If you’ve just bought the brand new iPad Air or the iPad mini 5, the first thing you’ll want to do is load it up with apps. The new iPads have the best qualities of both the standard iPad and the iPad Pro (both support the Apple Pencil). That makes them a great machine for both content consumption and content creation. So we’ve gathered up the best iPad apps that will let you enjoy content in the best possible way, and also enable you to be productive on the go. Check out our list of the best apps for 2019 iPad Air and iPad mini 5.
The Best Apps for 2019 iPad Air and iPad mini 5
If you’ve bought the iPad along with the Apple Pencil, you should spend 10 dollars more on Procreate. It’s an app that’s designed for professionals but anyone can use it. Just doodle around for a while and you’ll start to get a hang of it. Follow the tutorials on YouTube and you can learn illustration, drawing and even calligraphy in the app itself.
Download: Procreate ($9.99)
Pixelmator is a $5 image editing and manipulation app. It has components of a graphic design app built-in. But what Pixelmator is famous for is image editing. You get a versatile toolset for editing images, similar to what you see in Photoshop. But they’re fast and easy to use.
Download: Pixelmator ($4.99)
LumaFusion is the only professional video editing app on the iPad and really, it’s more than what most users need. You can do 4K live editing, along with multi-track editing for both video and audio. The standard features of transition effects, text slides, background music, and export presets are all available.
Download: LumaFusion ($19.99)
4. Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is a feature-rich photo editor on the iPad. It’s like Photoshop but designed from the group up for the touch screen. You get access to unlimited layers, customizable brushes and a lot more.
Download: Affinity Photo ($19.99)
5. Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer is the vector design app for the iPad. It’s the equivalent to Illustrator. The professional illustration app is all you need for designing posters, brochures and more. The app makes it easy to design in vector format, convert it to raster and export your designs in vector or image format.
Download: Affinity Designer ($19.99)
6. iCab Mobile
iCab Mobile is the browser designed for professional users. It’s the only iPad browser that supports extensions. They’re called modules and while only a couple of dozen modules are available, they negate the need of visiting multiple websites. Plus, it has a much better tab management feature and comes with a stellar dark mode (that works on websites as well as the UI).
Download: iCab Mobile ($1.99)
Annotable is the best all-in-one annotation app for the iPad. In this app, you can mark up images, add text, magnify parts of the image, blur images and more.
Download: Annotable (Free)
8. Good Notes 5
Good Notes 5 has been recently redesigned and modernized for the new iPad. It is now the ultimate notetaking app for the iPad. It fixes the major issues that Good Notes 4 had. You can now take continuous scrolling notes using Good Notes, making it much easier to use. You can annotate text, export as PDF or image, doodle and draw and a lot more.
Download: Good Notes 5 ($7.99)
9. iA Writer
iA Writer is the most polished Markdown writing environment on the iPad. The dark theme looks especially gorgeous. The app is minimal, without any formatting bar in the UI. Though, you’ll see formatting options above the keyboard. You can sync documents using Dropbox or iCloud Drive.
Download: iA Writer ($8.99)
Shortcuts is Apple’s own user automation app for iOS 12. The new iPads are mighty powerful. But the iOS software still keeps the hardware down. Using Shortcuts, you can create some automation workflows that will help you do things that apps in the App Store just won’t. You can do some really cool things just by importing Shortcuts made by the community. If you want to get your hands dirty, you can start creating your own Shortcuts as well.
Download: Shortcuts (Free)
11. Microsoft Outlook
Surprisingly, Microsoft’s Outlook makes for one of the best email apps for the iPad. The app is thoughtfully designed and has features that help users who are overwhelmed by an overloaded Inbox. For example, you have a priority inbox, swipe gestures, integration with calendar and files. One of the coolest features is the compose box it as at the bottom of each email. You can just tap on it and start creating a response like you’re replying to a message in IM. This helps email seem less of a taxing job.
