The 48 best iPad apps
With some 100,000 apps available in Apple’s store – some of them better suited to large tablet screens than others – separating the must-haves from the no-hopers can be a chore.
Sit back and let us do the legwork for you with this tour of the best tablet software available.
(Note: application prices and availability are subject to change)
READING AND REFERENCE
BRITISH LIBRARY 19TH CENTURY BOOKS (Free)
21st century publishing meets 19th with fascinating results, with the culmination of the British Library’s Microsoft-backed project to digitise its unique and fragile collection of historical books. This enormous, searchable collection covers a wide gamut of genres, including fiction & prose, history and poetry. Once you’ve hunted down your title – Wordsworth’s Poems For The Young, for example, or more esoteric gems such as Alcohol Against The Bible, and The Bible Against Alcohol, a lecture given to the lucky visitors to the Temperance Hall in Bradford in September 1840 – you can flick through magnificent high-definition scans of the original texts, with covers, illustrations, maps and all. Don’t be fooled for by the several blank pages at the beginning of most of the books – most texts seem to start at around page seven or eight. They’re undoubtedly worth the wait.
AMAZON KINDLE (Free)
Recently revamped to take full advantage of expansive tablet screens, Amazon’s Kindle app is full of thoughtful touches. Wireless synchronisation allows you to pick up where you left off on your Kindle reader or smartphone; screen brightness controls and a choice of background colours help counter eye-strain; and the search facility quickly hunts down keywords in text. An iBooks-style double-paged spread option wouldn’t go amiss when reading in landscape mode, but when you can download and read classic books for free, it seems almost churlish to complain.
SKY NEWS £4.99 per month
The Sky News app achieves the astonishing feat of making even an Ed Milliband speech appear interesting. Using the full arsenal of interactive elements – video clips, photo galleries, interactive infographics and much more – Sky creates compelling packages around the day’s leading news stories. Alas, the once free app is now only “free” to Sky customers; otherwise it’s £4.99 per month.
OUR CHOICE (£2.99)
Whether you believe global warming is a genuine threat or cooked-up hokum, you can’t fail to appreciate the presentation of Al Gore’s interactive call for action, Our Choice. This arguments forwarded in Gore’s polemic are backed up by a barrage of dynamic infographics, video clips and graphs, combining to make what may come to be regarded as a landmark piece of interactive publishing.
ZINIO (Free – magazines cost extra)
Long before Apple announced its own digital newsstand, Zinio was offering electronic versions of many of the world’s greatest magazines (including PC Pro). There’s not a great deal of interactivity: Zinio offers little more than flickable facsimiles of the print versions, with a plain text version of each page if you prefer. But its share breadth of titles and ability to sign up for subscriptions and have the latest edition automatically downloaded to your tablet is pure convenience. And did we mention it offers PC Pro?