best ipad apps for developers

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The right app can transform the iPad, the tablet of tablets, into nearly anything you desire. Looking to get things done while working from home? The iPad becomes a mobile office suite when you must step away from the desktop or laptop. Trying to figure out what to stream this weekend? The iPad morphs into portable television for checking out the newest shows and movies when the kids hog the flat screen. Looking to paint, draw, or illustrate? With the right apps and the Apple Pencil, there’s never been a more powerful, more affordable graphic design tool than the iPad. And the list goes on. With so many options at your fingertips, how do you find the apps worth downloading?

best ipad apps for students 2021

Best Ipad Apps For Developers

The Best iPad Apps for 2021

Our guide features native iPad apps that deliver unique and compelling tablet-based experiences; these are not iPhone apps running on a larger screen. We’ve also included links to in-depth reviews where available. Rest assured that even those apps that haven’t been fully reviewed are included because they’ve impressed us after some serious hands-on time.

What You Won’t Find in This Guide

The Best iPad Apps doesn’t include preinstalled apps or games. The former aren’t included because default apps are easy to find—they already live on your iPad’s home screen. The latter aren’t included because we’ve given the best iPad games their own dedicated article.

Looking for apps for your other devices? We’ve got you covered there, too, with our roundups of the best Android apps and best Android games.

CREATIVITY

Adobe Illustrator Image

Adobe Illustrator

4.0

Illustrator on the iPad is Adobe’s only dedicated vector graphics app available for Apple’s tablet. When Adobe first launched Photoshop for the iPad, some felt it lacked too many features to be truly useful. With the new Illustrator on the iPad, Adobe didn’t want a repeat of the critiques that greeted Photoshop’s iPad release. After addressing more than 1,200 requests from beta testers, Adobe released Illustrator for iPad chock full of features that let you masterfully design on the go.Per Month, Starts at $9.99$20.99 Per Monthat AdobeSee ItAdobe Illustrator on the iPad Review

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Adobe Lightroom

3.5

Adobe Lightroom is the go-to digital photo workflow and editing application for many of today’s professional photographers. That said, there are times when you might prefer to edit photos sitting on a sofa or a train seat rather than at a desk. The Lightroom iPad app lets you do just this, and work directly with raw camera files, perform local adjustments, and use lens-profile corrections. Lightroom has evolved into a powerhouse among mobile photo-editing apps.MSRP $9.99$9.99 Per Monthat AdobeSee ItAdobe Lightroom ReviewAdobe Photoshop Mix Image

Adobe Photoshop Mix

4.0

Adobe has numerous photo-related apps in the iTunes app store, but Photoshop Mix is especially interesting. It brings some of Photoshop’s most powerful tools into an easy-to-use iPad app. Photoshop Mix appeals to a broad cross-section of users, from those who simply want to create collages to hardcore Photoshoppers who want to add iPads into their workflows.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple.comSee ItAdobe Photoshop Mix (for iPad) ReviewApple GarageBand Image

Apple GarageBand

4.5

The iPad became a legitimate music composition tool thanks in large part to its own version of GarageBand, Apple’s seminal, entry-level digital audio editing app. GarageBand contains many professional-level features, including piano roll-style note editing, an expanded sound palette, and additional recording tools. You can even record and edit audio from third-party instrument apps using GarageBand.MSRP $4.99Freeat Apple App StoreSee ItApple GarageBand (for iPad) ReviewApple iMovie Image

Apple iMovie

If you’re going to edit video on a tablet, it’s hard to overlook Apple’s own iMovie app. The affordably priced iPad app lets you create trailers, whip up studio logos, save video in 4K resolution, and transfer projects between your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch using AirDrop or iCloud Drive.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee It

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Arturia iMini Synthesizer

4.5

Arturia, venerable purveyors of virtual versions of various Moog models over the years, has released a “real” virtual Minimoog—beating Moog itself to the punch. Fortunately, it’s a killer synth app, one that boasts plenty of useful additional features, including an all-important polyphonic mode and arpeggiator.MSRP $4.99$9.99at Apple App StoreSee ItArturia iMini Synthesizer (for iPad) ReviewProcreate Image

Procreate

Procreate is an excellent option for digital artists who want to make the most of the iPad Pro’s capabilities, including the Apple Pencil. Procreate gives you all the tools you need to create the sketches, paintings, and illustrations you can image. Rounding out the list of features are continuous autosave, high-resolution canvases, and 136 different types of brushes to try.$9.99at Apple.comSee It

