Apple's iPad is arguably one of the most versatile pieces of technology you can invest in. Its features, alongside what you can access from the range of iPad apps out there, mean it can be everything from an entertainment device, serving up your favorite movies and TV series, to an education platform, helping you – or those in your family – learn new skills.
Whether you're using your iPad for work or play, sketching designs or editing video, there are a few essential apps you should download to make sure you get the most out of your Apple tablet. We've rounded up our top 50 iPad apps, but if you're looking for iPad games specifically, we've got you covered in our best iPad games and best free iPad games features.
Best iPad Information apps
Flipboard is an excellent app for a curated view of everything you might want to read about your interests in one place. You choose your topics – spanning business and wine tasting to film and science, with plenty in between – and Flipboard will offer up quick access to all the latest stories and features in your chosen areas.
There is a huge selection of publishers on board, from The New York Times and National Geographic to Runner's World and Elle Decor, so there's plenty to keep you reading and the way it 'flips' between stories is dreamy.
Flipboard is an amazing curation app that will gather all the stories about your favorite topics and interests in one place.
Whether you love to read magazines or newspapers, PressReader will have you covered, offering a pleasant way to read either on your iPad. You might not get the feel of the paper in-between your digits, but you don't get inky fingers either. There's a listening mode, dynamic commenting and access to more than 7,000 of the world's most popular titles.
You can sign up to PressReader Premium to enjoy unlimited reading on up to five devices, but the free version will still allow you to select your favorite sources, discover new ones and toggle between the original print view of issues to the mobile-optimised text view.
Offering up a great way to read magazines or newspapers on iPad, with some of the best titles in the world on offer.
Certainly one for the magazine lovers out there, Readly offers access to over 6,000 US and International magazines, but best of all – it isn't just about the latest issues. This app not only offers back issues so you can flick back a few months, but you can download them and read them offline, wherever you are – plane, train or relaxing in a coffee shop.
There is family sharing for reading across up to five profiles and one subscription covers all, meaning it's pretty much Spotify for magazines. Aside from reading your favorite magazines however, Readly also offers up crosswords so you can keep your brain ticking without leaving the app.
Apple News might be a native iPad app, but if you're after brilliantly curated content, then don't ignore it. As with many of the curated news platforms, there is a free option or you can sign up to the subscriber edition where you will get access to hundreds of premium magazines and newspapers in one place.
The Today feed delivers top stories across a range of news outlets, but there is plenty more than meets the eye with this app. You can like or dislike articles to teach the algorithm your preferences, check out the For You section for recommendations based on the topics and channels you read and scroll all the way down for a special sports section. The side bar is full of treats too, with Special Coverage and Favorites.
Apple News is preinstalled on iPad but it is perfect for delivering top stories from a wide range of publishers, tailored to your interests.
It's a little left field this one, but hear us out. Travelling is wonderful but it's also expensive and sometimes it's just not possible either. The Google Earth app for iPad allows you to visit places you may never have the opportunity to go to in person, right from the comfort of your couch.
You can see plenty of places in the world from above thanks to the high-resolution satellite imagery, see the amazing sky scrapers of New York and Dubai with a few clicks and check out streets and neighbourhoods with the app's 360-degree perspectives. If there's somewhere you've always want to visit, but haven't yet, this app is a chance to explore.
Best iPad Entertainment apps
If you're looking for one of the best entertainment apps out there, Disney+ is exceptional. The interface is incredibly easy to navigate and there's thousands of hours of content available, whether you're looking for Disney, Pixar, Marvel or Star Wars.
Shows or films are added weekly so there is always something fresh to watch, while the current library has everything from new releases to timeless classics. There are multiple parental controls available if your iPad is a family iPad, and while you'll need a Disney+ subscription to watch the content here, it's worth it, trust us.
Disney+ is one of the best streaming apps out there, offering access to a huge range of content, with some true favorites in its catalogue.
We all know Netflix – it's the OG of the streaming platforms and still one of the best entertainment apps for iPad out there, even if its competition is much fiercer now than when it first launched. Perfect for binge-watching your favourite TV shows and films on the go – whether travelling or commuting – the Netflix iPad app is an absolute must.
Like all streaming apps, you'll need a subscription to access the huge library of content on offer here, whether that's Stranger Things or Emily in Paris. The interface is one of the best though, super simple to navigate and the Netflix algorithm is superb at serving up extra content you might like based on what you have previously watched.
