One of the best uses for an iPad is for cooking— prop it up anywhere in the kitchen and follow along to the infinite amount of recipes and videos you can find on the Internet. Below are my handpicked 10 Best iPad Apps for Cooking.
Below is a list of 8 apps that deliver free, full episodes from TV networks in the US (make sure to check out Part 1 here). Most of the apps below deliver only a few episodes of a handful of shows from a specific network—thus, the apps aren’t replacements for watching your favorite shows on cable TV or over-the-air television. But they may be good for discovering new shows or watching the latest of your favorites. And hey, they’re free, so no complaining.
The CBS app (free) is one of the best iPad TV apps because it offers a lot of free content from some of its best shows; in fact, there is a least one episode for just about all of their shows. And yes, there are full episodes, with commercials interspersed throughout. Shows currently streaming as of this writing are:
The Amazing Race
The Good Wife
Rules of Engagement
How I Met Your Mother
2. History Channel
The History Channel (free) is another app with a ton of content inside. The History Channel may not feature much actual history anymore, but its shows are still pretty entertaining. As of this writing, there are 59 episodes of Axe Man available in the app (wow!). Other shows don’t feature quite so many, but most offer 4-6 episodes for streaming inside the app. Other shows with full episodes currently available in the app are:
Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy
A&E (free) also offers several shows with free full episodes. Storage Wars, for example, features 12 full episodes for your viewing pleasure (as of this writing—it could change week to week). Other shows with full episodes available inside the app are:
LifeTime (free) has a good amount of free episodes available, but it varies from show to show. For example, Client List only features the latest episode, but The New Adventures of Old Christine has 5 full episodes available for streaming. There are also a few Lifetime made-for-TV movies available to watch in the app. Shows offering free full episodes are:
How I Met Your Mother
5. Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel HD (free) offers only a few free episodes in the app. There are tons of video clips from shows, but few episodes. In fact, there are currently only 5 free episodes total from the following three shows:
Bering Sea Gold
TLC (free) has tons of clips from popular shows like Honey Boo Boo, but sadly there is currently only 1 free full episode in the app, and it’s from the show Welcome to Myrtle Manor. Of course, many of these apps add and remove content periodically, so perhaps this is just a dry spell, but as of this writing, there’s very little full-episode content in the TLC app.
7. Animal Planet
Animal Planet (free) currently offers full episodes from 3 different shows. My Cat From Hell even has 6 episodes available to watch. All available shows (as of this writing) are shown below.
My Cat From Hell
North Woods Law
8. Adult Swim
Adult Swim (free) offers a mix of free full episodes and “gold” content which is only available by signing in via your cable provider. The good news is that there is a ton of free episodes available for streaming in the app. Shows currently available for streaming in the app are:
Independent developers A Tasty Pixel have just received the rarest of honors from Apple today. Apple has built in support for their app Audiobus ($9.99, on sale for $4.99) into the latest version of Garageband for iOS ($4.99), essentially making Audiobus the standard for piping sound from one music app into another.
Audiobus is a middleman app for music-making on the iPhone and iPad. It essentially functions as a pipeline for moving sound created in, say, a synthesizer app like Animoog into another like Garageband so you can record it, or manipulate it with more filters, etc. It also makes it easier to switch between music apps with just a tap, and to start/stop recording in app while playing in instrument in another.
To non-musicians, it may sound a bit benign, but it solves a lot of issues on iOS for making and recording music. Without a doubt, Audiobus is currently the most powerful music-creation app for iOS out there, even more so now that Apple seems to recognize it as a protocol—highly unusual because Apple usually likes to control these things. Developers have to build support into their apps for Audiobus (the long list can be found in the official app description in iTunes here), so it’s a little funny to see Apple join the crowd. Apple must be Audiobus fanboys, too.
Audiobus announced via Twitter (see the tweet below) that the app is currently half off ($4.99) in celebration of Apple’s move.
