Best free iPad apps of all time

Apr 1, 2014

From e-readers to music makers, there are plenty of free apps out there; we’ve pulled down a list of the very best.

Fill out your iPad with great apps that won’t cost you anything. From e-readers to music makers, there are plenty of free apps out there; we’ve pulled down a list of the very best.


Flipboard, a great way to read articles on your iPad, puts content from multiple sources onto your screen. The app is worth having because of its magazine-like design, which puts articles from websites and shared on your social network feeds into a beautiful, tablet-friendly layout.  If you’re looking for a more convenient, visually pleasing way to consume the Internet, Flipboard is it.


Apple’s music app GarageBand brings all kinds of capabilities to iPad users. It transforms their devices into musical instruments as well as the equipment to record music. You can simulate instrument like pianos, guitars and more with your iPad’s touchscreen, and GarageBand lets your record and mix tracks, create songs, save them and share them online. It’s a one-stop shop for musicians.


With more than 1 billion users, it’s safe to say that most people want Facebook on their mobile devices. And Facebook has finally released a version of the social network that’s optimized for the iPad, bringing all the functions of the social network to the larger mobile screen. You can page through your news feed and share links, images and status updates, and Facebook supports other handy features in its iPad app, like its messaging capabilities.


With a huge haul of gorgeous photos and lots of information about its missions, NASA is a great way to use your iPad to learn about the universe. You can delve into NASA with the ability to livestream NASA TV, read up on the latest news and feature stories out of the space program, and browse through more than 12,000 awesome photos of space. There’s also social networking connectivity so you can share what you find on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.


Amazon’s Kindle app instantly turns your iPad into an ebook reader. The app lets you download ebooks you buy on to your device, making them easy to read with adjustable type, day and night modes, and dictionary support to quickly find the definitions of words. Kindle also allows users to annotate their books with highlighted portions and notes, and it syncs your place in your book across any device on which you read it.


What Kindle is to ebooks, Comics is to, well, comics. The app lets you access a marketplace full of downloadable digital comics — including lots of free options — and once you’ve found what you want to read, provides e-reader support so you can enjoy your comics right on your iPad. With the iPad’s quality screen, you’ll get high-res images that make for gorgeous comics that you can store on your device to read wherever.

VLC Streamer Free

An iPad is a pretty handy personal screen for watching movies and TV, especially when someone else in the family is using the TV. With VLC Streamer, you can pull movies and other content that’s on your computer onto your iPad across your local WiFi network. Best of all, VLC Streamer handles any conversion issues so you don’t have to worry about what format your files are.


There are tons of articles on the Internet that you’ll run into on any given day, and you may well find there are too many to read during your busy day. Pocket helps with that by allowing you to save articles and videos you find on your computer browser to read on your mobile devices. The app cleans up articles by stripping out things like adds and other unnecessary elements, making them easier to read on your schedule.


This one’s a bit on the self-explanatory side, but YouTube is definitely an app worth snagging. It gives users full access to the websites giant database of videos and makes it possible to use your YouTube account to see your subscribed channels and more. You can also do cool things, like watching a video while you search for your next one.


Sure, this is another ebook reader, but Wattpad has the virtue of bringing users not only the means to read new ebooks, but a bunch of free offerings as well. You can download selections from millions of free books to read on your iPad with Wattpad’s onboard e-reader, and you can also upload your own writing and fanfiction for others to enjoy, as well.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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