Photo via nDevilTV via Flickr CC
If you know us here at TreeHugger, you know how we feel about smart phone apps. We love them. They're often just so darn handy for living a greener life, from helping out with transportation to shopping to home energy management. And so, you'll probably guess that we're excited to watch iPad apps slowly roll out so that this new gadget has a green purpose. There are already a good handful we like, and they're listed here, including the best apps for catching the news, movies, and even some green-themed games.
Home & Garden
Image via iGrowIt
iGrowIt - $0.99
Quickly find out what vegetables you can plant right now, and access all the essential information you'll need on how and when to grow your own fruits and veggies. Set up for gardeners in the US and UK. The app also features recipes you can use for what you grow, and updates are set for gardeners in the Southern hemisphere.
Solar Panel Advisor - $1.99
You can turn your iPad into a solar cell with this app, in order to find out how much solar power you can generate with any size solar panel in that area. The app computes sun rise, sun set, sin elevation and sun azimuth, and is a great tool for educating kids (or adults!) about solar power. Plus, you can monitor your own solar array via the app.
Off Remote - Free
Easily turn off, lock, restart or log off from your computer from anywhere in your house, saving energy by making sure that nothing is running that doesn't need to be running. After all, if you're busy playing on your iPad, you probably don't need the computer running, right?
Control4 - Free
If you're running Control4's software to monitor and manage your home's electricity and appliances, then you can control those devices right from your iPad. Control your lights, thermostats, audio, video, web cameras, security system, and much more with easy taps and gestures. You can see exactly which lights in which rooms are on or off - and switch them on or off - control your thermostat, and a whole lot more. Besides reading and playing games, this ability to be a component in home automation is a perfect role for the iPad.
Reading and Movies
iBooks - Free iBooks includes the iBookstore, where you can download the latest best-selling books or your favorite classics. Tap a book to open it, flip through pages with a swipe or a tap, and bookmark your favorite passages. You can read free samples of any book in the iBookstore, and customize your reading experience by changing the size and style of font, highlighting passages, or searching words, charagers or phrases in the book.
Netflix - Free
If you're a Netflix member, you also have the ability to get movies on your iPad with this free app. Watch as often as you want, including resuming watching where you left off on your TV or computer.
TIME Magazine - Free
You can purchase copies of TIME Magazine for reading on the iPad via this app. However, you're going to have to wait for digital subscriptions to become available. Unfortunately, the technology for reading digital issues has outpaced the creation of the issues themselves. But when they arrive, they'll be extra cool, as each digital issue will include the print edition currently on newsstands, as well as additional international content, extra photos and video, and live updates from TIME.com.
Kindle - Free
Seems a little odd to access books for the Kindle on your iPad, but the more books available, the better. With this app, you can read Kindle books - over 450,000 of them from the Kindle bookstore. Similar to iBookstore, you can read free samples, customize background color, font color, and font size, and even read in portrait or landscape mode, with the ability to lock the screen orientation.
The Wall Street Journal - Free
You can get your copy of the Wall Street Journal on your iPad, browsing through the newspaper in a hybrid of the paper and computer reading experience. You can get the "Now" issue featuring updated coverage throughout the day, with top article picks from Journal editors, as well as watch videos and slideshows published with free articles. The app is free, but of course the subscription to Wall Street Journal is not.
Popular Science - $4.99
Popular Science + is the new digital version of the Popular Science magazine, and it claims to be more beautiful, more immersive and more fun to read than ever. According to the description, "It's all the content from the print issue, completely re-imagined and redesigned for the iPad, with an easy navigation for exploring the issue." This app gives you the current issue (May), a library for keeping all your Popular Science + issues in one place, and a store to buy previous and new issues.
Reclyclies - Free
The Recyclies is a brand-new illustrated children's book created by John Steinberg and Matthew Meadows and written by established children's writer Jaspre Bark. From the description, "The Recyclies features the ongoing adventures of its main characters Bob, Eve, Pip and Viv who, with the aid of Professor Recyclevitch, try and recycle all of the junk in the universe and turn it into wonderful things. However , The Recyclies are constantly hindered by the diabolical plots of the troublesome Lurp, leader of the Landfillbillies, their arch enemy. Lurp is the greatest threat to the harmony of Recycleton as he exists purely to hinder the efforts of The Recyclies."
Craigslist - Free Yep, it's Craigslist on your iPad. We love Craigslist since it is one of the best sites helping to keep stuff in the consumer stream, since it's easy and free to post items for sale or give-away. The app has maps, image previews, bookmarking for searches, posting to forums and more.
Zipcar - Free We love product service systems, and Zipcar is one that eliminates the need for extra cars in the world, so we love it extra much. Their handy app allows users to find available Zipcars on a map, make reservations, and even lock or unlock the car.
Tilt HD: Flip's Adventure in 1.5 Dimentions - $4.99 So cute, and educational! From the description: "Left all alone in the Blight that was once Shady Glen, the mighty tadpole Flip remains to bring back forest and friends. Too young to crawl Flip needs your help controlling gravity and wind, to CHOMP carbon from air and CATCH water and seeds to restore Shady Glen. Just Tilt to Play! Grab what's clean and avoid what's toxic and green!" Players need to navigate through 60 levels to solve the mystery of the toxic green Blight. Not a bad way to learn about our own very real pollution problems.
Diner Dash: Grilling Green - $4.99
Have visions of being a cook in a diner - an eco-friendly diner? You can live it out - at least, sort of. With this game, you help keep Flo's Diner up and running by cooking in the kitchen, delivering food, and more importantly, meeting the city's new Green Code requirements before her diner is shut down.
Are there other eco-minded iPad apps you love? Leave 'em in the comments! We can't wait to hear about them.
Follow Jaymi on Twitter
More on the Apple iPad
Green Features We Love in Apple's New iPad
What Does Apple's iPad Tablet Really Mean for Our Society?
This Is Why We're All Effed: iPad Tops 1 Million Sales, 3G Version Is Identical, and We're Microwaving Them