April 15, 2010, 4:05 PM — Apple's iPad has been available for a short time, and you can already find apps to watch streaming movies, manage your Web passwords, use Twitter, do word processing and more.
But it's still early days yet. Apple gave only a chosen few developers early access to the iPad -- everybody else had to make do with software simulators and homemade cardboard mockups. They rushed their apps to market, and it shows. Many of the early apps are buggy and missing features.
These are the best apps I've found so far. They are all iPad-optimized, not iPhone apps stretched to fit the iPad. They get the job done, they're fun to use, and several of them are free.
1Password encrypts, stores and organizes your passwords and other private information, and it automates log-ins for Web sites and other Internet services. You can also use it to store credit card numbers, bank account numbers, ATM PINs and more. 1Password is an extremely useful app for both the Mac and the iPhone, and now it's available for the iPad too.
The iPad version is more like a grownup application than its iPhone counterpart, although it's still missing some of the capabilities of the Mac product. In landscape mode, you get an easy-to-navigate three-pane view of your information and you can browse through entries alphabetically or using the search function.
You can store any information you want using 1Password's preconfigured templates and categories. For example, Logins is where (obviously) you store your Web usernames and passwords, Wallet is for credit card numbers, and Identities is where you can store separate e-mail addresses, phone numbers, street addresses, etc. for work, your personal life, your secret spy identity or whatever.
1Password for iPhone includes a very handy bookmarklet that installs in Mobile Safari. If you're browsing a site that requires a log-in, tapping the bookmarklet will automatically shut Safari, switch to 1Password and call up the correct username and password for the site you're browsing. Unfortunately, that bookmarklet doesn't work on the iPad version. Vendor Agile Web Solutions says it's working on adding it to a future version. Until then, 1Password has its own built-in minibrowser that you can use to automatically log in to password-protected sites.