EDUCATION AND INFORMATION

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Duolingo

5.0

If you’re looking to learn or practice a language on an iPad, Duolingo is indisputably the way to go. The app has expanded its pool of languages over the past few year and it now offers a couple dozen choices, ranging from Danish to Vietnamese. You can still use Duolingo for free, but there’s now also a Duolingo Plus tier, for $12.99, which removes ads and gives you the ability to download lessons for offline studying.MSRP FreeDuolingo ReviewFlipboard Image

Flipboard

4.5

Flipboard offers iPad users an entirely original alternative to browsing the web for news; its magazine-style layouts and breathtaking use of photos and whitespace render RSS feeds as beautiful, easy-to-read pages. The app also taps your social media feeds for articles, as well as music and video streams.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee ItFlipboard (for iPad) Review

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Google Earth

Traveling is expensive. The free Google Earth app most certainly is not. By keying in a location such as “Coney Island” or “London,” you can zip to the other side of the globe in mere seconds to check out satellite and aerial imagery. Geo-located Wikipedia articles add insight to your journey.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee ItGoogle Translate Image

Google Translate

One of the biggest hurdles that people face when traveling abroad is language. You may think that you’re asking for directions to a music festival when you’re actually insulting the town’s sacred goat god. Words can kill, so download Google Translate. The app quickly translates either written text or spoken words. You can even use the app to do the speaking for you, and input text through your camera or handwriting.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee ItMarch of the Dinosaurs Image

March of the Dinosaurs

4.0

March of the Dinosaurs takes the basic content of National Geographic’s March of the Dinosaurs and enhances it with interactive virtual reality dinosaurs, textual descriptions of each species mentioned in the show, and more. The result is an informative story set in the late Cretaceous Era’s Canadian Arctic, which should be fascinating and enjoyable for people of all ages.MSRP $1.99$2.99at Apple App StoreSee ItMarch of the Dinosaurs (for iPad) ReviewNASA App Image

NASA App

There are many good NASA-sponsored and NASA-related apps for the iPad, but none compares with this official NASA App Compiled by NASA’s Ames Research Center, the app combines insightful articles and news stories, dazzling images and videos, and live TV feeds, making it a one-stop portal for most everything NASA.Freeat Apple App StoreSee It

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Oceans

4.0

Oceans examines the effect of human activities on the world’s seas, and presents a plan of action to manage marine resources in ways so that people can continue to benefit from the oceans’ bounty while biodiversity is preserved. The app has a good mix of text and visuals, including spectacular photos of marine life by professional nature photographers, clear and detailed descriptions, and interactive diagrams.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple.comSee ItOceans (for iPad) ReviewThe Pyramids Image

The Pyramids

4.5

The Pyramids is a multimedia journey into some of the most renowned and magnificent structures of the ancient world, the Pyramids, Sphinx, and tombs at Giza, Egypt. With this beautifully designed app, you can read about early Egyptian history, examine 3D-rendered artifacts, and even take virtual journeys into the Pyramids and tombs while a narrator explains what they are seeing.MSRP $6.99The Pyramids (for iPad) ReviewReuters News Image

Reuters News

The Reuters app delivers the venerable newswire’s core product, news and market data, with a broader experience than either NPR’s magazine-style product or Bloomberg’s finance-heavy offering. The app features dozens of customizable categories, a personalized watch list for business news, and geographic-specific news views.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee It

ENTERTAINMENT

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Comixology

4.5

It’s easy for a company to rest on its laurels when it becomes the face of its industry, but Comixology, the premier digital comic book delivery service, keeps evolving. The iPad app boasts useful Smart Lists, recommendations, and one of the deepest comic book catalogs available on mobile devices. If you don’t mind renting your comics, Comixology Unlimited is an excellent value at $5.99 per month, as it lets you read an unlimited number of titles from nearly any publisher that isn’t DC or Marvel.MSRP Free5.99 Per Month for Subscriptionat ComiXologySee ItComixology Review

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Crackle

3.0

Crackle, Sony’s streaming video network, lets users stream free, ad-supported Hollywood television shows and uncut movies, as well as original content, from Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classic, and TriStar Pictures. There’s a nice variety of classic and contemporary content here, making it a solid iPad app for anyone who would like to kick back with their tablet and watch a program without needing to open their wallet.MSRP FreeFreeat CrackleSee ItCrackle ReviewCrunchyroll Image

