Best New iPad Apps: Keep on top of your to-do list, plan your next meeting and make reliable Skype calls

by Doug Drinkwater

February 8 2013

Manage your daily tasks with Errands

Errands (free, iTunes) is an easy-to-use iPad app that lets you create, sort and complete tasks in any aspect of your life, and with the minimum fuss. 

Now on version 3.2.3 after some minor bug fixes, the app lets you create a new task by simply tapping the ‘+’ button in the right hand corner. After doing this, you'll then be asked to name the task, set how important it is and place it into a specific folder. There are also fields for adding notes, ‘starring’ the item and adding due dates and alerts.

These tasks (and folders) can also be emailed out if you’d like to share your errands with somebody else, and you can even delay them a couple of days if you're feeling particularly lazy. An integrated calendar tells you when you need to complete certain tasks and noting that you've done this is as easy to ticking the checkbox in the left hand side.

Adding folders is also trouble-free via the left hand side menu, and you can personalize these by adding your own name, photo and checkbox to distinguish it from other folders.

The Errands To-Do List app is free but an optional in-app purchase of $2.99 will give you the premium version that lets you sync your errands across multiple iOS devices using iCloud.

Meeting Assistant makes your next meeting a social affair

There are quite a few meeting apps out there on the market but, truth to be told, 90% of these are fairly ordinary.

Fortunately, Meeting Assistant is among the other 10% along with other noteworthy rivals like The Meeting App and Meeting Gold.

Available on the App Store for a very reasonable $0.99 (iTunes), Meeting Assistant is a clutter-free iPad app that really scores when it comes down to preparing for meetings and integrating your working life with your social networks.

Want some examples of how Meeting Assistant is so useful? For starters, you can integrate with your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts to automatically fill in key attendee details (this also applies to contacts stored locally on the iPad), while the app can even be used to request commercial information for companies across the world.

There is one caveat to the above features however – they don’t come at the standard $0.99, but rather via the in-app purchase of $3.99.

Other neat features include the ability to draft up an impromptu agenda purely from the calendar invitation, or use some of the included agenda templates. Alternatively, you can create your own from scratch.

And of course, Meeting Assistant does what you kind of expect from a meeting app. It can pull in meeting details from your calendar, takes meeting notes and minutes and send all these out to attendees via email after the meeting has concluded. It can also display all your calendars on one screen, and lets you assign tasks to attendees.

Microsoft adds handy new features to Skype iPad app

Microsoft this week introduced a number of new features for the Skype iPad app (free, iTunes).

And while this update isn’t a radical overhaul, it does mean that version 4.5 of the app now offers up better connectivity, lets you add money to your account straight from the app, and view the new sidebar for your most recent conversations.

The improvement in network connection is good news, especially because Skype now promises to reconnect you when a call drops in an area with poor reception, irrespective of whether you are on WiFi or 3G or 4G.

Another handy new feature lies in the ability to top up your account from your iPad. Some of you may have the re-connect option to automatically top up your account when it goes let, and so this is a useful tool.  It is only available to Skype app users in the U.S., UK, Sweden, France and Estonia, however.

The app also has a new sidebar for recent conversations, which can be pulled up by swiping from the left of the screen. Skype for iPad is now available to download from Apple’s App Store for free.

Finally…one to avoid

Claiming to be an “infinite drive” for storing documents on your iPhone and iPad, Bitcasa only recently went public after coming out of beta.

It is essentially another Dropbox or Google Drive, but comes boldly stating that it will save as many documents as you like in the Bitcasa cloud and even encrypt these for safety.  Another feature is the ability to favorite items to keep a local copy available offline.

All of this looks good and the start-up has certainly attracted a lot of buzz in the media this past week.

Sadly, I never got the chance to discover if Bitcasa is true to its word, with the iPad app crashing on registration. The touchscreen control was also cumbersome and it appears as though I wasn’t the only one to find fault with the iOS app – a number of others have also complained in the reviews.

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