The 40 best iPhone and iPad apps money can buy

The best work and studying apps for iPhone and iPad

MindNode: best iOS mind-mapping app

We’re doffing our ‘business’ hat for this entry, given that the idea of mind-mapping usually evokes thoughts of conference rooms and wanting to drown yourself in a vat of coffee just to escape endless meeting hell.

But wait, because MindNode is really lovely to use, and fantastic for sketching out ideas about almost anything. You place your idea in the middle of the screen, and grow it from there, adding pathways, images and icons, styling everything, and finally exporting your creation. And when you have to get properly corporate, there’s even a vertical mode for org charts. (Where’s that coffee?)

Buy MindNode (£free + £14.99 IAP)

Scanbot: best iOS scanner

Even slimline scanners take up space, and often annoyingly decide they want nothing to do with your computer and/or network. Enter: Scanbot, an app that transforms your iOS device into a scanner.

In its free incarnation, this is a pleasing app that detects the edges of whatever’s plonked on a table in front of it, enables you to scan multiple pages, and gives you options for enhancing everything when you’re done. But pay up for the pro release and you get text recognition, smart file-naming, and the ability to add pages to existing scans. There are also ‘quick actions’ that attempt to extract useful details from scans, for example to get single-tap access to contact details otherwise buried in a document.

Buy Scanbot (free + £6.99 IAP)

PDF Expert: best document editor

We’re not in particularly sexy territory with PDFs, but most people end up needing to fiddle around with them at some point. If that’s you and ‘some point’ is actually ‘all the damn time’, PDF Expert’s your app.

On the iPad, you can quickly and easily make annotations, sign documents, shift pages about, and fling the result in someone’s general direction. Grab the pro IAP and you can go further, directly updating text, replacing images, adding links, and redacting text like you’re some kind of government agent.

Buy PDF Expert (£9.99 + £9.99 IAP)