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Best iPad Apps of 2014

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Best iPad Apps of 2014

(Apologies that this post is around a week later than usual. I had a bit of a health scare during Christmas week and very low energy for a fair few days. Feeling fine now.)

This has been another year of notable milestones for the iPad – 225 million iPads sold, over 650,000 iPad apps in the App Store, and a breakthrough new partnership between Apple and IBM to develop enterprise apps – just to name a few.

iPad apps continue to be one of the biggest attractions of owning an iPad. There continue to be marquee apps and games that come to the iPad first or the iPad only. Apps that are optimized to the Nth degree specifically for Apple’s tablet. Apps that make us more productive; apps that educate us, young and old; apps that enable creative folks to produce amazing images. videos, and music; and of course plenty of iPad apps and games that just do a great job of entertaining us.

iPad Insight has been reviewing and featuring iPad apps right from Day 1, and this is our 5th annual list of our choices for best iPad apps of the year – the Best iPad Apps of 2014.

Please note that there are a number of repeat winners in this list, because they are still eminently worthy of being on it. Of course there are plenty of new choices too.  Any apps that are repeat choices from 2013 will be marked with an asterisk next to the their names. Also note that this year’s list includes app choices from me and from Thomas Wong and James Potter – apps chosen by Thomas and James will be marked so you know who’s doing each write-up.

One more little note: all App Store links below are for the US App Store. You can just insert your own country code where you see /us/ in the address bar to change to that App Store (if the app is available in that nation). Here we go …

Best iPad App of 2014

Todoist iPad app

Todoist: A runner-up last year, Todoist is a fantastic task manager app for the iPad, and across Mac, Windows, web, and Android too. It already boasted a gorgeous, simple interface and a rich feature set, but In 2014 the developers upped its game in a number of big ways.This year saw a complete rewrite of the app, dubbed Todoist Next; the launch of Todoist for Business, integration with the excellent Cloud Magic email app, a new task time tracking extension for the Chrome browser, IFTT support, and interactive push notifications a Safari action extension and full support for iOS 8.

Price: Free

App Store Link

Our Review

Runners-Up

Microsoft_Excel_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Microsoft Office: This was the year that Microsoft Office for iPad finally arrived – great news for the masses of Office fans who had been wishing for it for years. And it’s an impressive suite for the iPad – no half-hearted effort here from Microsoft. Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for iPad are each impressive versions, nicely optimized for Apple’s tablet. In terms of sheer impact, it’s hard to think of any app/apps that have had more than Office for iPad.

Price: Free

Excel App Store link

Powerpoint App Store link

Word App Store link

Dashlane_Password_Manager___Secure_Digital_Wallet_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Dashlane: This excellent password manager app offers a neat UI and a superb set of features. Of course it includes industry standard AES-256 encryption, along with a built-in browser and a Safari extension for secure auto-login; encrypted secure notes, auto-fill fields in browsers; support for Touch ID, and lots more. It works just as well across iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android – and a  premium account provides flawless automatic sync between all your devices.

Price: Free, with In-App purchase options for premium account

App Store link

Paper_by_FiftyThree_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Paper by FiftyThree – Thomas: This app is so good that it convinced me to buy a Pencil stylus, just so that I could use it more. I love this app because it’s got one of the very best drawing engines out there, and I’m convinced it has an algorithm to actually beautify anything I draw. This is also another app that really embraces the tablet as a platform, and it shows in the interface. Dials are easy to use and fun, and all of the advanced features — like two-finger zooming and colour mixing — look great and don’t feel contrived. Paper would already be a great example of an app thinking outside of the box, but it’s an incredible bonus that it’s also an amazing drawing app.

