The 25 Best Free iPad Apps

I love free apps. When you find a real gem of an app and it’s free, it can feel like all your Christmases have come at once (OK, maybe not). In this roundup I’ll be choosing my 25 favourite free apps for the iPad. So sit back, relax and let iPad.AppStorm sort the wheat from the chaff for you.

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Kindle

If you haven’t got a Kindle, no bother. Just use the great iPad Kindle app instead. Even if you have got a Kindle, downloading this app will ensure that no matter where you are, whatever device you have with you, you’ll always be able to pick up reading where you left off.

In my opinion, reading in this app is better than iBooks due to the syncing between the Kindle app and Kindle device via Amazon’s Whispernet service.

Developer: Amazon

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eBay for iPad

If you’re a bit of a wheeler dealer, who’s always selling bits and pieces to make a tidy profit, or you just want to get rid of that old Nintendo-64 that’s been gathering dust under your bed, then you’ll want the eBay app for iPad.

The app is really easy to use and I personally prefer it to using the website. It packs the full functionality of the website into a neat app that can be used easily on the move.

Developer: eBay, Inc.

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Netflix

The Netflix app does what you’d expect — it gives you access to the Netflix service via your iPad. I personally love Netflix: with all the seasons of Breaking Bad and new Netflix original content like House of Cards, what’s not to like?

The iPad app is great as it allows you to watch your favourite shows from anywhere (providing you have an internet connection of course) — perfect for that long, boring train journey you’ve been dreading.

Developer: Netflix, Inc.

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Adobe Photoshop Express

Whilst the full Photoshop version for your computer costs hundreds of dollars, this great iPad app is completely free. Of course you’re not getting the same features and functionality, but for photo editing on the move, Photoshop Express is great.

You can crop, rotate, add filters and adjust colour on the move before sending your favourite holiday snaps to your grandparents.

Developer: Adobe Systems, Inc.

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Google Earth

I’ve long been a fan of Google Earth on my computer. So getting the app for my iPad was a no brainer. Google Earth lets you see the world in 3D, explore potential holiday destinations or size up new neighbourhoods to live in.

In many ways it’s a little like Google Maps on steroids. Just bear in mind though that some users have experienced problems of jerkiness when running Google Earth on iPad 2.

Developer: Google, Inc.

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Dropbox

Dropbox is a great cloud based storage service. When you sign up, you get 2 GB of free storage space and it’ll allow you to take your all your files, photos, videos and other content with you wherever you go. You can share links to your stuff so your friends can easily access it.

Sure, you’ve got iCloud on your iPad, but iCloud isn’t just a cloud storage service — it also has other functions. Dropbox, in my opinion, outperforms iCloud on the cloud storage level — the ease of sharing files with your friends being a major reason why.

Developer: Dropbox

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Bloomberg for iPad

If you own shares or just like to keep track of what’s happening in the finance world and the economy, then this app will be an essential for you.

You can view breaking news in a number of different categories, such as commodities, bonds, currencies or emerging markets as well as get up to date market data direct to your iPad. Great for when you want to keep a track of your nest egg when you’re (still) on that dreaded train journey (and you’ve exhausted your Netflix options).

Developer: Bloomberg Finance LP

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Twitter

The official Twitter app for iPad is a great free app. I wrote a comparison of a few Twitter clients recently and found that the free Twitter app really held its own against some of the paid alternatives.

And because it’s the official app, you know it’ll be supported way into the future, when Twitter will have taken over the world.

Developer: Twitter, Inc.

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YouTube

With thousands, if not millions of years worth of content on YouTube (a lot of it of dubious quality I admit) you can literally spend the rest of your life on YouTube. With iOS 6, Apple removed the built in YouTube app, but thankfully, it’s now back!

The official app is a great way to find and watch content on your iPad. Unfortunately it doesn’t support “multitasking”, so you can’t put your favourite music video on and then use other apps. Otherwise the official app is great, giving you the full functionality of the web version on your iPad.

Developer: Google, Inc.

