Best Free iPad Apps of 2012
Despite emerging competition and a real battle between Apple and its rival, Google, in the mini tablet field, the regular iPad certainly leads its market. Consumers can’t get enough of Apple’s iOS operating system, which makes browsing and playing simple, whilst the Retina display shows all of your media in crisp, bright fashion. Aside from these factors, one of the key appeals of the iPad is its ecosystem – the way in which Apple has created an integrated experience using its App Store. This is a crowded marketplace, but a little dedicated digging turns up some real gems. Though many developers charge for their apps, even those whose products were free for the iPhone, it is possible to find some fun and useful ones apps for free. Read on for a countdown of the best free iPad apps of 2012.
What’s this? A weather app? How boring, you say. Accuweather gets a mention because it’s one of few free weather apps which actually recognises that the UK exists, and because its interface is rather charming. Notably, it features a ‘Lifestyle’ page which analyses the weather in your current location and then tells you how suited it is to a chosen activity, such as stargazing.
Many of the people reading this will already have Evernote on at least one of their devices. If not, you really should do. This app is a great timesaver for those who are creative or have the sort of job which requires you to save notes and ideas on the fly. Whatever you store can then be accessed from any device, meaning that you could jot down an idea during your commute and then see it on your PC when you get into work, for example. The iPad version makes great use of the larger screen, allowing you to see more of your projects at once.
Eyewitness for iPad provides a great example of the tablet format’s usefulness as a media device. Each day, users are able to view the day’s top 100 photographs. These pictures are from a variety of sources, and are designed to reflect global events from war reporting in the Middle East to music gigs which are closer to home. Once again, the increased screen size of the iPad is well suited to digesting media in this form, and Eyewitness allows you to browse either in a full-screen format or with the benefit of captions and informative summaries.
Are you the kind of person who’s constantly plugged into social media? If so, IM+ could make your life a lot easier. Its function, simply put, is to amalgamate all of your instant messaging accounts into one screen. This permits easy switching between them, with the option to sign in and out of each account independently. IM+ also contains a built-in web browser, meaning that if a contact sends you a link, you needn’t switch to Safari to view it.
If you’re anything like me, you probably use Wikipedia regularly to look up unfamiliar topics. It’s a great resource, and one which works perfectly well on the iPad’s internet browser. However, using an app makes the experience much more efficient. Each page is shown in two columns, with topics and subheadings on the left and the actual page on the right, and the bookmarking facility makes it very convenient to save interesting entries for later reading.
Those of a more culinary bent will no doubt have discovered that an iPad is the perfect device to browse recipes, or anything else available online, in the kitchen without taking up valuable workspace with your laptop. Epicurious streamlines your search for a delicious dinner, offering tens of thousands of dishes separated into categories. It even allows you to create shopping lists for chosen recipes, so that you can plan out your meals for the week and shop accordingly. Just don’t forget to wash your hands before you put your greasy hands all over that beautiful Retina display!