5 best iPad apps

Just a big iPod Touch? Pah! Show your iPhone-toting friends what they’re missing out on armed with these five killer apps

Your iPad has arrived. Congratulations! Now it’s time to load up on apps. Here are five you should download as soon as it’s out of the box…

1. Marvel, £free

It didn’t take long for most people to work out that ereader form plus colour screen equals comics. And Marvel didn’t waste any time making sure it was in pole position to make the most of that. No half measures here, though – reading comics in individual frames transforms the experience, and we’ve a feeling this is just the beginning. Titles cost £1.20 and can be browsed via the Cover Flow interface once downloaded.

[Download]

Brushes remains the art app to beat in app-land, but for a snitch over a tenth of the price, ArtStudio is the better option for the casual finger painter. After a few minutes of experimentation, it’s easy to manipulate existing images or create fresh canvasses, and the ability to easily undo mistakes or return to earlier versions means clumsy and artless fingers can afford to be fearless.

[Download]

What the iPad won’t do is replace your laptop, and it’s not supposed to. But using the free Dropbox app to sync files between the two means you can blur the edges of your work-play divide without the fear of leaving your crucial Monday morning presentation on the kitchen table or having your IT department find out you’ve been launching your online business from your desk.

[Download]

Before you skip past this thinking six quid is too much for a beepy-noise app, consider this: the Korg iElectribe groovebox would set you back £400. What is it? It’s a synth with programmable drum machine that lets even amateur wannabe music makers get going in seconds. Once you’ve built up a bit of confidence, you can really get stuck in, then make squillions selling your tunes to the dancing masses. Bet six quid sounds good now, eh?

[Download]

You may not want to work on your iPad every day – and probably not even for a single day – but you can’t argue that, with iWork, it is at least a possibility. You’ll want to plug in some accessories to get the most out of the three-app package, particularly the docking keyboard – writing your Booker-winning novel on the OSK isn’t going to happen.

[Download]

Now add these:

Instapaper, £free

Found something you want to read, but no time to look at it. Bookmark it in your browser, then check back into Instapaper when you’ve got a bit of downtime. There’s also an editorially-selected bunch of stories to browse.

[Download]

Google Reader Play, £free

Randomness can be a wonderful thing. When you don’t want to have to trudge through your feeds, let Google Reader Play automatically check your interests from your other RSS subs and send you a slideshow of fun bits and pieces. And it could be built for the iPad.

[Download]

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