Apple’s GarageBand is now Audiobus compatible. To celebrate we’re putting Audiobus on a 50% sale for limited time. audiob.us/download
Make sure to check out Part 1 here. Musicians are quickly discovering that iPad apps are some of the best values in music creation tools today. Where it can costs hundreds of dollars for a real-life hardware synthesizer, the iPad’s multitouch screen can recreate all the knobs, switches, and other features without the cost of manufacturing, leading to ultra-cheap apps that deliver nearly identical sound—hook up a MIDI keyboard and you get the same playing experience as well. The iPad is a pretty amazing revolution in music creation and recording tools. Check out my list of 10 More Essential iPad Music-Creation apps below to get an idea of some of the best apps available.
Also check out Part 2 here with 10 more apps. Musicians are quickly discovering that iPad apps that help create music are an incredible value in the world of professional music making. Never before has it been so cheap to own professional-quality software tools, and it’s all thanks to the miracle device known as the iPad. Below are my picks for the 10 Best and most useful apps for creating music on the iPad, with video examples.
*UPDATE 5-15-2013* The video-caching feature of this app seemed too good to be true, and it was. The latest version of McTube Pro removes the cache video feature in McTube Pro per a request from Google. If you haven’t updated yet to the newer (less useful) version, you may want to back up your current version of the app (instructions) in case you accidentally update it in the future and want to revert back to the old version. If you did accidentally update, you may consider restoring your iPhone from a recent backup (just remember you’ll lose all changes on your iPhone since you made that backup).
McTube Pro’s ($1.99) killer feature is that it lets you save your favorite YouTube videos to your iPhone and iPad for offline playback. That’s right, saved YouTube videos can be played back without an Internet connection. And in HD, too, if you’d like. While McTube Pro can be used with any type of YouTube video, it really shines for music. Read on for my full review to find out why.
Downloading Videos.McTube distinguishes itself from other YouTube viewing apps by allowing you to store YouTube videos for later playback. McTube avoids saying it “downloads” videos because that would violate YouTube’s terms. Instead, it “caches” them. When you find a video you like, you simply tap the Cache button, and the video downloads, whoops, I mean caches, in the background. Cached videos are stored in the Local folder for later playback.
Review Summary: McTube works well for storing your favorite YouTube videos and as a way to collect free music from YouTube. But the app is rough around the edges, lacking a way to organize videos and a way to control audio outside of the app. Still, it’s the best YouTube downloader among the several I tried out.
Videos Can’t Be Moved Out of the App. Unfortunately, videos stored in the app stay in the app—they can’t be downloaded to your computer. Allowing you to do this would be against YouTube’s terms, and would likely lead to the app’s YouTube access being revoked. But apparently allowing you to “cache” them is fine. That’s the power of semantics.
Best for Music. YouTube has quickly become the place to find and listen to music on the web. Just about everything is on there, for free. McTube Pro not only lets you save these videos, it has a special MP3 mode where you can listen to the audio-only portion of your saved videos, as if they were mp3s in the iPhone’s Music app.
But that’s not to say McTube Pro is a particularly good music player. It’s not. McTube’s biggest flaw as a music player is that music control functionality (play, pause, forward, back) only works inside the app. You can’t use the iPhone’s lock screen controls to, say, pause a song, and you can’t you use the headphone dongle controls either. You must use the app. Hopefully this will be fixed in a future version. MP3 mode also lets you create playlists, although the interface is crude and clunky.
MP3 Mode lets you listen to audio-only portion of videos.
No Folders or Organization Tools. Another big annoyance with the app is that there is no way to organize your saved videos—there are no folders or playlists (except for MP3 mode). Videos just sit there in a big long list in the order you downloaded them. This gets annoying once your library grows.
Cached videos in McTube for offline viewing.
Access to Your YouTube Account. You can log in to your YouTube account inside the app and get access to all your Subscriptions, Favorites, Playlists, etc. This is a nice feature if you’ve already done some work collecting your favorite videos. You could simply go through your lists and download them to the iDevice.