Price: Free (with in-app purchases for more tools)

App Store link

Explain_Everything_™_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Explain Everything – James: This is possibly the best app you can invest in for your class. Essentially it is a screen recording app where you can draw and annotate on a whiteboard and record your voice at the same time. The educational value here is by combining video, text, audio and kinaesthetic touch elements, you are covering a lot of bases for different learning styles. Students, and also teachers, can explain concepts and share the results digitally.
What sets this apart from other, similar apps is the amazing variety of options for import and export. I would go as far as to say if your document is electronic, in any major format and either in the cloud or on your device, it can be imported into Explain Everything. Likewise, you can export anywhere. You could, for example, import a Google Presentation, annotate and record your voice onto it and send the results pretty much anywhere.

App Store link

Our review

Drafts_4_-_Quickly_Capture_Notes__Share_Anywhere__on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Drafts 4 – Thomas: I may store all of my notes in Evernote, but many of them start out in Drafts because this app is always ready to take input. You tap on the icon and a new note loads up with the keyboard all ready to go. Drafts is so reliably fast that I’m convinced it can replace most people’s pocket notebooks for quickly jotted notes, and the ability to action those notes by turning them into tasks or calendar events just can’t be beat.

Price: $4.99

App Store link

Our review

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Best iPad Notes and Text Editor Apps

Editorial_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Editorial *: Released in 2013 into a category that’s full of top-notch apps, Editorial is an incredibly powerful writing tool. It offers unparalleled Markdown support, a wealth of powerful features, and unique automation features – all  within a clean and elegant UI. Standout features include workflows to automate and extend its feature set, the ability to integrate scripts written in Python, snippets for commonly used phases, an inline browser, inline Markdown previews, a super smart keyboard, and Dropbox sync.

Price: $4.99

App Store link

Evernote *: An incredibly powerful and feature-rich note taking app that’s available nearly everywhere – on iOS and Android, on the Mac or Windows desktop and in all the leading browsers. Has built-in OCR abilities that will even find search terms within images. Lets you create text, voice, and photo notes, organize them in notebooks, have shortcuts to most-used notebooks, and syncs automatically and flawlessly. It allows for rich text editing on the iPad with lots of formatting options – and is the best pure note-taking app for the iPad and mobile devices in general.  This year Evernote added iOS 8 support featuring web clipping from Safari and sharing from other apps.

Price: Free

App Store link

Byword *: Another very clean and minimal writing app interface. Lets you create folders and supports both iCloud and Dropbox for keeping your documents in sync. It also supports Markdown, has dark and light themes, and a beautiful font to work with. Updated this year, Byword now has impressive off line capabilities and lets you publish to WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Evernote and more.

Price: $4.99

App Store link

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Best iPad Productivity Apps

Google_Drive_-_free_online_storage_from_Google_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Todoist *: See its entry above as our pick for best iPad app of the year.

Google Drive – James: For me, Google Drive is my number one productivity app. If your organisation runs Google Apps already, you have unlimited storage, if you have a personal Google Account, you get 15GB free. The iOS Google Drive App received a turbo boost with the new iCloud Drive, enabling you to import and save your documents back to Google Drive within apps. This is so convenient from a workflow perspective. I know other companies offer cloud storage and accompanying apps, but you’d be hard pressed to find more storage for free, complete with an app that does the job seamlessly. Google and Apple don’t get along, but the reality is they both need each other and Google makes some of the best iOS apps around.

App Store link

Microsoft Office: See entry above as one of our runners-up.

The iWork Suite *: Apple’s iWork suite of Keynote, Numbers, and Pages will give Office a good run for its money on the iPad. All three apps are excellent and of course beautifully designed and optimized for the iPad. Keynote (the Powerpoint equivalent), in particular, is a sheer joy to use.

Price: $9.99 each

Keynote App Store link

Numbers App Store link

Pages App Store link

1Password – James: This is an app which has made my life so much easier. If you don’t already have it, download it as quickly as you can. Since I’ve been using 1Password I no longer have to remember any password and I can use super secure completely randomly generated passwords for all of my accounts. With all of the major hacks to organisations we have had this year, 1Password takes the worry out of your data as it can make sure that no two of your passwords are the same. 1Password will also save secure notes, bank and credit cards and personal information like social security, or national insurance numbers. Add to all of this Touch ID integration, iOS8 Extensions and sync across multiple devices and platforms, and you have a very compelling security package.

