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Best apps new iPad Air owners should download right now!

Get the most out of your brand new iPad Air with the best-of-the-best of the iPad App Store's nearly half-a-million apps!

Just get a brand new iPad Air or anticipating picking up a new Retina iPad mini when it ships later this month? While both tablets, large and small, certainly provide enormous value all on their own, what with iOS 7 and the great built-in apps like Safari and FaceTime, when you combine them with the best of the best of the nearly half-a-million apps in the iPad App Store, the value becomes nearly limitless. But given that there are so many apps, how do you know where to start? How can you possible find those best-of-the-best ones? Well, for the last year or so, iMore has been rounding up our favorite iPad apps in a multitude of categories, for a multitude of situations. Some of those apps have since been updated - and we'll be updating to reflect that ASAP! - but the best have tended to remain just that - the best! So, check them all out, and grab every one that appeals you!

Note: We'll be updating these lists, and the apps on them, on a weekly bases - whenever we need to! - so save this article, share it with friends and family, and come back often. These are the iPad apps you'll want today, tomorrow, and for the year to come!

Best streaming video apps for iPad (U.S.): Netflix, Amazon Instant, Air Video, and more!

Best streaming video apps for iPhone and iPad (U.S.): Netflix, Amazon Instant, Air Video, and more!

Streaming video apps turn the iPad into a personal movie theaters and television set. Whether you want to watch - or re-watch - thousands of movies and TV shows from the major studio back catalogs, keep up with current network programming, or simply stream the videos already on your computer, the App Store has several apps for that. Sadly, what's available depends entirely on where you live (regional licenses, ugh.) Here are some of our favorites for the U.S.!

Best text editing apps for iPad: Editorial, Byword, Write, and more!

Best writing apps for iPad: Editorial, Byword, Write, and more!

iPads are quickly replacing laptops as the tool of choice for highly-mobile businesspeople, reporters, students, and casual users alike. Not only is an iPad much easier to carry around than a laptop, there are lots of apps specifically tailored for writers of all kinds. So, we're going to look at the best text editing apps for turning those thoughts into letters, essays, reports, articles, novels, and more! If you don't need Pages-style document layout, but you do need more than notes, these are our favorites...

Best handwriting note apps for iPad: Notability, Penultimate, Noteshelf, and more!

Best handwriting apps for iPad: Notability, Penultimate, Noteshelf, and more!

The iPad paired with a stylus can make a great not-taking alternative to traditional pen and paper. From writing out math problems to scribbling down ideas to taking notes, sometimes handwriting is just so much more natural and efficient than typing with a keyboard. If text editing apps don't get the job done, hand-writing note taking apps might. And here are my favorites!

Best cloud storage apps for iPad: Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, and more!

Everything you need to know about Apple's iCloud -- PC-free, iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, Find my iPhone, Find my Friends, and more!

Cloud storage services not only keep us in sync and let us access our files wherever we are, whenever we need them, but they can be a great way to backup, share, and collaborate as well. They can even help free up precious local storage on the iPad by keeping stuff available for re-download instead of always loaded. There are a lot of great cloud storage options to choose from, and almost all of them have apps on the App Store. Here's how to pick the best cloud for you!

Best comic book apps for iPad: comiXology, Marvel Unlimited, iBooks, and more!

The iPad is the best thing that ever happened to comic books, especially on a beautiful Retina iPad screen. Every page comes to life and every panel just pops. Combine that with the convenience of digital delivery, and even the iPad mini has the ability to hold an entire comic book library in your hand. That's almost every adventure of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, of the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and X-Men, and of indie titles every bit as good if not anywhere nearly as well known. Comic books on the iPad are every fan's dream, but which are the very best iPad apps for realizing that dream? Follow on to find out, true believer!

Best voice recorder, weather, calculator, and stocks app for iPad: The apps Apple refused to give us!

Best voice recorder, weather, calculator, and stocks app for iPad: The apps Apple refused to give us!

When Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPad, one of his big statements was that the 75 million iPhone users in the world already knew how to use it. Well, many of those users were suprised to discover that five of the built-in apps that they had grown to love on their iPhone were missing on their iPad. Namely, Clock, Voice Memos, Weather, Calculator and Stocks. Rumor has it Apple didn't think those apps would scale to look good on the bigger iPad screen. Since then, Apple added a clock app with iOS 6, but the other four are still missing. Fortunately, many great developers have filled that void and proven that, not only can these apps look good on the iPad. They can look great.

Bonus: iWork and iLife apps: Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie, and iPhoto

Apple recently made all their iWork apps - Pages document editing, Numbers spreadsheets, and Keynote presentations - and all their iLife apps - iMovie video editing, iPhoto photo management, and GarageBand audio editing - free with the purchase of a new iOS device. That makes these collections - some of the best mobile software ever produced by anyone - not only an incredible value, but an incredible value-add for your new iPad. Add in iCloud integration, so you can share your work - and play! - easily from iPhone to iPad to Mac and back, and there's no reason not to get them all now!

Your must-have iPad apps?

Everyone has different needs, and different tastes, and we're starting the year off fresh. So, if you have a favorite iPad app - or a dozen favorites - we haven't included in our lists, let us know! We have a ton of updates coming your way, and we'd love to hear all about them!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • BBC iPlayer for us guys in the "old world" is a must have, especially now you can download content to your iPad to watch offline!
  • Richard slightly off topic, You can get an ipad mini for £199 at right now... Old/existing model but fantastic value...
  • Flipboard, Reeder 2, and iBooks are my most used.
  • We'll have an updated reading apps post included soon!
  • So don't forget Zite!
  • Recently discovered that app myself, and Zite has now replaced flipboard for me.
  • Wow thanks. Didn't know about this app
  • A lame attempt to get more page views on existing articles with minimal effort. Why exactly are these apps any better on an iPad Air than an existing iPad? Oh, they aren't.
    Air Video has been superseded by Air Video HD.
  • Because people weren't heading out this weekend to buy an iPad 4, they were going out to buy an iPad Air. And many of those people were first time iPad buyers.
  • BOOM!
  • Don't understand the snarky comment! Like you said Richard, just got an iPad Air, searched "apps for iPad Air" so this post is right on. Thanks - all of this is "new to me!"
  • Biscuit for reddit is my favourite reddit client. It's responsive, minimalistic and has a very special way to display the comments that makes reading a joy! Worth every cent!
  • I really want the new mini, and put Auria on it. The iPad is great, but on the mini, takes portable music making to a whole new level. I hope they do not wait until Black Friday to go on sale. Really been itching for the retina.
  • Uhhh... okay, off topic a bit, but how did you shoe-horn IOS6 on your iPad Airs, René?
  • I'd wager that's the iPad mini in the pics showing iOS 6.
  • Plex! Plex! Plex! All day long! Plex!
  • One of my must have apps for iPad is Feeddler. It is an RSS Reader. It was originally built for use with Google Reader but since it's demise they are supporting several others both free and paid for. It has a couple quirks but overall a very good solution.
  • Here in Singapore:
    AXS: an app that allows you to pay your credit card, utility bills and phone bills. Anytime. Anywhere.
    and Clash of Clans :)
  • I found a detailed report about ipad accessories, for more reading.
  • For video recorder, I recommend CameraMAX. This application can record video in Quad HD resolution (1440p)