The First 10 Apps to Install on Your New iPad

New to iPad? Install these great apps first

Man using ipad

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While Apple's App Store is one of the biggest reasons why the iPad is so popular, it can also be quite intimidating. With so many great apps, it can be difficult to figure out which are the first apps to download to your new iPad. But don't worry, we'll guide you to some of the best apps out there that should be among the first hat you install on your new iPad.  


What We Like
  • Good selection of completely free movies and TV shows.

  • “Always On” feature allows searches while watching another show.

What We Don't Like
  • Occasional commercials.

  • Not as big a selection as paid services such as Netflix.

Who doesn't like free movies? And I'm not talking about old movies that have dropped into the public domain or obscure "B" flicks. Crackle is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, and while the library of movies and TV shows won't compete with Netflix or Hulu Plus, it does have premium movies like Talladega Nights, The International and older classics like So I Married an Axe Murderer and Stripes. More great apps for movie lovers.


What We Like
  • Create a custom “station” to hear your favorite music.

  • Huge selection of music.

What We Don't Like
  • Free version is ad-supported.

  • Free version limited to six songs per hour, including skips.

Pandora will make you wonder why you even need a radio. The idea behind Pandora was to build a database of music that could link songs and artists based on the similarity of the music. This proves to be a little different than simply linking together artists because they share a similar audience where the actual music produced can be quite different.

So what's so awesome about Pandora? The ability to create your own radio station. You can simply type in "The Beatles" to get a radio station that features both songs by the Beatles and similar-sounding music, so you'll end up hearing the Rolling Stones, the Doors, etc. But where it really gets interesting is when you combine several artists into a single station, such as the Beatles / Van Halen / Train / John Mayer station. 


What We Like
  • Easy, intuitive way to catch up on feeds.

  • Includes feeds on nearly 35,000 topics.

  • Especially well-suited to tablets.

What We Don't Like
  • Ad-supported.

  • Some users might find the layout somewhat cluttered.

Flipboard is easily among the best apps on the iPad, making it a no-brainer to be one of the first apps to download. If you love Facebook and Twitter, Flipboard can turn your social media and news feeds into an interactive magazine. And even if you aren't into social media, you can subscribe to various feeds from tech to politics to sports and easily find the best the Internet has to offer.


What We Like
  • Easy to use.

  • Regularly updated.

What We Don't Like
  • Saddled with same privacy concerns as versions for other devices.

  • Seems slower than a regularly updated app should be.

This one might sound like a no-brainer, but some of us are so accustomed to going straight to the Facebook website that we might forget there's a great app out there. You can also connect your iPad to your Facebook account in the iPad's settings, which means you can upload a photo to Facebook directly from your Photos app without ever needing to open Facebook. You can even use Siri to update your Facebook status.  


What We Like
  • Works seamlessly for backups in the background.

  • All the benefits of an external hard drive without hardware concerns.

What We Don't Like
  • Storage gets used up faster than expected.

  • Additional storage costs can add up.

Not only do we live in a very connected world, but our devices also live in a very connected world. If you want to share your documents between your laptop, smartphone and your iPad, you'll want to get Dropbox. This app works alongside the Dropbox website to give you access to an Internet hard drive, allowing you to pull up pictures, PDFs and other documents on all of your devices.


What We Like
  • Tons of feedback from people who have used businesses you’re interested in patronizing.

  • Easy to use.

What We Don't Like
  • Reviews are not always authentic.

  • Sheer number of reviews may be overwhelming.

The Maps application that comes with the iPad can be a great way to search for nearby restaurants and businesses, but if you want a great way to narrow down your search and read reviews left by customers, Yelp is your app. It's a great way to find a hole-in-the-wall spot that you might have otherwise missed, or find the best places to go when you are on vacation.


What We Like
  • Enormous amount of information on actors, actresses, movies, and TV shows.

  • Typically includes interesting tidbits about each.

What We Don't Like
  • Entries for lesser-known people can be sparse.

  • Not all entries include photos.

What was the name of the actress that played in Lucy? Which movie made Matt Damon a star? How many movies has Harrison Ford been in, anyway?

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is not only your ticket for winning Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but it will also answer all of those annoying little questions that bug you when you see a familiar face in a movie or TV show and can't quite place it. 

Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime...

What We Like
  • Watch movies and TV anywhere you have internet access.

  • Selection is virtually limitless.

  • Spotlight helps you find the show you want to see.

What We Don't Like
  • Streaming requires reliable, fast internet connection.

  • May use up data quickly on metered connections.

Speaking of movies, most of us subscribe to one or more streaming services these days. Crackle is all good and fun for free movies, but you should download the streaming app for each of your subscriptions.

One cool benefit of the iPad is the ability to search within apps through the Spotlight Search feature. This means you can search for a particular movie or TV show and see results from within Netflix of Hulu Plus, so you no longer need to hunt through each streaming service to find out which one (if any) streams a particular show. You can even tap the link in the search results and it will open the streaming app to that movie or show. 

Scanner Pro

What We Like
  • Makes a conventional scanner unnecessary.

  • Saves space and expense.

  • Easy to use.

What We Don't Like
  • Not free.

  • Not as many features as a standalone scanner.

One of the few paid apps on the list, Scanner Pro makes the cut for one simple reason: it is incredibly useful for anyone who doesn't own a scanner. In fact, even if you do own a scanner, this app will make you think about putting it in a garage sale.  

The concept is simple. Launch the app, line the document up in the camera and the app will automatically focus and snap the shot. It'll even clip the picture so it looks just like the document went through a real scanner. You can send the resulting PDF file as an attachment, store it in a cloud service like Dropbox or simply keep it for later use. 

Apple's Free Apps


What We Like
  • iWork suite.

  • Garage Band.

  • iMovie.

What We Don't Like
  • Easy to get carried away and use up too much space with needless apps.

Let's not forget the host of apps that Apple gives away for free. Depending on the model and storage capabilities, you may have some of these already installed on your iPad. But if not, you may want to download the iWork suite of office apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) along with Garage Band, which is a virtual music studio, and iMovie, which allows you to edit video and create your own movies.

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