Download: Microsoft Outlook (Free)
12. Edison Mail
If you don’t want to use Microsoft Outlook, Edison Email is a good option. It’s currently the best email app on the iPhone and iPad. It’s a smart email app that’s also customizable. You can customize every part of the app. You can toggle the email accounts and labels and sections you want to view. The smart part of Edison shows email in smart views – things like attachments, shipping, and more data is visually presented. And it has a lot of swipe gestures too.
Download: Edison Mail (Free)
LiquidText soles one of the biggest headaches of dealing with PDFs on the iPad. It lets you easily highlight, comment and annotate on any PDF file. This is a god sent for students and editors alike.
Download: LiquidText (Free)
14. PCalc Lite
The iPad doesn’t have a calculator app. There are many calculator apps on the App Store but PCalc is the one you should install. The free version is powerful, comes with a widget and is ad-free. And you can use in-app purchases to add features like themes, conversions and more.
Download: Pcalc Lite (Free)
Paper was one of the first drawing apps on the iPad and it’s still a great option for casual use. It’s awesome for doodling, drawing and for mind mapping.
Download: Paper (Free)
Evernote was abandoned for the last couple of years but the recent redesign has brought it back into the limelight. The app is as feature-rich as ever – with support for notebooks, nesting, tags and more. Now it even supports Siri Shortcuts. If you’re looking for something better than Apple Notes, take a look at Evernote.
Download: Evernote (Free)
17. PDF Expert
PDF Expert is the only PDF manager and reader you’ll need on the iPad. In fact, it’s a better experience using PDF Export on iPad than using Adobe’s PDF apps on the Mac. You can open any PDF in the app, edit it and update it. Even if it wasn’t designed to be edited. The app also makes it easy for filling up PDF forms and signing them.
Download: PDF Expert ($9.99)
18. MyScript Calculator
MyScript Calculator answers the question every 12-year old has. Why can’t I just solve my equations by writing them? With MyScript Calculator, you can make complex calculations simply by writing them on the iPad screen.
Download: MyScript Calculator ($2.99)
The 10.5 inch iPad Air screen is awesome for reading and watching movies. Because the screen is so vibrant, it also makes for a great comic book reading experience. Using ComiXology, start a subscription and you can read hundreds of awesome comics right on your iPad, without having to buy individual issues.
Download: ComiXology (Free)
Overcast is the best podcast player on the iPhone. And if you’re going to listen to podcasts on the iPad, it’s best to use Overcast. You get the same easy to use interface, Smart Speed, Voice Boost and custom playlist controls.
Download: Overcast (Free)
iOS 12 has a good password manager built-in. But if you’re looking for something more secure, try 1Password. You can store password locally, in your own cloud account or on 1Password’s servers. Best thing is that now iOS 12 lets you autofill passwords from third-party clients as well. So you can easily log in to all your apps and services without saving any details on your iCloud account.
Download: 1Password (Free)
Pocket is the best way to save articles for reading later. Share an article from anywhere to the Pocket app and it will save the text and images offline. The reading environment is much better, without any distractions or ads.
Download: Pocket (Free)
Netflix is awesome to watch on the iPad Air and iPad mini 5. Because it’s so lightweight, with an awesome screen and speakers. It’s a must have for all iPad users.
Download: Netflix (Free)
Apple Books is a good app but it’s a closed platform and the prices aren’t that great either. Kindle is the best ebook reading platform and once you buy a book on Kindle, you can read it on the Kindle ebook reader, the phone and even on the iPad. The iPad is great for reading illustrated or academic books because you can easily take notes on ebooks.
Download: Kindle (Free)
If you’re going to listen to music on the iPad (and it makes for a great speaker in a small sized room), just use the Spotify app. It’s got a great UI, intelligent recommendations and awesome playlist support. Learn more about Spotify in our tips and tricks guide.
Download: Spotify (Free)
Your Favorite iPad Apps
What are some of your favorite apps for iPad Air and iPad mini 5? Share with us in the comments below.