It should come as little surprise that the lucky people who managed to get their hands on an iPad last Saturday immediately started downloading apps for the device -- and lots of them. On Monday, Apple announced that iPad owners downloaded over one million apps from its AppStore on the first day alone. Apple didn't break down how much was spent on apps, but it's safe to say that there were a few iPad owners who might have been shocked by the final tally. Some iPad apps can cost as much as $15, much more expensive than their iPhone counterparts. (Read our story, to see which apps Apple's staff say are worth the money).
Luckily, iPad owners don't have to pay an arm and a leg in order to enjoy their new gadget. WalletPop rounded up the 10 best free iPad apps that are currently available so you can stay informed, entertained and productive without breaking the bank.
1. Marvel Reader: Whether you fondly remember the comic books you collected in a milk crate growing up or are discovering the joys of comics for the first time; the Marvel Comic app for iPad is a great free digital comic book reader. Thanks to the iPad's beautiful screen, the comics look fantastic! The Marvel iPad app provides access to hundreds of comic books from the Marvel Universe and includes a selection of free and paid titles.
2. Epicurious: Love to cook? If so, the Epicurious iPad app is made for you. This App lets you brows recipes (complete with delicious looking pictures) and create shopping lists for the ingredients you need. Since you might not want to take your iPad to the store with you; you can also pull up your shopping list on the Epicurious iPhone app. When it comes time to cook, the app will guide you through the recipe with easy-to-follow directions.
3. Adobe Ideas: Adobe Ideas 1.0 for the iPad is a digital sketchbook that allows you to create sketches with your finger and share with friends or email to yourself to edit further in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
4. Shazam: Don't you hate when you hear a song you like and can't figure out who sings it? The Shazam iPad app solves this problem by recognizing the song for you and letting you listen to previews and purchase the tracks. The iPad version features faster song recognition and, for a limited time, the launch version includes unlimited tagging.
5. Tweetdeck: If you're on Twitter and you own an iPad you need to get the Tweetdeck for iPad app. The iPad optimized version of Tweetdeck does an incredible job of replicating the desktop version, complete with list-based columns for easy sorting. Throw in desktop syncing and you have a winner.
6. AIM for iPad: The new AIM app for the iPad doesn't just let you chat with your AIM contacts, it allows you to chat with Facebook friends and pull in updates from major social networking sites like Twitter, Foursquare and more. Designed with the larger iPad screen in mind, you can see active chats, your current conversation and online friends all on the same screen.
7. Evernote: If you need to get organized, Evernote is the App for you. This newly-optimized iPad version of Evernote is the perfect app for keeping track of information. Whether you are adding a note on the go or looking up something you added to Evernote at work; you'll find it fast. The next version of this app will be adding in inking to make taking notes a faster, more fluid experience.
8. Box.net: With a free Box.net account you can share and collaborate on all types of files, making it a perfect app for students or employees who need to collaborate on documents or projects. Users also have access to all of the files they store on their Box.net account so they can pull up a stored PowerPoint or Excel spreadsheet on their iPad.
9. Weather Channel Max: If you want to know what the weather is now, for the next 36 hours and for the next 10 days then I suggest you pick up the free Weather Channel Max iPad app. In addition to your local forecast, you can view satellite images, weather information and traffic cams. If you fancy yourself an amateur meteorologist than this app is for you.
10. ABC Player: This app allows you to watch ABC shows, like Lost, or Desperate Housewives. Instead of paying $2.99 for the high-definition episode, you can watch any full episode that ABC shows on their web site.
The Netflix iPad app earns an honorable mention for providing access to the entire Netflix Watch Instantly catalog; but since you need to be a paid Netflix subscriber to enjoy, it fell short of the top ten.
The Apple iBooks app and the Kindle iPad app both made our Top ten iPad apps to save you money list; but since you'll need to pay for most of the content they only earn an honorable mention today.
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