Netflix has some of the best, most binge-worthy TV series put there and the iPad app gives you access to them all from anywhere.
If listening to music or podcasts wherever you are is your jam, then you'll want to make sure the Spotify app is on your iPad and your iPhone. It offers access to millions – and we mean millions – of songs, albums and podcasts for free, with everything from Bad Bunny to Taylor Swift.
The app is incredibly easy to navigate so finding new music is especially easy thanks to the various curated lists like daily music mixes and algorithms working behind the scenes, and you can make your own playlists too. When it comes to podcasts, you can bookmark individual podcasts into your Playlists, and subscribe to your favorites so you don't miss any episodes, whatever your podcast vibe.
The Spotify app offers access to millions of songs, albums and podcasts, serving up some of the best chats and tracks around.
It wouldn't be the best iPad apps for entertainment without YouTube. Whether you get your kicks out of gaming videos, beauty videos, news or learning, there's something for everyone on YouTube and if you can't find something, well then you can always create your own.
The YouTube iPad app is exceptionally user friendly, serving up videos within a range of popular topics, along with trending videos and your favorite channels. Personal recommendations can be found in the Home section, while Library collects any videos you've watched, liked and saved for later.
YouTube delivers content gold, so whether you're sitting on the couch or commuting about town, there's endless entertainment here.
Apple TV is a native Apple app that comes pre-installed on iPad but that doesn't mean it doesn't have place on this list. From comedy delights like Ted Lasso to documentary marvels like They Call Me Magic, there's plenty to sink your teeth into here.
Naturally, you need a subscription, as with all streaming services, but the Apple One subscription option does tie some of these native apps together like Apple TV and Apple News. The interface is lovely and simple to use with sections including Binge Entire Seasons and Crime Thrillers, to Top Chart: TV Shows and Newest Releases, and it will offer up your purchases too.
Apple TV comes preinstalled on iPad, but it's worth taking a look at. There's a range of content and an excellent interface.
It's not our favourite streaming platform interface, but Prime Video still offers up some superb shows. You can search for content by genre, title or even actor, as well as download any TV shows or movies for offline viewing – perfect for taking with you on the move.
From Reacher and Detective Bosch to Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan and films like Air, there's content to fill your entertainment bucket for months. Multi-user profiles ensure your entertainment experience isn't infiltrated by others in your home, while features like X-Ray are excellent for finding out information on actors while watching.
Best iPad Productivity apps
iWork - Pages, Numbers and Keynote
Apple's suite of productivity apps includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote and they are all great for working on the move with iPad. As you would expect being native Apple apps, they are all optimised for use on iPad, offering a fluid experience with a range of handy features.
Pages is our favourite, but all three have their uses – Numbers for spreadsheets, Pages for word documents and Keynote for presentations. You can create and edit a range of files and document types too, and if you're sharing your work with Office users, all three are compatible with Microsoft's counterparts.
Apple's own word processor Pages allows you to create documents from scratch or use the built-in templates for resumes, letters, business cards, and more.
Crunch the numbers, make tables, and all the other wonderful things spreadsheets can do with the Numbers app.
Put together a presentation in a series of slides, with plenty of transitions and other features to make your visuals really pop.
Microsoft 365 (Office)
Similar to Apple's iWork suite but better for those more comfortable with Microsoft's way of doing things, the Microsoft's 365 line of productivity apps are comprehensive. You can view, edit, and create documents on your iPad with these free apps, but with an Office 365 subscription, you'll get some really nice extras, including OneDrive storage and an Outlook email account.
If you prefer Microsoft to Apple when it comes to productivity, the Microsoft 365 apps are an absolute essential for getting work done on your iPad.
From the same Microsoft Word you know and love on iPad, to fully featured spreadsheets and a fantastic powerpoint creator, Microsoft 365 is perfect for working on the move.
Notability is an excellent note-taking app that lets you handwrite your notes instead of typing them, which is perfect for anyone with an iPad and Apple Pencil at their disposal. There are a variety of features on offer, from sketching, writing and typing to organising.
You can also record audio that is then saved within a specific note and search everything from handwriting and text to audio. This note-taking app also features palm detection, so you can write with your hand resting on your screen (the way most people handwrite) without confusing the app, and it's compatible with widgets too.
The ChatGPT app gives you access to the latest model of OpenAI at your fingertips. There's so much power in an app that is on the whole pretty simple in its appearance. Type in any request from asking what the best iPad app to asking it to make up a recipe with by listing some specific ingredients, and it will deliver you an answer pretty much instantly.
