41 best iPad apps
From games to creative apps, we round up the 41 best iPad apps
Whether you're making your iPad 2 last or enjoying one of the newer Retina-equipped models, you'll want to know which are the best apps for Apple's tablets.
To help you get the most from your Apple tablet, we've rounded up the best iPad apps.
Opera’s Coast brings some much-needed fresh thinking to tablet browsing, playing to the strengths of the touchscreen, rather than merely shoe-horning a desktop browser onto the iPad. The homescreen, for example, is an easily tappable selection of tiles for your favourite websites, with an address bar at the top if you need to manually enter a URL or search for a site. Tap on a tile, and the screen dissolves to a coloured display showing the site’s logo flashing until the page is loaded; likewise, tap on a link on a web page and the link flashes until the page is ready, giving a visual indication that your tap has been recognised. You can swipe left and right to browse back and forward, and there’s also an option to skim through large previews of open tabs by clicking on an icon in the bottom-right of the screen. It all adds up to a smart-looking, intuitive and fresh iPad browser that – like many of Opera’s products - deserves greater attention than it will probably receive.
The Duolingo website has already taught one member of the PC Pro office to speak Italian, as readers of Darien Graham-Smith’s Technolog column in the magazine may recall. Now the website has been converted into a free iPad/iPhone app, allowing tablet users to brush up their French, German, Spanish, Portuguese or, of course, Italian skills. The app makes liberal use of repetition and gamification, hammering vocabulary and grammar skills into users with a variety of written, aural and oral questions, of which you can get only four wrong on each level before progressing to the next. The app can be irritatingly pedantic: translate “the boy eats cheese” instead of the “boy eats some cheese” and you stand to lose a life, but once you get into its mindset, you make impressively rapid progress. We think it’s best used as a supplement to actual lessons or as a refresher course for language skills that haven’t been tested since your fifth-form days, rather than learning a language from scratch – but you may disagree, non?
Popplet Lite makes it easy to quickly brainstorm concepts and create mind maps. The app is fast and responsive, but light on editing options. For example, there's no way to change the font from the default Comic Sans-lookalike, which is hardly professional. You can import pictures from your photo library and tether them to your notes, as well as sketch your own drawings. There is an option to export your mind maps to your email as a PDF, but you’ll have to upgrade to the full £2.99 version in order to do so. Otherwise the free version will let you save and export JPEGs, but will only capture the image framed by the screen. This means that trying to send a large mind map can be tricky, since the text is too small to view when zoomed out to fit everything in the frame.