So you’ve bought a beautiful Apple iPad Pro and are sitting there with its fancy keyboard and Pencil stylus. Now what? Get these apps — that’s what!
From action-packed games that look gorgeous on the big, pin-sharp screen, to creative design apps and word processors, there's something here for everyone.
This illustration app works brilliantly with Pencil, responding to changes in pressure and tilt. Mostly, though, we love Procreate because it has enough features and brushes to be flexible, provides quick and easy access to them all, and then gets out of your way when you’re creating a masterpiece.
Concepts (£free + IAP)
For people more into design than illustration, Concepts provides a COPIC Marker palette, an infinite canvas, multi-touch shape guides, stroke adjustments, snap-to-sketching capabilities, and more. It’s fast and responsive, and the £5.99 Pro pack adds a precision toolkit, plentiful export options, and loads of power regarding layers and text.
We’ve long been fans of Paper, which started life as the iPad equivalent of Moleskine notebooks. But 2015’s revamp transformed Paper into a combination sketching app and note-taker, enabling you to add precision shapes, text, and photos.
The Moleskines are gone (sorry, hipsters!), but what replaced them is better: walls of virtual sticky notes, which can be browsed, rearranged and exported as presentations or to PDF.
Essentially an iPad take on the OS X app, which itself is a kind of Photoshop lite, Pixelmator revels in the acres available on the Pro’s display. Pencil support seems less pronounced than in sketching apps, but pressure sensitivity remains present and correct when using pens and brushes. And for photo editing, it remains top-notch.
More or less Illustrator for iPad, Graphic’s the app to buy for designing a logo, floor plan, or some other piece of precision vector art. It’s a bit fiddlier than desktop fare and could do with some keyboard shortcuts, but it should go a long way towards scratching a mobile illustrator’s itch when on the road, armed with an iPad Pro.
Assembly (£free + IAP)
A cross between a design tool and a futuristic take on fuzzy felt pieces, Assembly has you fashion vector art from a library of pre-defined shapes. Drag them to the canvas, and then resize, recolour, and link at will. Additional shape sets are available via IAP, and an ‘Inspirations’ view shows what’s possible with the app (more than you’d think).
Korg Gadget (£22.99)
An astonishingly capable music-creation app, Korg Gadget loves power – which the iPad Pro has in spades. This enables you to run loads of synths simultaneously without the app choking, and enrich your chart worrying efforts with all kinds of effects. From tapping out notes on the piano roll to fiddling around with synth presets, Gadget excels; and if you’ve the bigger iPad Pro, you get even more room to work when composing and arranging songs.
Pinnacle Studio Pro (£9.99)
We nearly plumped for iMovie, which is a perfectly decent video editor for iPad Pro. But Corel’s app feels a more fittingly ‘pro’ product for Apple’s giant tablet. The interface will be familiar to anyone who’s used desktop editors, and it will occasionally throw you that all this is happening on a tablet.