The Best iPad Apps

On this page, you will find the best iPad apps for all your needs. We’ve taken the effort to categorize the apps and picked only those we believe to be the best ones and which will most likely be useful to you.
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Video

iMovie

Don't just consume - create! Includes all new magical 'trailer' style productions

4 on Demand

Catch up on all the latest from Channel 4 (UK only).

Netflix

The best movie streaming and rental service out there - UK service is streaming only

TED Talks

Truly inspiration talks with the power to change the world.

Sky News

Innovative way to stream the latest news reports. (UK-only, requires Sky iD or Sky Go subscription)

IMDB Movies and TV

Movie info at your fingertips.

BBC iPlayer

Free HD catch-up streaming from BBC (UK only).

ABC Player

Catch-up for the US channel ABC (US-only).

Air Video

Stream movies stored on your PC or Mac in any format.

Plex

iOS client for the PC and Mac Plex Media Server.

ShowYou

Innovative video browser with tons of free content, pulls from various channels and social sources.

HBO Go

Stream HBO content if you're alreadya subscriber. (US-only).

Flixster

Movie info and aggregate user reviews

OPlayer HD

Stream and save almost every type of video (AVI, RMVB, MKV) to your iPad.

Audio

Amazon Cloud Player

Use your iPad to stream your music collection from your cloud drive, wherever you are.

Garageband

Apple's own superb music making software, now on iPad with full suite of interactive and intuitive instruments.

Pandora Radio

Streaming radio as it was meant to be done (US-only).

Soundhound

Live music identification through the microphone, and lyrics for you to sing along!

LoopSeque Lite

Easy, free, and simple sequencer that makes music accessible.

Spotify

A great experience for Spotify users; the iPad app really adds a lot, with offline play also available.

NanoStudio

A complete, enclosed digital audio workstation complete with polyphonic synth and 16-pad sampler.

NPR

Even if you're not based in America, NPR talk shows are well produced and always interesting.

TuneIn Radio

Access over 70,000 live radio stations at your fingertips with this worldwide streaming app.

Browsers and Internet

StumbleUpon

The ultimate time waster for browsing random websites.

EBay

A great way to view this popular auction site, with clear visuals and notifications of auctions ending soon.

Instapaper

Save website pages to read offline anytime.

Alien Blue for iPad

The best way to browse Reddit, ever. Don't touch the website again

Reddit TV

Videos from Reddit, on continuous playback. Like live TV, but good.

Trillian

All your IM accounts in one handy little iPad app; also on PC and Mac

Google Chrome

Great alternative to Safari. Syncs bookmarks, and allows remote access to open tabs on your desktop and other devices.

Tunnelbear VPN

Access region-locked websites and video on your iPad, completed with 500MB free data per month.

Drawing

Paper

Simple name, but very slick app. Different brushes available through in-app purchase.

Procreate

A powerful drawing and painting application with layer support an a huge number of brushes.

Bamboo Paper

Another competent handwriting note app - free version limited to 20 books with 100 pages - give it a go

Adobe Ideas

Gorgeous vector-based auto-smoothing drawing tool from the makers of Photoshop.

Draw for iPad

Fabulously simple and feels just like a drawing pad with pencils, perfect for kids.

Sketchbook Pro

The ultimate drawing app for professional artists, with a wide variety of brushes. Results can be stunning, but make sure you have an iPad 3rd gen or better.

Photography

iPhoto

Apple's own definitive photo editor iPad app, now on the iPad.

Photoshop

Photoshop on the iPad does exactly what you'd expect it to. Fully featured photo editing!

Guardian Eyewitness

A stunning new image everyday that showcases photography talent and events the world over. A visual smorgasbord.

Photobucket for iPad

Great way to browse and upload to the Photobucket service, focusing on the photos as it should.

FlickrStackr

Simply the best way to browse Flickr on your iPad, period.

SnapSeed

Editing, filters, even tilt-shift. Very positive reviews.

Photogene

Even edits RAW; various efferects, edit functions and collages.

Web Albums

The best Picasa manager, uploaded and editor on the iPad.

Pixlr-o-matic

Tons of filters and effects; Instagram on steroids.

Tiltshift Generator for iPad

Use the iPad camera, then apply a variety of tilt shift effects. Awesome.

