The new iPad has officially landed, and after months of speculation (twelve of ’em), Apple fans have been treated to a beefed up graphics chip and the same gorgeous Retina Display found on the iPhone 4S and iPod Touch. Below we’ve picked out the very prettiest apps to take advantage of the new iPad’s fantabulous new screen. Think we’ve missed a gem? Let us know in the comments below.
Infinity Blade Dungeons
The poster child of iPad gaming, Infinity Blade’s latest outing appeared like clockwork alongside the launch of the iPad 3. Gameplay-wise it’s still all about blade-swinging knights in armour and the towering demon beasties on the receiving end, but now it’s even prettier and more violent.
Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy
One of the big iPad 3 launch games being shown off at Apple events around the globe was this aerial combat sim that sticks you in the cockpit of a fighter jet, pitting you against waves of incoming ‘bogies’. It looks beautiful, taking full advantage of that crisp Retina Display and A5X graphics chip which, if you weren’t paying attention to the blurb, is reportedly some four times faster than the competition’s Tegra 3s.
Grand Theft Auto III
The original Grand Theft Auto III revolutionised the series, bringing all the carjacking and reckless stunt driving into glorious 3D. That may have been a decade ago now, but we defy anybody who called themselves a gamer in the early noughties to take a ride through the iPad version of Liberty City without feeling the pangs of nostalgia.
Giving you access to high-res, professionally scanned copies of all your favourite print magazines, the experience of leafing through the virtual pages on the iPad 3’s Retina Display can surely only get better. If you’ve been unsold on ditching the paper glossies up to now, download the app for free and check out one of the many free trial editions.
Apple’s in-house answer to Amazon’s Kindle app will bring even crisper looking literary titles to the iPad 3. From the horse’s mouth: “Read books more easily with sharply detailed text on the new iPad’s amazing Retina display.” And from our hands-on time with the new Apple iPad, we can’t disagree.
Comic book apps were one of the first arrivals on Apple’s shiny first iPad, and with good reason: the bright colours and illustrated action were a perfect fit for Apple’s tablet. The bumped up resolution and the increased contrast should make the unending cycle of good vs. evil pop even more than it already does. Ka-pow!
“As I looked out into the night sky, across all those infinite stars. it made me realise how insignificant they are” said Peter Cook, a man who for all his achievements clearly never had a go on the brilliant Star Walk app for iPad. An AR stargazing experience, Star Walk let’s you point your iPad at the sky, day or night, and points out planets, constellations and satellites, while also offering jaw-dropping rendered tours of the cosmos.
Art and Photography
With multiple themed apps offering a slew of photos arranged by topic, some of the best free photography on the App Store comes from Fotopedia. Available apps include a cultural tour of Japan, an insider’s look at North Korea and a series on women’s role in cultures around the world.
Coming to iPad 3s everywhere in April, the Sketchbook Ink app looks to be a go-to application for artists and graphic designers wanting to create quick and snazzy-looking line art. Instantly familiar to anyone who’s had a play with it’s predecessor, Sketchbook Pro, the folks at Autodesk who built the app describe the new Retina Display as “luscious” and say that its use in combination with Sketchbook Ink “takes it to the next level.”
A new, hi-def screen is practically built for Apple’s top-notch photo editing tool. Making full use of the iPad’s multi-touch screen, iPhoto lets you straighten photos using the automatic horizon detection, adjust skin tones and background colour levels and then beam your finished work straight to the web. A Retina Display must-have.
One of our favourite apps that’s been around since the original iPad launched in 2010. The Guardian Eyewitness app is a treasure trove of beautiful images snapped by Guardian journalists around the world, covering politics, nature, culture and anything else you’d care to shake a DSLR at. And now with higher-res images and improved contrast, you say? We like.
The ultimate style guide for the most dedicated followers of fashion, Style.com’s iPad app is a fashionista’s dream. Browse thousands of photos from the latest catwalk shows and fashion week after parties, now in glorious Retina hi-def. Fabulous, dahling!
An improbably gorgeous drawing app that lets you sketch psychedelic paintings with the tap (and stroke) of a finger. Shift through colours, twist patterns together and then upload your swirly, hippy masterpiece to the web. We loved it before – with a higher contrast ratio we might just burst.
A gorgeous, space-age way of exploring your own music collection. Instead of iTunes’ oh-so-standard grey menu system, Planetary takes your music library and puts it in space, literally building a virtual galaxy where artists are stars, albums are planets and tracks are orbiting moons. It’s beautiful, it’s essential.
Your new favourite way to discover new music. Aweditorium opens with infinite panels, each with a picture of a music artist that corresponds to one of their songs. As you tap them, the song starts playing, and the app pops up with background info, links and messages from the artist. It’s intuitive, pretty and best of all, an awesome way to find new music.
Still our favourite method for streaming videos to your iPad, AirVideo sets up a server on your desktop and pipes your ripped video files over WiFi straight to your tablet. The best part? It neatly sidesteps the iPad’s picky file type restrictions by live converting incompatible video on the fly. Now the iPad’s got Retina Display, it’s the perfect time to put it through its paces.
Apple’s own easy-to-use video editing software now has an updated camera to work with, as well an even sharper screen and upped colour contrast. Aside from the usual chopping, rearranging and effects editing, the latest version also lets you compose a song in Garage Band and then push it across into iMovie so you can get to work creating your breakout MTV music video right away.
All the benefits of Sky beamed straight to your iPad – no TV required. A Sky account is required, however, but at what price Sky’s bevvy of quality domestic and foreign programming? Once you’re registered the app gives you mobile access to 22 live channels and over 500 movies on demand – all now in glorious Retina Display quality.