Oh the joy of opening up your new iPad. By now you’ve completed the new iPad setup process and you are agaze with wonderment at all of the features of this amazing device. With over 250,000 applications available in the App Store, this can be a daunting process to find the absolute best apps for your new iPad. Here are our best 10 iPad apps for 2012. We’ve included a mix of both paid and free apps.
The social networking juggernaut was late to the iPad and instantly became one of the most downloaded apps. If you are even a casual Facebook user, this app will provide you with an experience that is optimized for the iPad. The application uses panes, which makes use of the size of your display. You’ll have quick access to your News Feed, Friends, Inbox and more. It’s Facebook on your iPad. Hard to go wrong here, especially at the price of free.
Infinity Blade II
The second in the series, Infinity Blade made waves when it was first introduced. This application is often a showcase for the amazing graphics capability of the iPad. We should also mention the high quality console-like gameplay. The developers also were among the first to offer high-resolution support for the retina display on the new iPad. It was a tour de force before and will continue to be in stunning high resolution. This game is on the high side at $6.99, but well worth it.
This week’s iPad Game of the Week is Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy, where you are in control of one of 40 modern jets. When Apple introduced the new iPad, they showcased Air Supremacy that takes advantage of A5X quad-core graphics and retina display. This games offers immersive gameplay with over 40 billion square feet of land and sea. Air Supremacy is priced at $4.99.
A standout application on the iPhone, the developers behind this Twitter client provide us with an application that is equally focused on usability and design. You can just feel how the designers poured over each UI (user interface) element. Tweetbot is one of the apps that excels in both form and function. Owners of the iPhone app will have to pay an additional $2.99 for this app, but as we noted in our Tweetbot for iPad review, it’s well worth it.
Bonus pick: The official Twitter app for iPad is a great and free alternative.
Real Racing 2 HD
Racing games on the iPad are plenty of fun, regardless of your gaming prowess. The iPad itself becomes the steering wheel and utilizes the build in gyroscope to make your way around the race track. Using iPad AirPlay Mirroring To Apple TV and you can race on your HDTV in full 1080p graphics. Real Racing 2 HD is priced at $9.99.
Not sure why this is not pre-installed, but that’s easily remedied by a trip to the App Store. iBooks gives you immediate access to a wealth of books available for purchase on your iPad. Reading a book on the iPad is effortless and the page turn animations are gorgeous. The enhanced detail available with the new iPad only further the reading experience. iBooks also offers you the ability to quickly download sample iBooks. You will also find that iBooks are priced less then if you would be a hardcover book. Plus, you get immediate gratification.
Angry Birds HD
It’s hard to imagine a game that has had as much of impact on mobile gaming and that’s simply because launching birds at pigs is an incredibly good time. Regardless of whether you’ve played Angry Birds in the past or not, this game is a keeper. Angry Birds HD is priced at $2.99.
You cannot spend all day launch birds at pigs, flying F15 jets or racing cars. Thankfully, CNN for iPad is an app that will provide you with video and news presented in an iPad friendly format that trumps their regular website. Plus, you can actually stream CNN live directly to your iPad. Apps like CNN really shine because they show you how dedicated apps can take advantage of iOS. CNN for iPad is available for free from the App Store.
GoodReader for iPad
This app is a jack of all trades when it comes to documents, with its speciality being PDF’s. GoodReader allows you to open and view almost any type of document. It also offers stellar performance, opening up huge files with aplomb. It supports all the major Microsoft Office document types, iWork and more. It’s the kitchen sink of readers and it’s good. GoodReader for iPad retails for $4.99.
While your iPad comes with a number of great apps included, it does not come with a calculator. It’s certainly one of those bizarre oddities considering the iPhone does come with a calculator. For $0.99, Calculator Pro will fill that gap left open by Apple.
Note: There is also a free version of Calculator Pro.
It would be impossible not to miss some fantastic apps when creating a top 10 best iPad apps list, so be sure to let us know your favorite apps for the iPad. To comment, please register for free.