Whether you’re new to owning an iPad, or a seasoned pro, it’s always enjoyable to find great new apps! While no list can claim to be comprehensive or exhaustive, this list of fantastic iPad apps should satiate even the most ravenous of appetites.
This is a roundup of simply the best iPad apps around, you need look no further. I’m going to include the old favourites, there’s a reason they’re favourites, but I’m also going to try and shine some light on some fantastic apps that may have flown under the radar.
I’m starting this incredible endeavour with an app that I use every single day, several times. Reeder is a fantastic app for reading any and all articles fed through your Google Reader account. I love the minimal interface and gorgeous textures, it exemplifies the kind of app design the iPad was made for – why not add iPad.AppStorm to your RSS feed today!
It’s a pretty simple suggestion, but if you don’t already have Remote then you should get it right now. It’s the perfect way to take control of iTunes from your iPad, and fantastically useful if you own an Apple TV.
Jamie’s Recipes is one of the best examples of a recipe app on the App Store, the photography is stunning, and the recipes are delicious. While it’s free to download, and you do get some taster recipes, the app functions doubly as a recipe store; allowing you to purchase new recipes and packs as they arrive. Check out the videos and stunning design throughout!
The Kindle app is pretty self explanatory really, it’s the best (and only) way to read those books you’ve bought in the Amazon Bookstore. If I’m going to be brutally honest I prefer the experience of iBooks, but as e-books are currently still in the DRM stage the Kindle app does a pretty good job.
Calculator apps might not be the most interesting of propositions, but it’s always good to have a good one on standby. Calcbot is just that, hiding a huge amount of power behind a simple and effective interface.
Is it a game? Is it art? Whatever it is it’s beautiful. Set some time aside and delve into this fantastical musical world, hopefully you’ll find yourself mesmerised. If you enjoy puzzles and music and surreal experiences, then this might be for you.
Zite is a great way to consume all kinds of news and articles, that gradually learns your preferences and what you like to read. It’s definitely worth trying out both Zite and Flipboard before settling on your favourite way to browse and enjoy the news.
This app is only going to appeal to a specific type of sports fan, but I just had to include it. It’s about time the NFL released a decent app to help you keep track of your favourite team on your iPad. While it’s not a patch on MLB At Bat, NFL ’11 is a good start and a godsend for football fans.
As I just mentioned it, it makes sense to include the excellent MLB At Bat right here. We reviewed MLB At Bat back in April and gave it a straight 10/10. It’s simply heaven for baseball fans, and a great example of the potential of the iPad.
Firetask is a great solution for your task management needs, utilising the best advantages of the classical approach and the fundamental concepts of GTD. It’s minimal in execution and looks gorgeous, it also has a cloud syncing mode that’s currently in BETA.
We actually reviewed Filterstorm Pro recently, giving it a favourable 9/10 for its sheer power and extensive functionality. It’s even capable of handling professional quality processing and could potentially replace laptop based workflows for some photographers.
It’s been said many a time before, but if you’re a movie fan you can get no better friend than the IMDb app for iPad. The sheer wealth of information available, alongside new movie trailers and news, makes the IMDb app a must even for casual film fans – it’s free and beautifully designed, get it now!
If your a blogger of any kind, then Blogsy might just be the perfect tool for you. It’s far superior to the WordPress app itself and is gaining more and more functionality as each month goes by! Who says the iPad isn’t great for writing and communication?
Our Choice is an interactive e-book that explains the devastating effects that humans have had on the world, and explores the future possibilities for saving our planet. All through the use of stunning design and wonderful development, Our Choice has made the education process truly enjoyable. We reviewed when it was released in May.
It’s perhaps a little cheeky to mention iBooks due to the fact it should probably be on your iPad as standard. It doesn’t currently come preloaded, however, so I may as well give it some space here. iBooks is a fantastic app for reading e-books on your iPad, as well as a competent PDF file viewer; the bookstore is extensive and the reading experience is second to none on the iPad.
Fotopedia Heritage is a fantastic app that is essentially a massive photo book of some of the worlds most incredible and awe inspiring places. With 25,000 awe-inspiring photos to indulge your eyes, Fotopedia is an inspiring travel guide, an entertaining teaching device, and even a bed-time relaxation tool.
