15 Incredible Apps You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The iPad, as we all know, is an amazing machine. But what really makes the iPad great are the apps. We’ve collected together a set of 15 brilliant apps that may have slipped your attention when browsing the App Store.

From apps that will entertain you for hours, give a new take on how you use your iPad, or allow you to add some quick effects to a video, this list is sure to expand your horizons!


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Slay

Slay is a medieval style strategy game in which the goal is to steadily amass opponents’ territory in a bid to be under complete control of the area. You start off with peasants, slowly combining them to become stronger and stronger soldiers that can take over different lands.

Slay appealed to me instantly as a simple strategy game that took no time at all to learn. This game is incredibly addictive and will absorb a lot of your time, making it the perfect app for a long car journey or on a flight.

Price: $3.99
Requires: iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: Sean O’Connor

The Guardian Eyewitness

On top of their successful iPad app, the Guardian have this incredible photo-showcasing app that I use almost every day. It’s an amazing way to get up to date with what’s going on in glorious technicolor.

The app provides free access to the latest 100 pictures that are almost, if not always, breathtaking. The Guardian said that they really wanted users to appreciate the photographer’s effort through the app, showcasing an amazing array of photos to feast your eyes on.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Guardian News & Media Ltd

AV Player HD

AV Player HD is an amazing video playback app that does so in stunning high definition and can play a gargantuan number of file types. It’s great news if you have a back-catalogue of old videos that you just can’t seem to play anywhere, or convert with the price tag or a huge decline in quality.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 4.2 or later
Developer: eplayworks

Movies by Flixster

There’s a chance you may have come across this already, but Movies by Flixster is the best way to watch movie trailers, find showtimes, and get critics reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. It has a massive number of features, including maps that show nearby theaters and what movies they’re playing, personal “Want-to-See” lists that you can share around and even movie trivia to pass the time. And if that doesn’t sell you, it’s worth noting that it’s free…

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Flixster

Puffin Web Browser

This is a neat little web browser that has outperformed many others in speed tests. Not only that, but the browser has much-heralded flash support. It has pretty standard browser functionality with a multi-tab UI with pinch-to-zoom and double tap gestures. For a price tag of $2.99, this browser is the best way to make your iPad browsing experience a lot faster and flash-supported.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later
Developer: CloudMosa

App Shopper

App Shopper shows the price drops of many apps, and includes a feature that lets you view the history of an app’s popularity and its price. This surprisingly free app has helped me no end in purchasing largely discounted or free apps.

The history of the apps price allows you to see if you’ve actually got the best deal possible, as there may have been another significantly higher price drop earlier on; you can just wait to see if it happens again. You can make a wish list too that shows price drops/rises in your favourite apps. You can really get maximum value from your iPad with this incredible app.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: AppShopper.com

Loop Twister

Being a music producer myself, I’m always on the lookout for new fun ways to make music. This neat little app is a great way to kill time, but can also be productive if you sit down and use it seriously for a little while. It makes for amazing realtime processing of musical loops. It’s a great value app that is very user friendly. When used correctly, its an awesome app for serious musicians, even as a live performance tool.

This app is simple fun and intuitive; it had me on it for hours. It’s actually quite pretty too – the colour wheel for effects looks really good on the retina display. With admirable power, functionality and value, it’s hard to say no.

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: WAVEFORMS

Emoji Free!

This is a simple app that allows you to add emoticons, pictures and many other icons into text messages, notes, emails etc. all for free! It’s great fun if you’ve got kids with phones, and it can, surprisingly, help you to be more concise in your messaging.

If you’re going to be using Emoticons a lot, it’s definitely worth adding the Emoji keyboard to your keyboard set. Simply head to Settings > General > International > Keyboards and add the Emoji keyboard – the change keyboard button (with the globe icon) will now give you quick access to a veritable smörgåsbord of emoticons!

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 43 or later
Developer: Awesomest Inc.

iSwipe HD

iSwipe HD is an innovative way to type, allowing you to send entire messages (allegedly faster by up to 40wpm) without lifting your finger off the iPad. You slide your finger on a qwerty keypad and hold it on the letters you want to type. After each word, a trace of your finger will remain on the screen. You can send messages via SMS, Email and clipboard.

It’s a distinctly clever and interesting idea that’s well worth a try – the only problem is when you get back to your desktop, you’ll end up sliding your fingers everywhere!

