Best iPad Apps 2015: Top free and paid apps

Fill up your Apple tablet with the best the App Store has to offer

Whether you're after the latest free iPad apps or the paid for App Store essentials, T3's app experts pick the best iPad apps to grab in 2015.

If you've just unwrapped a brand new iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3 and need some guidance on what to grab from the Apple Store, you've come to the right place.

Helping you furnish your Apple tablet with the top quality, free and paid for apps, T3's specialist iPad app reviewing team have picked out the very best App Store offerings, to trick out your tablet and help you get the most from it. Whether it's every day store cupboard essentials or those hidden gems from Apple's bustling marketplace, we've found every app you need.

So whether you scroll aimlessly through the App Store, or plan to invest in an Apple tablet in the near future, here's our updated list of what the T3 app experts have uncovered this month.

Expedia

Expedia has just completely refreshed its iPad app, taking it in a new direction separate from its iPhone and web counterparts. But is it any good? We took it for a spin to see.

Now, the real difference between the iPhone and iPad versions of the app are how they’re meant to used. Expedia tells us they want people to continue using the smartphone version to actually book their travels, but switch to the tablet one for browsing, picking where to stay and getting inspiration.

And, the design of the app does make this much easier. With the iPad you’ve got a big canvas to play with, you can quickly move from destination to destination and there’s some fantastic imagery to go along with it. It’ll suggest possible places and then you can dial down deeper and learn more about hotels, things to do and so on. It’s a much better experience than you’d get on your phone, or even the web.

You can add all the parts of your trip into a folder, which is linked to your Expedia account, and that's synced and saved so it’s always accessible.

It’s a slick update, that looks great and makes searching through Expedia’s many options really rather easy. It’s well suited to the iPad too, something like this just wouldn’t work on a smaller smartphone display. It’s a bit buggy in places though - we experienced a bit of slow-down when booking a hotel and the app even completely crashed a few times. But hopefully these niggles will get ironed out in future updates.

Free | Download Expedia

Snapseed

In a time when photo editing apps weren’t quite so numerous, Snapseed was amongst the best. It was so good in-fact that Google purchased the app and built some of its features directly into Google Plus.

It’s been a few years, but Snapseed has finally seen an update. Bringing with it a raft of new features and a completely redesigned UI.

As with the majority of photo apps, it’s all about making your snaps look better. Snapseed impresses on this front. You’ve got a load of options to play about with including blurring, colour shifting and a whole range of brush tools. Of course, there are a few well chosen filters but nowhere near the amount packed by similar apps like VSCO Cam.

The interface is slick and quick and you can import and export your finished shots to a number of services. It’s also completely free, so no need for any in-app purchases.

Free | Download Snapseed

Outlook

Outlook is not only a really good email app, boasting plenty of features for both power and general users, but it also contains a calendar, so you can quickly check your schedule. The Focussed inbox does a good job at separating important emails from the daily spam, while the built-in cloud service picker makes it easy to grab files from Dropbox, Google Drive and others.

Free | Download Outlook

ProTube

While there’s nothing generally wrong with Google’s YouTube app in terms of looks and functionality, we have suffered plenty of problems with poor quality video playback. ProTube sorts that issue out, buffering videos much quicker that the rivals. You can also set your default playback resolution and the design is very ‘iOS 8’ with plenty of transparency effects.

£2.29 | Download ProTube

Noteshelf

The iPad is a great work tool and the functionality that Noteshelf offers just furthers those credentials. This note taking app is packed with options, pen types, paper choices and syncing across multiple cloud services. It also works with a variety of tools, including FiftyThree’s impressive Pencil stylus.

£4.49 | Download Noteshelf

Duet

If you’re looking for a dual monitor set-up on the go, Duet is the answer. Once you’ve downloaded the companion app to your Mac, you simply connect your iPad (iPad 2 and up) with a Lightning cable and voila, your tablet is now an extension of your computer. Performance is great, mainly because it uses a wired connection rather than wireless, and there’s a couple of resolution options. Choose ‘Retina’ and you’ll get a better picture, but select one of the lower-res choices and performance will be improved.

