Best Free Apps for iPad mini and new iPad

You’ve just finished up setting up your iPad mini or new iPad, so now it’s time to take advantage of the over 250,000 iPad apps available in the App Store. If you are new to iOS, then you’ll be pleased to know that free doesn’t necessarily mean of lesser quality. Here’s our list of the best free apps for iPad mini and new iPad. Let’s get to downloading the top ten!

Best free apps for iPad mini and new iPad

This has to be one of the more polarizing apps for iPad, so why are we including it and listing it first. It’s the biggest social network, where you interact with all of your friends and family. It’s also the absolute best way to keep up with what’s happening on Facebook. One click of the menu and a sliding panel allows for quick access to your Favorites, Pages, Apps and more. You can also easily share photos from your iPad mini or snap a shot to upload. It’s fast and it’s free. It’s Facebook and for many, it’s the first app they’ll download.

Facebook for iPad mini


The other major social network has bristled developers, but that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying tweets on your iPad. The official app has gone through a metamorphisis of sorts, removing some of the iPad-specific features that many praised. What’s left is a simple, clean and minimal interface that lets you focus on tweeting, your feed and interacting with the 140-character social network.

Twitter for iPad mini


This free app comes with the caveat that you currently have a Netflix account, which is $7.99 per month. It allows you to stream thousands of movies, tv shows and documentaries. The size of the iPad mini display means that you’ll have black bars at the top and bottom of your display, which protects the integrity of the original 16×9 format. Streaming starts up almost instantaneously, letting you catch up on Breaking Bad from your iPad mini or new iPad.

Netflix for iPad mini


With the release of iOS 6, Apple removed the YouTube application. Google has released an iPhone app, but it’s not designed for the iPad, meaning it requires you to view it a 2X. Don’t sully you iPad mini or iPad with phone apps. Leave that to Android. Instead download McTube. It’s a great way to browse YouTube, view videos and there is a feature that lets you save videos to cache. The paid version removes ads and provides removes any cache restrictions. I found the video quality when starting stream to be superior to using Safari, which not defaults to the YouTube mobile site.

YouTube iPad mini


Some developers get the iPad and they develop applications that really make use of the added real estate. The CNN app for iPad exemplifies what is the iPad experience. The slick use of panes, ability to use gestures (swiping left, right) makes it feel natural, like reading your favorite paper. Inserted within articles are videos that help provide for a truly interactive news experience. If you are a cable or satellite subscriber, then a quick login using your account credentials will unlock live streaming of CNN programming.

CNN app


Looking for a great restaurant nearby or perhaps doing some advanced planning for an upcoming vacation or business trip. Yelp has got you covered. Use the nearby or by zip code in order to view restaurants in the area. You can filter by type of food, so ‘restaurants seafood’ would result in seafood restaurants in your area. Not only is a listing, but it’s filled with photos of food, the location and reviews. The reviews are user based and come with a star rating system. Yelp is not limited to restuarants, you can also use it to find Bars, Coffee & Tea and Shopping. Login is not required, but will allow you to take part in reviews, ratings and sharing of photos. Go for it and help build what is already, a fantastic utility for finding the best restaurants.

Yelp for iPad mini


One would think that releasing the company behind the release of a thin and light tablet would include their own book reading app. Not so, but you can do just that by clicking on the link below. iBooks allows you to shop and purchase books for your iPad mini. You can read them across any of your iOS devices that has iBooks installed. iBooks allows you to download samples of books. As noted in our iPad mini set up tutorial, you’ll need to set up an Apple ID, which has a credit card associated with it.

iBooks for iPad mini

These are the best apps and great way to start using your iPad mini or new iPad. Stay tuned for our continuing series including the best free games, along with our look at the best of the paid apps and games. Have a favorite that we didn’t include? Be sure to let us know in the comments or in our iPad forums.

  • Edgar Allen

    Thanks for posting on these great apps Christopher. I just won an iPad Mini through an employee incentive at my office at DISH, and now I need a few good apps for it. I have Facebook and McTube, but the others are kind of new to me and I will have to spend a little time trying those out. I have only had the iPad for a few days, but I have already discovered an essential app called DISH Remote Access. I used to miss all of my favorite shows because I work late nights, but now I can use the DRA app to stream live TV and DVR recordings to my phone. Having a little TV (literally) to watch makes the night go by so much faster.