Halftone

Add a comic strip effect to your photos complete with speech bubbles.

Finance

BudgetBook

A beautiful way to simply and easily track your finances.

Mint.com

For US readers, Mint.com is the gold standard in online budgeting; the iPad app is no compromise.

News

BBC News

The only news worth reading, globally.

Reeder

Hands-down best Google feed-reader on the iPad, so simple yet feature packed.

Mobile RSS HD Free

A free alternative to Reeder worth considering.

Flipboard

A personalized experience that grabs news from feeds and social connections, and displays it beautifully.

Zite

Another personalized news reader that learns your preferences the more you use it.

TapTu

Similar to FlipBoard in style, but highly customizable news streams.

Comics

Comic store and reader, unique guided interface shows you panel by panel action

Kindle

A must-have for Kindle owners, but otherwise lacklustre.

Pulse News

A visual artboard style RSS reader.

iBooks

An essential for all iPad owners. Store your MakeUseOf PDF guides in this app easily!

Zinio

Subscribe to your favourite magazines with Zinio. Check out Magzter as well, though differences are minimal - both are great iPad apps.

Magzter

Subscribe to your favourite magazines with Magzter. Free content also easy to find.

Mr Reader

An iPad-only RSS news reader that syncs with a myriad of services and looks great to boot.

Longform

The evolution of the magazine, Longform provides hand-picked articles and a beautiful interface.

Educational

iTunes U

Free courses on a huge variety of subjects from leading universities. Incredible collection.

Productivity

Notes Plus

A little expensive, but the best handwriting recognition and note taking app for the iPad around.

Goodnotes

Handwriting and PDF markup with innovative handwriting zoom function

Evernote

The de-facto standard for note-taking and organisation. Hundreds of amazing features too numerous to list.

Wunderlist

A simple, free to-do list app that syncs with the desktop and web.

Plaintext

Plain text editor that does what it says on the can. Can edit directly from Dropbox.

Pages

Apple's own feature rich word processing and desktop publishing iPad app.

Dropbox

Easy and secure access to your Dropbox, on your iPad.

Dragon Dictation

Top quality speech recognition from the industry leaders, at a price you cannot beat.

Nebulous Notes

Simple text writer that edits straight from your Dropbox.

Everclip

Intercepts everything you copy - text and images - and collates it before sending to Evernote

Google Drive

Access and edit documents stored on Google's cloud storage.

Pushover Notifications

Do you rely on notifications? Pushover lets you set up custom push notifications, and integrates with services like IFTTT so you're always in the loop.

Drafts for iPad

An iPad-optimized version of this must-have notes app, Drafts is designed with speed and utility in mind.

Remote Access

AirDisplay

Turn your iPad into a secondary display for your PC - amazing!

Connect My Mac

Simple remote control of your Mac, free.

Parallels Mobile

Free for registered desktop users, this lets you access your virtual machines anywhere.

TeamViewer HD

The choice of technical support professionals everywhere due to ease of use on both ends of the connection.

Splashtop Remote Desktop

Performance so good you can stream graphically intense games from your PC, no problem.

Mocha VNC Lite

Free, cross-platform standard client for open-source VNC-based connections. Reliable, but slow.

Social

IM+

Messaging app for basically every platform around. Essential!

Twitter

The official Twitter client for the iPad does it best.

Pinterest

If you're a Pinterest fan, there's absolutely no question that you need this app; it's beautiful.

Skype for iPad

Take advantage of that Facetime camera with free video chat over Wifi and 3G

Vtok

Another free video caller, the one works with GTalk.

MyPad

The best combined Facebook and Twitter client, with both games and chat chat too.

Friendcaster

Innovative friend-stream mode gives you live updates in a photoframe style.

AIM

The swiss-army of social iPad apps: chat on multiple networks, checkin with FourSquare, and status updates all over. Phew!

GetGlue

Social check-in for movies, tv and books. Collect badges and discover new content.

Travel

FlightTrack Pro

Fly a lot? Use this to track your flights and keep informed with helpful notifications.

Google Search

For iPad 2 and better, Google Goggles can help you identify places and buildings.

Google Earth

Zoom to your current location and see what's around, with user photos.

Ask a Nomad

Get advice from locals and travellers about any part of the world.

