, HTML 5 is cute, but much like Safari, you want to leave it to the clueless hippies who cling to their cute iWhatevers, and leave the real programming to the experts.

      • Gabriel says:

        MoneyNing – that’s just absurd. Adoption of HTML5 will in no way “kill” Adobe. Flash might become a less prevalent public web based UI component, but certainly wont go away, not by a long shot. Flex, used today in many financial applications will likely continue to be used. Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver are still industry leading products. Not to mention is many patents on type face and other web based technologies.

        • MoneyNing says:

          Thanks for your comments.

          It wasn’t my intention to predict what will happen, nor try to indicate that Adobe is going away no matter what happens with Flash. It’s been a while since I typed that comment, but I believe I was trying to write that Adobe’s strategy with flash and that side of the company will be in deep trouble if HTML5 is going to be widely adopted.

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