Top 10 apps for your iPad

TiPb checks out the best, most must-have apps to load up as soon as you get your new iPad

Top 10 apps for your iPad

Just get a new iPad and curious which are the best, most must-have apps and games you need to install first? Want to really show off that 9.7-inch screen or take advantage of multitasking? Well read on for TiPb's top 10 most recommended, most must-have iPad apps to get your started.

Social apps: Flipboard

Best iPad apps: FlipboardFlipboard takes all the stuff you care about -- articles and pictures shared by your Facebook and Twitter friends along with the latest relevant headlines and presents them, with content and social comments, in a gorgeous, tactile iPad interface. You can customize it to your hearts content and share your own comments back. It's the closest we've come yet to a communal magazine. [Free - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Friendly for Facebook is the next best thing until Facebook makes an official iPad app. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Twitter for iPad lets you get your tweet on with a futuristic interface and growing set of features. [Free - iTunes link]

Casual games: Angry Birds HD

Best iPad apps: Angry Birds HDAngry Birds HD takes the undisputed king of casual gaming, the breakthrough addictive puzzler in the best tradition of the genre, and paints it across the bigger screen. The premise is the same, evil green pigs have stolen your eggs and your birds aim to get them back -- with slingshots, explosives, boomerangs, and other manner of weaponized avian fury. Kill all the pigs to clear a level, do it with style and earn the elusive 3-stars. It starts off easy but ramps up quickly as the minutes turn to hours, especially on the less confined iPad screen. [$4.99 - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Plants vs. Zombies HD for dark, relentless action. [$9.99 - iTunes link]
  • Fruit Ninja is fast, frenetic slice-and-dice sword action for your iPad. [$4.99 - iTunes link]

Productivity apps: Documents to Go Premium

Documents to Go for iPadThe bigger iPad screen makes for much easier document editing on the go, be it for business or school work. Documents to Go Premium lets you create, read, and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with fairly good styling and functionality, and will even open Mail attachments and sync files via iTunes or with Google Docs, Dropbox,, iDisk & SugarSync for the ultimate in mobile accomplishment. Universal app - buy once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [$16.99 - iTunes link]

  • Penultimate turns your iPad into a whiteboard/notebook hybrid perfect for meetings or brainstorming. [$3.99 - iTunes link]
  • Good Reader for iPad is a powerhouse for PDF annotating and file management. [$2.99 - iTunes link]

Time management games: Smurf's Village

Best iPad games: Smurf's VillageSure, the ultimate goal of building the best village is just the same as other games, but Smurfs’ Village also has a story line. After each level increase, there's dialogue and a quest, and also mini games you can play to earn more experience. The graphics are great and the gameplay is smooth. Smurfs’ Village is free but some items require smurfberries which are available as an in-app purchase. Smurfberries can also be used to speed up the growth of plants and construction of buildings. Universal app - download once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [Free - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Farmville brings your new or existing Facebook farm to iPad. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Diner Dash: Grilling Green is an exclusive version of the iPhone favorite built just for iPad. [$4.99 - iTunes link]

Video apps: Netflix

Best iPad apps: Netflix Netflix for iPad has a horrible interface -- their website awkwardly wrapped in an app -- but offers so much TV and movie content that looks so good on iPad that it's still more than worthwhile. Whole seasons of TV shows and movies roughly one month after the BD/DVD release dates can be streamed directly to your iPad and if you use Netflix on your iPhone, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, etc. what you pause on one you can resume on the other. It does require a minimum $8 a month subscription and is only currently available in the US and Canada but it should be rolling out to more countries in 2011. If you have kids, the cartoons alone are worth it. Universal app - download once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [Free - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Air Video transcodes AVI, MKV and most other video formats from your Windows or Mac PC on the fly and beams it right to your iPad. [$2.99 - iTunes link]
  • ReelDirector lets you edit home video right on your iPad. Especially go when combined with Apple's iPad camera it for easy import. [$3.99 - iTunes link]

Hardcore games: Infinity Blade

Best iPad apps: Infinity BladeEpic's Unreal 3 engine explodes onto iPhone with Infinity Blade, an on-rails sword fighting extravaganza with some of the best visuals we've ever seen. The story and gameplay are simple if not simplistic, you battle a series of monsters and their God-King over generations, growing your power, magic, and skill until you're strong enough to win. It might sound repetitive but it quickly becomes as addictive as it is gorgeous. Universal app - buy once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [$5.99 - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus for some CoD-style fun. [$6.99 - iTunes link]
  • Real Racing 2 for amazing cars and online play. [$9.99 - iTunes link]

Board games: Words with Friends HD

Best iPad apps: Words with FriendsThere's an official Scrabble game for iPad but Words with Friends edges it out thanks to really good online play. It won't let you play words that don't exist, so there's no bluffing or challenging strategy, but there is a built in chat feature so you can trash talk to your heart's content. You can have multiple games against multiple friends going on at the same time, and push notifications let you know when it's your turn make a word. [$2.99 - iTunes link]

  • Monopoly HD, the classic from Boardwalk to bankruptcy. [$9.99 - iTunes link]
  • Catan HD puts the legendary strategy game in the palm of your hands [$4.99 - iTunes link]

Utility apps: Remote

Best iPad apps: RemoteRemote puts your desktop iTunes library on your iPad and in your lap. Your can browse through, pick, and play all your music, TV shows, and movies, and if you have AirPlay supported video (like Apple TV) or audio (AirPort Express attached speakers, etc.) you can control which room in your house they play on. In addition to browsing it works as a full on touchpad remote control for Apple TV or iTunes (one multiple Windows or Mac PCs) and makes the sometimes arduous task of entering passwords or search terms a breeze. Apple's Remote app is especially handy at parties.

