2012 has been a great year not just for Apple iPad apps but for the entire tablet market as a whole. For the last few years we saw the start of a post PC revolution with Apple leading the band of new interactive devices by launching their first iPad. Even since that iconic day when Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s flagship tablet and said that “the perfect post PC device has arrived” millions of iPads were sold worldwide. Each year they introduced a new model with powerful new features that attracted more and more app developers for creating content that was simply not possible before. Before I decided to write this article I prepared a list of all the apps that grabbed a lot of attention from the iOS community. While preparing the list I couldn’t help but think about the sheer number of developers, applications and each of them with their unique set of futures to make your experience memorable. At one point I couldn’t keep track of my list so I scraped and rewrote the shortlist of apps for the 2012 edition all over again.
This will probably be the last article in 2012 from our blog. Now that I have made my final selection of the best iPad apps in 2012,I am going to list them under several categories like drawing, music creation, games etc. Some of the categories might be generic terms that are not specified in the iTunes Store. Basically, I want to list the top apps under sections that are helpful to you as an iPad user. For example there is no specific category as writing or drawing on the App Store as they are all listed under utilities. The reason why I chose to go for such segmentation is because its easier to browse through this article and jump to different sections and find the best apps for your purpose. With these notes in mind lets revel some of the best iPad applications for the year 2012.
Best iPad Racing Game – Asphalt 7 Heat
Although there has not been much racing game releases this year but the real competition was between Asphalt 7 and NFS Most Wanted. After considering a lot of factors into account I decided that Asphalt 7 takes the trophy for the best racing game on iPad. This is the 7th game from the series and Gameloft Studios improved upon their previous version on almost every single detail. The game comes packed with stunning retina graphics, accurate sounds and a very engaging multiplier. The main reason why I selected Asphalt 7 is because of its vast selection of cars and racing tracks that span to almost all parts of the globe. The tracks are distinguishable enough and each circuit comes with its own speciality. Another cool feature in Asphalt 7 is he fact that you can rent cars and test them out in different circuits without having to wait for it to get unlocked for normal events.
Price – $0.99
Other notable racing games
Best Sports game for iPad – FIFA 13
When it comes to sports game nothing comes close to FIFA 13. If you are a soccer fan like me then this is the ultimate experience you can get not just on your iPad but any iOS device. This year EA seriously did a great job by improving the controls and adding a dedicated skills button allowing you to do some great skills exactly when you want it.Apart from the gameplay there has been massive improvements in the multilayer mode. You can crate and customize your own ultimate team, challenge friends, receive rewards for your progress etc. the sound mechanics have also improved over last year’s version letting you hear the signature chants and cheers from crowds even in your default iPad speakers. The game doe takes up over a gigabyte on your iPad but is definitely worth the space.
Price – $6.99
Other notable sports game
Best Drawing App for iPad – Paper by Fifty Three
The iPad is an incredible tool when it comes to drowning or jotting down rough sketches. Before 2012 I have seen tons of application turning your 9.7 inch screen into a full fledged drawing board. In 2012 however, the released of Paper by Fifty Three studios made me spell bound by the simplicity and elegance with which they came up with a drawing solution for the iPad. It’s no wonder why they were selected as the best designed iPad app by Apple themselves at WWDC 2012. Although the app is free to download but you can purchase various in-app upgrades tact lets you add different type of stroke brushes and a brand new mixer panel. Paper is also equipped to react with pressure sensitivity of your hand but it works best when you are using a stylus. This is a must app have for all you iOS users out there since it reminds you the beauty of iOS apps over android.