App Store link

2Do: 2Do is awesome not only because of its $15 value for the iPhone and iPad versions, but for the fact that it’s a full-fledged task manager developed specifically for a touch interface. This app has more bells and whistles than most desktop task managers, and that’s saying a lot. In particular, there are great ways to manage and reschedule multiple tasks, or move five tasks into a different category, all with as few taps as possible. Add in great animations, a gorgeous UI, calendar integration, and frequent updates and you’ll quickly realize this is the task manager to beat on iOS.

Price: $14.99

App Store link

Our review

GoodReader for iPad and PDF Expert 5*: Two superb apps for working with PDFs on the iPad. Both allow you to view, edit, annotate, and sync files with several useful cloud services (including Dropbox and Google Docs). PDF Expert allows you to fill in forms. GoodReader also supports other document types like iWork and MS Office. Both have long and impressive feature lists and are frequently updated with even more useful functionality.

Price: GoodReader is $4.99, PDF Expert 5 is $9.99.

GoodReader App Store link

PDF Expert 5 App Store link

Electric Slide: A superb iPad app that lets you share your presentation wirelessly to just about anywhere from the iPad – with no need for cables or AirPlay Mirroring. If you’re presenting in a room full of people,  Electric Slide should take your setup time from 5,10, or 15 minutes down to one minute or less. It lets you control your presentation from the iPad anywhere that has access to a web browser on a large screen, and no cables required.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

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Best iPad News and Magazine Apps

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Pocket *: Formerly know as Read It Later, and is one of the very best iPad apps for that purpose. See a web article you really want to read but don’t have time – throw it into Pocket and read all of it when you have a chance.  It has a lovely UI, and a good Mac companion app – and near universal support across a very broad range of news apps and browsers on iOS and Android. This year it added iOS 8 support so it can be sahred to from any app that supports the built-in Share function, and Handoff to provide a seamless, pick up where you left off reading experience between iOS devices.

Price: Free

App Store link

Feedly *: Not just a great RSS app, but a service that stepped up big-time when Google shut down Google Reader this year. It offers a nice and customizable UI that you can easily tailor to your preferred reading layout. You can choose your start page, your theme, and favorite saving and sharing tools – as well as details like font size and the default view and numerous other settings. It’s also easy to swap between views on the fly while using the app, and to add new subscriptions. It’s fast, and syncs perfectly with its excellent web version.

Price: Free

App Store link

App Store link

Flipboard *: A true flagship iPad app and still the standard for news magazine apps on the iPad. Completely customizable to suit your tastes, great aggregator of all your favorite sources (from Twitter and Facebook to Google Reader), and a gorgeous magazine style layout that makes all the content really pop. It has continued to add great new content and features this year, and now allows readers to create their own Flipboard magazines.

Price: Free

App Store link

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Best iPad Social Apps

GooglePlus iPad app

Google+ *: A great  iPad app for Google’s excellent new social network. It’s got a gorgeous UI and lets you join video hangouts, follow your main stream as well as communities, share photos, turn on auto-backup for photos and videos, and lots more.

Price: Free

App Store link

Tweetbot *: Easily the most beautiful Twitter client for the iPad. Feature rich and an absolute joy to use. It offers multiple timelines, smart gestures, customizable navigation and support for a good number of read it later services.

Price: $2.99

App Store link

Facebook *: The iPad app for the world’s most popular social network. It’s had a number of substantial updates this year and the app is far more stable and attractive to work with. In fact, by now it’s much nicer to use than Facebook in a browser.