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Feedly

Feedly is a great news aggregator app that allows you to easily read and share content from around the web. It’s a great replacement for Google Reader and it features cloud-sync support, so your content will always be synced across your devices and your platforms.

This means if you own an iPad and say, an Android device then you’ll have no worries.

Developer: DevHD

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Chrome

Lets face it, sometimes you’ve just got to switch from the default options Apple give you. Switching from Safari to Chrome is just one of those changes I made on my iPad.

The sync feature between iPad and other devices running Chrome is a great feature that saves time and allows fluid web browsing, no matter where you are or what device you’re using. In addition, Chrome for iPad has a whole host of other features not offered by Safari such as an Incognito mode.

Developer: Google, Inc.

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Calculator for iPad

With no built-in calculator on the iPad like there is on the iPhone (one of life’s unanswered questions), this useful, free, calculator app is just the ticket.

Sure, this app has annoying ads, but for the minimal about of time you’ll probably use it, I don’t think it will bother the majority of users. It offers most of the features that the iPhone calculator offers, such as scientific functions. The logo almost looks the same as the iPhone calculator too!

Developer: ITWC

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Temple Run

Back in 2012, I think I played this game for 364 out of the 365 days. This really does keep you coming back for more. It’s frustrating, it’s exhilarating and best of all it’s free! As with iPhone favourite Doodle Jump, one of the best things about Temple Run is that, in theory, you can keep going indefinitely.

Of course, things get a little harder the longer you play, but you’ll soon find yourself tactically using revives in order to beat your high score. If you’ve not played this game before, be warned, you may find yourself fired and/or divorced pretty soon as you neglect your life outside of the game.

Developer: Imangi Studios, LLC

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Skype

Skype is one of those wonderful inventions that makes life easier. Sure you’ve got FaceTime, but that’s only useful if the person you want to call has an Apple device. With Skype, everyone can get it and everyone can use.

The iPad Skype app is easy to use and is perfect for use on the move, with high video quality (although in my experience not as high as FaceTime) and an intuitive layout. With Skype, you’ve got no excuse not to stay in contact with your loved ones.

Developer: Skype Communications S.a.r.l

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BBC iPlayer

OK, so this one’s for my fellow Brits. The iPlayer app for iPad is simply awesome and really comes into its own on a Sunday evening, when you’re in bed and realise you missed the most recent episode of Top Gear. The app also supports AirPlay, so for those lucky Apple TV owners, you can get that content up on your TV.

You can also download shows to watch offline for a certain period which is perfect when you’re still stuck on that dreaded train and have already watched Netflix and checked your stocks (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you should have read about Netflix and Bloomberg above!).

Developer: Media Application Technologies Limited

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Paper by FiftyThree

Paper is what I’d class as a special app. It’s one of those apps that you’d never think you would use, but once it’s there, you find yourself using it over and over. It’s beautifully simple and very inspiring.

It basically allows you to jot down your ideas, your views, sketch, draw, colour and so on. It even won Apple’s App of the Year in 2012, so what are you waiting for, click the link above and try it out!

Developer: FiftyThree, Inc.

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TED

TED gives you access to more than 1,400 inspirational talks by leading experts in the fields of design, engineering and technology. With AirPlay streaming you can also watch the videos on your big screen and the ability to download talks and watch them offline is a big plus.

With new talks being added daily, you’ll never be short of new, interesting and inspirational content to view each and every day. Other cool features include the ability to share your favourite talks with friends, create playlists of talks you find most engaging and search the library by tag,theme or language.

Developer: TED Conferences

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Evernote

Evernote is, on a basic level, a note taking app, but in reality it’s so much more than that. It helps you be productive, but syncing your lists and notes across all your devices. If you have a great idea whilst you’re getting your morning coffee, simply write it down in Evernote and work on it that evening in the comfort of your own home.

The fact that it’s available across every Apple device is what makes this app special because no matter where you are, you know that your fully searchable lists of genius ideas and things to do will be waiting for you on any device you own.

