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Frequently named the best site on the educational web, TED launched their iPad app this week.

While it’s been simple to download TED talks on iTunes in regular or HD format, this process lacks the browse-and-discover magic of the TED.com website. The TED iPad application recreates the features of the website in an adapted form factor.

Each time the application launches it features another TED presenter. The home screen leads to the latest featured releases.

Left-brainers can customize the 55 talks (on five pages) to display from the most popular talks picking from top tags or choosing from various themes.

For the right brainers, there’s a little light bulb which will let you browse using TED’s subjective categorization system including courageous, funny, ingenious and fascinating.

Don’t have much time? If you are like me you will enjoy the novel new time selector, following TED’s popular website feature TED talks under 5 minutes. This feature will let you create a playlist of let’s say: persuasive talks under 10 minutes which will play one after the other.

You can also download the talks you find for offline viewing later.

I enjoyed the fact that, while offline, I could browse the content and descriptions of the talk but missed a functionality to bookmark these discoveries for later. I also wish there was a keyword search so I could
find a TED talk on neuroscience and the validity of the left-right brain theory.

The social aspect of TED.com is not recreated in the App. It is not possible to tweet or share your discoveries. I often find reading the comments on TED just as interesting as the talks but those are not accessible in the application. Of course, logistically, that would be an issue, as would be providing the translation.

However, TED.com’s Rolex sponsored free iPad app is both beautiful and useful on the quest to daily inspiration and education.