Well, 2012 has come and gone, and we at AppStorm have seen and used many great apps on iOS. Though we surely couldn’t ever go through each and every quality app recently released, we’ve put together a list of a few of our most treasured titles that have earned a permanent spot on our iPads.
If you were one of the lucky ones that received a shiny new iPad this holiday season, you’ll find many gems worth downloading here. Some are free, some are not, but they’re all guaranteed to be worth your time. Take a look!
- iA Writer: I do my writing for this site with this app, and it’s really nice to do so on the go. I write my articles on commutes and when I travel now, in particular. ICloud sync is really nice, but the flexibility to use Dropbox as well makes this app a must-have for web writers.
- iBooks: I like to read a little bit before bed every night, and it’s nice to have a vast digital library to choose from. I prefer it to the Kindle app because the page animations make it feel more like reading a real book.
- Tweetbot: I can’t describe how much better Tweetbot makes Twitter. ICloud syncing between the iPhone and Mac app is one thing, but it’s the fact that the UI makes being a power user really simple that keeps me coming back. It’s always the first thing I check in the day!
- Plaintext: This is the app I go to just to get ideas down quickly, and I love it for the uncluttered screen and dropbox sync.
- Guardian Eyewitness: One news item, one inspiring photo, one simple tagline. This is news from people who are there capturing events as they happen, with stunning photography and even tips on how to take similar photos. It truly is a window on the world, and gets a daily outing.
- Facebook: Love it or loathe it, social media has transformed the world. It’s taken a while for Facebook to produce a stable, useable app, and this isn’t without it’s flaws, but it does the job well and I really should spend less time on it!
- Instapaper: Instapaper makes saving items for later easy whether it is text or just a link I need to visit. Through Instapaper I can make it actionable by sharing to OmniFocus or making it a note through Evernote. While there are other Read Later services which are cheaper, I stick with Instapaper because I appreciate the business model of paying for exactly what you get.
- OmniFocus: Probably my most used app on my iPad. Performing a weekly review is a pleasure and the design of the iPad app makes it a joy to keep up with task.
- Wolfram Alpha: I work with complex math almost every day, so this is a great way to confirm solutions and keep me on the right track. Essential for anyone who works with numbers.
- GarageBand: The instantaneous inspiration and translation of music from mind to matter is unparalleled. The best music app.
- Reeder: I enjoy consuming a lot of tech news, and by far Reeder provides the best overall reading and content organization experience (at least in my opinion).
- Things: I wouldn’t say that I’m an unorganized or very forgetful person, but there were definitely times when I wanted to accomplish something and it completely slipped my mind. Since I started using Things, I’d say my productivity hasn’t gotten a lot better.
- iTunes Movie Trailers: I’m a big fan of movies, especially movie trailers. So about once a month I’ll fire up iTunes Movie Trailers and spend 15-20 minutes indulging myself by watching some of the latest previews.
- Letterpress: Great game, and I find it to be more fun on the iPad mini than on my iPhone. No clue why.
- The Simpsons: Tapped Out: Seriously, I hate that I play this game so much, but I love it to death. It’s like a starter edition of Sim City, but with The Simpsons. Awesome.
- DC/Marvel/Image Comics: Three comic book apps that I can’t do without. I open each one at least once a day, although admittedly, DC and Marvel get more of the action.
- Pocket: Clean interface, sync across all devices and offline storage. It really helps me catch up on articles when I have some downtime.
- Adobe Ideas: I love sketching/drawing/diagraming on it, plus it syncs to Adobe Creative Cloud and exports to an Illustrator-readable file.
- Dropbox: Sync. Files. Everywhere.
- Nest Mobile: Being able to control my thermostat while I’m away from the house is helpful — especially when I leave in a hurry and forget to turn off the air.
- Wikipedia Mobile: I have a lot of questions; Wikipedia always has the answers.
- Pinterest: Not only is Pinterest fun and useful, but sometimes I even get story ideas from it.
- Zite: I love this news aggregator for giving me an easy way to keep up with technology news. Even better when I see one of my Envato articles pop up.
- Scrabble: I grew up playing Scrabble and have spent many hours playing the iPad and friends. Drawbacks are the censored dictionary that does not allow words included in OSW to be played. It’s frustrating when you might need an expletive to win.
- Real Racing 2: Incredible graphics and stunning gameplay that keeps you hooked for hours. But tell me, how come my seven-year-old son can lap the track faster than me, despite my 24 years of real-world driving experience … including trackdays?