Price: Free

App Store link

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Best iPad Photo Editing & Effects Apps

Storehouse_-_Visual_Storytelling_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Storehouse: One of the most fun and unique new iPad apps of 2014, Storehouse is touted as ‘the easiest way to create and discover beautiful stories’ and does a fine job living up to that hype. It makes it easy and a pleasure to combine photos, text, and videos into your own story creations. It takes no time at all to get to know your way around the app and start creating and sharing stories.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

PhotoToaster *: Our pick in 2012 as overall Best iPad App, and it has only got even better this year. A fantastic photo editing and photo effects app. It offers a superb range of effects that can be applied with a single tap or adjusted to a fine level with a simple slider. The lighting effects in particular are just stunning. The interface is elegant and minimal and makes it easy to enhance your images. The app also has a great array of sharing options. If you only want to have one iPad app to improve your photos with, this is a great choice.

Price: $2.99

App Store link

Photogene for iPad*: This app is stronger on the editing side of things, but it also offers some nice retouching and enhancing tools. My favorite of its many good features is that it makes it easy to make collages from selected images. This can be done with only a few taps and you get a nice little range of options for how the images are positioned (with more available via In-App purchase). The collage portion of the image used at the top of this post was done in Photogene.

Price: $0.99

App Store link

Photo Transfer App*: Not an editing or effects app but an incredibly useful app to use when working with photos between iPad, iPhone and PC (Mac or Windows). As the name suggests, it handles transferring images wirelessly – making it easy to move them from iPhone or PC to iPad and from the iPad to iPhone or PC. Now with excellent support for both iOS and Android.

Our review

Price: $1.99

App Store link

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Best iPad Utility Apps

Transmit_for_iOS_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Transmit: An outstanding file transfer app on the Mac that came to the iPad this year. Transmit provides full remote file management on the iPad – uploads, downloads, renaming of files, editing file permissions, creating folders, and more. Transmit lets you work with photos, audio files from Messages, and files from any app that supports the standard iOS Share feature. It also works in the background and lets you drag and drop.

Price: $9.99

App Store link

Tydlig – Thomas: This is an app with a name that always feels like a typo. However, Tydlig is the wonderful lovechild of a whiteboard and a calculator, and it’s surprisingly intuitive to use. You type out equations like you would with a regular calculator, but you can label and clone your solution for use in other equations — just by dragging and dropping. If you’re the kind of person who wants to really visualize the connection between various calculations, Tydlig is incredible.

Price: $1.99

App Store link

Our review

Terminology 3:  This app has been on this list every year I’ve done it, and it remains an incredibly useful resource. This year it’s a brand new version and better than ever. Touted as a ‘browser for the English language’ it’s a combined dictionary and thesaurus. It has a lovely interface and is easy and fun to use. I’ve found it continually useful for both my own reference and when my daughter stumps me with a words-related question.

Price: $1.99

App Store link

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Best iPad Games

80_Days_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

80 Days: A superb new spin on Phileas Fogg’s famous round the world journey, and just a wonderfully fun interactive novel and adventure and logic game for the iPad. With over 150 cities round the world to explore, beautifully written dialog, and gorgeous illustrations it’s instantly addictive. This game has rightfully received a slew of rave reviews this year.

Price: $4.99

App Store link

Our review

Drive on Moscow: War in the Snow *: The follow-up to a past winner, Battle of the Bulge, from the same great studio. Drive on Moscow offers the same excellent gameplay system for a strategic wargame on the iPad – on an even grander scale. This one takes on a massive and critical World War II campaign on the Eastern front and offers bigger scale, more units and lots of great gameplay against the game’s strong AI or against friends or online opponents.

Price: $9.99

App Store link

QuizUp:  Simply the mother of all trivia games for the iPad. This game offers a massive range of topics and questions, with new ones being added all the time – over 550 topics as at this writing. You can challenge friends and, with over 25 million players of the app round the world, it’s easy to find an opponent on just about any topic at any time of the day or night that you fancy playing.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

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Best iPad Weather App

Yahoo Weather iPad app

Yahoo Weather *:  This app only came to the iPad late in 2013, but it is more than well worth the wait. It offers a simple and elegant UI that makes it easy to see current conditions, details and maps, and forecast information. It stands out because of the gorgeous range of background photos that adorn its pages.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

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Best iPad Entertainment Apps

Comic_Zeal_Comic_Reader_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes

Comic Zeal – Thomas: The Marvel app is great, but if you’d like a reader for the DRM-free comics you can get from sites like HumbleBundle, then Comic Zeal is your go-to app. It’s smart enough to automatically group similarly-named comics together into series, it pans beautifully through comic pages, and it also works with AirDrop and iCloud Drive for comic importing. I’m gearing up for a quick trip to Asia to visit family, and Comic Zeal will be one of my very best friends during the long flight over the ocean.

