By Dean Whittaker

Last month, I succumbed to the siren call of the iPad, bought one and fell in love with it. With over 15 million sold to date, it has become one of the fastest adopted electronic devices in history.

For those of you waiting for iPad 2, the rumor is that it will be out in March. The new unit will be faster, lighter, thinner, and able to leap tall buildings (that last part I made up). It is said to have a camera for video conferencing. 

When I first got the iPad, I thought it was just a device for iTunes to sell me music, books and videos, or basically, a media consumption device. But, then I discovered APPs, computer programs that turned my iPad into a magic machine transforming with a tap of an icon into a number of wonderful tools.  

As I traveled around the country, I began accosting anyone that I saw with an iPad and quizzed them on how they were using it and what applications they found most helpful. What I discovered was a bunch of iPad zealots eager to share what they had learned.

As I learned more, I decided to share what I had learned through a webinar, “iPad for Economic Development: Fad or Fundamental,” that Mark James, fellow iPad zealot, and I have recorded and which is available online at:

The iPad comes with several pre-installed apps that perform a host of useful tasks such as: Notes, iMap, Mail, Safari (web browser), calendar, contacts, iTunes, iBook, YouTube, Video and others.  However, what I would like to share with you is those which you can download from the apps store. Some are free, and many others cost between $.99 and $9.99 with a few sophisticated applications costing much more.

There are over 2,500 business applications in the App Store not to mention games and other categories.  Here are a few that I thought would be helpful to you:

If you have found some apps that you would like to share, please email them to me and I will pass them along in our next newsletter and put them on our resources page on our website.

So, be forewarned, pick up an iPad at your own risk. They are very addictive. In fact, this article was written using Pages on my iPad typed on my $69 wireless blue tooth keyboard.