- Read Quick: This is the easiest (and fastest) way for me to absorb lengthy reads. It’s also boosted speed-reading of non-digital materials.
- Next Issue: This is a great way to access dozens of print magazines at a low rate, as well as publications I’d probably never pay for or read otherwise. Great for expanding reading options.
- Dead Stop: There’s something about slaying zombies that’s just way too much fun! I could sit and play this until the battery ran out — and would probably continue while it was charging. Highly addictive!
- iBooks: Reading is one of the core activities that I perform with my iPad, and I couldn’t ask for a better app to do it in.
- Twitch.tv: I debated on dropping this one in, but it’s a really solid app for video game live stream feeds (if that’s your kinda thing). Best of all, it supports AirPlay, so I’ve usually got a game of Starcraft playing on my AppleTV while I work.
- iA Writer: Aside from Evernote, this is my other workhorse iPad app. Keeps all of my ongoing writing projects organized and easy to work on from anywhere.
- Animoog: As a composer, I love being able to sketch out ideas and have an instrument available wherever I go, and Animoog’s tremendously powerful synth engine gives me that and much more — it’s made an appearance on numerous cues.
- StackTrace: Less well known, this is easily the best app out there for reading StackOverflow and associated network sites. There’s no place like it for getting your geeky questions answered.
- Zinio: I’ve now replaced all of my print magazines with iPad versions, mostly on Zite (a few Newsstand stragglers). I find that the reading experience is better with the richer media content, the way I’ve always hoped it could be — and now it is!
- Flipboard: By far my favorite news app for iOS. The interface is gorgeous and elegant and makes reading the news fun. Plus, the app is completely customizable so you are able to tailor the content to things you actually want to read.
- Tweetbot: As a self-proclaimed Twitter addict, Tweetbot is the perfect app for me. Tweetbot also sports an amazing design and makes scrolling through my timeline even more enjoyable. This client also doesn’t lose form for function — everything is easily accessible and switching between accounts is a breeze.
- Jetpack Joyride: What fun is an iPad without games? Jetpack Joyride has always had a special place in my heart. The fast-paced gameplay is super fun and extremely addictive. I have found myself playing this game for hours on end and still haven’t gotten bored of it.
- Crackle: Sony’s app provides a great way to watch free movies and television shows right on your iPad. I’m talking great, well-known titles, not just documentaries.
- The Early Edition 2: There’s plenty of RSS and news readers out there, but this one delivers all your content in a familiar newspaper style. The design is slick, modern, and easy on the eyes.
- One Epic Knight: A new running game patterned after the famous Temple Run, this has become my new favorite game. It’s so simple, but oh so fun!
- Readabiity: I use it on my computer’s browser to send articles for reading later, and then I download them to my iPad where I can access them for offline reading.
- Kindle: Even though I own a Kindle and love it, it’s much better to read some books with more color and images on my iPad. It’s also great for browsing through my highlights/bookmarks, since the navigation on my Kindle Keyboard is not as convenient as the iPad’s.
- Netflix: It’s just great for watching series on the go.
- Mint: I use Mint to keep track of all of my financials. With Mint I can keep tabs on all of my accounts, without having to micromanage them. Mint’s ability to categorize transactions automatically is a big plus.
- Evernote: I’ve recently switched to using Evernote for all of my work documents and meeting notes. The new interface has removed many unbearable annoyances, and it finally feels up to par with competing apps.
- Twitterrific: The new version of Twitterrific has to be seen to be believed. It provides the best Twitter reading experience so far.
- Coaster Crazy: The absolute most fun I’ve had with a mobile game in a very long time. Coaster Crazy doesn’t take itself too seriously, but packs a ton of great gameplay in a colorful and very humorous package. This is my must-play iOS game of 2012.
- Paper by FiftyThree: One of the most beautifully designed apps I’ve ever used, Paper by FiftyThree is a note-taking and illustration app that has the best inking engine on the market with one of the most intuitive user interfaces on a touch device. It’s free, so there’s no reason this shouldn’t be on your iPad right now. Paired with a WACOM Bamboo Stylus, it’s perfect!
- Jasmine: My Youtube client of choice. It has a beautiful interface and using it is a joy. I haven’t bothered using Google’s official Youtube app, ever.
Get to Downloading!
So there you have it. We hope you’ve found some new additions for your growing collection of iPad apps! Let us know what your top apps are in the comments below. Stick around and maybe we’ll have even more for you in the near future.