As a way to access and interact with Twitter on your iPad you can’t go far wrong with the official Twitter app. It may lack some of the features of competing third-party applications, but its slick interface and attractive blue icon can’t help but appeal.
BackStab sells itself as an unprecedented and original blockbuster for iOS gamers, and it lives up to the hype. With an immersive world and great depth of character interactions, BackStab is a great example of the way games are heading on the iPad – it’s going to be an exciting few years!
I reviewed Garageband personally back in May and stand by every word; it’s a must-have app for any respectable iPad owner! Apple have succeeded in creating a gorgeous and effortlessly enjoyable music app that appeals to people of all ages and abilities.
Star Walk was shown in some of the very first iPad commercials, but the impact hasn’t lessened since. It’s still truly awe-inspiring to explore the wonders of the universe in such an interactive and engrossing way. It’s a great one to show off your iPad’s capabilities to friends and inquisitive strangers!
There is a wealth of simple writing apps in the App Store, but iA Writer is one of my personal favourites. It takes all formatting decisions out of your hands and allows you to truly focus on what you’re typing. Its focus mode shows you only the last couple of lines, taking editing distractions away from you, while the extra keyboard functions allow you to type quicker than you ever thought possible on your iPad.
TuneIn Radio is the perfect way to listen in to the radio on your iPad, it lets you listen to and record over 50,000 radio stations including thousands of AM/FM local stations right from your iPad. I love how feature rich this app is, the low price gives you entirely the wrong idea about the quality of this app.
Keeping with the musical theme, Planetary is a fascinating way to explore your music collection that’s only available on the iPad. It allows you to fly through a 3D universe dynamically created by information about the recording artists you love – you can lose hours here!
After an almost unbearable wait, the iPad version of Doodle Jump is now making its mark on the App Store. Jumping higher and higher on floating platforms, while avoiding various monsters and traps, is an achingly simple concept for a game, but one that can keep you entertained for hours – and it looks just great in HD!
TED is an app that allows you to listen to a selection of talks from the TED conferences, which perhaps sounds a little dull. Let me assure you that it isn’t! TED gets in expert speakers to deliver concise and thoughtful talks across a veritable smorgasbord of subjects, there’s no better way to feed your mind in 5 to 20 minutes.
Wunderlist is a brilliant, and free, cloud-sync task manager that also allows you to share task lists with friends and colleagues. I love the gorgeous interface and the pure simplicity of the app, it’s effortlessly intuitive. I would heartily recommend Wunderlist to anyone who doesn’t need the extra functionality that an app like Omnifocus provides, or anyone who needs to share simple task lists with others.
djay is simply an amazing achievement. The power that lurks beneath the surface of its slick interface is immense, and a great example of the potential of the iPad. Whether you’re an aspiring amateur or a professional music maestro, djay has something to offer everybody. It’s vastly entertaining but with great potential for much more advanced and serious use.
If you love photography, then you’ll love Snapseed. It’s as simple as that! Snapseed can help you make any photograph extraordinary and puts a fun high-quality photo experience right at your fingertips. It’s versatile and intuitive, but above all it’s enjoyable!
While this app is certainly more niche than many of the others, I just had to include it – if only because of its stunning interface. App Cooker is a must-have app for anyone who is developing, or thinking about developing, an app. It covers all the bases, from generating ideas to icon building, from layout to pricing and cost.
Evernote Peek is a great little free app that works beautifully with its parent app Evernote to create engaging quizzes and tests. It works by virtue of the magnets in the Smart Cover, allowing you to test yourself by gradually revealing the question and then the answer. It’s a small but interesting app that makes use of the Smart Cover in an intriguing way.
World of Goo is a fantastic game that was released several years ago, the amazing thing is how well it works on the iPad. The stunning look of the game and intriguingly simple central concept translate perfectly onto the touchscreen of the iPad – the ideal addictive time killing game!
If you like reading but get tired with short opinion pieces and news, then Palimpsest may be the app you are looking for. It’s a simple but beautiful way to engage with long form articles from a variety of reputable and popular sources. I reviewed it for AppStorm a while back and found myself going to Palimpsest on a daily basis to kill some time and captivate my brain.
