Top 50 iPad Apps: The Best Apps for Your New Tablet

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    26-Jul-2015

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1. Top 50 iPad Apps: The Best Apps for Your New Tablet If you believe the data : Lots of people had the iPad on the top of their Christmas lists. Well, if you woke up with Apple's tablet under the tree - Congratulations! The wonderful world of tablet computing awaits you. But now what? An iPad is only as good as the apps you get for it. With over 275,000 made just for the tablet in Apple's store, though, it can be overwhelming to find the right ones. Not to worry, ABC News' technology team has you covered. We have rounded up the best iPad apps out there -- free and paid -- for you in different categories. Get ready to start downloading! Note: You can view this entire article on one page by selecting the "View All" in the upper right corner, next to Print icon. Social Networking The first category of apps is all about connecting with others - one of the iPad's greatest strengths. If you are a Twitter addict, Twitter's official app is a must-have. It's simple to operate: sign in with your account and your stream of tweets will be displayed. The best part of the app, though, is that you can see photos and websites that your followers have shared right within your stream. No need to jump out to the web browser or photo app. Twitter also recently added its own photo filters and cropping tools. (Free) Social Networking For a long time the best way to look at Facebook on the iPad was through the browser, but the Facebook app is finally at a place that makes it the best place to keep track of your social network. You can view your Newsfeed, flick through photos and send messages to your friends. Facebook also recently released a new version, which sped up the entire app and the load times of photos. When you set this one up, be mindful about accepting the push notifications. Do you want to be notified every time someone likes your post? That's up to you! (Free) Social Networking Rounding out the social networking apps is Pinterest. (If you aren't familiar with Pinterest, check out this article.) This is a must have for the Pinterest addict, but even if you aren't a huge fan of the social pinning service, you can appreciate the beautiful app. Even if you refrain from creating your own digital bulletin boards, you can browse others in different categories (travel, food, etc.) by swiping in from the left side. The highlight here is content - photos are beautifully displayed and it's easy to flip through others' boards and admire the striking collections of cool stuff. You can also browse the web through the app and pin new things to your boards. (Free) Communications Yes, every iPad comes with Facetime for video calling with others who have an iPad, iPhone or Mac computer. But Skype is one of the best cross-platform video calling services. The app works much like the desktop programs. Log in with your username and password and you'll get a list of your 2. contacts. You can choose to video call with them, send them a message, or make a regular voice call. The quality of the calls will depend on your Internet connection; stick with using WiFi for the best results, though 3G or LTE calls will work. (Free) Communications Every iPad does come the built in e-mail application where you can add any e-mail account, but for those who use Gmail the dedicated app brings extras to the tablet. With Google's new Gmail app you can star and label your messages and switch between up to five Gmail accounts. When you hold the tablet horizontally you can view your Inbox on the left and your messages on the right. You can select multiple messages, watch them pile up on top of each other and then bulk delete them. (Free) Reading Whether you've got an iPad Mini or the 9.7-inch iPad with the Retina Display you'll soon discover that your new tablet will transform into one of the best books you've ever owned. Apple's iBooks has a good selection of digital tomes, but Amazon store is second to none. Download Kindle for the iPad and you will be able to choose from millions of titles and also access any books you've bought on other Kindle e-readers right on the tablet. It also has a feature called X-Ray, which shows the "bones of the book," including the main characters and places. You can also purchase magazines through the app. (Free) Reading If we narrowed down this list to the top five iPad apps, Flipboard might just be at the top of that list. Flipboard is a social reader app - log in with your social network and it gathers all the links to the stories and photos your friends are sharing in a clean and easy-on-the-eyes layout. You can flip through pages and pages of stories that are popular with your friends. You can customize your news sources and select different topic areas too. Basically, if you were looking to build your own personalized magazine - this would be the app to do it. (Free) Reading News360 is similar to Flipboard but