Best apps to download now for your new iPad

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Best apps for your new iPad
The iPad, home of some of the best apps in existence.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac Year in Review 2018The iPad can be so may different things. I use mine for reading, writing, making music, watching movies, and if I have any time to waste, I might play a game. The iPad is pretty much the ultimate creative tool, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t sit back and “consume” the odd “content” every once in a while.

GarageBand

Finally, GarageBand can be controlled from a keyboard.
Finally, GarageBand can be controlled from a keyboard.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

GarageBand is Apple’s free version of Logic Pro, but don’t let the price tag fool you. GarageBand may be the best music-making app on iOS. It packs zillions or virtual instruments and free loops, it has a team of drummers that will intelligently play along with your own creations, and support for all kinds of third-party extras.

GarageBand is essential for anyone who wants to make music on iOS, and is capable producing great finished tracks. I use it all the time, and all the music on my SoundCloud is recorded with GarageBand.

Price: Free

Download: GarageBand from the App Store (iOS)

Instapaper

Instapaper, the OG read later service.
Instapaper, the OG read later service.

Instapaper is the nicest of all the read-later apps. Whenever you find an article, web-page, or link you want to read later, just save it to Instapaper. It removes all the junk, leaving just beautifully-formatted text, and images.

Instapaper came back from a GDPR abyss this year, and now has great iPad Pro 2018 support, keyboard shortcuts (finally) for reading, searching, and navigating, plus a true black theme for the iPhones X.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Instapaper from the App Store (iOS)

Amazon Kindle

The Kindle iPad appS
The Kindle iPad app.
Photo: Cult of Mac

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read all Amazon’s Kindle books on your iPad. The only glitch is that you can’t shop for books from the app. You have to go to the Amazon website to do that, but once there you can send purchases and samples to the iPad as easily as you can to a hardware Kindle.

You can also read comics in the Kindle app, thanks to Amazon’s purchase of Comixology. Pretty much any digital comic can be had, and the reading experience is great. Try that on a B&W e-ink Kindle.

Price: Free

Download: Amazon Kindle from the App Store (iOS)

Linea Sketch

Linea Sketch
Linea Sketch get a ton of great iPad-Pro ready-features.
Photo: Iconfactory

Linea is a crowd favorite thanks to its clean design, its advanced-yet-simple-to-use features, and the great drawing and ink engine. And now it has been brushed up to take advantage of the new 2018 iPadPro and second-gen Apple Pencil.

Linea lets you assign the tap to enter selection mode, show/hide the interface, switch tools, and change tool sizes. You can also choose what you bare finger does when the Pencil is connected. You can erase, blend, draw, move the canvas, or do nothing.

Price: $4.99

Download: Linea Sketch from the App Store (iOS)

Chunky Comic Reader

Chunky Comic Reader iPad apps
Despite it’s terrible name, Chunky Comic Reader Is one of the best comics apps on the iPad.
Photo: Chunky Comic Reader

Chunky Comic Reader doesn’t have a built-in comic store like the Kindle, but if you download your comics yourself, form other stores or from dodgier sources, Chunky is the place to go. In fact, I prefer it to the Kindle comic reader so much that make the extras effort to download those files and save them to Chunky.

Which is easy, because Chunky supports pretty much any cloud service you might want to use. It also makes organizing your collections easy.

All in all, though, it’s about the reading. And Chunky is one of the best.

Price: Free

Download: Chunky Comic Reader from the App Store (iOS)