Price: $4.99

App Store link

Our review

Disney Animated *: A wonderful new iPad app that takes us into the world of Disney and their great animated films. It’s a fascinating look into Disney’s fantastic animated feature films – all the way from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs right up though an early look at their next upcoming movie, Frozen.The app offers a deep dive into the methods developed and used by Disney over decades to create films that have resonated so heavily with generations of movie goers. Of course the app is brimming with fun interactive elements – from controlling a visual effects simulator to working with 3D animated characters.

Price: $9.99

App Store link

Video Time Machine*: A spectacular curated collection of great videos ranging back all the way to the 19th century. Filled with so much excellent content (over 10,000 videos and growing) that it is very easy to spend hours upon hours in the app, and enjoy all of them. Videos cover a wide range of categories, from sports to TV commercials, from news to games and music. You can browse through categories, let it serve up random videos, or use a simple spinner control to dial up the year you’d like and see all videos from that year or filter by category. Has AirPlay support so you can see all its content on a big screen TV if you’ve got Apple TV.

Price: $2.99

Our review

App Store link

Fandango Movies*: This one has been the best movies app for iOS ever since it hit the App Store and the iPad version is superb. It’s got all the info you need to help choose a good movie to go see in the theater. You can browse for movies, see trailers and reviews, interviews and more, check showtimes, and even book your tickets within the app.

Price: Free

App Store link

TED*: The amazing TED Talks on iPad. TED Talks are ‘Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.’ This app puts over 700 of them on your iPad, with more being added every week. A go-to app for whenever you want your brain to get some real stimulation.

Price: Free

App Store link

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Best iPad Wallpapers App

Pimp Your Screen iPad app

Pimp Your Screen*: By far and away the best app for iPad wallpapers. Has tons of great images of all types, many of them wildly creative. Offers high resolution iPad images (including retina quality), icon skins, app shelves, lock screen and home screen makers, easy previews, and lots more. Content is updated very often – so there are always fun new wallpapers to browse through.

Price: Free

App Store link

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Best iPad Reference Apps

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Ken Burns: This app took me from someone who really didn’t know who Ken Burns is, to being a huge fan of his work. It promises to let us ‘See America through the eyes of award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ – in an app that ‘is not a collection of Ken’s filmography—it’s an entirely new way of looking at American history, only available on iPad.’ This is just a fantastic app that offers such a great look and insight into US history, and it really does feel like a perfect app for the iPad. Topics range from Jazz to the Civil War, from National Parks to American Innovation.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

Journeys of Invention *: A great celebration of some of the most important scientific discoveries throughout history. It features 80 extraordinary objects from London’s Science Museum along with interactive back stories for all of them. Objects covered range from ancient sundial calendars to a 3D-printed gun. It also has some fantastic old video clips, including one of a Ford Model T being assembled on the factory floor.

Price: Free for a limited sample of the content – $9.99 for the full content.

App Store link

Our review

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy *: A fascinating look at da Vinci’s study of the human body, which was far, far ahead of his time. This is one of those iPad apps that reminds you of the amazing things that can be done on an iPad. It’s just the sort of app that Steve Jobs would’ve loved to show off while sitting in a comfy chair when unveiling the iPad back in 2010. The content includes da Vinci’s anatomy drawings that are considered a great treasure in the Royal Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. The app has a superb interactive book style interface that lets you really appreciate the stunning work it features.