Price – Free
Other notable drawing apps
Best App for Kids – Albert HD
The Toca series is known for dominating the kids section of iPad apps for a long time but this year we have a totally different winner who popped our eyes with a brand new approach to a simplistic yet ultra-engaging game that is perfectly suited for children. Having said that I personally enjoyed playing this game although you cannot count me in as an infant no more. Yikes! Albert HD takes you though the journey of one single day in the life of Albert where you encounter twenty different game to complete his day. The mini-games uses almost all of your iPad’s capabilities like the gyro, motion control, microphones etc. The games are super engaging and can be played over an over again. Each game is very different from another and there is a hidden treasure in each one of them. The entire designs and approach to Albert HD is geared at engaging the little ones on one unique joyride.
Price – Free
Other notable kids apps
Best Runner Game – Jetpack Joyride
You must be wondering what exactly I mean by a runner game. Basically this category consists of games that allows you to score as much as you can simply by running an infinite course and surviving under a bunch of obsticlees. For several years Temple Run ruled this segment but in 2012 we have a brand new game called Jetpack Joyride taking the trophy. Developed by Halfbrick Studios you play as Barry who steals a Jetpack and tries to escape it from a secret laboratory. Jetpack Joyride brings back retro graphics with a modern touch to it. You face various obstacles you try to escape and also encounter a lot of upgrades and other cool features in order to travel more distance without getting knocked out. The music is freakishly addictive and there are tons of upgrades for your Jetpack that can be purchased with the help of coins that you collect during the game.
Price – Free
Other notable iPad runners
Best iPad Photo Editing App – Snapseed
Snapseed was recently acquired by Google and later incorporated with their Google+ service. Initially released as a simple photo editor for iPad Snapseed wins this segment because of the fast and easy process with which this application allows even a layman to edit any photo and turn it into a professional masterpiece. Snapseed comes per loaded with lost of effect and filters that can be configured by changing their values. You can also see the difference between the edited and the original photo by tapping a single button. Edits can be changed and selected by long pressing anywhere on the picture and browsing through a vertical list. Once you are done diced ding the filter you Want to apply simply swipe your finger left or right on the screen to change the intensity of the effect” nice you get the hang of it you will realize why they call the app Snapseed because you can edit pictures really fast.
Price – Free
Other notable photo editing apps
Best iPad Note Taking App – Evernote
Evernote just got bigger and better in 2012. This application has always been in the forefront of all your note taking needs for a long time but with Evernote 5.0 they not only introduced a brand new design but introduced lots of tiny little improvements that improved the overall experience. Evernote syncs seamlessly with other devices and the central web app allowing you to browse your note anywhere and everywhere. Their new shelf like approach to notebooks and tagging ensures that you can quickly browse through a pile of content and find exactly what you need. The real joy comes from using the premium account that supports offline storage of flies up to 1 GB. Business notebooks are a new addition which allows you to collaborate with other Evernote users and shared stuff that is visible and accessible to all of you. The basic version still offers lots of value and is absolutely free to download. If you are till looking for a note taking solution then look no further than Evernote.
Price – Free
Other notable note taking apps
Best iPad Productivity App – 30/30
30/30 is undoubtedly the unsealed champion of this year. This app came out of nowhere and all it had was a very simple but a unique way of solving our time management problems. 30/30 features a big timer that can be confirmed up to 1 hour and assigned any particular task. Once the countdown timer starts the entire screen turns bright into one signal color which can be configured from the settings panel. The big timer is all that you need coupled with great design. I am not going to jump into the details because you can read our review to know more about this app. One thing which I can challenge you is that it’s the bet companion for moms and other busy women. I mean I have seen my own mom using it constantly on her kitchen table.
[ 30/30 App Review ]
Price – Free
Other notable productivity apps
Best iPad News Reader – Flipboard
Flipboard takes the trophy for the second year in a row to be the best iPad News and RSS reader. What makes Flipboard so unique is their signature page flip animation. This year they hit a milestone of crossing 20 million active users. They also incorporated feeds from your favorite social networks into your personalized reader section. I mean to be honest, they have not done some has dive changes or improvements but the fact is that there is no other news reader which is as good as Flipboard on your iPad till this date.
