25 Best iPad Apps

Top Entertainment & Lifestyle iPad Apps

ABC Player

Sure, we’d love to see a Hulu app that includes all the most popular shows, but ABC Player provides more than enough free content to kill some time, not to mention a slick user interface. After sitting through a 30-second commercial, we enjoyed smooth playback when watching an episode of Modern Family, and you can quickly get rid of the bars above and below the video by clicking on an expand button on the bottom of the screen. Our only complaint is that the Play/Pause and slider button for fast forwarding are small.

Free; www.abc.com; Get It From iTunes

Marvel Comics

Comic books are expected to enjoy a renaissance due to the iPad, and the Marvel Comics app makes a very good argument. With an in-app store that’s reminiscent of iTunes, buying new comics couldn’t be much easier. The smooth flow from panel to panel while zoomed in is gorgeous in the way it mimics how your eyes would naturally move across a page. Your choice of comics ranges from such titles as X-Men and Iron Man to Wolverine and Captain America, and most cost $1.99 each. The app includes several free comics to get your superhero juices flowing.

Free ($1.99 per comic); www.marvel.com; Get It From iTunes


Subscribers to the most popular movie delivery service now have one more way to get their fix. This app lets Netflix users access an unlimited number of films and TV shows at home or on the go. Streams start quickly, and the interface makes it fairly simple to find something good (if not terribly current) to watch. When we first logged on The Ugly Truth and Julie & Julia were new to the Watch Instantly lineup, and TV shows included older seasons of 30 Rock, Lost, and 24. If you start watching on a PC, you can pick up where you left off on the iPad, and vice versa. You can also use the app to manage your Neflix queue. Not bad for the $8.99 (or more) you’re already paying.

Free (with $8.99 Netflix subscription); www.netflix.com

Yahoo Entertainment

It’s easily the most attractive interface we’ve seen on an iPad app yet, and it should look good since everything else in the entertainment world is judged by its appearance. But this app’s beauty is more than skin deep. It serves up free television listings (using your location), as well as entertainment news and videos. We like the way Yahoo presents headlines and images in huge numbered grids, even if you can’t share individual articles. You can also read book reviews and comics to kill time between your favorite shows.

Free; www.yahoo.com; Get It From iTunes


Whether you’re clueless in the kitchen (like we sometimes are) or you’re just looking for some inspiration, Epicurious is a must-have app. It offers easy-to-follow recipes with a full-screen Cookbook view that provides ingredients and photos, as well as the proper prep steps you can bookmark. User-rated recipes ensure that your creation has the best chance possible of pleasing the crowd, while detailed nutrition info will keep their waistlines from ballooning to the size of your newfound culinary confidence.

Free; www.epicurious.com; Get It From iTunes

25 iPad Apps You Need (By Category)

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. J Says:

    This list just emphasizes how useless the ipad is. Is there anything there that really makes you want to spend $$$$ to get one?

    I mean take a student who wants one…. what about editing documents or being able to write notes over a pdf or powerpoint slides?

    Movies/tv – do you really want to hold it for prolonged hours??

    okay for ebooks and things but it is a lot of $$ for the privilege

    Marvel comics at $1.99 – if i was really into comics i would rather have the real thing.

    Games – my phone can do them and is easier to whip out for a quick 5 minutes

    In summary – a lot of $$$ for not a whole lot. Okay a bit of fun for a while. Who buys ipads – people who want to seem cool and have more money than sense. Why not try to solve some of the worlds problems instead of buying this piece of junk.

  2. J Says:

    I mean come on are we all pre-teens wanting to just play video games and read comics??? Has anyone grown up??

  3. J Says:

    OKay there is quickoffice that allows some document editing and viewing for $10. But if this was a windows slate you could use openoffice for FREE. Ipad apps just remind me of those commercials for cell phone games and ringtones that are basically ripping you off. You just have to wonder who would buy them!

  4. J Says:

    buy something like a viliv N5 instead or a “netvertible” or wait for a windows slate to come out. There is an app called firefox that allows you to do about 1000 Apple apps in one. Hmmm abc viewer, hulu covered, document editing covered, craigs list covered, you tube videos covered, thousands of games covered, facebook etc covered …and on and on.

