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Best New iPad Apps: Share your favorite videos, collaborate with friends & keep a digital journal

by Doug Drinkwater

October 18 2013

Discover great videos with Rockpack

If you regularly watch videos on iPad, you most likely rely on YouTube or rabt, or maybe Curious and TED if you’re looking for something a little more educational.

Where most of these apps -- especially YouTube – don’t score so heavily though is in discovering new content and also on sharing favored videos with friends and family.

That’s where Rockpack comes in. Now on version 1.4.5, it lets you pick our excellent videos and assort them in your own curated list which you can share with friends or to other users in the Rockpack community.

The app has a pretty slick user interface and is visually appealing, while you can choose so-called ‘packs’ on everything from photography and guitar lessons to tips on belly dancing and on using Windows 8.

Discovering new content is pretty easy. You can view and follow lists made by other people and Rockpack will also recommend people with similar tastes in videos. When you scroll through ‘packs’ and select one, you’ll have to option to ‘follow’ it or simply select from the videos laid out at the bottom of the screen.

The app isn’t without its faults. The registration process is long-winded and generally a pain (see my recent column on app annoyances), although you can alternatively sign up with Facebook. Rockpack is now available for free from the App Store.

Share Anytime is for friends, family & co-workers

Improving tablet productivity is a bit topic of discussion here at TabTimes, certainly when it comes to apps.

Last month, Citrix outed its Talkboard collaborative whiteboard app and now there’s another in the shape of Share Anytime from MetaMoji Corporation.

Available for free on the App Store, Share Anytime lets users see documents, drawings and photos in real time and even mark them up.

Users can invite others to participate in meetings and there are annotations tools in the app to draw freehand, import photos, scribble over with pens or even add a text book.

There are two versions of the app; the free version offers a collection of features, but the paid edition ($1.99) adds handwriting recognition in 13 languages and even converts your handwriting into typed text. You can also host unlimited meetings (free version only offers 10 meetings or 1GB of data transfer).

Take a digital journal with Narrato

I’ve often kept a ‘physical’ journal but have frankly been disappointed with the lack of digital alternatives, at least on Windows Phone, Android and iPad.

The good news now though is that Narrato, a popular journal app for the iPhone, has now added native iPad support.

The updated app – which is iOS 7 only (upgrading is looking increasingly inevitable) and which supports the 64-bit A7 processor cooked into the iPhone 5S – lets you do as you would with any journal; you can jot down thoughts, memories and life changing events.

The key difference here is that you can – unlike that hardback journal in your bag – sync it across iOS devices using iCloud, import already-created content from Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare, and add photos, emotion smileys or your location. You can also manage multiple journals at once.

Another key change with this app update (now on version 2.0) is that Narrato is no longer $3.99 a year but rather free with in-app purchases. It costs $0.99/$4.99 a year for 250MB per month, or $4.99 per month/$39.99 per year for unlimited use. Free users will be capped at 60MB each month.

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