Do you need a dose of inspiration, or want your mind stretched? Attending a TED talk is the answer, but now TED has come to the iPad.
TED is a nonprofit group that is dedicated to spreading good and interesting ideas through a series of talks. TED means Technology, Entertainment, Design, and most of the talks fall within those categories.
There is a great TED website that gives you access to the myriad talks, but the free iPad app is a portable, take anywhere, use anywhere, be inspired anywhere app that gets you access to the best of TED.
To get started, you can get featured talks from the home page, or you can explore by themes or tags. Themes include things like "Ocean Stories" or "The Power of Cities." Click on a theme, and the related TED talks appear. You can also click on tags, like "Cancer," "Evolution," or "Space" and see the related talks. There's also a nifty feature called "inspire me" where you can find talks that are under topics like "jaw-dropping," "funny," or ''courageous." Once you select a topic, you're asked how much time you have, and the talk that fits your requirements will start playing. You can also download talks to watch offline.
I've always been interested in E. O. Wilson and his work with ants, so it was a thrill to watch his 2007 TED talk. You can watch in a window and see some background on the talk, or you can see it full screen.
The app isn't perfect. It lacks a search feature, and that means you can't find talks by people who interest you. That's a major shortcoming that I hope will be addressed, but I wouldn't let that stop you from downloading, exploring, and enjoying this app.
There is really fascinating material in the talks, and I'd have gladly paid to have this library of great and inspiring presentations. If you're intellectually curious, you're going to love the TED iPad app. Note that there is a TED iPhone app, which is very similar, but it just doesn't have the same impact on the smaller iPhone screen.