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!
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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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
- Best voice recorder, weather, calculator, and stocks app for iPad: The apps Apple forgot to give us!
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!
- Free - Download Now - Pages for iPad
- Free - Download Now - Numbers for iPad
- Free - Download Now - Keynote for iPad
- Free - Download Now - iMovie for iPad
- Free - Download Now - iPhoto for iPad
- Free - Download Now - Garageband for iPad
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!
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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.