Best iPad reading apps

At launch, the iPad was pegged as the future means of content consumption for all magazines and newspapers. Now this might not have come completely true, but there is definitely a lot available to read on it. 

Its 9.7-inch IPS display is perfectly suited to reading magazines, newspapers, books and websites and that's exactly what we want you to do with our selection of the very best iPad reading apps that you'll find on the App Store.

GQ Magazine UK

At the moment, the UK version of the glossy magazine app and a sampler issue can be downloaded for free from iTunes and then an in-app charge of £2.40 can be paid for the latest edition. You'll need to be 17-years-old or over to download the app as it may contain "frequent suggestive themes" as well as "infrequent references to mild realistic violence, mild nudity, crude humour and mild alcohol, tobacco and drug use", says iTunes.

The app is expected, at some point, to be free for subscribers of the print version in the UK, as it is in the US. Publisher Conde Nast is currently working on an agreement with Apple and Adobe, although details have yet to be finalised. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free/£2.60

Rating: 4/5

 

War in the Pacific

Covering one of the most fascinating periods of WWII, this app not only looks stunning and features some incredibly rich content, it also ticks all of the boxes that a contemporary tablet-based book app should. Within its 56-pages you'll find in-depth text, high-quality zoomable pictures, videos, interactive maps and more. You don't have to read the book in order if you don't want to, using the map-based timelines (which are based on the actual Operation maps), it  is also possible to dip in and out of sections that you want to give a closer look. 

The book is written by Richard Overy, professor of History at the University of Exeter, and author of over 20 books on WWII. There is also a foreword by Dale Dye, senior military advisor to HBO’s blockbuster series The Pacific. This is a fantastic app, and well worth every penny. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 5/5

 

Amazon Kindle

The Amazon Kindle app is much more than just a standalone app, and that's why it is Pocket-lint's ebook reading app of choice by a considerable margin. Yes, the user interface is fantastic and the usability is without rival, but it's the fact that it brings in your whole Kindle family together that makes it such a worthy champion. With Amazon's Whispersync technology, you'll have access to your Kindle account, and therefore any books you have downloaded, across the whole Kindle platform range which includes not only the Kindle devices themselves but also apps on the iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry handsets, Windows Phone 7 devices, and both Windows and Mac PCs. 

 

It is a fantastic ebook reading app, with some incredibly intuitive features and a UI that thrives on the iPad's display. Sure, some people just can't stand the thought of reading for long periods of time on a backlit screen, but if you're not one of those people, then this is about as good as a tablet ebook reading experience is going to get. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 5/5

 

Instapaper

With so many ways of getting our fix of news, reviews and features from around the web you might find something you want to read, but just don't have the time to do so. That’s where Instapaper steps in. This handy app is a "read later" offering that lets you bookmark web pages to then read offline later at your convenience.

The iPad app syncs with a central account so you can save stuff on your desktop or iPhone and those "read later" requests are then automatically synced with your iPad app and vice versa. Once synced you can then read the articles offline without an internet connection.

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Flipboard

Flipboard is your personal magazine. Even the front cover is unique for you. Because, as well as gathering news from a number of prominent sources, it also scours your Facebook and Twitter data and presents that info as well. And we're not talking about pages and pages of your friend's monotonous updates, we're talking about a personalised magazine where the pages are made up of articles, videos and pictures already fetched for you from any links that appear in your social media streams.

And whilst you may still get the occasional bit of rubbish info that your contacts have linked to, you're likely to get some brilliant articles if you follow great minds such as the Pocket-lint team (or other such dignitaries). Your magazine is presented with headlines, pictures and text, and if you click an article you get it in full screen. As well as your social streams you can also choose to view content direct from a number of sources (including the brilliant TED talks), and set up sections in your contents page. Put quite simply, Flipboard is one of the best iPad apps that has surfaced so far and perfectly demonstrates why the iPad is a game-changing device. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 5/5

 

Popular Mechanics

Rather than starting out as a monthly magazine that you're going to be subscribing to, this is a "best of" the last year's features, in a teaser for what is possible. But it's not just about recreating the magazine in a format that is suitable for the iPad. Oh no. The designers of this interactive magazine have taken those words to heart and so every so often (and lucky that is more often than not) you get buttons to press that show you more detail in only a way that a futuristic interactive magazine can. The earthquake illustration is very good for example.

 

But it also means that a pick of the best gadgets around can be displayed on one page. Like a box out detailing instructions on how to make the ultimate tool rack for your shed as a scrollable infographic, making regular how-to illustrations, well just dull. This being digital you can of course pull up the contents page whenever you want, flick your way through the page viewer or even, as long as you have an internet connection, call up the latest news the magazine is creating thanks to the News Feed element. There are bookmark options and sharing buttons and the all important feedback button so you can tell them what you love or hate. The app is free, but you'll have to shell out separately for the magazine itself. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free/$1.99 1-month subscription/$19.99 for 1 year

Rating: 4/5

 

FryPaper

To be completely honest, there's not much to Stephen Fry's iPad app debut. It tidies his personal technology blog so it is deliciously iPad shaped, and there's a few sharing options added for good measure. However, there are few writers whose outpourings are better suited to the portability of Apple's shiny new device (for UK owners, at least). To begin with, Mr Fry can ramble like a hillwalking posse on a trip to the Mendips, so you may be inclined to read the blog in comfort; something not often associated with glaring at a computer screen.

Additionally, as he tends to natter about the iPad and iPhone a lot, you will feel included and, in many ways, in agreement seeing as you also hold one in your hands at the time. But the final and indisputable reason to try Stephen Fry's FryPaper iPad app is that it is free, gratis, without cost and complimentary, so you can always delete it again if it is not your bag. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

iBooks

We know this isn't exactly an aftermarket app, as it is downloadable the second you boot up your new iPad, but it is a must-have as a reading platform on iOS. iBooks is like the Kindle app and allows you to download a vast number of titles onto your iPad. The real joy of iBooks, however, is the way it behaves which is Apple all over. 

Pages react to your touch and animate just like a normal book. The fonts and pictures are also the same as you would see in the normal physical copy. In fact the entire experience is about the same as reading a normal book, difference is that your iPad can hold thousands of them.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 5/5

 

The Economist

If you are one of those smart people that reads The Economist, then why not make yourself look even smarter by reading it on an iPad and in public. The app itself is free, as is a selection of the editors highlights from each edition. Those who want to read the full publication, however, will need to pay for each magazine.

This can be done either by subscription, which comes in yearly or quarterly form, or by individual mag purchase. It appears 9pm each Thursday just like you had picked it up from a shop the moment it went to print. You can also store back issues and download already published issues on the fly.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 5/5

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