How the iPad can save you money
You've just plunked down $400-plus to buy this device. Now let its apps help you save.
If you shelled out $400-plus for an iPad last weekend, you’re probably looking to save some money right now. Here’s a relief: The iPad can actually help you save money. Granted, this is not reason enough to buy an iPad, but you should make the most of your device once you’ve bought it.
Here are some of the apps you’ll want to check out:
IDisplay: If you want to add an extra monitor to your computer, you’ll typically have to shell out at least $100, but this $5 app lets you use your iPad as a second monitor. It currently only works with Macs, but the company plans on a PC version.
Desktop Connect: For $11.99, this app helps you access your Mac OS X or Windows 7 desktop to help you use your iPad like a computer. With Desktop Connect, your iPad can connect to your desktop, letting you see and use any of your programs just as if you were sitting at your home computer. You can also listen to songs in your home iTunes library straight from your iPad.
Netflix: The Netflix streaming app can save you money that you would have spent buying TV shows and movies from iTunes. As with the Netflix Web site, you can stream anything labeled “Watch Instantly” via wireless Internet on your iPad. You need a Netflix subscription to reap the benefits, but the app itself is free.
ABC Player: The ABC Player iPad app offers you access to ABC shows like "Grey’s Anatomy" for free. Flash-based Hulu doesn’t yet work on the iPad, though there are rumors that an app is in the works. So far, no other major TV networks are on the iPad.
Zinio: Most magazine apps require you to pay to download a magazine issue, but Zinio, a free app, offers free trials of more than 40 magazines.
Bloomberg for iPad: This app is like having a mini Bloomberg terminal on your iPad, but without the $1,500-plus-per-month price tag. One of the most popular apps in the App Store, Bloomberg for iPad gives you up-to-the-minute quotes on stocks, bonds and commodities, plus updates on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nikkei 225 and FTSE 100 indices. Touching a ticker symbol will give you in-depth information, including the stock’s past performance and any recent company news.
Agile Snowball: Originally designed for the iPhone but optimized for the iPad, this $5 app will show you how long it will take to pay off your debt. You can experiment to see how much faster you can pay off your debt if you change the size of your payments.
Expense Tablet: This $3 app gives you a way to quickly track expenditures on the go. You can break down your expenses by category and view graphs of where your money’s going.
Bills & Reminders: If you find yourself forgetting to pay your bills (even after you’ve already signed up for e-mail notifications from your banks and credit cards), try out this $1 app, which helps you set reminders for your bills.
Kayak Flights: From the people who brought you the dead-simple site that searches every airline for the best flight price, this beautifully designed app can help you save money on your flights (so that you can fly all over the world while showing off your latest tech gadget). It uses every inch of the iPad’s real estate to show you flights, hotels, search history and hot searches from your city. The app also puts pins on a map for the cities you’re searching (just in case you weren’t sure where you were going).
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Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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