If ever you’re looking to fascinate and amaze someone with the power of the iPad, Word Lens is a good app to open. Word Lens uses your iPad, or iPhone, camera to translate any text put before it live – it’s a wonder to behold! While the free mode is significantly less impressive than the actual translation feature, it’s still worth a download; just think about the future potential of apps like this.
This is actually a whole range of apps from the same developer just like this one, all of which allow you to browse the stunning artworks of some of the world’s most famous artists. The iPad lends itself perfectly to being the perfect coffee table ‘book’, these apps take this a step further and turn your iPad into a gorgeous art gallery.
Zen Brush is a gorgeous way to get involved and make your own art! Rather than being a fully fledged painting app like Procreate or Brushes, the beauty of Zen Brush lies in the simplicity of the concept. Create delicious images using an ink brush to write or paint, the textures and tactile feel of the app are just brilliant. The restricted concept makes Zen Brush compelling easy to pickup.
XE Currency is a superb free currency converter that even allows you to view the currency charts of each pairing going back one year. It’s great that you can personalise the app, select your favourite currencies, and even choose how often it updates. XE also comes with the ability to use the currency information offline, if you find yourself in a remote area you can look up the most recently updated rates.
Flipboard is one of the most popular news readers for the iPad due to its fantastic, intuitive interface and its sheer ease of use. It pools various news websites (which you can customise) and displays them in an easy-to-read format. I love the recent update, it’s taken the use and scope of Flipboard to a new level!
Skyfire doesn’t need much introduction. After the immense success of their iPhone app, the web browser that lets you view Flash videos and content is now available on the iPad. Fans of social media can go nuts by using the Facebook ‘Like’ button that shows up on every page you visit.
Pulse is one of the most popular RSS news readers and a good alternative to Flipboard as a single app to get your news from. With Pulse, each individual news story is displayed in a tile (much like the BBC News app), and to browse through you simply swipe left or right.
If you’re the type of person who needs to be on top of the current financial news, then the Bloomberg app might be a perfect fit. It’s free and feeds a great deal of quality information and news right to your iPad.
I’m a big fan of the stock portfolio function, the iPad is a beautiful device for keeping track of your investments.
Bloom HD has been developed by legendary ambient music pioneer Brian Eno and sound artist/developer Peter Chilvers. The app is a mixture of sound design and interactive computer synthesis, able to create simple patterns with the tap of a finger, which are then translated into lush, beautiful tones.
Are you ready to get console quality graphics in an amazing hack-n-slash game? Good. While Infinity Blade would lack depth without the incredible visuals, it’s still a bold example of the potential of the iPad – even if you don’t like the game it’s worth it so you can show off the power of the iPad!
8mm HD allows you to give your videos a gorgeous retro chic, with 42 aged and stylistic looks your videos will never be the same again. The great thing is that, although you can film videos straight from the app, there is also an import feature that gives you the ability to apply and adjust effects while they are playing, like you are filming them for the first time.
Photogene has been one of the front running photo editing apps on the iPad for a long time, you may have already heard about it or have it in your arsenal. It comes with a vast array of photo editing tools, most of which are incredibly intuitive, with actions happening in real time. The app has undergone a recent popularity surge due to a recent update, which has gone above and beyond, adding localised effects, a collage maker, and comparison mode. That last one in this list could be unendingly useful, allowing you to immediately compare an edited photo with the previous version – all with a simple touch.
Ever present on app lists of all kinds, Omnifocus still deserves a place here. It’s the most powerful, and expensive, task manager available, turning your iPad into the ultimate productivity companion. I would still recommend you think carefully about whether you really need the functionality before you buy it though…
Possibly the best racing game for the iPad, Real Racing 2 HD features stunning graphics and a wealth of engrossing gameplay. I love the gorgeous cars and fantastically engaging control system, you’ve just got to set it to react to the motion of the iPad!
Battleheart distills some of the greatest elements of role playing games and real-time strategy into pocket-sized form! It’s a highly entertaining casual game for the iPad, perfect to open up at any time. Each battle lasts only for a few minutes but they become extremely challenging as you progress through the game – increasing your sense of satisfaction.