Developer: Evernote

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Spotify

Spotify is one of those services that’s truly changed the way people listen to music. In many ways, it’s like the iPod of the software world. Why buy a song, when you can stream it through Spotify for free?

With hundreds, if not thousands of new songs added to the Spotify catalogue each and every day, you’ll be able to find enough of your favourite songs to keep you going for years. Whilst this app is strictly free, you’ll need a Spotify subscription to use it (you can use Spotify on your computer with a basic free account). However, the subscription fee is a small price to pay, for access to so much music that you can listen to online or off, anywhere.

Developer: Spotify Ltd.

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Facebook

Facebook had to be included in this roundup for the simple reason, it’s one of the apps I use most frequently and because of this, I feel it’s worthy of inclusion. With 1.1 billion of us using the service now (wow), it’s an app that you more than likely already have on your iPad, if you don’t have it then you probably should.

The app offers all the functionality of the web version and is perfect for sharing your adventures with your friends and family. The Facebook app has been notorious for problems in the past, but Facebook have made a great effort with the latest version, which performs more fluidly and rapidly than its predecessors.

Developer: Facebook, Inc.

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500px

500px is a little bit of a Flickr rival — it’s a photo sharing service, except 500px seems to have a lot more professional content than Flickr. As their tagline states “500px is Photography” — a little grandiose maybe, but some of the photos available on the service are mind-blowingly beautiful.

For the aspiring and professional photographer alike, the iPad version allows you to buy digital versions of your favourite snaps right there in the app – A great feature that gets you the shots you want and supports your favourite photographers at the same time.

Developer: 500px

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Google Maps

Lets face it, Apple messed up Apple Maps. Lucky for us then, Google got to work on a version of Google Maps for iOS. The iPad version of Google Maps offers much of the same, familiar Google Maps functionality with some added improvements.

Turn by turn GPS navigation is a great addition and really negates the need to buy a Sat Nav. It also works brilliantly, with only a small chance of ending up in a river. You also get the great Street View feature, which I really missed when I was using Apple Maps.

Developer: Google, Inc

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SoundCloud

SoundCloud is an app that lets you easily discover new music from signed and unsigned artists. It’s a music social network, where you can share songs you like, comment on sections of tracks you like best.

If you’re a budding DJ or producer, SoundCloud is the platform for you to get your music or sets out there. With SoundCloud, the days of trawling from nightclub to nightclub with one of your sets recorded on CD are over (although you might still want to do that for the personal touch).

Developer: SoundCloud Ltd.

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Find My iPhone

Perhaps badly named since it’s available and can be used across all your Apple devices. Find My iPhone uses iCloud, to help you track down your cherished devices when they go walkabout.

You can send messages to your lost device, such as a contact number, details of a reward or even threatening words à la “Taken”. You can also wipe your device — removing any possibility of the new “owner” of your device from finding out your intimate secrets. Future versions of the app promise to offer greater security in this department, by allowing iDevices to be blocked completely — rendering them useless to thieves.

Developer: Apple, Inc.

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Pocket

Pocket, which was formerly known as Read It Later, is a great iPad app that lets you save content you find on the web to read later – with or without an internet connection.

What’s great about Pocket is its simplicity and the fact that it syncs across all your devices. So if you spot some cool content late one night, you can have it up and ready to read on your iPad during your morning commute. Pocket also improves the readability of the content, so as well as being easy on the pocket (pun intended) it’s also easy on the eye. Try it with the link above!

Developer: Idea Shower

So, there you have it guys, 25 of my favourite, free iPad apps. Hand picked and ready to try out. Do you have any favourite free iPad apps that we’ve not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!


  • http://guiasapple.com/ SrTapir

    Feedly over Reeder? Why???????

    • Jesse Virgil

      Reeder currently isn’t available for the iPad. Reeder’s developer, Silvio Rizzi, pulled it from the App Store because it only offered Google Reader support, which no longer works. He’ll reinstate it once he’s finished updating the app.