Replacing the iPad’s Missing Apps

Have you noticed that your iPad seems to have a few missing apps? For no apparent reason, the iPhone’s default offering is a bit more robust than that of the iPad.

Today we’ll seek to right this wrong by briefly looking at a few apps that you can use to fill the void on your iPad’s home screen. And since you should’ve gotten these apps free with your iPad anyway, we’ll make sure the replacements are free as well!

What Missing Apps?

Take a look at the home screen of your iPhone, now check out that of your iPad. Notice anything missing? For whatever reason, Apple has left out the stocks, weather, clock and calculator apps!

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The all too empty iPad home screen

Did Apple think that we wouldn’t notice!? Or perhaps they just think the free options available in the App Store are as good or better than their own. Well, that last one is fairly close to the truth so in the end we probably won’t miss the Apple apps too much. Let’s get started!

Stocks

The first missing app on the iPad is the Stocks app. Since the stock market is such a complicated beast, it seems to me that the iPad’s bigger screen makes it the perfect place to have a more robust way to track your investments. However, Apple doesn’t seem to agree.

To see what we’re missing out on, let’s take a look at the iPhone/iPod Touch version:

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The iPhone Stocks App

The functionality here is pretty basic, you can keep a list of your favorite stocks and see their current price as well as inter-day change. You can also see a graph of historical prices and a few other data points such as P/E, market cap, 52 week high, etc. There are news links in the app but they just launch Safari so it’s not really much of a news reader.

Bloomberg

If you’re looking for a good free stock market app for iPad, aren’t a whole lot of options. Fortunately, because of Bloomberg, you don’t really need much else.

Bloomberg is a great looking app with a classy black theme and large, easy to read information that flows well in vertical or horizontal mode.

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Bloomberg for iPad

To start, just as with the Apple app, you can keep a list of your favorite stocks and see historical data. However, Bloomberg quickly shoots far beyond the limited functionality found in the Apple app. You can read news (in the app), listen to podcasts and track the markets for currencies, commodities, equity indices and bonds.

Trust me, install Bloomberg and you’ll forget all about that Apple stock market app.

Calculator

Next up is the iPhone Calculator app. Everyone needs a calculator from time to time and I just don’t see why Apple didn’t port an exact duplicate of the iPhone app to the iPad.

Just to refresh your memory, here’s the iPhone app:

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The iPhone Calculator App

It’s a pretty basic calculator application without so much as a history feature. One nice feature though is that when you turn it sideways, you get a scientific calculator.

EZ 4 Calculator

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EZ 4 Calculator

I could only find one free iPad calculator app that mirrored the functionality of the default iPhone calculator. EZ 4 Calculator has a weird (but not unattractive) space theme and has a few annoying sound effects, but it mirrors the iPhone app’s functionality very closely: in vertical mode you get a normal calculator and in horizontal mode you get a scientific calculator. It works, it’s free, it’s quirky: go get it.

If you want an app that looks almost exactly like Apple’s iPhone calculator, check out Calculator for the iPad+. The developer fully admits to ripping off the interface from the iPhone app. Unfortunately, the free version of Calculator for the iPad does not include the scientific calculator, which requires an upgrade.

If you don’t care about scientific calculators and would rather have something with a tape showing your history, check out Operations, shown below.

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Operations

Weather

Out of all the apps that Apple decided to leave out of the iPad, the Weather app surprised me the most. People can’t get enough of weather apps and I would wager this is one of the first utilities many older iPad owners download.

As with the other apps we’ve seen, the Apple weather application is very simple. You can really only see the current temperature and conditions along with a five day forecast for your list of locations.

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The iPhone Weather App

Accu Weather

This is one place where you have plenty of alternatives and definitely need not miss the default iPhone app in the least.

The free app that I use for weather is Accu Weather Free for iPad. It has a beautiful interface and lots of great features.

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Accu Weather

Instead of merely showing you the temperature, Accu Weather shows you a bunch of variables including wind speed and direction, humidity, sunrise/sunset times and more. There’s also a five-day forecast, a unique interactive hourly view, a news ticker, video, maps and a lot more.

Accu Weather does have ads at the bottom of the screen but you can actually just hit a button and make them go away as soon as they appear.

Before you settle on Accu Weather, be sure to check out the other free options below.

The Weather Channel Max for iPad

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The Weather Channel Max for iPad

WeatherStation Free

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WeatherStation Free

WeatherBug Elite for iPad

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WeatherBug Elite for iPad

Clock

Unlike the other apps we just went over, the iPhone clock app is quite fully featured. It has four primary functions: a world clock, a timer, a stopwatch and an alarm clock.

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iPhone Clock App

Surprisingly, I was unable to find a single iPad app to cover all of these areas. In this case, Apple beats out the competition and therefore makes the app’s absence quite frustrating!

Instead of a great all-in-one, we’ll have to look for these features in standalone apps.

Alarm Clocks

The alarm clock function is quite easy to find in a quality free app. Check out and Alarm Clock HD Free. Both are gorgeous alarm clock apps with great features like multiple alarms and weather integration.

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Nightstand Central

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Alarm Clock HD Free

Stopwatch and Timer

We can at least knock out two features in one here: the stop watch and timer. Chronolite – Timer is a fairly simple app that will either count up or down based on parameters that you set.

You can have multiple timers at once and choose from a number of alarm sound options.

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Chronolite - Timer

World Clock

The most obvious clock feature is, well, a clock! The iPhone Clock app allows you to see the time in multiple locations simultaneously. The functionality is extremely simple and I’m baffled at the lack of viable alternatives in the app store.

The only decent free world clock app I could find was KT World Clock HD Free. Though it gets the job done, setup is super clunky and the free app is limited to three clocks.

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KT World Clock HD Free

Conclusion

To sum up, I think it was pretty lame of Apple not to include the complete set of basic apps in the iPad. However, the awesome free apps available in the app store all but make up for it.

I’m thrilled with the weather, stock and calculator apps that I have on my iPad and for the most part find them to be of much higher quality than the simple default Apple iPhone apps. However, the clock app simply doesn’t have a decent free alternative and I’d really like to see Apple bring it to the iPad.

What do you think? Do you miss the built-in apps that are on the iPhone but not the iPad? What apps have you used to replace them?