11 iPad Apps to Show Off to Your Friends

The iPad is a wonderful machine, but do you ever find yourself stuck when someone asks you to show them what it can do? You end up showing them Reeder and Mail, apps you use everyday that, while great, don’t truly show off the potential of the iPad!

This is a roundup of apps that are guaranteed to make your friends’ mouths hang open in awe, designed to take full advantage of the amazing things the iPad is capable off. Get ready…

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Star Walk

Star Walk is a stellar augmented reality app that labels all the stars, constellations, and satellites you point your iPad at. You can track the ISS, find out what constellation you’ve been looking at from your bedroom window and submerge yourself in fascinating information.

Star Walk

This is a great one to kick off with, especially if you have a clear night! Augmented reality always feels like something from the future…

Price: $2.99
Developer: Vito Technology


I’m a huge fan of Garageband and can see why Apple choose to include it in almost every TV ad they concoct. Its appeal is extremely widespread and the app so perfectly refined in its functions that it’s worth downloading just to play with and show off to your friends, whether you’re musical or not!


It’s a perfect choice for this list as it shows of the power of the iPad 2 in spectacular fashion, what other tablet could handle multi-track recording? Garageband’s inclusion also means you can do the bit where someone plays the advert tune on the iPad – beautiful synergy, right?

Price: $4.99
Developer: Apple

Word Lens

If ever you’re looking to fascinate and amaze someone with the power of the iPad, Word Lens is a good app to open. Word Lens uses your iPad, or iPhone, camera to translate any text put before it live – it’s a wonder to behold!

Word Lens

While the free mode is significantly less impressive than the actual translation feature, it’s still worth a download; just allow your mind to ponder the future potential of apps like this.

Price: Free
Developer: Quest Visual


Square is beginning a revolution in mobile card payments. Their free app, in conjunction with a free card reader (sent in the post), allows you to accept credit cards on your iPhone or iPad. What better way to impress your friends than by paying for a meal on your card, and then taking individual payments from each of them – your waiter will love you for it!


They charge such a small fee for each transaction that they’re beginning to worry some of the bigger players in the industry. Expect to be running your card through one of these soon…

Square is currently only available in the US.

Price: Free
Developer: Square


djay is simply an amazing achievement. The power that lurks beneath the surface of its slick interface is immense, and a great example of the potential of the iPad. Whether you’re an aspiring amateur or a professional music maestro, djay has something to offer everybody.


It’s vastly entertaining but with great potential for much more advanced and serious use – show off beat and tempo matching to your friends, then explain how good it is to be able to do that.

Price: $19.99
Developer: algoriddim

Scrabble for iPad

I’m including Scrabble in this list because I absolutely love the way you can use iPhones as your tile racks, and flick the letters you’re using across to the board. This game is as perfect a version of Scrabble for the iPad as I can imagine, with an in-built dictionary and tile noises to complete the experience.


Price: $9.99
Developer: Electronic Arts


An intriguing inclusion in the most recent generation of iPad apps, Chinagram gives you an interactive way to approach learning Chinese. It shows off the scope of the App Store and makes a great case for how personally beneficial the iPad can be, learn Chinese by swooshing your finger about!


The beautiful interface of this particular app makes an immediate impact, but the functionality shouldn’t be underestimated either. The way the iPad can allow you to practise characters and symbols is pretty unique!

Price: $4.99
Developer: Antonio Vallardi


Appetites is one of our favourite recipe apps here at AppStorm, the concept and execution working perfectly to create a beautiful interactive experience. You can get recipes from a variety of food bloggers and chefs and watch step-by-step video instruction, it’s almost foolproof.


It’s worthy of inclusion here due to the imaginative way it provokes you to use your iPad. It’s one of those apps that pushes the boundaries of how and where you can use your iPad, encouraging you to be creative and get into the kitchen!

Price: $4.99
Developer: Clear-Media


I agree whole-heartedly with the description of GTA III that’s featured on its iTunes page:

With stellar voice acting, a darkly comic storyline, a stunning soundtrack and revolutionary open-world gameplay, Grand Theft Auto III is the game that defined the open world genre for a generation.


GTA III is such a fervently strong example of what the iPad is capable of that I simply had to include it! The graphics look a little dated now, but the gameplay and sheer expanse of the game is something to marvel at – it makes you excited about the future possibilities of gaming on the iPad.

Price: $4.99
Developer: Rockstar Games


Touchnote is strangely amazing for people to see in action. It’s the perfect app if you’re looking to send real-life postcards fright from your iPad. Add your own photos, message, and signature – and get sending away! We reviewed it here.


There’s something weirdly pleasing about being able to put together a postcard on your iPad and have it physically arrive at your friends house. There are also a couple of nice touches, such as adding your location, and it’s vastly cheaper than Apple’s own Cards app.

Price: Free (in-app purchase for credits)
Developer: Touchnote

LogMeIn Ignition

I reviewed Ignition back in August and found it to be the best way to access your computer from your iPad. It has been invaluable several times since then, and I still hold by the statement I made at the end of the review;

LogMeIn is a stunningly powerful, and effectively intuitive, way to control and gain access to your computers from anywhere in the world!

LogMeIn Ignition

Price: $99.99 (There is also a slightly stripped down free version)
Developer: LogMeIn

Your Thoughts

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts – simply post a comment below! What apps do you like to show off to your friends, have I missed an amazing one?

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  • http://www.apples-seed.com Damon

    How about games? If I were to add one and only one game, I’d add Machinarium which only runs on iPad 2!

  • Bruno Couto

    Why pay $99 for logmein app when they have a free app?

    • Joel Bankhead

      Good spot! I hadn’t realised they’d released a free version that has much of the same functionality.

  • DaftViking

    There’s also the free LogMeIn app that was released a few months ago that does most of what Ignition does (except file transfer, streaming sound, and remote printing), but without the serious sticker shock – a much cheaper way to impress your friends.

  • endoftheQ

    Great picks, Joel. I’m a big Touchnote fan, $1.49 inc. worldwide postage and they print and despatch from three countries, inc. UK and USA.

  • http://www.italyweddings.com Ben Singleton

    I always go to maps – find my location, go into Street View, or search for pizza nearby, get the number, call the place.. it amazes neophytes and myself alike the intuitive a rapid access to basic info.

  • http://emrah.omuris.com/ Emrah Omuris

    I think you should’ve included RAGE and Real Racing as a graphics showing off app rather than GTA III.

  • Gab

    I think the point of showing off GTA III as a technological prowess is the depth of the game. It’s not visually the best game (anyway I think a lot of 2D games are better adapted to the format of the iPad)

    While I haven’t played Real Racing, I know that RAGE is pretty good looking yet is still a shooter on rails, which doesn’t, in my opinion, compare to the possibilities of GTA.

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