50 best iPad apps 2014: free and paid for

Best apps for your iPad Air, iPad and iPad mini

Best iPad apps

If you've got yourself an iPad Air or new iPad mini, you'll want to start downloading the best iPad apps straight away. And if you already have an iPad 4 or older iPad, you might want to update it with some new apps.


It's the apps that really set iOS apart from other platforms - there are far more apps available on the App Store for the iPad than any other tablet. So which which ones are worth your cash? And which are the best free apps?


Luckily for you we've tested thousands of the best iPad apps so that you don't have to.
So read on for our 50 best iPad apps - the definitive list of what applications you need to download for your iPad now.


If you are looking for games, then head over to 50 Best iPad games - where we showcase the greatest games around for your iOS device.

1. 1Password ($17.99, £12.99)

Although Apple introduced iCloud Keychain in iOS 7, designed to securely store passwords and payment information, 1Password is a more powerful system. It can also hold identities, secure notes, network information and app licence details. Your stored data can then be accessed on more than just Apple's platforms. On iPad, the only downside is a lack of direct Safari integration, but 1Password's built-in browser is fine for purchases, and login passwords can be copied across to Safari anyway.

2. Adobe Photoshop Touch ($9.99, £6.99)

This ambitious app echoes its desktop cousin, and although it can't hope to entirely replicate the experience of 'proper Photoshop', it has a very good go. You're given access to a wide range of tools, including layers, adjustments and filters, and can work on images up to 12 megapixels in size.

3. Air Video HD ($2.99, £1.99)

Air Video HD
Air Video HD

Even the most expensive iPads in Apple's line-up don't have a massive amount of storage, and space is rapidly eaten up if you keep videos on the device. Air Video HD acts as an alternative: stream movies from a PC or Mac, auto-encoding on-the-fly as necessary. There's also full support for offline viewing, soft subtitles and AirPlay to an Apple TV.

4. AppCooker ($14.99, £10.49)

AppCooker
AppCooker

AppCooker's thinking is that task-oriented software betters more generalist tools. Here, then, you work with all manner of components to build app mock-ups, without doing any actual coding. You can create shapes, design icons, position UI elements, and link screens together; clickable mock-ups can then be shared in AppCooker's native format or as PDFs.

5. BBC iPlayer (free)

BBC iPlayer is a must-have download for iPad users. The slick interface makes it easy to browse or watch recent shows and current broadcasts. You can choose from two quality settings and toggle subtitles, stream to an Apple TV via AirPlay, or download shows to your iPad, so you can watch them on the move.

6. Byword ($4.99, £2.99)

Byword
Byword

Word processing is something the iPad fares remarkably well at — if you have the right app. Byword is a no-nonsense distraction-free editor that just lets you get on with writing. There's Markdown support, helped along by a custom keyboard row, and also a live word/character count. For anyone publishing to the web, a single $4.99/£2.99 IAP provides integration with the likes of WordPress and Tumblr.

7. Comic Life ($4.99, £2.99)

ComicLife
Comic Life

Comic Life provides a creative way to tell a story or present some of your favourite photographs. The many templates provide a starting point and theme, and you can then import photos, add captions, and design special effects. Comics can be sent to friends in a variety of formats, or to your Mac or PC to carry on working in the desktop version of the app.

8. Day One ($4.99, £2.99)

Day One
Day One

Journalling is one of those things that people always think will fall out of fashion, but it never quite does. Day One has plenty of advantages over a paper-based diary, though; wrapped up in a beautiful interface is the means to add images, weather data and music info, along with formatted text. Individual entries can be 'published' to share with people, and of course everything you create is fully searchable.

9. Diet Coda ($19.99, £13.99)

Diet Coda
Diet Coda

Panic's Coda is a hugely popular Mac app for coding websites, and the iPad app is no slouch either. Diet Coda provides a touch-optimised means of editing files, which can either be done live on the remote server or by downloading them locally first. Syntax highlighting, clips and a built-in Terminal make this a great app for any web designer on the go.

10. DM1 ($4.99, £2.99)

DM1
DM1

Drum machines are always a lot of fun, but many of those available for iOS are rather throwaway, their options exhausted within minutes. DM1 is pretty much the exact opposite, packed with a huge number of drum kits, a step sequencer, a song composer and a mixer. Inter-App audio, Audiobus and MIDI support also ensure what you create doesn't end up in a percussion-rich silo.

11. Dropbox (free)

Dropbox
Dropbox

Dropbox is a great service for syncing documents across multiple devices. The iPad client works like the iPhone one (hardly surprising, since this is a universal app), enabling you to preview many file types and store those marked as favourites locally.

12. eBay (free)

eBay
eBay

Use eBay for iPad and you'll never touch eBay in a web browser again. It's fast and efficient, beautifully showcasing important details and images in its main results view. Gallery images can often be displayed almost at a full-screen size, which is particularly useful on an iPad with a Retina display. Speedy sorting options are also available.

13. Evernote (free)

Evernote
Evernote

Like Dropbox, Evernote (a free online service for saving ideas – text documents, images and web clips – that you can then access from multiple devices) works the same way on the iPad as it does on the iPhone. It benefits from the iPad's larger screen, which enables you to see and navigate your stored snippets more easily.

14. Fantastical 2 ($9.99, £6.99)

Fantastical 2
Fantastical 2

Apple's own Calendar app is fiddly and irritating, and so the existence of Fantastical is very welcome. In a single screen, you get a week view, a month calendar and a scrolling list of events. There's also support for reminders, and all data syncs with iCloud, making Fantastical compatible with Calendar (formerly iCal) for OS X. The best bit, though, is Fantastical's natural-language input, where you can type an event and watch it build as you add details, such as times and locations.

15. Flipboard (free)

Flipboard
Flipboard

Initially, Flipboard looked like a gimmick, trying desperately to make online content resemble a magazine. But now it can integrate Flickr and other networks, beautifully laying out their articles, Flipboard's muscled into the 'essential' category – and it's still free.