Price – Free
Other notable news reader
Best iPad Blogging App – iA Writer
The iPad is a delight for most bloggers simply because of the versatility of the App Store and the ability to check your analytics, do some writing and collect notes at the same time. One of the most fundamental element of blogging is writing great content and nothing beats iA Writer which once again takes the award for the bet blogging app in 2012. iA Writer is a favorite amongst bloggers for writing high quality distraction free articles. The app is very light and hardly takes up space on your device. The beet thing about iA Writer is their font style along with a feature called Focus Mode which lets you see the nearby lines more clearly while fading the rest. If you are looking for something that will increase your writing habits then this is the bet application out there. It also syncs all your content via iCloud and Dropbox ensuring that you get access to the files no matter where you are.
Price – $0.99
Other notable blogging apps
Best iPad Weather App – Weather Live
This year there has been a saturation to the booming weather apps market. One app that rules them all is Weather Live. We gave our award to this app and not weather HD for several logical reasons. Firstly it’s a couple of megabytes in size and displays the name information as Weather HD which takes up a lot more space. The information in weather live can be tweaked in lots of different panels and arrangements as you please. The background is covered by a moving high resolution imagery of the current weather conditions. Light, simple and exactly what to need! No one wants to enjoy those long weather animation videos after using weather HD for a few months. I mean, the real point of this category of apps is to provide us a quick clear picture of the current forecast.
Other notable weather apps
Best iPad Education App – Wikipanion
The iPad can be used as a great tool for education in order to retrieve anything and everything you want. This year our award for the best app in this segment go to none other than wikipanion. This is a free app that helps represent Wikipedia in a much more organized way. You can search Wikipedia and then save your results right inside the application for later referencing. This is one app that is also recommended for anyone who purchases a new iPad because it eliminates the hassle of launching safari and going to Wikipedia every time to search for something.
Price – Free
Wikipanion Plus – $4.99
Other notable general knowledge apps
Best iPad Music App – Magic Piano
There are so many music apps out there for your iPad that it really boggled my mind to pick a winner. After comparing and judging for about a day or so, I finally picked Magic Piano by Smule to be the winner for this year’s music app. Magic piano is designed in such a way that it lets anyone play professionally without having to learn about the instrument. There is an abundance of songs that can be purchased using your in-game Smules. There is no definite way to earn a lot of Smules and you need to buy them with real money. However you can also download from a wide range of free songs and start playing them. You need to tap with you hand exactly when the gestures appear on screen and it feels immensely satisfying to hear the accurate tunes. Various difficulty levels will test your skills especially when you need to use 4 fingers to play cords and keep a steady rhythm for some songs. Magic piano also allows you to listen to other live players across the world.
Price – Free
Other notable music apps
Best iPad Social Network App – Facebook
A lot of developers tried to do some really creative stuff with their social networking apps but nothing beats Facebook for iOS. I am not talking about the one which is deeply integrated with iOS 6 but the native app for your iPad. The social giant has made so many improvements and changes in terms of their design, features and other stuff that the list seems never ending. You cna post photos, comment and save any photo on your iPad, chat with others, manage your settings and everything you are used to doing on your desktop website. Mark Zuckerberg really ensured that nothing gets left out after their major redesigned and significant performance improvement.
Price – Free
Other Notable Social Networking Apps
2012 has been a stunning year for both app developers and consumers. A few months back Apple reported that they have paid over $6 Billion to developers worldwide and also celebrated their 25 billion downloads by gifting a Chinese girl $25000. Although we have seen Google Play and the new Windows App Store catching up but the iTunes Store is still the leader by a great margin. I can’t even think about what to expect in 2013 but I am really very excited. This concludes our winners for the best apps in 2012. If you think we missed out someone or maybe you wanna recommend a particular iPad app to our readers then please comment your thoughts below. Thanks a lot for reading this post and a very happy new year 2013 to all of you!