is for the harder news addict. The app learns your news habits. When you first launch it, you select the topics you are interested in - politics, technology, health, etc. It will then feed you current news about each of those from different news outlets. As you click through, the app will analyze what you like and start to feed you more about those stories. It's also very well designed; each story is presented on a cube - swipe up or down to turn the cube and see other options, including some sharing functions. (Free) Reading Reading a long article on your computer is not an enjoyable experience. That's where Instapaper comes in. Sign up for an Instapaper account and when you come across a long article on your computer, you can "Instapaper it" with a bookmarklet that you install. Then you can log in to that same account through the iPad app and waiting there will be the article in an easy to read format. (Free) Reading Comic book fan or not, the iPad is a great platform to read graphic novels or books. IDW Comics and 3. Marvel have a strong lineup of comics, including same day as print releases. Yes, we are including two apps in one here, but within the Marvel app you can buy X Men, Iron Man, Thor and others. In the IDW Comics app you can purchase G.I. Joe and classic comics like Popeye. Both apps will require you to buy the comics from the companies directly. Marvel is owned by The Walt Disney Co., which also owns ABC News. (IDW and Marvel) Productivity Believe it or not, you can do work on your iPad, and Apple's Pages is a great place to start. The word processing app is touch-friendly and doesn't only support text. You can rearrange images and make colorful documents and presentations with Apple's templates. As you would expect, there's lots of font and color options and you can open Microsoft Word and other documents in it. Pages one-ups the other word-processing apps for the iPad with its iCloud integration. Save a file and you can instantly view it in Pages for Mac or the iPhone. ($9.99) Productivity However, if you are just looking to take notes, Evernote is a great option and a step up from Apple's built-in Notes app. The cross-platform app syncs your notes from the web and all of Evernotes other apps so you always have them in one place. You can insert images and voice reminders within your notes too. Evernote has organized all your notes into notebooks, which you can give a cover photo. The company is constantly adding features, but this is already one of the best to-do list apps out there. (Free) Productivity Now that you have an iPad, you're probably wondering what's the best way to get photos and files from one device to another. Dropbox is one of the best options. The app can be downloaded on your computer (Mac or PC), your phone, and your iPad. Drop a file in your Dropbox on your computer and it will pop up on your iPad. It's a great way to transfer images or files. Dropbox gives you 2GB for free; you can upgrade to larger plans for a monthly plan. (Free) Productivity We've covered a number of ways for you to do work on the iPad, but this is the ultimate option. OnLive Desktop lets you see your full PC desktop right on the iPad's screen. Yes, you can navigate your Windows PC, open files or folders and even read and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents. You can access your PC from anywhere as long as you are connected to WiFi. It's actually quite fast, and not as laggy as some other remote PC programs. If you're planning to do work on your iPad, you might want to consider a Bluetooth keyboard. Here are reviews of some of the best. (Free) Organization Mint is a personal finance organization app. Similar to the website, the iPad app lets you track your budget and see all your accounts in one place. The iPad app, though, presents everything in a touch- friendly way. You can tap the graphs and swipe to move through the months. For those worried about putting all that personal financial information into the app, the app is protected by a 4-digit PIN. If you lose your iPad you can deactivate it from your Mint.com profile. (Free) Video 4. The iPad can quickly turn into a small TV with a few key apps, but ShowYou is the app you want for tuning into the best videos on the Internet. The app brings in video that your friends are sharing on Twitter or Facebook. Log in with your accounts and it will bring in the videos people are sharing on YouTube and other video sites. You can share your own videos with your ShowYou followers and easily share them on other social networks. There's, of course, no shortage of funny cat videos. (Free) Video While ShowYou is great for seeing what others are watching, nothing can top the official YouTube app. Just refreshed by Google, the app features lists of video topics on the left side along with subscriptions to your favorite channels. When you play a video at full screen, you just have to swipe from the left to bring back those channels. Swipe from the right and you will see suggested videos based on the one you