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More Favorite iPad Apps: Crosswords, Glee Karaoke, Penultimate

Updated on March 25, 2011

I've had my Apple iPad for a few months now and I have a lot more apps. I received a couple of iTunes gift cards over the holidays and have been investing in a lot of apps that I might not necessarily have bought. The three apps below are my current favorites.

Crosswords give me an unlimited number of daily crosswords, Glee Karaoke helps me to sharpen up my vocal skills and have a lot of fun doing it, and Penultimate helps me with my writing by giving me a good place to make notes quickly and easily.

To some, the iPad is a glorified toy, but it has a lot of applications that will help make your business and daily needs easier to control.. While it has some great games, it is so much more than a toy.



One of the great joys in my life used to be opening up my local newspaper and tackling the crossword. It was a great way to while away a Sunday morning. When I stopped buying a print newspaper I switched to doing the New York Times crosswords online, but that cost me over $60 a year to remain a member. I have found the answer in the Crosswords app by Stand Alone, Inc.

One of the first apps I searched for when I finally got my iPad was a crossword app. Being the cheap person that I am, I was only looking for free apps initially. However, when I got an iTunes gift card for Christmas I splurged on the Crosswords app. At $9.99 it is one of the most expensive apps I have bought. However, it is well worth it.

It comes loaded with at least 100 crosswords of all difficulties, mostly from free sources. There are several for-pay sites you can also get crosswords from several premium providers, including The New York Times. The app can also be attached to your Game Center account so you can compare your completion times to others. You can also hook up to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. It also allows you to sync between your other devices.

The layout of the crosswords is very clear and easy to read. A special keypad pops up at the bottom of the screen when you tap a square in the puzzle on the screen. This keyboard lets you choose between dark or light print, it lets you skip a square, and you can change to up or down clues. On top of the screen are front and back arrows that let you skip entire words. There is also a button that allows you to clear the puzzle, to clear all errors, to clear the current clue, for hint, for puzzle info and to print the puzzle. Next to that, on the far left, is a button that brings up a list of all the available puzzles, it also gives you access to the game setting, the ability to download more puzzles either daily or by date, and the help menu.

I have been using this app for 3 days now and I have yet to find any problems with it. The puzzles are easy to read and easy to move between clues. For a crossword fanatic or for the casual fan, this is a must-have app.

Glee Karaoke

Glee is one of the most popular television series’ of the current season. It is fresh off several wins at the Golden Globe Awards. The basic premise of the show is the glee club of a high school; the highlight of each show is a performance or two by the club.

Glee Karaoke is one of the most fun musical apps currently available.  The game allows people to sing various song and to have others from around the world join in. The tutorial song it comes with is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and you earn points (called starbursts) based on how well you hit the notes and the rhythm of the song.  You can keep it to yourself or you can choose to share it with the world. You can also create your own songs and can also sing along with tracks from your iTunes library. Other songs are available for 99 cents each.  You also level up in the game by doing such things as sharing your recordings on Facebook or by having people vote on your song that you have chosen to share with the world. Glee Karaoke also runs a weekly contest; singers compete using specially chosen contest song which are voted on by other members.

Glee Karaoke is a fun game to play; it would be great at parties. However, it is a little limited and can get boring if you don’t buy too many songs. However, you can earn free song token by singing and participating in the game.  It is fun to listen to others who have recorded the songs and can be quite entertaining to listen to those tracks that have many participants.


As a writer, some of the first apps I looked at when I got my iPad were writing apps. At first the iPad looked like it was more a glorified toy than anything else. However, there are many apps suitable for writers that can help to stream line the process or allow you to write and publish on the iPad.

When first doing research for an article you want to keep notes of the highlights of the article. Copying and pasting can lead to trouble when you don’t forget what was taken verbatim from the source or if it was something you came up with yourself. No one wants to be accused of plagiarism.

That is where Penultimate comes in handy. Penultimate is basically a notebook that allows you to take notes using your finger or a stylus.  It is a great app for making notes about article ideas, writing an outline and writing down those first sparks of an idea. Once you have made the notes you can send them by email to yourself where you receive them in PDF format or you can save the page to your photos.  The app lets you choose between graph paper, lined paper, and plain paper.

I have been using this app for about a month and have found it very helpful in writing a couple of articles.  It is slowly replacing my paper notebook, when I write on my laptop I have the iPad and the Penultimate app open beside me. So far I have not discovered any drawbacks to this app. It would be nice to have to option of transforming the writing to text.


Submit a Comment

  • sholland10 profile image

    Susan Holland 

    6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

    Thanks for writing this. Have you found new apps this year that you would add? I just got my iPad 2 for Christmas. I have an iPhone, so I am an (free or .99) app junkie. I am interested in all three apps you have mentioned. Challenging myself to a crossword, singing in the shower with my own music to back me up (oh yeah!), and taking notes as they come to me. Sounds great!! Voted up and across! :-)

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 

    6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Great hub!I have to check out the Penultimate - had heard of it before but never really considered it ... hmmm... might get it a whirl. Thank you!

  • Leaderofmany profile image


    7 years ago from Back Home in Indiana

    I'm a Master's student and I have my Ipad. I love it. I am still learning the different things that I can do with it though. I like the last app where you can take notes with your finger, I am a note keeper. My daughter-in-law has one for school also but she is teaching my grandson his colors and shapes on it from an app. It is so great.

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Many iPhone apps work on the iPad. It's exciting, hope he makes lots of money.

  • travelespresso profile image


    7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

    Actually its an iphone app which he and a friend have developed. He's a 3D artist by profession so he knows his stuff. I know you are talking about a ipad apps but I'm so excited about what he's doing, I wanted to share it!

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    What type of app is he working on, travelespresso?

  • travelespresso profile image


    7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

    Wow - there's some really great apps here and I'm so glad you've found some you enjoy. My son is working on a new app at the moment and its just about ready for release. I'm so excited for him.

    Nice hub UW.

  • chspublish profile image


    7 years ago from Ireland

    Very tempting. Seems like a lot of fun and very interactive. Don't have any of the above, but after this article, it's getting more difficult to turn away.

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks. I love my iPad, it was my best purchase last year and it keeps getting better.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    These are great. I have been thinking about getting an iPad and reading this hub is making me take it into more serious consideration. Love the Penultimate. Thanks for the information and the great pictures.


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