Price: $13.99

App Store link

Our review

Robots for iPad *: A complete guide to the world of robotics, delivered in a fun and interactive style. The app does an excellent job at highlighting how robots are already enhancing our lives and showcasing many state-of-the-art robots. It has great background information on the robots along with image galleries, 360 degree views, and videos. There are also robot face-offs and easy ways to save your favorites, rate robots in various ways, and filter robots by type, size, and more.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

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Best iPad Apps for Kids & Family

Petting Zoo iPad app

Petting Zoo: A charming and delightful interactive picture book app. It features beautiful, fun, interactive animations of over 20 animals, and it’s bound to be a big favorite for kids and animal lovers of all ages. It offers superb and varied images and animations that are all interactive. Just to name a few quick examples, you can do crazy things with a lion’s mane, tap and swipe and adjust how many quills a porcupine has, and tap on an alligator’s teeth and it’s almost like you’re playing a musical instrument.

Price: $2.99

App Store link

Our review

Khan Academy: A wonderful concept, executed tremendously well on the iPad. Khan Academy offers over 3,500 educational videos presented brilliantly by its creator, Salman Khan. The app promises to let you ‘learn almost anything for free’ and delivers impressively on that promise. The range of topics is broad and impressive – including everything from K-12 math to fundamentals of computer science, SAT prep and finance and history.

Our review

Price: Free

App Store link

Solar Walk *: A 3D solar system model for the iPad. Offers close-ups of all the planets, details on their trajectories, structure, and history of their exploration, and points of interest as you navigate through space.

Price: $2.99

App Store link

iF Poems: The first great poetry app for the iPad. It contains over 270 poems ranging from Shakespeare, Keats and other classic poets to Auden, Yeats, and some more contemporary poets. It does a great job at making poetry approachable for all ages. Many of the poems are read by accomplished and acclaimed actors, and you can also record your own readings of the poems and share them with friends or family.

Our review

Price: $0.99

App Store link

Dr. Seuss Storybook Apps from Oceanhouse Media*: Many Dr. Seuss titles are timeless classics and Oceanhouse Media are the officially licensed publisher of these on iOS. These eBook apps feature the brilliant original artwork, fun, interactive elements, impressive, professional voiceovers, and options to have the stories read to you, or for you to do the reading. These are lovingly rendered and incredibly well executed.

Prices: From $1.99 to 3.99

App Store link – search Oceanhouse Media

Koto Go Silence*: A lighthearted, fun, and well told story about a dog who fancies himself a ‘samurai of the night’ and sets out to track down all the things that go bump in the night in his house. It’s got fantastic and fun animations as well.

Price: $2.99

App Store link

Our review

A Cautionary Tail: Based on an award-winning animated short film of the same name, this is a fine story beautifully adapted for the iPad. The visuals and illustrations in the app are fantastic, with a great cinematic feel to them. The story itself is compelling and offers some good twists.

Price: $4.99

App Store link

A Charlie Brown Christmas*: This app turns the beloved animated classic into an interactive storybook for the iPad (and iOS). A Charlie Brown Christmas does what many of the very best iPad apps do – manages to not feel like an app at all. When you’re using it it’s all Charlie Brown and all about the story. If you’re a Charlie Brown fan, or you’ve got kids in the house who will become fans, then this is a must-have app for the holiday season.

Price: $4.99

App Store link

Our Review

Moving Christmas: An instant favorite new Christmas themed storybook for the iPad. It’s got a fresh, original style and it had my daughter and I laughing from its very first sentence. The illustrations are big,bold, and full of humor too. It’s a memorable story with a good message about believing in yourself, and big fun above all.

Price: $3.99

App Store link

Our review

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A Few Miscellaneous Picks

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iDoceo Teacher’s Assistant – James: My most used app of 2014 is rather niche, mainly because you really have to be a teacher to use it. I have run out of great things to say about iDoceo, but it is one of the truly outstanding apps for those of us in the teaching profession. At it’s heart, iDoceo is a grade book that can be as complex or simple as you like, such is the dizzying array of customisation options. The beauty of this app is that used effectively it has clawed back my precious time as I can mark in detail on the move in a lesson. It’s also one of those rare apps that appeals to iPad novices and also power users. Finally, the developer is pro-active in reaching out to the teaching community and he releases regular updates to improve the app.

