Taking your first trip through iTunes can be daunting. There are a ton of apps available that do a ton of things and there really isn’t an ideal way to simply know which ones you need. It’s definitely a process and one we’d like to help with. Here is our list of the 10 must have, essential iPad apps to help get you started! If you have an Android device, our sister site has a great list of the best Android apps as well!
[Price: Free / $5.99]
You’ll learn quickly that you’ll be signing into a lot of websites and social media sites on your iPad. You’ll likely want a place to store those passwords for future reference. 1Password is about as good as it gets in this space and it allows you to store all of your passwords. The app is password protected so only you can access it and there is also a free version you can try before you pay for it. It’ll also store credit card info if you need it to and there’s even a secure note taking feature.
Adobe Photoshop Mix is an above average photo editing application that gives you a ton of features and options when it comes to editing photos. Granted, you won’t be taking too many photos but iCloud and other cloud storage will let you pull photos down and you can edit them on the larger (arguably superior) screen of your iPad. The app itself is free to download and includes cut/pate functionality, blending, color adjustments, and you can download Adobe’s other apps and edit your images even further!
Crystal is a unique application that helps block advertisements while browsing in Safari. The reviews may seem low but that’s due to a number of factors that don’t necessarily mean the app doesn’t work. It does, in fact, work and it works rather well. It installs directly into Safari which means there is virtually no work to do on your part. Of course, there is the moral and ethical debate of blocking advertisements, but if you need an app that helps you block them, this is it.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Evernote is among the world’s best note taking applications and for good reason. It is as stable as a bomb shelter and is full of features. It syncs to its cloud platform where it’s accessible from the cloud, other iOS devices, Android devices, and most desktop operating systems. There are a variety of features such as inserting video, images, and audio into notes to give them more flair. Really, you have to try it to see just how powerful this one is. It’s free to download and the in-app purchases consist of subscription services if you want to use the pro version.
If you’re not satisfied by the built-in calendar app on iOS then Fantastic 2 is about as good as it gets for a replacement. It has a ton of features and the developers usually add in new features for new features of iOS. It features a dashboard that helps you engage with activities and the calendar faster and you can also do things like create events, set reminders, and there are even voice commands. It’s expensive, but it’s also solid and there are no in-app purchases.
Flipboard is a world-renown news application that allows you to follow all of your favorite news websites, blogs, and more. It has a unique magazine-style interface that lets you flip through news stories like pages in a magazine and it looks really good. It also comes with Apple Watch support along with podcast support. You can even save stories for reading later. It’s a powerful news app that looks amazing and it’s also totally free to use.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Microsoft has worked hard to bring their hallmark Office software to iOS. You can get Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint in all of their glory. Admittedly, they’re not quite as powerful as their desktop brethren but they’re more than powerful enough for most tasks. All of the apps are free to download and use with additional, optional fees for Professional or Home licenses to unlock extra features. It’s Microsoft Office so you know it’s pretty good.
Procreate is an application with artists in mind. Using this, you can paint, draw, or otherwise stretch your creative imagination to its limits. It has a metric ton of features, including 4K-definition canvases, 250 levels of undo and redo, 64-bit optimizations, a great user interface, and 120 brushes with 25 customizable features for each brush. This is the one that many of the the pros use, folks, and it’s the one we recommend.
[Price: Free / $9.99/month]
iTunes is a force in the music business, but not everyone has the money to go buy tracks or albums. That’s where music streaming comes into play and you’ll not find a better music streaming service on iOS than Spotify (except maybe Apple Music, eventually). Spotify has cross-platform support so you can listen on your iPad or your computer all you want to with an optional subscription fee if you want to go ad-free. It has a ton of songs, playlist support, radio support, and plenty of other features.
YoWindow Weather is a gorgeous weather application that really makes use of the extra screen size of the iPad. It uses a unique slider that lets you literally see what the weather is going to be like that day and does so in a fun and vibrant way. It also comes with other features such as forecasts, sunrise and sunset times, and more. It’s not the world’s most powerful weather app, but it’s certainly one of the best looking.
Of course, there are a ton of iPad apps and all of them have their uses. If there are some essential iPad apps you think should be on the list, tell us about them in the comments! If you want to stay up to date on iPad apps, check out our apps section!