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The best iPad apps to download: ready for 2021

The best iPad apps
(Image credit: Apple)

While the iPad is undoubtedly the all-conquering best tablet range right now, without the best iPad apps it's basically just a souped-up Chromebook.

Nobody wants that - so we're here to help you, whether you want the best iPad Pro apps to make use of the Apple Pencil, the best iPad mini apps to work on a smaller screen or just something to reivigorate your time with a tablet.

We've spent hundreds of hours testing the best free and paid-for iPad apps, and have helpfully split them into multiple categories on the following pages to let you browse for what you actually need. 

Of course, if you need a better iPad, our list of the best iPads around is there for you too - but if you've just been given a new tablet, then these are the titles that you need to be checking out - starting with our favorite new app this month.

Oh, and if you're looking for something fun, then we've also rounded up the best iPad games you can download right now.

iPad app of the week: Voxel Max ($6.99/£6.99/AU$10.99)

Voxel Max

(Image credit: Adrian Andreca)

Voxel Max is a pro-grade app for creating voxel art - essentially, pixel art in 3D. So instead of carefully placing pixels on a flat canvas, you plot cubes in a 256×256×256-pixel build area.

Although compatible with iPhone, the Voxel Max experience revels in the iPad’s extra screen acres. You get more room to view and manipulate your creation, and Apple Pencil support for when getting all painterly with shaped brushes (spheres; larger cubes) rather than adding individual cubes one at a time.

For professional illustrators, there are plenty of tools to dig into, including non-destructive transforms and face extrusions. But newcomers should find the app quite welcoming too, with its online help center and pre-built models to experiment with.