Price: $7.99

App Store link

Our review

Glasses.com for iPad *: A real ‘wow factor’ sort of iPad app, with some very impressive tech wizardry. It lets you virtually try on thousands of styles and frames for glasses and sunglasses – using video input from the iPad to create a 3D custom model of your head. It works quickly and is pretty incredible to see in action.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

WWF Together *: Last year’s top pick. A wonderful app from a great organization, the World Wildlife Fund. Full of spectacular photos of some magnificent animals that are sadly also endangered species. It’s also full of good information on these species, why they’re endangered and what the biggest threats are, and good information on how we can help. The app’s interface is clean, light, full of interactive elements and fun to use. All its pages are beautifully designed, with strong typography and the stunning imagery that tells the animals’ stories. The endangered animals shown in the app are all majestic creatures, including Giant Pandas, Marine Turtles, Elephants, Tigers, Bison, Snow Leopards, Polar Bears, and Dolphins.. More featured animals are added regularly.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

BBC Sport: The official BBC Sport app is one of the very best sports apps for the iPad, and easily the best one if you are a fan of international, and not just major US, sports. It serves up live sports news from a very wide range of sports from around the globe, scores and results, and statistics – and the app is curated by the BBC’s excellent team of sports journalists. If you’re a fan of football (soccer), rugby, tennis, cricket, athletics, Formula 1, or other international sports, this is a great app to pickup.

Price: Free

App Store link

Our review

Coast by Opera *: A great alternative browser for the iPad with a fresh and innovative approach. It offers a minimal UI and an easy flow through favorite web pages. It’s the first browser app that’s genuinely a re-think on an iPad browser and designed from the ground up specifically for Apple’s tablet. It offers a user experience that’s as fluid and smooth as that of the iPad itself – making use of quick swipes to move back and forward between web pages, a card-style view to move between recently opened sites, and a constant full screen view. Easily the most elegant and iPad-like browser I’ve seen for the iPad.

App Store link

Our review

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These picks, naturally, reflect our areas of biggest interest in the iPad App Store. We haven’t set out to cover every single category of iPad app, as there are some that just don’t grab us or that we’re not very knowledgeable about.

I’m very happy that the overall winner and a fair number of our picks are free apps – proof that there are excellent iPad apps to be had no matter what your budget is.

I hope this list will give you lots of great ideas for apps you’ll want to add to your iPad. Please share your thoughts in the comments on which choices you agree with, great apps I missed listing, and any that you’ve installed after reading the list and what you think of them.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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One thought on “Best iPad Apps of 2014”

  1. I was under the impression that you were all British (which has had me scratching my head as to why the prices are in $s), but evidently that can’t be the case as Pimp My Screen isn’t available in the UK.

    The App Store does me swede in; why have separate App Stores when at least half the apps on the UK store are completely irrelevant…? Apparently, one of the most popular apps on the UK store is for the tram and subway system in SEOUL!

    Perhaps it’s me, I’m H-FA, so it’s possible; James, if you’re the only Brit here, have a quick butcher’s at the ‘new updates’ and ‘new apps’ subcategories under ‘reference’. How many apps can you see which are written in a language which doesn’t use a standard Latin alphabet…? Of the apps written in a language which DOES use a SLA, how many aren’t in English…? Of the ones which aren’t in English, how many are written in a language which pretends it’s English (American, Canadian, Australian, NZ, Zud Afrika, etc.).

    Now do the same with weather. Last I checked, it was populated by CNN apps for every state, plus US-wide severe weather warning systems. There were smog warning apps for Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing, apps for every state in Oz – maybe I don’t get what the App Store is, but I thought they were all localised and that the apps offered therein would e relevant to the store’s country, and in that country’s official language at least.

    What’s the point of regionalised App Stores if they’re all going to end up as one massive international jumble sale…?!

    I want RELEVANT apps in BRITISH ENGLISH! Seems that’s asking for the Moon.

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