James Watts

Follow @jameswatts1990 on Twitter. An avid science writer with a passion for iOS. Always on the lookout for new, beautifully designed yet functional apps for both iPhone and iPad.

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Sid Meier’s Pirates! has been around in one form or another for over twenty years! In that time, it has seen countless remakes and ports onto different operating systems. Now, the 2004 version originally available for Xbox and PSP has arrived on the iPad. Despite the countless iterations of the game, it feels like Pirates! was made for iOS.

Pirates! lets you live the glamorous, yet dangerous life of a Caribbean pirate in the 1600s. Rather than patrolling the seas aimlessly however; you are on a quest to rescue your family after they were enslaved by the evil Spanish nobleman – Marquis de Montalban, for defaulting on their debts to him. Pirates! is an immersive and addictive title which makes great use of the iPad’s large touchscreen. The sheer depth of the game ensures that this will be a game you will replay over and over.


For a long time, Calvetica has been the most praised calendar app available for the iPhone. Fast, yet feature rich, beautiful, yet minimalist. It’s no wonder Calvetica was recommended by so many. Its only downfall? Followers of Mysterious Trousers’ amazing calendar app were left longing for a native iPad version to grace their 9.7 inch display.

Well, the wait is over. Mysterious Trousers have released version 4.0 of Calvetica and not only does this new version make the app universal, it boasts a complete overhaul of the entire design, doing the impossible and making Calvetica even more beautiful! Calvetica is finally the only calendar app that you need!


Recent times have seen an explosion in the number of iOS games released which fall into the ’freemium’ category. This type of game is free to play, but will often tempt you to purchase extra, ‘luxury’ currency from within the app. You can spend this luxury currency to obtain better or rare items, advance through levels with quicker progress or just make the game a whole lot easier.

Typical freemium gameplay consists of performing ‘farming’ actions, these are actions where the player must return to the game a set time later to receive their reward. Generally, this reward will consist of experience points to increase the players level and/or some form of currency. Examples of such actions include; collecting rent, tending to animals, or even the literal farming of crops such as in the widely popular ‘FarmVille’. Completing these actions will allow the player to level up, unlocking new content and keeping the player interested in the game.

Read on to discover 15 of the best freemium games for the iPad…


Student life can be daunting; assessments, deadlines, classes, exams and maybe even a social life. It doesn’t have to be this difficult though. The iPad is naturally a great productivity tool and, loaded with the right apps, it can be your best weapon for surviving education.

Most of these apps cost less than a pint of your favourite beer and will increase your productivity leaps and bounds, saving you countless hours of otherwise wasted time. Start reading now and learn how to ensure you never miss a deadline again!