Pro vs Free Version. There is also a free version of McTube that only lets you store 5 videos and has advertisements. I recommend checking it out first. The Pro version ($1.99) removes the storage limit and the advertisements.
Settings in McTube Pro.
HD and Auto Caching. The app has two useful option in its settings. The first is the ability to turn on HD streaming. If you’ve got good download speeds and lots of storage on your iPhone, I recommend taking advantage of HD video, as the audio quality is so much better. The Auto Cache setting, when turned on, automatically saves every video you watch using the app. It’s a nice time-saving feature—if you’ve got a lot of free memory. The Region setting lets you set a country (Argentina, Italy, etc) as your base for content filtering purposes.
AirPlay. The app also supports AirPlay. Combine this with HD downloads and an AppleTV, and you can put together a pretty sweet music-video party.
McTube Pro’s key feature is its ability to store YouTube videos on your iPhone/iPad for offline viewing later. In this area, it works as advertised. You can even save HD videos. The app also has a special “MP3 Mode” that lets you listen to the audio-only portion of videos, making this a good way to collect free music. But this app is rough around the edges. There are no tools to organize offline videos, and the iPhone’s audio controls (play/pause/forward) don’t work outside of the app. Despite it limitations, I can highly recommend this app for its main purpose: caching YouTube videos for offline viewing. It’s also a great way to collect free music.
Like America’s Top Model? The CW Network app (free) for iPhone & iPad lets you watch it, for free. The app can stream the latest 5 full episodes of every primetime show on the CW, for free. Here are some of the shows available:
The Vampire Diaries
America’s Next Top Model
Hart of Dixie
Emily Owens, M.D.
Beauty & the Beast
There are commercials interspersed throughout each episode, of course. They’ve got to pay the bills somehow. But the streaming video works beautifully, although it wasn’t quite HD quality. And if you have an AppleTV, there’s a tricky way to get AirPlay to work. More on that later.
The app other features are Twitter and Facebook integration, the CW Network TV schedule, photos, etc, but who cares about all that? It’s all about the free TV.
AirPlay Support. The app supports AirPlay out to AppleTV, but there’s a trick to it (AirPlay isn’t found in the app itself). To use AirPlay, start playing a show, then double-click the home button to bring up the fast-app switcher. Swipe to the right to bring up the iPad’s media controls, then tap the AirPlay button. It will stream both audio and video to your AppleTV.
There’s no need for ESPN Fantasy Footballers to run the iPhone app at 2x on the iPad anymore. ESPN Fantasy Football 2012 for iPad (free) is now available for download.
The best news is that app is well designed, unlike most other fantasy football apps out there. The app includes full management tools (add, drop, waivers, trades, etc), ESPN’s FantasyCast for live scoring of matchups, Fantasy news and Videos, and viewing and posting to league message boards.
The app currently rates 4.5 stars in the App Store. Hats off to ESPN.
Want to manage your fantasy football team on the go? Thankfully, all the major fantasy football services offer an iPhone app with basic management tools (add/drop players, trades, etc). However, when it comes to drafting your teams, only one lets you draft via app (the MyFantasyLeague.com app). Without further ado, below are 6 apps for the major online fantasy football services.
Yahoo Fantasy Football
Yahoo Fantasy Football (free) has slowly improved the interface of their app over the years, and it now runs smoother and is much easier on the eyes. They’ve also added iPad support, so it’s a universal app. Yahoo just updated the app with new features, including improved waiver-wire management. With app you can now:
Claim players off the waiver wire
Make trades, including proposing, rejecting, vetoing, and allowing trades
View league activity (waiver-wire adds, drops, trades).
View pending adds and trades.
Manage your player watchlist.
Read Roto Arcade articles.
There are some downsides. The app is useless until after you draft your team, and you can’t draft using the app. And if you’re a commish, there are no commish tools in the app. Essentially, it’s still a limited app, but useful enough that it can save your butt more than once during a season.