Price: $0.99 (on sale)
Requires: iOS 4.2 or later
Developer: MMobileDev

What’s On Air Pro

This isn’t technically an iPad app, but it still runs fine. It’s a really great way to find your favorite songs and bands that are currently on air and have a listen. It literally lets you manipulate the radio to whatever bands or songs you want, like an infinite archive of your favourite music right there on the radio.

I think this app is an amazing way to listen to music and use it frequently on car journeys. It allows you to sort the music by search keys, radio stream music genre, or a list of artists currently on air. It’s flexible, intuitive and a great alternative to taking up tons of space with music.

Price: $0.99
Requires:
Developer: Palmologix SRL

Tiltoria

Tiltoria is a beautiful, mezmerizing app that you will play with for hours on end. It’s also a great thing to show off to your friends. It’s an app that allows you to create psychadelic, geometric pulsating patterns that you can play around with by tilting your iPad.

For a small price of $0.99, this app is a really great new experience that is entertaining, unique and stunningly beautiful.

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: Mindbrix

Blux Movie HD

This app is a great way to implement a cinematic effect in any of your video productions. It has some great filters and effects that really decorate videos elegantly. You can record your films in 1080p and utilize the zoom feature that is much better in comparison to the default camera.

I tried this out and was instantly impressed with the video quality and effects, especially the zoom. The best part about it was that you can edit it in iMovie later on to finalize your project. A great addition to your iPad.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 5 or later
Developer: Blux Touch

TED

If you’ve not already been in touch with TED talks, you really should. TED deliver fascinating talks on many topics that never fail to intrigue me. Amazingly, there are over 1,100 different videos in a library that you can view on your iPad in high or low resolution.

You can find and make playlists of your favourites and share with friends. You can find something by tags, themes, or related talks. This app is a really interesting way to get in touch with the world in bizarre and magical ways.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: TED Conferences

Pix: Pixel Mixer

Pix: Pixel Mixer is a free photo editing app with a wide variety of diverse effects. It has 30 filters, 24 film layers and 16 frames to choose from. The quality of the photos afterwards is actually quite good, especially for a free app. Whilst not the most popular photo-editing software, it’s a great way to start exploring the world of photography for free.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: FTDev

Qwiki

Qwiki allows you to browse over 3 million topics in a concise and informative manner. It combines relevant images, videos, infographics and narration on one particular topic and suggests other topics to further your understanding. This app is an invaluable resource for finding out literally anything; a wikipedia away from home, only better.

This final app contains an infinite body of simple, easy-to-understand topics ready at your fingertips. Using this app frequently opens up a world of knowledge you’ve never seen before, which is quite a fitting end to this roundup on apps you’ve probably never heard of.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Qwiki


  • Alex W

    If you have kids, a great app to teach them about the environment and marine life is Slippery Seal. I’m working with the developer and have been playing the game with my nephews who love it. The casual game follows Slippery the Harbor Seal as he swims up the Northern Pacific coast from San Francisco to Alaska. Along the way, Slippery dodges sharks, dines on clams and interacts with other denizens of the sea. Many elements of the game, from the marine wildlife, to the habit, remain true to real life and are very educational for kids to learn about creatures of the sea. Slippery Seal is a game that can be picked up and enjoyed without any time commitment and is great for all ages.

    Check Slippery Seal out on iTunes at http://bit.ly/iTunes_SlipperySeal.

    Hope you check it out and thanks for your time!

  • Randy Bisig

    Just went looking for Swipe HD on iTunes App Store. App Store said is not available.

    • Joel Bankhead

      That’s odd! I’ve had a look myself and can’t get to it. I’ve changed the entry to iSwipe HD, which is a very similar app – give it a try!

    • Dirk

      iswipe is on the app store, but the reviews are negative: this magic keyboard only works in their own note app.

  • http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tiltoria/id494907072?mt=12 Nigel Barber

    Hi Nathan. Many thanks for the lovely review of Tiltoria. Please note that Tiltoria is actually FREE on iOS. It is also available on OS X, and it looks stunning on a Cinema Display. It’s at: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tiltoria/id494907072?mt=12

    Best,
    Nigel [@mindbrix]

  • http://www.paperplayapp.com Philippe

    Thanks for the great list!
    Another cool app for iPad is this is one: http://www.paperplayapp.com
    You can draw or sketch a message send it, and then the message is replayed.
    Some examples in the gallery are very funny!

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