London Cycle Deluxe

Map of London's cycle hire scheme with stations and live updates. UK-only.

Yell

Comprehensive local directory from Yellow Pages, UK-only.

UrbanSpoon

Find somewhere great to eat with this no-nonsense iPad app.

Thrillist

Hand-picked restaurant and bar reviews for London and various US cities. Innovative carousel interface.

Health

WebMD

Complete medical reference on your iPad, for free.

iPeriod Free

Period and fertility tracker with community site access.

Pampers Hello Baby Pregnancy Calendar

Track your baby's development from week 4 to 40.

Fitness HD

Details 700 exercises to target those troublesome areas exactly.

Games

Real Racing 3

Stunning graphics, beautiful cars. Race against friends at your leisure thanks to time-shifted multiplayer feature

JetPack Joyride

Mindless fun with simple controls, yet incredibly addictive

Quote Unquote

Fun word puzzles, yet suprisingly addictive and not too difficult

Flight Control HD

An addictive game that sees you landing aircraft in an ever increasingly packed airspace.

Harbor Master HD

Similar to Flight Control, but free, and with boats.

Hunters: Episode One HD

Top-down turn-based action/RPG. If you liked X-Com you'll love this.

Hunters 2

Superb sequel to this turn based roleplay top-down strategy shooter

Pocket Legends

Free to play massively multiplayer online RPG for when you fancy a break from World of Warcraft.

Fruit Ninja

Slicing fruit has never been more satisfying. Multiplayer too!

Angry Bird Rio HD Free

Catapult birds at the pigs and try to topple their house. What doesn't sound fantastic about this game?

Air Hockey Gold

The reason touch interfaces were made! To play Air Hockey!

Plants vs Zombies

Be prepared to lose a week to this game - it's that good.

Peggle

This game sees you release a flurry of metal balls to hit all the pegs. Supremely satisfying.

Geometry Wars: Touch

The hit console game feels just as great on the iPad

Labyrinth 2 HD Lite

Tilt and rotate your way out of the maze. Great for kids and adults alike, and free.

iStunt 2 HD

Snowboarding platformer, free.

Frisbee Forever

Frisbees on the iPad? You bet!

Cut the Rope

Cut the rope to deliver candy to the little monster. Not as easy as it sounds!

Words With Friends

Multiplayer/social scrabble, basically

Atari's Greatest Hits

Retro gaming at it's best. In-app purchases.

World of Goo HD

Iconic game of structure building with goo. Better than it sounds.

SNOOD for iPad

Casual puzzle game, rated very highly. Similar to puzzle bobble.

San Juan

Well made digital version of this accessible famous card game sequel to Puerto Rico

Carcassonne

Best boardgame conversion yet for the iPad, with fantastic multipler options.

Catan HD

The gateway game for many board gamers, this will open a new world to you.

Magic 2013

If you're a Magic the Gathering Fan, likely you'll want to play this.

Diner Dash

Mindless clicking, but people seem to rate it. Give it a go - free download

Draw Something Free

Draw something, and your random internet partner must guess what it is. The evolution of Pictionary!

Football Manager Handheld 2013

Bury your head in the beautiful game with this mobile football management sim for iOS.

BADLAND

An award-winning atmospheric platformer with stunning graphics that's enjoyed critical acclaim.

Small World 2

A Kickstarter-funded strategy board game with online, single and pass 'n' play modes.

Others

Accuweather Free for iPad

Gorgeous weather iPad app, free - enough said.

Auto Trader

A great way to find your next motor - UK only.

Living Social

Daily deals, with an average rating 4.5 stars it's a must-have for many.

Find my Friends

Keep track of family and friends location (assuming they have iOS devices)

Meme Generator by Memecrunch

Download, make memes, shares memes, become famous. Maybe not the last one.

AppShopper

Easy way to keep an eye of app deals and price drops in the app store. Essential if you love installing random apps everyday.

Paprika Recipe Manager

Clip and save recipes from popular sites; organise them all together in this handy little app.

Sleep Pillow Sounds

Use your iPad to help you sleep with peaceful ambient sounds and mixes that play in the background.

Ancestry

Trace your family tree with the Ancestry iOS app (requires subscription).

Chimpadeedoo

This virtual sign-up form from MailChimp turns your iPad into a registry form with a huge range of uses.