Best paid iPad apps of all time

by Ian Black

There are many great iPad apps worth paying for - even the ones that are not iPad games. Whether you like to consume movies and music on the go, are a fan of classic comics or need a survival guide for your next camping trip, we have selections for you.

Korg iELECTRIBE - $19.99

Are you a closet DJ? Or, perhaps even a professional DJ? Either way, you need to know about Korg’s IELECTRIBE. This app takes the original Korg vacuum tube-based beat box and recreates it as an amazing, fully functional, iPad app. Amateurs and pros alike can create complex musical grooves in minutes using IELECTRIBE’s beautifully crafted interface of buttons, knobs, sliders, and a retro display. Record and then export your tracks for use anywhere.

Marvel Comics - Free, but comics are purchased individually for $1.99 and up

Whether or not you read comics, you should check out the Marvel Comics app. Comics have found their destiny on the iPad. They display with bold graphics in brilliant colors. In “Guided Mode,” panels zoom and pan to full screen. With one tap you move to the next panel. The app features free comics updated weekly or you can purchase others, all of which get stored in your in-app Library. The Marvel Comics app is free, but to really make full use of the app you will be using in-app purchasing to buy more comics, hence its place on this best-of list.

Air Display - $9.99

If you own a Mac computer in addition to your iPad, you need Air Display. With a simple setup, your iPad becomes a second display for your computer. You can drag windows back and forth from your Mac to the iPad, or make the iPad a mirror of everything that’s on your Mac’s screen. In mirror mode, the iPad is basically a remote desktop through which you can control your Mac, as you can carry it around your house or office. Even better, your iPad’s touch screen is fully active so you touch and tap around to interact with the windows you normally control with a mouse and keyboard.

Reeder for iPad - $4.99

Tame information overload with this RSS reader. Reeder for iPad showcases the magic that can be achieved when amazing software is combined with an incredible device. Flick through your feeds faster than you can on a PC. Organize by unread, favorites, by source or in time-line mode. Beautiful layouts in portrait or landscape let you easily drill down or move between articles. The app offers featured and most popular RSS feeds which you want to add to your own list. Helpful settings let you sync only over Wi-Fi and sort several ways, and you can make notes and share articles with friends. You’ll never need to use a PC-based feed reader ever again.

Netflix - Free, but needs a subscription

The portable iPad is perfect for movie watching. Connect to your Netfix account and take advantage of all their “Watch Now” streaming video feature with this app. The catalog of movies and TV episodes is huge and always growing. You can also save video to your “Instant View” queue for watching later, and VCR-style controls let you pause, fast-forward, or rewind your flicks. Netflix plans start at $7.99 per month.

Pianist Pro - $4.99

This is a highly-acclaimed app that even appeared in an Apple TV commercials. As its name suggests, it converts your iPad into a fully functional keyboard featuring 16 professionally recorded instruments (like piano, guitars and synthesizer) an integrated drum machine, special effects and the ability to affect pitch and modulation. It also allows for full recording and dubbing so you can easily record and export files to share with your friends. Whether you’re a sophisticated music junkie, or merely enjoy tinkering the ivories once in a while Pianist Pro is worthy of your time.

GoodReader for iPad - $4.99

In 2010, GoodReader was the best-selling non-Apple iPad app of the year, and its hard to be critical of an app that does its job so well. Simply put, GoodReader lets you read practically anything on your tablet. As well as PDF and text files, it can cope with Microsoft Office docs, iWork format files, HTML archives and all sorts of images. It even lets you annotate, manage and transfer these files. This is an app that will make your iPad experience a better one. Wherever you go and whatever you need to read, GoodReader can pretty much handle it.

Numbers - $9.99

Numbers may not sound like the most exciting app around, but for many iPad owners who use their tablets professionaly, it’s essential and extremely useful. Numbers lets you build compelling spreadsheets in a simple and efficient way. They can even include charts, graphs, photos and tables. This Apple-produced document offers a selection of templates which are easily customized and data can be imported from your existing docs. It offers thorough editing and formatting tools, and makes it easy to share your finished product whether through printing or via the software program of your choice.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - $4.99

The first book app to ever hit the coveted No. 1 spot in the iPad App Store, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore, despite its mouthful of a title, is a thoroughly enchanting experience. Its a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Its a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of storytelling, and it shines on the iPad with its beautiful animation and tons of interactivity. Though the expression “the future of children’s books” may be bandied about a little too often, here’s one app that may be the start of such a revolution. Parents everywhere would be well served sharing this one with their kids.

Hulu Plus - Free, but needs a subscription

Like Netflix, while this app is initially free, it pretty much requires a paid-up subscription to Hulu Plus to get any real benefit from it. Simply put, the app does everything its accompanying website does, allowing you to stream thousands of television shows and movies directly to your iPad in full HD, whether you’re connected via Wi-Fi or even 3G. Hulu mainly pulls its content from ABC, Fox and NBC, so there’s plenty of modern shows to enjoy like Glee, 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live as well as classic favorites like Miami Vice, Ally McBeal, My So-Called Life and hundreds more.

Others in this series:

1. Best free iPad apps of all time

2. Best free iPad games of all time

3. Best paid iPad games of all time