The iPad mini isn’t complete without a good selection of apps to play with. Follow this list and you can devote more time to eating the Christmas pud and less browsing the innards of the app store.

Below are Pocket-lint’s five must download apps for when you take that iPad mini from its box for the first time.

Paper by FiftyThree

Paper is a beautiful app. Designed to simulate various types of pens and brushes, it is the perfect way to sketch, take notes and generally enjoy the touchscreen of your new iPad mini.

Special mention goes to Paper’s design, among the best in the App store. Everything has been pared down to make for the simplest possible drawing experience - great for those who might be new to the world of apps and the iPad. Paper review / Download it here

Amazon Kindle

The iPad mini makes a potent alternative to a Kindle and, for many, this will be is exactly why it's on their Christmas lists. The Kindle app is fantastic and offers access to your eBook library not only on your iPad mini but also on plenty of other devices, including desktops, laptops and phones.

Amazon has a vast library of books available to download - more than 1 million, to be exact. The app has a top-notch search function, clean UI and can even let you read documents like PDFs, all of which can be synced to the Amazon cloud. Amazon Kindle review / Download it here


The iPad mini already ships with a photo app, but it is pretty bare bones on the best of days. Enter iPhoto, Apple’s photo-editing and sharing tool for iOS. Using iCloud, the app can sync images from your iPad mini to iPhoto on any device, via Photo Stream.

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The app is able to do things such as crop images, adjust colour and exposure and even apply various filters to give pictures a retro look. The whole app is clearly laid out, easy to understand and a bit of a must-have for any iPad mini-toting photo fans. iPhoto hands-on / Download it here

Bad Piggies

The iPad mini might lack a lot of the graphical grunt that its bigger brother boasts, but in the world of apps, this isn’t a huge issue. Gameplay is king when it comes to apps and with Bad Piggies, there are few that play better.

Built by Rovio, the mastermind behind Angry Birds, Bad Piggies is much more of a thinking man’s game. It tasks you with putting together various vehicles, both land and air, to transport pigs across treacherous environments. Good, clean app-based fun. Bad Piggies review / Download it here


A Netflix subscription makes for a nice bonus present with the iPad mini. For £5.99 a month, it gives you access to a large library of on-demand streaming movies, including some major Hollywood blockbusters.

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If you're not keen on dishing out cash for a ready made movie library on the iPad mini, this could be a good alternative. The best bit is, just like the Kindle app, the iPad mini isn’t the only device on which you can watch movies. A single subscription and Netflix will work on a multitude of devices, including desktops and smartphones. Download it here