When a good friend of mine recently bought the new iPad, I asked, “So, will you use your new powers for good or for evil?” I’m not she got the point, which, essentially, is that while many people espouse the view that the iPad is a productivity tool, it is in fact most often a source of endless distraction — entertaining distraction, but distraction all the same.

To be fair, though, with that gorgeous new screen, stunning resolution, increased processing power, and ever-expanding app store, it isn’t hard to get distracted when using an iPad. Why be productive when you can play Angry Birds, or watch the new Batman trailer in jaw-dropping HD?
So, without further ado, here is a list of my favorite ways to waste time on the iPad:

1. StumbleUpon
If you thought Stumbling was fun on a desktop or laptop, wait until you try it on the iPad. There’s something about holding the internet in your hands, tapping the screen and being surprised by an unexpected and always delightful new page that never gets old. I’d be embarrassed to confess how much time I’ve wasted on StumbleUpon, especially considering that the more you Stumble, the more StumbleUpon knows what you like, and the more you’ll see things you enjoy.

2. ABC & NBC Player
By the end of this list you will be tired of hearing about apps that have been optimized for the new iPad’s Retina display, but the display is one of the more important advances in the second generation of the iPad, so just get over it. At any rate, both the ABC and the NBC players look astounding, and it’s hard not getting sucked into endless episodes of Modern Family or Community.

3. Slacker Radio
Internet radio purists may hang me for this, but I can’t help but get absorbed in Slacker’s amazing iPad app, which not only streams music similar to my preferences, but also provides extensive biographical and discography information about each artist that plays. As if listening to music weren’t distracting enough, now I have a music encyclopedia to go along with it.

4. Temple Run
Lord, have mercy — Temple Run will be the death of productivity everywhere. The game is not exceptionally complicated or original (you run, jump, duck, and dodge your way through an endless obstacle course), the gameplay is supernaturally addictive and the game itself looks incredible on the Retina display.

5. Facebook
No list of time-wasters would be complete without Facebook. Of course, there isn’t anything particularly new about this app, but now that Facebook is on the iPad, we’ve all got one more way to put off finishing that expense report.

6. Twitter
Similarly, Twitter is an inevitable item on the list of ways to waste time on the iPad. New here is the thumb-centric navigation system (which turns some people off), streamlining the scrolling process and making it even easier to waste time.

7. The Guardian Eyewitness
This is pure eye-candy, but it never gets old. The pictures are always captivating, and (again) they look phenomenal on the Retina display. Plus, if you’re into photography (and who isn’t these days?) you’ll never tire of the tips the app gives for taking better photos.

8. Kindle
What? You can read Kindle books on the iPad? That’s what I said! It’s true, now you can read your favorite books on your iPad and waste even more time!

9. Planetary
Maybe I’m just the biggest geek of all time, but I could literally spend hours on Planetary, browsing my music collection represented as celestial bodies. Planetary takes your music collection and visualizes artists as solar systems, albums as planets, and songs as moons. It might not sound that cool, but once you download it and start traveling through your collection, you won’t be able to stop.

10. Star Walk
Star Walk isn’t just for space nerds like me, it’s for anyone who wants to be amazed at the powers of technology and the reality of augmented reality. With Star Walk, you can point your iPad at the night sky and it will show you on the screen where the constellations are. If you can tell me a better way to waste time on your iPad, I’d love to hear it.

This is a guest post by Eliza Morgan who is a full time blogger. She specializes in writing about business credit cards. You can reach her at: elizamorgan856 at gmail dot com.

  • Blitz

    #11 Browsing the App Store. I spend countless hours just browsing the app store looking for new games, tools, widgets, etc. Easily a huge time-waster for me.