ESPN Fantasy Football
ESPN Fantasy Football (free, iPhone, iPad) has all the basics to let you manage your ESPN teams, and yes, you can manage multiple teams across multiple leagues. It even has a few nice tricks like push notifications for injuries. Some of the app’s features are:
View FantasyCast real-time scoring
Manage your line-up (start and substitute players)
Add and drop players from waiver wire
Propose, access, or reject trades
Read fantasy news, watch videos, and read tweets from ESPN fantasy columnists
View and post to league message boards
Some of the app’s downsides are no iPad version (of course, you can run the iPhone version in 2x mode), no drafting of teams via the app, and no league management tools for commissioners.
NFL.com Fantasy Football
NFL.com Fantasy Football (free) is another app that lets you take care of the basic management duties of your team. Developers are promising that the app will see significant updates before the season starts. One of app’s strengths is access to official news and injury updates, which NFL.com excels at. Overall, the app lets you:
Manage your lineup (sit, bench players)
Add and drop players to the waive wire
Access player rankings
Make and accept trades
Manage multiple teams across multiple leagues
Some of the limitations of the NFL.com Fantasy Football app are that it can’t be used for your draft, there is no iPad-optimized version, and the are no commish tools available.
CBS Sports Pro Football for iPad
CBS Sports Pro Football for iPad (free:, iPhone, iPad) is more of a NFL news app with CBS fantasy football manager built into it. That doesn’t mean you can’t get the job done with it, though. And, there is a separate iPad version, too. Some of the app’s features are:
Fantasy Football ’12 for Yahoo/ESPN/NFL.com ($2.99) is not an official app from any of the online fantasy football services. But the app does allow you to manage multiple teams across all the multiple services (Yahoo, ESPN, and NFL.com). Some advice though: if you’re willing to shell out the $2.99 for this version, you may want to consider Fantasy Monster Pro ($4.99) from the same developer, as it also lets you access fantasy baseball, basketball, and hockey teams as well. I’ve used that app for years, and while it’s not perfect, it removes a lot of hassle of switching between apps. Features for this Football-specific app are:
Drag and drop to quickly edit your lineups
Use Auto-complete to limit typing when finding players
Add, drop, and trade players
Check scores of weekly matchups and NFL game scores
Read and post to the message board
View latest transactions
View standings and rosters
Check player news and injury reports
MyFantasyLeague.com ($2.99) is a paid fantasy sports service and is used primarily by serious fantasy gamers. Basic leagues cost $85 and deluxe leagues $185. It’s a highly customizable service and worth checking out if you want to take your fantasy game up a notch. The app, which is iPhone & iPad compatible, indeed takes things up a notch by being the only fantasy app that has draft support, and also the only one with commissioner support. Features include:
Full draft support with integrated ADP rankings and quick filtering
Add, drop, and trade players
Edit starting lineup (iPad version has projected scores and ‘Who Should I Start?’ recommendations)
UI customization lets you reorder features throughout the season
Live scoring for both teams and players, now with bench and optimal views due to high demand!
Player injury news
Message board reading and smack-talk posting with HTML content display
Full weekly results including bench and optimal reports
Manage multiple leagues
Positional Point Differential (PPD) shows you what positions are helping and hurting every single team in your league
Top adds, drops, owns and starts across MyFantasyLeague.com
Weekly iPad magazine Huffington (link) is shedding its paid subscription model and is now offering free subscriptions inside Newstand. You can download all issues one-by-one or subscribe to receive automatic downloads once a week. Each issue is around 200 MB per issue.
Huffington has original content as well as some of HuffingtonPost.com’s better content from the previous week. Previously, Huffington cost $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year, but reading through a few issues, I can say the magazine seems a bit too small to justify charging that much. But hey, now it’s free.
A warning: if a partisan political viewpoint bothers you, Huffington is somewhat of the liberal persuasion. It’s even a little more heavyhanded then the conservative views of The Daily. It’s a partisan world, my friends.