£11.99 | Download Duet

VSCO Cam

While VSCO Cam for iPhone is great for quick edits and actually taking the snap, the iPad version is perfect for more in-depth tinkering and really making that photo perfect. You can view multiple filters side by side, sync your library across devices and share your own Grid and Journal. We’re still waiting for Extension support in iOS 8, though.

Free | Download VSCO Cam

Flow for Instagram

There’s still no official Instagram iPad app and using the blown up phone version is hardly a treat for the eyes, but filter sharing lovers need worry no more, as Flow is a fantastic replacement. The design is sleek, pictures are high-res and and the search tools are arguably than the first-party app.

Free | Download Flow for Instagram

Evernote Scannable

We’ve seen apps that perform similar functions to Scannable before, using your iPad’s camera to capture notes, documents and receipts, but if you’re an Evernote user this is the most seamless. It pulls in all your Evernote notebooks and settings, letting you easily add new content to your existing set-up. Scanning business cards automatically pulls out the information and creates a new contact card in your address book, adding in LinkedIn data to flesh it out further.

Free | Download Evernote Scannable

Adobe Voice

This nifty app will change the way you make presentations for ever. It's simple to create stunning animated videos in a short period of time, using your Voice. Users can choose from over 25,000 beautiful iconic images to play over their recordings and then Adobe Voice will automatically add cinematic motion and music to suit.

Free | Download Adobe Voice

Owaves


Owaves is the latest and simplest way to plan your health and wellness goals each day. This visual, colourful and vibrant app features a novel 24-hour clock planner which allows you to plan your day 24 hours in advanced. Owaves aims to guide you through a balanced routine and healthy lifestyle.

Free | Download Owaves

Pixel Floors

Pixel Press Floors is an entirely new type of social gaming that enables anyone to become a video games developer.

The app can create and share video games, simply by hand drawing the levels. It's an educational application that uses platforms, coins and ladders to create various games concepts ready to be played.

Free | Download Pixel Floors

Notegraphy

With a design that fits well within the iOS7 aesthetic, Notegraphy lets you create beautiful looking text with automatic formatting and instant sharing through a whole host of social networks. Check out the gallery and feast your eyes upon other works of art.

With a bit of work and patience you can create some really nice looking pieces, which look rather professional. It takes a bit of time though, but stick with it and soon you'll have a gallery brimming with top class looking text. The Instagram of writing? In time maybe.

Free | Download Notegraphy

Repix

Free | Download Repix

Photo editing apps are two a penny on the App Store, and it doesn’t look like the influx of picture altering tools is going to be stopping anytime soon. Repix hopes to offer something a bit different, giving you even more control over your snaps than before. There are over 28 brushes, 15 filters and it works really smoothly. With iOS came a few new shooting formats, square for instance, and Repix has built support for this in.

Paperless post

Free | Download Paperless Post

Days of drawing and creating your own party invitations are long gone; there are apps for that now. Design the card through the app, customising everything from fonts and backdrops, to colours and alignment and then you can track RSVPs and even communicate with your guests. If you're not a design whizz, there are a load of pre-made templates to save you time.

Dailymotion

Free | Download Dailymotion

Record, cut and add a limited choice of filters to your videos before uploading straight to the Dailymotion site. Along with adding your own content, the app lets you browse through Dailymotion's massive library of videos, covering a whole host of genres in an easy to navigate manner.. Instant fame is all but assured, though we at T3 do not guarantee this.

Facetune for iPad

Price: £2.49 | Download Facetune for iPad

The pictures you take are rarely perfect. More often than not you’re stuck with lopsided smiles and the odd closed eye. Facetune looks to change this, giving you chance to touch up your self-portraits and ensure you don’t look like a horror film extra. While it may look simple of the surface, this app is really quite, with a load of options and tweaks. A bargain for the price.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Free | Download Microsoft Remote Desktop

If you’re an iPad user with a PC running the latest version of Windows 8 then this could be a killer app. Access all your files and apps from anywhere, with multi-touch gestures and simple set-up, your iPad just got a bit more productive. Plus, it’s free, which is often a variety for these virtual machine type apps.