Also check out:

  • Find my iPhone, despite the name, also lets you geo-locate, beep, message, lock, and remote wipe your missing iPad -- for free. [Free - iTunes link]
  • LogMeIn Ignition is a remote desktop VNC client that lets you control your home Windows or Mac PC -- or your office server room -- from the comfort of a lounge chair. [$29.99 - iTunes link]

Educational apps: Starwalk for iPad

Best iPad apps: StarwalkStarwalk brings you the universe of of constellations with gorgeous graphics and in spectacular detail. It includes digital compass support so you can literally hold it up to the sky and it will show you the stars you're looking at complete with informational overlay that moves with you as you turn and turn around. You can also scroll back and forth through time to see stars as they'd appear at different dates. Starwalk also includes the phases of the moon, views from earth, and more. It's the ultimate app for star gazers and future astronomers. [$4.99 - iTunes link]

  • Articles for iPad is a better -- and better looking -- way to use Wikipedia, with support for tabbed browsing, bookmarks, fast skimming, and more. [$4.99 - iTunes link]
  • TED lets you watch scientific, educational, technological, medical, and artistic videos from the renowned TEDTalks right on your iPad. [Free - iTunes link]

Reading apps: Kindle for iPad

Best iPad apps: Kindle for iPadAmazon's Kindle eBook reader for iPad isn't as good looking as Apple's iBooks but simply has the largest library of titles and the most cross-platform support on the market. If you're looking for a book chances are you'll find it for the Kindle app, and if you buy it you'll be able to read it on iPhone, iPad, Kindle devices, and other smartphones. Better still, if you stop reading it on one device, thanks to WhisperSync you can pick up right where you left off on another device. Universal app - download once, use on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.[Free - iTunes link]

Also check out:

  • Instapaper lets you save web articles to read later in a cleaner format. [$4.99 - iTunes link]
  • Reeder for iPad is the best way to keep up with your RSS news feeds. [$4.99 - iTunes link]

Your top apps?

So there you have them, our top 10 best iPhone apps to get you started. Be sure to check out our Picks of the Week and iPad App and Games Forum for more recommendations, and if we missed any of your favorites leave them in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Top 10 apps for your iPad


Well the ones I like are 60Minutes, Osfoora HD, 1Password, Angry Birds, NPR and Flight Track Pro

The Wall Street Journal's iPad app is the best news app on any tablet. In addition to the obviously high-quality content, the user interface is very attractive, functional and easy-to-use -- combining the best qualities of print and interactive. Other news apps should take note.

Why air-video instead of zumocast? Zumocast is free and it does as good (if not better) a job as air-video.
Plus, you can stream the same content on any computer with a browser through Zumocast's online service (also free).

Its a good amp, but check out AmpKit/AmpKit+ - same price (free/$19.99), and better in many different ways - universal app, more simultaneous effects, named patches, more variety of gear, its companion hardware interface is better.

Oh yes! Forget about airvideo. Why is everyone here on TUAW so in live with it. Zumocast is by far superior

@Yorick - this is TiPb, not TUAW. We're THE iPhone Blog, they're the UNOFFICIAL  WEBLOG. Also, AirVideo might be good, but I'm unclear. Does it let you take these videos with you or do you have to be on the same wifi network?
Why no mention of VLC? It does all file formats, I know you don't have to stream the video. True, it might get yanked, but it hasn't yet.

@Trevor. LOL. Good one on TiPb!
And I agree on VLC. I love it -- got so tired of converting all those .AVI files!

My favorite iPad app by far is Flipboard! Great for putting your Twitter feed into a e-magazine/e-paper format to read. It's great you don't have to leave the app to read the links.

For those who use twitter in other than personal ways, other apps may be more helpful, like tweetdeck - it's better in terms of search though of course it could have a more user-friendly interface. As for the games, most captivating iPad game is Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter. It lets you explore a huge world and you can literally spend a day there shooting dinos.

Each systems have their personal special strengths. But from a technical standpoint, the PS3 has much more horsepower and support for a wider range of high resolution video and audio. But despite becoming a year older, the Xbox 360 remains surprisingly competitive in some locations.

My top 10
1. Angry Birds
2. NYTimes
3. Penultimate
4. Pages
5. Motion X Dice
6. TextNow
7. Light Bike 2
8. Pandora
9. Tap Tap Radiation
10. ABC Player

Hey, Very nice, i really liked reading this article and thanks for sharing it !!
I have been through with another blog which was about the same news; if you are interested so you can visit that blog as well… it was

I've tried many handwriting apps and Notes Plus seems to be the most robust so far...and they just updated the app for DropBox. Now if they would only incorporate Evernote!

with iOS version 5, you can enable iMessage which sends text messages to any cell phone or also any other iOS device that has iMessage enabled.

Flickr HD for iPad - you guys had a feature on it a few days ago. It rocks! Should be on your list!

As a website owner I believe the material here is reallywonderful. I thank you for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

Thank you PBS! I caught this when it was broadcast earlier in the week. Now I can go back and what some of my favorite part (most certainly the storm scene).

Hi all i have some productivity app how to submit them for review? any one want Productivity app like Notes by Voice, Document Management apps I have some