The Photo Cookbook is a great to way get into some quick and easy cooking right from your iPad. It’s far cheaper than a hardback recipe book and the interactivity is much more likely to help you avoid the takeaway menus…
There are many ways to access and browse Wikipedia on your iPad, but Articles is my personal favourite. The interface is stunning and the use of tabbed browsing makes it that much easier to lose hours in the world of facts!
We reviewed X-Plane very recently on AppStorm and found it to be an excellent crossover title which should appeal to flight sim fans and casual gamers. X-Plane offers value for money and longevity, surely the best of its type currently available on iOS.
Instapaper is a fantastic app for looking after all those articles you want to save for later, or file away for future use. The minimal interface is perfect for avoiding distraction, while the intriguing social features add another dimension to the app.
1Password is an enormously powerful app that allows you to securely store your important information in one place, so you can automatically log into websites with a single tap. One of the most useful features of 1Password is its ability to fill in long forms with a single touch, saving you countless minutes of tedious typing.
TextExpander is one of those apps that you just can’t comprehend the usefulness of until you start using it. Let me tell you now, TextExpander is awesome! Using clever snippets you can expand a few simple characters into huge sections of predetermined text, saving literal hours of typing. Even the most casual user can make this app worth its cost, just by using it to help with common email responses and simple often used phrases.
I hardly even want to mention it, as it comes up that often, but DropBox is an asset to any respectably iPad owner. It can be used to power a great number of other apps, such as plain text editors, or simply give you access to files wherever you are (and act as a file system/manager). If you’re seriously concerned about security, however, it may be worth also considering SpiderOak; who take a strong line on data security.
In my humble opinion, SoundHound is the best music search and discovery app available. It gives you excellent access to a number of great features, including the world’s only viable singing and humming recognition, and tends to bring you a wealth of information for every song – from lyrics to YouTube videos.
Dragon Dictation is a powerful, and free, app that takes dictation software to the next level. The accuracy of its voice to text conversion always takes me by surprise – a great tool for anyone who dislikes typing on the iPad.
For those of us who love to write on the iPad, be that on the glass or using an external keyboard, WriteRoom is the original distraction-free writing environment. It attempts nothing more than to create a quiet place for you to write, and succeeds with aplomb.
We took a look at LogMeIn Ignition back in August and found it to be a stunningly powerful, and effectively intuitive, way to control and gain access to your computers from anywhere in the world! It’s the best VNC client I’ve ever used.
Much like DropBox, barely a week goes by without Evernote cropping up, but there’s a reason for that. It’s a powerful, insanely useful, and free service that’s ever expanding its features and functionality. While the underlying concept may not be up everyone’s street, for many, Evernote is an unmissable app.
Delivery Status Touch is the best possible way to keep track of any and all packages, so you always know when they’re going to arrive. The main view shows the latest status of your packages, and counts down to the estimated delivery date. Tap a delivery for more information, and if you like you can view the shipping company’s web page, or see where your packages are on a map.
Penultimate is simply one of the best handwriting apps for the iPad. It gives you the fast, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility – and now includes photo annotation!
Dictionaries are heavy. So why carry one around when you can have a dictionary and a thesaurus on your iPad?
This dictionary app requires no internet connection, so it’s perfect for when you’re just out of reach of Wi-Fi. With multitasking you can quickly navigate to the app, type in your word, get its definition, and multitask back in seconds. Think of all that time you will save by not flicking through countless pages of those old fashioned, paper dictionaries…
Sometimes a game comes along that really captures your imagination to the extent that you can’t seem to put it down, Gears is like that. The bright and lustrous graphics are a treat for your eyes, while the dizzying gameplay will be sure to entertain you for hours. Who would have thought that rolling a ball around would be so much fun?
While it’s perhaps a little obvious to include Apple’s own iWorks suite in the Top 100 apps, they still deserve a place. If you’re looking for a fully featured word processor then you simply can’t do better than Pages – it’s intuitive and perfectly designed for the iPad, making working on your favourite tablet a real possibility.
