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10 Popular iPad Apps for 2011

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) is reportedly prepping its iPad 2 for launch next year, but the company is still expected to sell 8.5 million of its first iPad iteration in the U.S. by the end of the year.

The iPad comprises 88% of total tablet sales, according to eMarketer.

Of course, the development of innovative and exciting apps is a large part of the iPad's success. Culled from "top" lists on Apple's App Store and tech blogs and tested by TheStreet, here are 10 of the most popular free iPad apps to try ahead of the new year.

ABC Media Player

ABC's Player lets users stream dozens of their favorite ABC shows -- like Desperate Housewives and Modern Family -- to their iPads, for free. Available on the player are the most current episodes, as well as those from several weeks before. Besides browsing via show title, users can search by most popular, most recent and staff picks.

We love that the app's latest version includes 3G streaming capabilities, which means we can watch our shows even when outside the WiFi zone.

Our only gripe: waiting out the commercials that come with some shows.
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