Crunchyroll

3.5

Being a fan of anime used to mean that you were subject to the whims of media importers or your friend who had a high-bandwidth Internet connection and shady IRC contacts. Now you can watch Attack on TitanJoJo’s Bizarre AdventureMobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Children, and more than 20,000 other episodes of other shows on your tablet with Crunchyroll. Even better, many programs are available just an hour after they air overseas.Per Month, Starts at $7.99Free Trialat CrunchyrollSee ItCrunchyroll ReviewHulu Image

Hulu

4.0

Hulu no longer offers a free viewing tier, but the service is still an excellent way to watch streaming television shows the day after they air on networks, as well as movies and original programming, on your iPad. Its Watch Party feature synchronizes shows between you and several friends, so that you can safely enjoy content together.Per Month, Starts at $5.99$5.99 Per Monthat HuluSee ItHulu ReviewMarvel Unlimited Image

Marvel Unlimited

3.0

iPad-toting comic book fans who want to take a dive into Marvel’s deep digital comics well should download Marvel Unlimited. This Netflix-like subscription-based app focuses on letting readers comb a library of more than 15,000 digital comics from throughout Marvel’s history, provided that the books are at least three months old. You can also purchase select titles, and, if you pay extra, receive numerous collectible bonuses.Per Month, Starts at $9.99$9.99at MarvelSee ItMarvel Unlimited Review

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Netflix

4.5

If regular old broadcast TV isn’t doing it for you, Netflix may be the answer to your media woes. For less than the price of a New York City movie ticket, you can watch a decent array of movies and a wide selection of original Netflix content, such as Altered CarbonThe CrownBlack MirrorOrange Is the New Black, and Stranger Things.Per Month, Starts at $8.99Netflix ReviewSpotify Image

Spotify

4.5

Spotify is an ear- and eye-catching way to enjoy an Editors’ Choice pick for streaming music players on your iPad. The app boasts collaborative playlists, commercial-free listening with premium accounts, on-demand playback, and cool, music-tempo-adjusting features for runners.Per Month, Starts at $9.99$9.99at SpotifySee ItSpotify ReviewTidal Image

Tidal

4.0

Jay Z’s 2015 purchase of little-known company Aspiro left many scratching their heads, but when the rapper and an all-star squad of singers and musicians unveiled the fruits of the buy, a music streaming service named Tidal, it started to make sense. Tidal is one of many subscription-based music apps, but it differs from Slacker Radio and Spotify in that it’s aimed at music fans willing to pay a premium for exclusive content, quality editorial, and lossless, 16-bit CD-quality sound.MSRP $9.99Check PriceTidal ReviewTuneIn Radio Pro Image

TuneIn Radio Pro

4.0

TuneIn Radio Pro continues to evolve. Most recently, the live radio streaming service has added an optional $7.99 per month subscription service, TuneIn Radio Premium, that boasts ad-free music, live sports, and other audio content. Amid all the changes, however, TuneIn Radio Pro also maintains its core functionality. TuneIn Radio Pro still lets you fire up more than 100,000 global AM and FM stations, rewind live radio, and record programming to your iPad’s storage.MSRP $9.99$9.99at Apple.comSee ItTuneIn Radio Pro (for iPad) Review

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WWE

4.0

The WWE Network cuts out cable companies and delivers 720p pro wrestling streams directly to fans. Using the app, you can stream shows 24/7, including original content, such as backstage interviews and documentaries. The schedule tab lets you know what’s coming on next, and commercials are limited to brief ads in between shows, not during them. You can also set parental controls to keep kids from watching the more violent stuff, although if you’re a parent letting your child watch wrestling that genie is already out of the bottle.MSRP $9.99Freeat Apple.comSee ItWWE (for iPad) ReviewYouTube Image

YouTube

YouTube, the home of bootleg music, conspiracy theorists, Lets Players, ASMR whispering, and cat videos, brings its extensive catalog to the iPad in the form of a free app. Signing up for the YouTube Premium service lets you enjoy ad-free video streaming, original YouTube video series, and ad-free YouTube Music tunes.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee It

PRODUCTIVITY

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Apple iWork

If you had any doubts regarding the iPad’s productivity chops, look no further than Apple’s own iWork for iPad. There three separate apps—Keynote, Numbers, and Pages—amount to a mobile office suite. They are must-have apps for getting work done on Apple’s slate.MSRP $9.99Freeat Apple.comSee ItFileMaker Go Image