Exclusively designed for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Keynote makes creating a world-class presentation, complete with animated charts and transitions, as simple as touching and tapping. It is amazing to see what Apple have done to translate their iWorks suite on to the iPad.
Not everyone needs to be able to access and build spreadsheets on their iPad, but for those who do you can’t go far wrong with Numbers. The interface has been designed from the ground up by Apple in order to take advantage of the iPad’s strengths, and the result doesn’t disappoint.
As far as news apps go, BBC News does a truly great job! I love using it in landscape, with the panel of article tiles on the left and the stories on the right. The journalism is generally of a very high standard, as is the coverage of world news and events.
Things has long been synonymous with task management, with their own brand of minimal and intuitive task organisation helping many a person get more done. It’s still a strong contender in the space but sorely needs to get on with cloud syncing, even a Beta release would help soothe the ravenous masses.
While you do need a subscription to the service, Netflix is simply an exemplary app for the iPad. It gives you the ability to stream TV shows and movies straight to your iPad, what more could you want?
For those of us not based in the US, there are still some great apps out there for getting on demand video content; BBC iPlayer is a great example. I love the purple and black interface and the wealth of immediately available programming, you can lose hours in this app.
Another example of a streaming and TV catchup app that is, unfortunately, only available in the UK. 4oD offers a great selection of previously shown programming for you to peruse on you iPad, often a complimentary selection to that offered by the BBC (often skewing for a slightly younger audience).
There is simply no better way to browse and search amazon on your iPad than using Amazon Windowshop. The experience makes perfect use of the iPad’s tactile interface and implementation of gestures. Just don’t use this in conjunction with 1-Click ordering, you’re setting yourself up for a fall!
Appetites is one of our favourite recipe apps here at AppStorm, the concept an execution working perfectly to create a beautiful interactive experience. You can get recipes from a variety of food bloggers and chefs and watch step-by-step video instruction, it’s almost foolproof.
While AmpliTube doesn’t really compete with Garageband when it comes to overall recording functionality, it’s still a valuable application in the creative sphere. It does require that you purchase an iRig adapter, but for anyone whose eyes light up at the word ‘Flanger’ it’s probably worth it. For all budding, and proffesional, guitarists out there AmpliTube gives you a wealth of effects and tones that can really help to ignite your imagination!
Fruit Ninja HD is a classic game for the iPad, the premise of which is relatively self explanatory. I would argue that the entertainment value of Fruit Ninja is enhanced by the screen and experience of the iPad, especially due to the new competitive modes available for playing with your friends.
iMovie for the iPad was first announced alongside the iPad 2, and Garageband, as an intuitive way to create interesting video content. I think that we’ve only just touched the surface of the iPad’s capabilities in this area – I’m looking forward to what the future holds for iMovie.
Procreate touts itself as possibly the most exciting digital painting app on a mobile device, I think it lives up to that claim. It features a great deal of functionality that’s packaged in an effortlessly intuitive interface, it can’t fail to appeal to the artistic among you!
UPAD is a very comprehensive writing app, allowing you to use handwriting on the iPad while taking notes, annotating PDFs and even scribbling on images. We reviewed UPAD back in May and found it to be excellent at everything it does.
Square is beginning a revolution in mobile card payments. Their free app, in conjunction with a free card reader (sent in the post), allows you to accept credit cards on your iPhone or iPad. They charge such a small fee for each transaction that they’re beginning to worry some of the bigger players in the industry. Expect to be running your card through one of these soon…
While I, personally, prefer to use Safari when I’m browsing Facebook, many people like to have a bespoke app. MyPad is one of the most popular and feature-packed Facebook apps and should fill that need perfectly well until the official app arrives – hopefully sooner rather than later!
Smurfs’ Village is probably the best known iOS freemium game and is responsible for a lot of the controversy raised over the large bills which can be generated from in-app purchases. However, there is no denying that Smurfs’ Village is a beautiful, well polished, and addictive game which stays true to the Smurfs’ television series. This app is also quite appealing for young children due to its theme and of course, to prevent large bills, in-app purchasing should really be turned off!
