Ten essential Apple iPad apps

23 Dec 2010

Got a new Apple iPad this Christmas? Here are the apps you should be loading onto your tablet

Here is PC Pro's pick of the ten apps every iPad owner should be download from the App Store.

FLIPBOARD

Free from Flipboard.com

Billed as your “personalised, social magazine”, Flipboard achieves the incredible feat of making Twitter feeds look attractive. Plug in your Twitter and Facebook account details, and Flipboard automagically formats the feeds into elegantly designed, flickable pages. The clever part is the way Flipboard harvests links in tweets, pulling out photos and grabs of the relevant sites, then uses them to illustrate pages. The social media is accompanied by a variety of news and lifestyle content.

THE TIMES

Free (30-day trial; subscription required afterwards) from the iTunes App Store

The Times

Many have questioned The Times’ attempt to charge for online content, but nobody can doubt the quality of its iPad app. Spotlessly designed, the app takes the newspaper content and reflows it into a variety of attractive, finger-friendly layouts that place a heavy emphasis on stunning photography. Sadly the Saturday supplements don’t make the cut, but clever touches such as interactive crosswords make The Times app far more than just a newspaper.

SCRABBLE

£3.99 from the iTunes App Store

Scrabble wins a place in our top ten for one of the smartest innovations in gaming hardware we’ve ever seen: using the iPad as the game board, a free app transforms players’ iPhones into tile racks. Those without the necessary quantity of smartphones can still play multiplayer, with the iPad rotating the board automatically to suit the seating position of the players. An unnecessarily puritanical dictionary is the only blot on an otherwise excellent conversion of a classic.

REEDER

£2.99 from the iTunes App Store

In the same way Flipboard beautifies Twitter feeds, Reeder makes your RSS news feeds easy on the eye. Seamlessly integrated with Google Reader, you simply enter your Google account details and start combing through a grid of your favourite news sites. It works best with sites that use full RSS feeds, pulling in pictures and the full text of articles without having to leave the comfy, fully featured confines of Reeder.

RAGDOLL BLASTER 2

£2.99 from the iTunes App Store

Ragdoll Blaster borrows the Angry Birds formula of firing defenceless creatures out of cannons, replacing our feathered friends with limp dolls.

Ragdoll Blaster

It isn't just a straight copy: the satisfyingly complex puzzles and variety of physics require greater ingenuity, and the graphics are as impressively lush as any 2D game on the iPad.

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