FileMaker Go

4.0

FileMaker Go, which originally began life as a very solid $30 iPad app, should now be considered must-have mobile database software among desktop FileMaker Pro users. The database program’s excellent design, multiple file layouts, integrated search, digital signature capture, and charting capabilities make it a must-download app for FileMaker users.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee ItFileMaker Go (for iPad) Review

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Microsoft Excel

4.5

Microsoft did an impressive job shoehorning the gigantic industrial plant that is desktop Excel into the narrow dimensions of a tablet. You get many essential desktop options—formatting, sorting, filtering, columns, rows, charting styles—in a sleek, intuitive package. Excel for iPad gets the job done more elegantly and efficiently than any other tablet spreadsheet app.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple.comSee ItMicrosoft Excel (for iPad) ReviewMicrosoft PowerPoint Image

Microsoft PowerPoint

4.5

Word processors and spreadsheets are a lot easier to manage on a computer with a full-sized keyboard and mouse, but presentations turn out to be almost ideal for a tablet. Microsoft PowerPoint for the iPad is a pleasure to use, fast, responsive, and well-adapted to a touch interface.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple.comSee ItMicrosoft PowerPoint (for iPad) ReviewMicrosoft Word Image

Microsoft Word

4.5

Microsoft Word for iPad is the first app that gets tablet-based word processing right. Everything else has been either too weak or too strong, either over- or under-loaded with features. Word for iPad doesn’t try to do everything that its desktop sibling does, but it does everything you’re likely to want on your tablet, including revision tracking and simultaneous collaborative editing.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple.comSee ItMicrosoft Word (for iPad) ReviewMint Image

Mint

5.0

Mint’s iPad app allows the money-conscious to see where they’re spending and where they can save some chips. Simply create an account, add your bank, credit card, loan, and retirement accounts, and Mint automatically imports and categorizes your transactions. It’s a great way to create and track budgets.MSRP FreeFreeat Mint.comSee ItMint.com Review

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Note Taker HD

Editors’ Choice winner Note Taker HD is a great note-taking tool that does the job nicely, without denting your wallet. The number of features may overwhelm casual users, but anyone looking for a multi-faceted tool for making annotations, diagrams, and doodling will find a lot to like here.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee ItSave2PDF Image

Save2PDF

If you’ve ever wanted to create a single PDF from a Word file, Excel spreadsheet, or Pages document, or to add a new page to the front or rear of an already created PDF, Save2PDF is the app for you. It lets mobile professionals select multiple files of different types and merge them into a single PDF file, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg; you can also edit, zip, and wirelessly print documents.MSRP $4.99$4.99at Apple.comSee It

UTILITY

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Dropbox

4.0

If you’re looking for an infinitely simple way to keep files in sync between your iPad, desktop, and phone, Dropbox for iPad is a must. It’s simple to use, it’s free, and it offers offline file access.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee ItDropbox (for iPad) ReviewGoToMyPC Image

GoToMyPC

4.5

When it comes to remote desktop access, GoToMyPC is the only game in town. The app makes it simple to control your Mac or PC while away from your work area, but latency issues may dampen the experience.Per User, Per Month, Starts at $35.00Personal – $35 Per Computer, Per Monthat GoToMyPCSee ItGoToMyPC Review

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Instapaper

The iPad is a great device for online reading, but what happens when you can’t connect to the web? Enter Instapaper, an iPad app that lets users save any webpage for anytime, offline reading. Even better, pages saved to your account can be accessed from the desktop, iPhone, and Kindle.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple.comSee ItitSeez3D Image

itSeez3D

3.5

itSeez3D transforms your iPad into a mobile 3D scanner. You can view the scans as rotatable 3D figures, upload them to a 3D model-sharing site, or email them to the company for conversion to a 3D-printable format. The app makes use of true 3D data, instead of combining a large number of 2D images to create a 3D scan as some other iPad apps do.MSRP FreeFreeat Apple App StoreSee ItitSeez3D (for iPad) ReviewNetwork Toolbox Image

Network Toolbox

4.0

There is a really cool app that turns your iPad into a network toolbox, and that app is named, appropriately enough, Network Toolbox. Not only is it chock full of networking utilities that can help analyze and troubleshoot a network, but it’s also an attractive app, and one that is well in line with Apple’s design aesthetics.

best ipad apps of all time

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