Apple's new low-cost sixth-generation iPad with Apple Pencil support has likely spurred many new customers to adopt an iPad or upgrade from an older model. At just $329, the new iPad is much more affordable than the iPad Pro, making it easier than ever to get your hands on a tablet that works with the Apple Pencil.

For new iPad owners, we've rounded up a handful of apps that are well worth checking out if you want to use your iPad for creative tasks like photo editing, sketching, video editing, drawing, and more, plus we've thrown in some useful productivity apps.

  • Affinity Photo ($19.99) - Affinity Photo is a desktop-class photo editing app that's available on the iPad, and it's a useful app for both photo editing and drawing with support for unlimited layers, photo adjustment tools, filters, retouching, and more. It requires a powerful processor, so it's only compatible with the iPad Air 2, the 5th and 6th-generation iPads, and iPad Pro models, and you can use the iPad for drawing and selectively editing. Affinity Photo isn't cheap, but if you want one of the best photo editing tools you can get on the iPad, it's worth checking out.
  • Procreate ($9.99) - Procreate is a popular and well-known sketching, drawing, and painting app. Because it's been available on the iPad for years, the Procreate team has had a lot of time to make improvements and refinements to the app, making it the go to for many artists who work on the iPad. It has been optimized for Apple Pencil, so you can create works of art with Apple's stylus. It features customizable brushes, support for layers, and a 64-bit painting engine that supports high-resolution artwork. If you want to draw or paint on your iPad, Procreate is one of the apps to check out.
  • LumaFusion ($19.99) - If you want to edit video on the iPad but want something more than iMovie, LumaFusion is a powerful video editing option that you'll want to take a look at. Using LumaFusion, you can do everything you might do with a desktop app, like trimming clips, adding in transitions, correcting color, adding effects, using slow-motion, fast forward, and reverse, and adding titles, audio, and more.
  • Astropad ($29.99) - Astropad is a unique app that's designed to turn your iPad into a graphics tablet for your Mac, so you can use it like a Wacom tablet or similar device. With Astropad, you can draw on your iPad with Apple Pencil and your drawings will be sent over to your Mac wirelessly. It works with any Mac app, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Affinity Photo, and Pixelmator.
  • Copied (Free) - Copied is a useful productivity app that can be used to save snippets of text that you've copied on the iPad, letting you keep track of text, links images, and more. Snippets you've saved can be easily inserted into new documents, and on the iPad, Copied supports full drag and drop functionality and multitasking, so saving information is as simple as dragging it from your current app to Copied.

What are your favorite apps for the iPad that new users should check out? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

4jasontv Avatar
46 months ago
Copied sounds great, but it’s free with IAP. Sorry but I’ve already been burned with that “oh it’s iap per device” nonsense. Eventually I’ll cave on an upfront charge or one of these types of apps will be a free app of the day, and I won’t feel bad for not paying for something that really should be part of the os.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jimthing Avatar
46 months ago
I absolutely never see it at school. It's either laptop or paper, depending on the course.
Sure, but anecdotes doesn't make data, I'm afraid. :-)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
46 months ago
Just load it on your other device and hit restore purchases. I've never paid for an IAP on more than one device.
The problem with IAP is that it can’t be family shared. Now, on some things I’m OK with that, but a lot of these IAPs are gimmicky and doesn’t have the value to be purchased for every member of the family. If people didn’t choose the race to the bottom we would have more appropriately priced apps. Oh, and Apple needs to have a true trial basis app added rather than using IAP to compensate for a lack of a trial app scenario.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MAH11 Avatar
46 months ago
I absolutely never see it at school. It's either laptop or paper, depending on the course.
I am seeing a big uptick in people taking notes with an iPad and Apple pencil in the large (800-person) general chemistry course that I teach. Most of the students using an iPad seem to be using Notability. Many of them take quite nice notes in this fashion.

Although paper still dominates by a large margin, the tide is changing and quickly.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jimthing Avatar
46 months ago
Why not give some ones for note taking. I'd suggest more users use their iPads for doing that, than for creative work, instead of old fashioned pen/pencil and paper.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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