There's a voice mode that allows you to speak to it, ask it to read a bedtime story or settle a debate between friends, but you can also ask it to help you brainstorm for a meeting, or come up with an elaborate explanation about electricity for a child that likes dinosaurs. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Notion is one of many tools designed to make organizing your workflow easier, but this is one that actually works well, whilst also being very easy to use and navigate. There are plenty of customization options here to get things just how you like them, and in turn, get stuff done.
It's simple to drag and drop pretty much anything from documents to notes or tasks, while it's also just as easy to share things with others and work collaboratively. One major highlight is syncing across devices including iPad and Mac, helping you stay up to date on all your devices.
It's a classic, but it's a classic for a reason. Google Docs is perfect for creating, editing and collaborating on word documents, allowing you to see real-time changes, make comments and add actions by @ your team members.
Whilst real-time changes are an online feature and require connection, you can choose to work offline and there's a dark mode too. Using the iPad app rather than just a browsers gives you more optimised control and an easier interface to work with.
Best Essential iPad apps
Mint: Budget & Expense Manager
Mint automatically creates a budget for you, saving time and effort on your part. Once you connect your credit cards and bank accounts, it does the rest, creating a budget based on your average spending habits and offering insights into things like subscriptions you don't use anymore.
You can increase or decrease the maximum for each budget, as well as add or remove categories. Income and expenses are automatically added as you make purchases, but you'll need to enter cash transactions manually. If you don't really need a budget, you can use Mint for the finance tracking and take advantage of the budgeting feature should you find it useful in the future.
Hook up your bank cards, and Mint will make a budget for you based on your spending, as well as tell you where you don't need to be spending – it's as simple as that.
Apple's Calendar app has improved over the years, but the Fantastical 3 is still up there with one of the best calendar apps available. It's a very robust app for keeping track of your daily events as well as keeping track of your reminders too.
It has three different views to show you your days, weeks, and months at a glance and its sidebar helps keep you on schedule too. It connects to your Reminders app so whether it's a meeting or a quick dash to the store for milk, Fantastical will ensure you get things done and don't miss a beat.
The only calendar you will ever need. Fantastical is a beautifully-designed app with all the best features for keeping track of your day-to-day life.
Zoom might have lost some of its spark since being one of the most popular apps in the pandemic, but it remains an integral part of many lives and the iPad version of the app is great.
Apple's latest iPads have the Center Stage feature on board so if you're moving around the room on camera, they will follow you and keep you within the frame. Meanwhile, the iPad 10th generation has the camera in landscape orientation, making it a perfect choice for Zoom catchups.
Making and taking Zoom calls on your iPad just makes sense. It's also very quick and easy with the Zoom app.
There are plenty of reasons to invest in a Kindle as well as an iPad, but the Kindle app is a great start. It offers access to thousands of books, and serves up various settings to make reading on your tablet enjoyable too.
It's possible to customise everything from the font size and type to the text alignment, orientation and margins. When you purchase a book on Amazon, you can send it directly to your iPad and when you open the Kindle app, it will be there waiting for you to download. Landscape mode also means reading on iPad is more natural than on a smaller screen, but books sync across devices if you want to read on your iPhone and Mac too.
An extraordinarily large catalog of books and audiobooks is available for purchase and all of it is connected to your Amazon account and synced across devices.
Whatever device you're using, there's a good chance you have several website passwords to try and keep track of. Apple is pretty good at saving passwords if you use Safari but 1Password also makes it incredibly easy to store information across all of your devices so you only have to remember the one you use to unlock the app.
It works with Touch ID and Face ID, so you can keep your passwords ultra-secure and it's significantly better for security than using easy-to-guess passwords. No more typing in multiple versions of your favorite password trying to get into an app!
Keep all your passwords in one place, and generate strong passwords to prevent your accounts from being breached.
It's pretty much as simple as apps come in terms of appearance, but Google Translate has the power to help you order a drink on holiday, understand a menu, or have a conversation with a loved one that speaks a different language.
It can translate between 133 languages and it will do everything from translating text that you simply type, to real-time translation of words you speak into the app. It can also translate text in real-time when you hold your iPad's camera up to words you don't understand, as well as translate text in imported images. Comprende?
An absolute must if you want to understand menus on holidays or have a chat with those who don't speak your language.
