Phones are only getting bigger – including by folding – and top brands are still producing great tablets. Only recently, Apple announced new, more powerful versions of its iPad Air and iPad Mini tablets. That's why apps are having to get bigger, more beautiful and more useful.
If you’ve put in an order for a new iPad, these are the apps you should download first. They also work on iPhones, of course.
Like a kind of music streaming service, but for magazines, the Readly app gives you unlimited access to more than 3,800 national and international titles for a monthly subscription of just £7.99. It’s fast, easy to use and you get access via up to 5 devices – so your whole family can use the same subscription.
You gain access not just to the current issue of each mag, but also all available back issues – a huge wealth of reading material. Modesty forbids us from pointing out that T3 is the second most read UK mag on the app.
Spotify, Apple Music et al are excellent services but Tidal has the edge for us. That’s largely thanks to its Hi-Fi, CD-quality streaming option. You might not think you’ll notice the sonic difference but once you’ve tried it, it’s very difficult to go back to MP3. The recommendations and playlists are really excellent – tailored so well to your tastes, but always introducing you to new things, Tidal’s support for new music and urban music in particular is well known but they have tunes from all eras, to suit all tastes from classic rock to cutting-edge hip-hop.
3. Infinite Flight
Not so much a game as a way of life, this insanely detailed, ultra-realistic flight simulator allows you to fly dozens of different planes from airports around the world. Under the direction of live air traffic control, the weather conditions can be either chosen by you, or simply set to recreate the actual weather right now. For plane nuts and those who want to see the world without actually moving, it’s a must, and the ‘rules’ of the simulator enforce cooperation rather than competition.
4. Units Plus
After those rather beautiful and massive apps, here is something far more proasic, but also incredibly useful. Via a simple, calculator-like interface, Units Plus can pretty much convert any measurement into any unit. Whether you want to know what a distance listed in metres is in miles, or pounds per square foot to mega Pascals (a common requirement down our way), Units Plus is ready. There’s even a live-updated converter for every currency on the planet.
Okay, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are both excellent services, but nobody needs to be told to download them. So here’s our heads-up on something a bit more off the beaten track. If you’re into indie films, world cinema and art house classics of this century and the last, Mubi is a dream come true. It’s curated approach – just one new film appears each day, and each film only remains available for one month – means you don’t feel overloaded with choice as you do on Netflix. Mubi’s open-minded definition of ‘art house’ means films range from the accessible likes of Groundhog Day to indie favourites such as Drive, to extremely challenging fare from the Far East.
Whether you’re horribly disorganised or rigorously ordered, Evernore could change your life. You make notes, add images, ‘clip’ bits out of webpages and put them into Evernote. The resulting notes are shared across all your devices (with Evernote on) instantly. You can also print, email and socially share your ruminations, musings and meeting minutes with ease. There’s nothing particularly wrong with Apple’s own Notes app, but Evernote is better, and deserves a download.
There are umpteen photo editing and collage-making apps out there for iPad but this one strikes a good balance of power and ease of use – pro photo fiddlers should look at the likes of Adobe Photoshop and Prisma. PicsArt lets you correct, tune-up and collage your photos and there’s an excellent choice of filters. The finished effect can be anything from subtle, professional and classy to waaaaay over the top.
8. AudioKit Synth One Synthesizer
You can’t go far wrong with Apple’s own Garage Band when it comes to music creation tools, but this free (and ad-free!) alternative from AudioKit is a great alternative. You can either twiddle knobs and randomly create exciting synth noises, start to put rudimentary tunes together with its easy-to-use sequencer, or get serious with pro-level features, including support for Audiobus and IAA.
Larger-screened devices are the perfect home for this home workout app, which brings top personal trainers direct to your living room. Exercises are divided into three ‘studios’: cardio, strength and balance (yoga, pilates, etc) and there’s something to suit practically all fitness levels. Upgrade to the Premium version for £120 per year and you get personalised workout plans, and a useful cardio device (‘worth £65!’) that gives you live feedback on how hard you’re working out and allows you to track your progress over time. However, even the free version is excellent.
10. Night Sky
Apps that overlay information about the stars as you view them through your device’s camera were among the first and, as it turns out, most enduring uses of AR. NIght Sky is our favourite such app and uses simple prompts to direct you towards solar bodies, constellations and even the likes of the Hubble telescope. Alternatively, just point your tablet at the sky and the app will overlay information about what you’re looking at. You can also set notifications for when your favourite planetary bodies will be in view from your part of the world. Quick everyone, Ursa Minor is coming!