02 NOV

Getting Started with the iPad Mini

by Marianne Schultz

If you’ve got a shiny new iPad Mini in your hot little hands and you’re looking to load up on apps for it, you’ve come to the right place! Here at AppShopper, we offer a directory of all apps available in the US App Store (including Mac apps) plus a fantastic Wish List feature to let you track the apps you’d like to buy and notify you when paid apps on that list go on sale. Sounds awesome, right?

For an overview of how to use our Wish List feature, see this article. If you’re an extreme deal hunter, check out this article on how to find paid apps gone free. Yes, app developers do sometimes go a little nuts and make their paid apps completely free occasionally and you can ferret out those deals easily right here.

If this is your first iPad, there’s one resource you should definitely check out since Apple doesn’t include much in the way of documentation in the box: the iPad User Guide for iOS 6. This is Apple’s own user guide that will explain everything from soup to nuts about your new tablet in over 300 (!) virtual pages. Note that you’ll need Apple’s free iBooks app to read it.

If you want even more information on your iPad and its features, check out iMore’s guides to iCloud, Siri, Notification Center, and more here.

Now, what apps are absolutely essential to get started? Apple covers the basics with apps to let you check your email, manage your contacts and calendar, and watch videos you’ve purchased through the iTunes store, but there’s so much more you can do with your iPad.

First, staying in touch with family, friends, and even strangers through social networking is something you can do easily. The official Facebook app is a free download and while Twitter has its own free official app in the App Store, I’d recommend Tweetbot instead for a more enjoyable yet still full-featured Twitter experience.

  • Social Networking

    Facebook

    Last Changed:
    1 week ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (5739)
    Version:
    14.1
    iOS Universal

    Keeping up with friends is faster than ever. • See what friends are up to • Share updates, photos and videos • Get notified when friends like and comment on your posts • Text, chat and have...

  • Social Networking

    Tweetbot for Twitter (iPad...

    Last Changed:
    15 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.00 (116)
    Version:
    2.8.9
    iOS iPad

    Tweetbot is a full-featured iPad Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it’s the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds & animation, or features like multiple timelines &...

Compared to the iPhone, the iPad’s larger screen makes it a fantastic medium for web browsing and reading articles and there are few apps that take full advantage of this while also offering intuitive touch controls. Flipboard is one such app, letting you create your own custom digital magazine that pulls articles from your Twitter or Facebook feeds and other sources that you choose yourself. If you want to dive head-first into digital magazines and get away from the dead tree versions, check out Zinio, a company that sells digital subscriptions and offers a free app for you to access them in all their Technicolor glory on your iPad.

  • News

    Flipboard: Your Social News...

    Last Changed:
    5 days ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (181)
    Version:
    2.3.7
    iOS Universal

    Flipboard is your personal magazine. It is the most popular way to catch up on the news, read stories from around the world and browse the articles, videos and photos friends are sharing. To begin,...

  • News

    Zinio – 5,000+ Digital...

    Last Changed:
    4 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (81)
    Version:
    2.8
    iOS Universal

    Browse over 5,000+ digital magazines in the world's largest newsstand or read fresh articles daily for free. The best in news, politics, technology, art, style, travel and more at your fingertips, on...

Though you can’t make phone calls with an iPad out of the box (aside from video calls through Apple’s own FaceTime protocol), you can make VoIP and video calls with an internet connection and the help of third-party apps. Skype offers an iPad-specific version of its app to access its calling and messaging service and the Talkatone app offers free calling in conjunction with your Google Voice account and free texting for users in the US.

  • Social Networking

    Skype for iPad

    Last Changed:
    3 days ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (32)
    Version:
    4.18
    iOS iPad

    Say “hello” to friends and family with an instant message, voice or video call on Skype for free. There’s so much you can do, right from the palm of your hand. Features: Join over 300 million...

  • Social Networking

    Talkatone free calls + texting

    Last Changed:
    4 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (245)
    Version:
    3.6
    iOS Universal

    Turn your iOS device into the best internet phone. Call and text using a WiFi or cellular data (3G/4G/LTE) connection. Get a FREE U.S. phone number, make and receive FREE texts and calls to U.S....