  5. J Says:

    best of all it is free.

    The Ipad should be advertised as $650 plus $100 for apps to make the most of it. That’s a lot of money for a bit of fun – which is basically all it is.

  6. Jesse Says:

    Okay, chill j. You don’t have to be so negative. Sure iPad may seem lame and stupid to some people, but not everyone will feel that way because they have different opinions. You have to accept that fact and deal with life. Gosh. So negative. Why are you only hogging this site? You are a fag. What are you, in high school? You say “are we all pre teens?” well, you seem like one to me. Ughh.. What a bastard you are!

  7. D Says:

    J – does the J stand for Jealous or Jackoff? The “pre teens” are not stupid, fool, they’ll hack their iPads and download apps for free.

  8. No Ponnei Com Says:

    Using iPad on a plane with all these movies, games, books and music is a major distraction, so it will help you to forget about the flight. For those with a more severe fear of flying, there is a special ‘Mental Workout’ Fear of Flying app available in iPad (in conjunction with Virgin Airlines). The app put many air travelers at ease and enable them to prepare to the flight.

  9. S Says:

    Where are the slates? A year late, that’s where. I’m not convinced about the slate… It seems like some hardware with some slapped on software with the purpose of catching up to the iPad. I’m perfectly fine with my iPad, especially as a side kick to my laptop. Have fun with your 7″ screen!

  10. Jamie Says:

    okay seriously, j, its obvious you know nothing about ipads. im a teen who uses my iPad for school. I was at Best Buy actually comparing prices and the iPad vs. laptop debate. There are a LOT of apps for free, plus tons of office, pdf, presentation, and document-editing apps. It’s pretty good compared to a laptop (which now most these days you have to buy your own word processing- for hundreds of dollars!) Sure, I use it for fun too, but it sure beats the heck out of a laptop in my opinion. Ranting over and over on a deserted website isn’t going to stop people from buying them. You’re just wasting your time.

  11. Kevin Says:

    Why not solve the worlds problems instead of buying an iPad??? What does that even mean? How are those two even related? Are you solving the worlds problems? Cause it seems like your spending your free time writing pointless comments in a random site about a device you don’t even own.
    I have an iPad, because I also have a job. You should try getting one to.

  12. Nilofc Says:

    Ipads are always ON. no booting up necessary .. That means a lot. You can readily take notes at an instant, taking the use of paper out of your life… Saving the trees… saving the world. Hahaha. Anyway, ipads will not replace laptops …not yet…. But i thnk it will do later. Stop being negative just because you don’t and can’t have one. Cheer up…. at least ipads offers an akternative out there… A choice.

    Pray to God that you will lose these anxiety and negative emotions about the things around you.

  13. Someone Says:

    J, your just jealous that you dont have an ipad.

  14. Keith Says:

    Way to beat a dead horse. The previous comment was 13 months ago.

  15. Gerardus Harjadi B. Says:

    Integrated in a wireless digital office systems, implementing a previously defined workflows, data/information inputing, retrieval, processing and storage, the iPad has the potential as a part of automated and paperless Office. That is what I am waiting for. Maybe someone gets this idea ang developing apps beginning with handwriting inputtaker fully integratable in such productivity environment ? Not only because I love Apple since Apple 2 was my first computer, but I like to buy iPad as a mobile, personal multipurpose digital assistant; for fun and to be productive simutanously. period.

  16. Kayla Says:

    The iPad is not just for fun, I use it for school, taking good pictures while I’m away, listening to music, ready pdf modules which I absolutely need in school. And also, it’s not useless or stupid or something! You’re just saying that cause you don’t own one. Try to buy one and you’ll know what it can do.

  17. 💩Britt Johnson💩 Says:

    I love my iPad and I need it for school for notes and projects. It’s needed also for work to do presentations for business. After school I will go on cool apps and I highly recommend Pinterest for sure. If youdo not own one, I suggest you get one because it is definitely worth the money. If you have the money, buy one.

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