are watching. (Free) Video HuluPlus is one of those must-have apps for turning your iPad into a TV replacement. If you have a Hulu Plus subscription ($7.99 a month) you get unlimited streaming through the app, meaning you can watch non-stop episodes of "Modern Family," "The Office," "Family Guy," "Glee," "The New Girl," and more. You get all the standard video controls, but move to the split screen mode and you can watch a video while browsing other shows. ABC programming is featured on Hulu. (Free) TV But not everyone is replacing their TV with the iPad - a lot are watching TV in their living rooms with the iPad in their laps. For those, there's GetGlue. Log in with your Facebook account and you can "check-in" to the TV show you are watching. You can then see who else is watching that show and what they are saying about it. You can follow friends and they can follow you. The app also shows you what is coming up on TV and provides central pages for programs to show you what others are saying about it. Basically, it's the ultimate social experience around TV. (Free) TV Zeebox is similar to GetGlue in that it's an app to use while you are watching TV. The app shows you what people are talking about - the biggest buzz around shows, what the stars are watching and what people are rating shows. When you input your zip code and cable provider it will also give you a guide of the day's programming and what the buzz is about the show with data from Twitter. If you happen to be watching the same show as a friend you can even chat with them within the app about it. It's got such a snazzy design, it might just take your eyes off the show you are watching. (Free) Music Spotify has become one of the hottest music services and its iPad app shows off its greatest features. Log in and you will be presented with your collection of songs, albums and playlists on the left side. On the right column you see the list of songs. The app also surfaces options which are buried in the desktop apps or sites, like the Inbox and messaging features. There's also an easy search function and "What's New" area to see top songs. You can spend hours getting lost in finding music. (Free) Music 5. There's nothing exceptional about Pandora's iPad app, but it's still a must-have when it comes to discovering music. Log in with your account and you'll get all your saved stations. You can easily search for an artist or song to create a new station. The app is decently designed but don't expect any bells and whistles here. (Free) Shopping If there is a place to window shop on the iPad it's in Fab's app. Fab has become one of the most popular places to shop on the Internet because of its social media tie-in and its awesome inventory. With everything from a hat that has a built-in beard (called Beardo) to a lamp that can be turned on with a plastic gun to interestingly shaped couches and hammocks, you can browse lots of cool stuff in the well laid-out app. You can see what your friends have bought or liked if you log in with your Facebook account. It's free to browse - of course, it costs to buy! (Free) Shopping You can now cancel all those paper catalogs you get from J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, Crate Barrel, etc. Google's Catalogs app brings the beauty of browsing those new and glossy catalogs to the digital world. Not only do you get the colorful pages of the catalog, but tap on an item you like and it will bring up more information from the left side of the screen. It will display the price, more photos, and a link to go buy it on the company's website. You can also share and search a catalog from within the app. (Free) Games There are lots of air flight games for the iPad, but who doesn't want to fly a paper airplane through some crazy scenes? Airwings uses the iPad's gyroscope - launch your paper airplane and you can tilt the iPad to get through the mazes and obstacles. However, the game requires you to play with friends through Game Center. Don't let that be a deal breaker though, some of the levels can get pretty crazy - there's one where you use spit wads as your weapon. And this isn't one of those cheap- looking free games - graphics look great on the Retina Display. You just have to tolerate the ads. (Free) Games We wanted to stay away from recommending the typical cliche iPad games, but it's hard to ignore Angry Birds, especially the new Star Wars version. Just like the original game, you fling birds to kill the pigs, except here you've got rebel birds against the Empire's Pigtroopers. There's a free version with ads and limited levels and then the $2.99 version with no ads and some extras, including the R2-D2 bonus levels. (Free) Games You will find that some have turned their iPads into Words with Friends machines, just playing the Scrabble-like game with opponents for hours and hours. Zynga's Words with Friends is exactly what it says it is - a word game to play with your friends. Very similar to Scrabble, each player gets a selection of letters and has to create words. S...