Cobook Contacts

Free | Download Cobook Contacts

The iPhone contacts app is hardly the pinnacle of Apple’s design, Cobook on the other hand is a joy to gaze upon. With a new iOS7 look, contact pictures running down the side and quick access to Facebook and Twitter, this is a great replacement. Another handy feature is My Card, which plugs all your details into a business card like interface which can be easily sharable.

Bob Dylan Bootlegs

Free | Download Bob Dylan Bootlegs

Fan of Bob Dylan? Get downloading. Journey through 35 rare releases, with visual timelines for each track, a ton of snaps, in-depth video interviews as well as interactive lyrics, so you can sing along at the top of your voice, all packed into a tidy package. This app is jammed full of content, plus it’s presented in a smooth and easy to get navigate way.

Jimdo

Free | Download Jimdo

Choose a layout, pick a domain name and, well, that's about it: welcome to your spanking new website, and it’s already optimised for mobile devices. Already rocking a Jimdo created site? You can still get all the benefits of the app by simply punching in your account details. So… Lunch then?

Morning

Make the morning less of a chore with this useful, highly customisable app that lays out your day’s events, weather updates and even traffic info in an easy to digest manner.

£1.99 | Download

MusiXmatch

Fancy yourself as the next Adele or Justin Timberlake? Test out your skills, in private hopefully, with song lyrics over-laid on music videos. Well, anything is better than those terrible lyric videos on YouTube.

Free | Download

BlogLovin’

If you’re a blog loving junkie then this app is the perfect way of organising band keeping up-to-date with all the latest posts and viewing them in a simple, streamlined fashion.

Free | Download

Shazam for iPad

Never again will you be driven crazy trying to remember the name of ‘that song’ with this useful music recognition service. It can even auto recognise music, so no need to even tap any buttons.

Free | Download

Travel Organiser

If you’re planning on jetting off for some much needed sun this summer, then check out this handy travel app to make sure you have everything ready to go. It will conveniently build a personalised itinerary and then let you smugly share it via Facebook.

Free | Download

Unmechanical

The beautiful side-scrolling puzzle game that throws you into an underground world full of pipes and physics based puzzles is powered by the Unreal Engine so expect slick 2D and 3D visuals while you try to scurry back to the surface.

Price: £1.99 | Platform: iPad 4.0+ | Download Unmechanical iPad app above

Speakerfy

This clever social sound app can sync up to 250 iOS devices over the same Wi-Fi network so you can turn them all into speakers which makes them ideal for silent discos parties or presentations.

Price: £0.69 | Platform: iPad 5.0+ | Download speakerfly iPad app above

KickMap London Tube

Marking the 80th birthday of the iconic map this app has redesigned the underground layout making lines clearer and more visible and plotting lines and landmarks closer to their actual location.

Price: £0.69 | Platform: iPad 5.0+ | Download KickMap London Tube iPad app above


Fuel Monitor

If you are trying to save the pennies this year this miser-tastic GPS helper is one of the best ways to work out how much your car’s guzzling on journeys in real time or in advance, for 60,000 vehicles. No petrol money, no lift!

Price: £1.49 | Download Fuel Monitor iPad app above

Morpholio Trace

Turning your Apple tablet into a digital tracing paper book, the ultimate doodling tool for creative types loads up layers of tracing paper onto the screen and let’s you throw on more sheets to help you see the creative process from start to finish.

Price: Free | Download Morpholio Trace iPad app above

Star Map 3D+ Star

Stretch your knowledge of the constellations beyond Orion’s Belt by raising your iPad to the sky and using the on board GPS and compass to pick out stars, planets precisely in view from your current location.

Price: £0.69 | Download Star Map 3D+ Stargazing and Astronomy iPad app above

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