Many of us have a Google account – even if it's just for email – but that account comes with Google Drive, which works brilliantly as a cloud service. Like iCloud Drive and Dropbox, you can save all kinds of files, including videos and pictures, before sharing them with others, and it's perfect for having on your iPad as a storage option.
All you need to do is be online and logged into your Google account, and you can save any files you're working on to Google Drive, as well as access files like saved PDFs.
Best iPad Family apps
If you love a classic board game, Monopoly is an iPad app you should definitely download. You can play by yourself against AI, with friends and family, or with players around the globe, as well as online or offline so plenty of opportunities to grab the boot and get yourself passed Go.
It's fully immersive so you get gorgeous Monopoly graphics lighting up your iPad display and while you do pay for the app initially, there are no ads interrupting your game play once you start.
It's another family classic and whether you're an Uno veteran or you're new to the card game, the iPad version lets you take it from the kitchen table to anywhere you're going – plane, train, office, or holiday.
You can play with friends and family, or compete in Uno tournaments, and you can buddy up to play in two-player teams too. For those feeling particularly competitive, try and top the leaderboards, or choose to take on one of the world series tournaments to see if you can become numero uno.
Where's My Water?
You can always count on Disney to bring the goods when it comes to entertainment – whether for adults or children – and Where's My Water really delivers. There are over 500 physics-based puzzles within this iPad app, delivered through four characters; Swampy, Allie, Cranky and Mystery Duck.
The aim of the game is to guide water to the broken shower, with each level increasing in difficulty. It's fun, but educational too, and who doesn't love a puzzle with some entertaining characters to keep it interesting?
Where's My Water is a fun-filled app with plenty of learning potential with over 500 physics-based puzzles.
Crossy Road is an 8-bit delight that will hook you in and keep you hopping whenever you get a spare minute on your iPad. You can unlock and collect more than 300 characters and there are 28 retro worlds to hop your way around.
Whether you're crossing roads, hopping over train tracks or skirting over rivers, there's endless fun, with even the ways you can die pretty entertaining in their own way.
Duolingo might be one of the best apps out there, not just for iPad but in general. Starting out as an app for learning a new language, but it is a lot more than that now, with the ability to learn maths and music the Duolingo way too.
Using science-based teaching methodologies, Duolingo gamifies learning languages, music and maths, offering bite-sized lessons and introducing characters to keep you motivated and build solid skills.
Duolingo is a free app that offers a fun way to learn over 40 languages, alongside maths and music and it's perfect for iPad.
Best iPad Shopping apps
The iPad is the perfect mobile device for making a few sneaky online purchases and Amazon has pretty much everything available to buy, making this mobile app both brilliant but dangerous for your bank balance.
You can add items to your wish list, compare items, check for daily deals, view recommended products, and buy pretty much anything. It makes shopping exceptionally easy, with a simple interface too so download with caution.
Whether you're having a clear out and you want to make a bit of extra dollar, or you are looking for some second-hand or vintage bargains, Vinted is the app you'll want to download.
The interface is super simple to use and it looks excellent on iPad, serving up what is effectively a newsfeed of bargains. You can shop by brand, view popular items and selling is incredibly easy too.
Pinterest is a social networking website for crafting, cooking, building your dream home or just great ideas. In what can only be described as a digital scrapbook – that you can also find links to buy from too – you can search for anything that interests you with a delightful focus on all things visual.
You can browse through pins in your feed, search for specific topics, and see who is saving your finds. Your pins are all saved on your private personal boards for quick access and it's ideal for finding new recipes, inspiration for a home or cupboard redesign and shopping links to rare trainers.
Like Amazon, eBay is a huge online retailer, selling products across a huge range of categories, whilst also enabling you to sell your own products. It is useful for finding some fairly obscure items and it's lovely and simple to use, making browsing a breeze.
On iPad, you can search for products and filter by price, ending time, distance, and plenty more. You can also see what condition something is in and bid in auctions or purchase immediately. If you've been looking for a vintage favorite from your youth, this is where to go.
eBay is great for finding old collector's items and rare products, as well as normal day-to-day. You'll never know what you might find when you're scrolling through.
If you're looking for a cheap online shopping marketplace that covers off everything from home, pets and shoes, to beauty, tools and electronics, Shein is an app you shouldn't miss off your download list.
It delivers easy shopping – which is of course both a good and a bad thing – and the interface is exceptionally simple to browse on iPad. You can look by New Arrivals, Trends, Category, Best Sellers and plenty more, so we challenge you not to have something in your basket within several minutes.