Scrabble for the iPad is a very different proposition to Smurfs’ Village, but no less entertaining for those in the right frame of mind. I absolutely love the way you can use iPhones as tile racks, and flick the letters you’re using across to the board. This game is as perfect a version of Scrabble for the iPad as I can imagine, with an in-built dictionary and tile noises to complete the experience.
It does seem odd to me that Apple wouldn’t include a weather app as standard on the iPad. Weather HD is a gorgeous attempt at using the iPad’s strengths in displaying the weather – although it’s not really a replacement for a more “normal” weather app.
TripAdvisor has become the worlds most popular travel app for the iPad in recent weeks! It gives you intuitive access to all of the information on the TripAdvisor site and is designed to help you plan, and have, the perfect trip. You can browse millions of reviews, opinions, and photos of hotels, restaurants, and attractions – you can even use the Near Me Now tool to discover treasures around you.
A superb app for anyone who loves to experiment and discover new recipes, Epicurious is the perfect companion for any cook – and it’s free! It’s packed with functionality, including the ability to keep track of your favourites and build a shopping list. Not only does it have more than 30,000 recipes, Epicurious allows you to easily share your favourites with family and friends via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Google Earth is a beautiful, and intriguing, way to hold the world in the palm of your hand. It turns your iPad into the perfect coffee table item, giving you access to incredible global satellite and aerial imagery at the touch of your fingers.
Noteshelf is one of the most beautiful note taking apps ever designed for the iPad. It’s the handwriting note taker that features super natural digital ink, a stunning UI, and a comprehensive toolset that will increase the benefits of owning an iPad by leaps and bounds.
Delightful is the best word to describe this game. The music, graphics, and endlessly addictive gameplay all combine to make this a must-have game on your iPad. Help feed the candy to Om Nom, the adorable star of the game, in this highly innovative and addictive puzzle game.
PDF expert is exactly what it says on the tin; the ultimate solution for all you PDF needs. It lets you annotate PDF documents, highlight text, make notes, draw with your finger, and save these changes. It’s so useful to be able to fill out PDF forms!
The award-winning short film is now an interactive narrative experience. William Joyce’s “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”, blurs the line between picture books and animated film. We reviewed it here on AppStorm and found it to be the best example yet of a book fused with interactive animation that makes a whole new experience on the iPad.
Plane Finder HD is simply the best way to keep track of any flights your friends and family are on. It provides near real time virtual radar air traffic maps and is a fantastic app for anyone interested in aviation or checking in to see the progress of a particular flight.
If you’re a big Wikipedia fan, it’s definitely worth trying out Wikipanion for size. It’s feature-packed and even allows for bookmarking of individual sections within an entry. The interface is slick and aims to closely replicate the feel and style of Wikipedia itself.
Google Search is the most advanced Google search experience, optimised for your iPad. It now includes features such as Google Goggles, Voice Search, and My Location. I still find the voice search feature rather amazing, if slightly redundant for anyone with fingers.
Trickle is a fantastic app that focuses on doing one very simple thing; display Tweets. It presents your Twitter stream to you in a delightfully passive way, allowing you to get on with whatever you’re doing without getting too involved. There is also a version for Facebook, simply set Trickle up and stay in touch while you work!
While perhaps not the most interesting app ever, although I do like the magical feel of it, Find My iPhone is simply a vital addition to any iPad. Once set up it allows you to find the location of your iPad from any computer connected to the internet. It’s fantastically useful, particularly if you’re prone to misplacing things.
Aweditorium is a simply stunning experiment in musical exploration, combining a unique interface with some fantastic music to create an unmissable experience. The way in which Aweditorium engrosses you is wonderful, you can spend hours lost in the world of musical discovery – all while your eyes are distraction by engaging photography.
If you have an iPad 2 then Skype for iPad is a delight, allowing you to bring your contacts even closer with full screen video at your fingertips. Designed specifically for the iPad, Skype gives you so much extra functionality that it just had to be included – you can even call landlines and mobiles if you add some credit!
That’s it – 100! I hope that you’ve found at least one great app that you hadn’t heard about before, and that this list has helped unlock even more of the potential of your iPad. Obviously it can’t hope to be exhaustive, what apps would you have included?