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My Top 10 Must Have iPad Apps For 2012

  1. Reeder (£2.99) – If you’re a RSS user and you’ve not heard of Reeder you need to take a long hard look at your life. Simply the best RSS reader out there, great for those of us who are obsessed with our unread count and never want to miss a beat. Download it. Now!
  2. Air Video (£1.99) – Until a few weeks ago I didn’t realise just how much I use this app. It seems relatively simple at first, ‘it streams video from your Mac/PC to your iPad, big deal!’. But throw in the fact that you can tell it to keep a constant watch on any folder on your Mac/PC (including an external HD you can have loaded with films, tv shows etc.) and the fact that it has full AirPlay support and you have yourself a very powerful, very useful app that streams any video format on your Mac/PC straight to you Apple TV.
  3. GarageBand  (£2.99) – Do you like music? If the answer’s yes then you’ll love GarageBand. It’s exactly what you’d expect from one of Apple’s apps; the instruments sound awesome, the interface is gorgeous and so intuitive that someone who’s never touched an instrument can pick it up and know exactly what to do and it’s got more audio loops than you can shake a drum stick at. It really couldn’t be easier to record and export great sounding tracks.
  4. Adobe Ideas (£3.99) – If you’re looking for a simple, easy to use drawing app look no further. Ideas is useful for jotting down ideas (funnily enough), working the odd maths problem out, even (as I often use it) doing any crosswords/puzzles that might be in a paper in your Newsstand, just snap a screenshot and import the photo into Ideas, it’s that easy!
  5. PDF Expert (£6.99) – This is by far the most productive app on the list. On the face of it, PDF Expert is just a PDF editing app, but with the vast array of annotating options and the ability to sync to services such as Dropbox, this app becomes the perfect companion for working on the go. This app is perfect for students to use to take notes in lectures, simply download your notes before the lecture into Dropbox and open up PDF Expert when you’re in the lecture and annotate away! It’s a bit on the pricey side, but at the end of the day what’s £6.99 if it can increase your productivity this much?
  6. dJay (£13.99) – I’ve used the desktop version of dJay for a couple of years now and it’s a brilliant app, so I knew exactly what to expect from the iPad version and it didn’t disappoint. Although it’s the most expensive of the apps in this list, there’s no DJing skill required to have some fun with this app. With one song on each of the two turntables it can auto-match beats for you, adjust the tuning and you can even set it to automatically mix the songs for you, so you can just leave it running through a playlist and enjoy a seamless listening experience.
  7. Flipboard (Free!) – Another great RSS app. If you’re not as obsessed about your unread count and would prefer to just read your feeds as and when you’d like, then Flipboard is for you. It’s ones of the best looking iPad apps out there and it was the first app I downloaded when I first got my iPad 2! To top it all off it’s free, so you’ve got no excuse not to try this one out!
  8. Celsius (Free! – £1.49) – After trawling through a lot of weather apps over the years on both iPhone & iPad (and believe me, there are a lot!), Celsius is the one I keep coming back to. Not only does it display the current temperature by way of a badge on the app’s icon, but it’s also the cleanest interface of any weather app I know, yet it’s still packed with features. There’s a free version of this app which I highly recommend you go and check out!
  9. Screens (£13.99) – Ahh VNC, what I wouldn’t give to have you hassle-free! Being able to access your Mac/PC from anywhere in the world just from your iPad would be so useful, if only it weren’t so complicated to set up (I think you can see where I’m going with this). Enter Screens, the simple solution to all your VNC needs, no messy ports to forward, no firewalls to worry about, simply download the free Screens Connect client for your Mac/PC, choose an ID for your machine, fire up Screens on iPad and enter the ID and your password, and you’re in! Simple as that! Screens boasts a very intuitive interface with innovative features such as dragging the screen to display your dock (highly useful!). If you’ve ever wanted remote access to you Mac/PC but felt like you wouldn’t be able to set it up, you need look no further.
  10. Sky News (Free!) – If you’ve ever sat down and watched the Sky News channel for any length of time you will have noticed how much they love their iPads, they’re everywhere! This is reflected in the design of their news app, you can choose to view the plethora of videos in either a timeline view or a slick tiled interface. On selecting a video you are also presented with an array of similar recommendations that fan out around your current clip. I wouldn’t have thought an app like this would have made my top 10, but its slick design really sets it apart from the rest.
  11. Bonus! Wunderlist (Free!) – Ahh Wunderlist, I feel bad that you didn’t make the cut, but since iOS 5 and reminders were released earlier this year I find that I just don’t use you any more. Up until iOS 5, Wunderlist was my favourite task management app, with it’s companion iPhone app and desktop client it made to-do’s interesting again through seamless syncing, clean design and great overall efficiency. If you find that Reminders is lacking somewhat, give Wunderlist a go.
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