Duh, right? But we certainly can’t claim this is a “best of” list by leaving off one of the most beloved picks. At this point, Netflix is probably pretty self-explanatory (if not, you’ve been away from the internet for far, far too long). The video streaming service’s app works much like the original version by allowing you to search for your favorite shows and movies and then watch them directly from your device. Its apps like Netflix, and that is where the iPad really shines (especially if you have a newer Retina Display version). Now, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is finding the ideal case for keeping the thing propped up during your movie marathons.
Learning a new language doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Duolingo’s app turns what can often feel like an overwhelming chore into a fun, fast game. Broken into short lesson plans, you’re given a certain amount of hearts for each session. Get the answers right and you’ll keep your hearts straight through to the end, but answer incorrectly and you’ll quickly see your hearts disappear. If you run out, the lesson ends and you’ll have to repeat it before moving on to the next. It’s an excellent way to brush up on your vocabulary when you’re pressed for time.
Remember the days of doodling in your five-subject notebook while your 10th grade English teacher droned on about motifs? Skitch lets you get crafty with your notes again by allowing you to draw all over them…but this time it’s on your iPad while your boss is yelling about the next big thing. The app lets you easily communicate ideas visually and then share them with your team. Simply snap a new photo (or use an old one) and then tap on the pen tool to “Skitch” away. You can also add arrows or shapes and highlight specific items. This is one app where a good stylus comes in handy.
Photo-junkies will have even more of an excuse to fuel their addiction with Snapseed. The photo-editing app is jam-packed with features and it’s easy enough to use even if you’ve never edited an image in your life. The layout is clean and straightforward, making it a cake-walk to navigate. You’ll also notice the editing tools are set up like thumbnails, each with a clearly labeled name and relevant image. No more settling for blurry, boring photos. Get it in time to jazz up your holiday shots.