If you’re going to use your new tablet to replace paper to capture class or meeting notes, you’ll need naught but a stylus (I recommend Adonit’s Jot Pro) and one of the many note-taking apps available. Noteshelf and the feature-packed Notetaker HD are both excellent choices with features like wrist protection (so you can rest your wrist on the iPad’s screen as you write without making any accidental marks) and the ability to let you customize the snot out of your virtual notebooks and paper.

  • Productivity

    Noteshelf - Take Notes, Sketch,...

    Last Changed:
    2 days ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (5061)
    Version:
    8.9
    iOS iPad

    Noteshelf is the best note taking app for iPad. Write notes,annotate pdf documents,sketch ideas,sign contracts,print documents and more. It’s the best note taking app for college students,...

  • Productivity

    Note Taker HD

    Last Changed:
    9 months ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (75)
    Version:
    6.8.2
    iOS iPad

    Editors' Choice: "Bottom Line: Affordably-priced and feature-rich, Note Taker HD is the iPad app for professionals in need of note-taking software." -PCMag.com, June 2011 Note...

If you’re a movie addict or simply want to branch out beyond your existing movie collection, there are apps that offer free movie and TV show streaming. While the selections they offer don’t always include top-tier movies, it’s still not hard to find something you’ll enjoy. Check out Popcornflix and Crackle to get your movie streaming on. If music videos are more your thing, especially since MTV just ain’t what it used to be and rarely shows actual music videos these days, check out Vevo.

  • Entertainment

    Popcornflix - Free Movies

    Last Changed:
    23 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (89)
    Version:
    3.1
    iOS Universal

    Watch Free Movies with the Popcornflix App! Download this free movie app and instantly watch HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of FREE feature length movies streaming on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. 
 ...

  • Entertainment

    Crackle - Movies & TV

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (66)
    Version:
    4.2
    iOS Universal

    Watch Movies & TV Shows for free on your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad! Millions of fans enjoy this award-winning free app. Crackle provides great new movies & TV episodes every month....

  • Music

    VEVO HD - Watch Free HD Music...

    Last Changed:
    9 months ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (110)
    Version:
    2.6.5
    iOS iPad

    With the VEVO app you can watch music videos, stream live concerts, and discover new artists on your iOS device for free! Access VEVO's entire catalog of 75,000 music videos from more than 21,000...

Unlike the iPhone, Apple doesn’t include a weather app on the iPad out of the box but third-party developers have you covered here, as always. WeatherBug for iPad is my go-to app on my iPad to see the weather forecast and current radar while Weather HD is an eye-candy-filled option that’s just as functional.

  • Weather

    WeatherBug for iPad

    Last Changed:
    22 months ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (169)
    Version:
    1.6
    iOS iPad

    “Trust me, I have tried a lot of different weather apps all around, this is the number 1 weather app!” “Love this, it's excellent, very accurate!!” “Glad I downloaded it.” “Best weather...

  • Weather

    Clear Day™ - (Formerly Weather...

    Last Changed:
    12 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (521)
    Version:
    2.6.2
    iOS Universal

    Clear Day™ (formerly Weather HD) is the most accurate, stunning and soothing weather app for iPad and iPhone. The New York Times: "Clear Day™ elevates the user, placing her at cloud...

If you’re looking for games, I’d like to direct you to TouchArcade, our sister site that focuses exclusively on games for the iPad and iPhone. For today’s release of the iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad, they’ve put together some spectacular lists to get you started:

Also, don’t forget to download the free AppShopper and TouchArcade apps so you can find those app deals and learn about the hottest games right from your iPad.

  • Utilities

    AppShopper

    Last Changed:
    26 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (138)
    Version:
    1.4.4
    iOS Universal

    The official AppShopper.com app from the creators of TouchArcade.com AppShopper keeps you up to date on the newest App Store apps, sales and freebies. Organize apps in your own customized Wish List...

  • Entertainment

    TouchArcade - The Best New Games

    Last Changed:
    11 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (40)
    Version:
    1.1.5
    iOS Universal

    Find the Hottest new games for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad before everyone else! Save money by bookmarking games to your own personal Watch List which notifies you of any sales, updates, and...

1 Comment

  1. Jignesh Padhiyar

    A great collection of apps. I am really liking Flipboard’s interface (from the screenshots I’ve seen, of course). Also, note taking should be fun on the iPad Mini as against a cramped keypad (comparatively) on the iPhone.

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