Have an iPad coming and need to fill it up? The indefatigable John Herrman at Gizmodo has selected the apps to download first. We’re re-printing his picks here. And what’s that, Popular Science+? Nice. –Ed.

The iPad App Store is open! Here are the best of the apps so far—the ones you’ll actually want when you finally get your iPad.

Launch the gallery by clicking the thumbnails.

This guide will be updated this weekend, since apps are stilling flowing in by the hundred. You might notice a few things about these apps: A lot of them are iPhone carryovers, and a lot of them cost more than you might be used to in the App Store economy. Both are valid observations! But for a first batch, these apps do look rather spectacular.

Also, check out our Essential iPhone Apps Directory.


Gizmodo is the world’s most fun technology website, focused on gadgets and how they make our lives better, worse, and more absurd.


Netflix streaming, over Wi-Fi. That’s thousands of movies and shows, if you have an Netflix account. (Which costs, what, like 9 bucks a month nowadays? Brilliant.) Free. Get it on iTunes.

ABC Player

One of the first TV apps in the store, and a promising start. It’s essentially a slick interface for the ABC video content you can already stream on their website, and it’s free. Get it in iTunes.

Marvel Comics

The iPad is like something out of a sci-fi movie. Or a comic book. Also, it is a comic book. Excelsior! Free reader, paid comics. Get it on iTunes

NBA Game Time Courtside

Imagine having a full, interactive dashboard for every basketball game you watch. It’s like that. Free. Get it in iTunes

MLB At Bat

Lets you watch games live, just like the iPhone version, but for games you can’t watch for licensing/blackout reasons, it’ll basically simulate them. Also: Stats overload. $15. Get it in iTunes

Yahoo Entertainment

A TV listings guide/entertainment news/video hub, which pulls from Yahoo’s vast network of sites. Free. Get it in iTunes


IDs any music that’s playing with a seriously fast recognition engine, but doesn’t stop there: It does lyrics, music discovery, charts (based on what people are IDing, not buying) and full playlist playback. $5. Get it in iTunes


Pandora’s free music discovery app isn’t overly ambitious in its transition to the iPad, sticking to its basic customized radio feature, while presenting artist info along your playlists. Still though, the music is free and unlimited, and exceedingly well chosen. (Algorithmed?) Get it in iTunes

Flight Control

The objective: make sure your planes don’t hit one another before they land, by tracing their paths with your finger. A natural fit for the iPhone, and an even more natural fit for the larger iPad. $5. Get it in iTunes

Plants vs. Zombies

A simple tower defense game, in which you plant a variety of monstrous foliage to stop a horde of zombies from invading your house. Conceptual weirdness aside, the extra space granted by the iPad opens up the game—and in particular, the planting grid—massively. $5. Get it in iTunes


The classic iPhone tower defense game, except bigger. $8. Get it in iTunes

Scrabble for iPad

This is one of the apps early reviewers really flipped out about. Basically, it’s a very pretty, very animated version of Scrabble. And if you have an iPhone, you can use it as a letter tray. $10. Get it in iTunes

Mirror’s Edge

An adaptation of that awesome jumping/sliding/shooting game that made a bunch of people motion sick when it came out on PS3 and Xbox. $13. Get it in iTunes

Civilization Revolution

We sent around an email a few weeks ago about which kind of apps we really wanted for the iPad, and RTSes and turn-based strategy games were in everyone’s top 5. Civilization is a classic in the genre. $13. Get it in iTunes

Labyrinth 2

The iPhone’s best marble rolling game was enjoyable precisely because of how complicated it had become—you weren’t just dodging holes, you were dodging lasers, cannons, winds and security cameras. Plus, the subtle 3D graphics were always beautiful. $8. Get it in iTunes


Little kids don’t care about Flash, or multitasking, or whatever nerdy technical hangup you’ve got about the iPad. All kids care about is Uno. Uno! $7. Get it in iTunes

Geometry Wars

Super-popular space shooter/puzzler makes more sense with touch controls than it ever did on a console, where it was fantastic anyway. $10. Get it in iTunes.

Smule Magic Piano

Piano apps for the iPad were inevitable. Contorted, bizarre, gamelike piano apps? Even better. $3 Get it in iTunes.

NYT Editor’s Choice

This is what the New York Times looks like on the iPad. Free. Get it in iTunes.

USA Today

USA Today, too, decided to go with a faux-newspaper look. Free. Get it in iTunes.


The Wall Street Journal’s paper-chic app is conservative, so to speak. (Also, notice the three biggest newspapers in the country released free apps on day one? Or really, day -2?) Get it in iTunes.


Gotta respect this news wire for going with an unorthodox design, and for making their app — which includes video as well as text and image content—free. Get it in iTunes.

NPR for iPad

This is NPR, reimagined as a digital magazine. You can browse text and photo news while listening to audio. Free.Get it in iTunes.

Popular Science

It’s tough to tell how the layout really works here, but the App Store tease suggests it’s more than a simple magazine scan—and we’re told it’s influenced by the stunning concept we saw back in December. And hey, it’s PopSci! $5. Get it in iTunes.


There’s something serene and reassuring about the BBC’s news coverage, whether it be video, print, or radio—all of which are here. Get it in iTunes.


Well hey, you iPad is now a hardcore finance terminal. Extra points for the All Business aesthetic. Free. Get it in iTunes.


Simple link sharing and discovery, via your StumbleUpon account. The service’s wandering appeal makes more sense with two hands than a pair of thumbs. Free. Get it in iTunes.


Save just about anything you’ve come across online in a cleaned-up format for later perusal. $5. Get it in iTunes.


Every iPad needs an RSS reader. This is the platform’s first premium reader, from an established outfit. $10. Get it in iTunes.


If you don’t want to spend another $10 just for a feed reader, Feeddler covers the basics (read: news leeching) for free. Get it in iTunes.

Fluent News

If RSS readers aren’t your style, and you want your daily news mashup to be a little more guided, fluent consolidates major new sources into a single interface. Free. Get it in iTunes.

Accuweather Cirrus



Twitteriffic got right out in front with a full-featured Twitter app that doesn’t cost a dime. Expect a lot of competition for this one soon. Get it in iTunes.


AOL’s instant messaging app looks pretty great, especially for the price. Free. Get it in iTunes.


If you’re looking for serious multi-protocol messaging—Live, Facebook, Yahoo, whatever—you’ll have to shell out for IM+. $10. Get it in iTunes.

Loopt Pulse

Localism! Figure out what’s going on around your sofa, from your sofa. Free. Get it in iTunes.

Dash Four

$2. Foursquare on the iPad might sound like a strange idea now, but it won’t seem so strange next time you’re in Starbucks,_ checking in on your iPad._ Get it in iTunes.


Craiglist, the website, looks like shit. Craigslist, the iPad app, looks kind of great! I gotcher’ free bikes and old couches and casual encounters, right here. Free. Get it in iTunes.


Again, expect some competition in the word processor/presentation app/spreadsheet arena, but not for a while. Until then, Pages, Numbers and Keynote make for a fairly impressive productivity suite for $30, or $10 each. Get it in iTunes.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration

Sounds a bit pricey for a periodic table, but the vividly animated illustrations of every substance our world is made of more than make up for it. $14. Get it in iTunes.

Dragon Dictation

You speak, it writes. Free. Get it in iTunes.

Wolfram Alpha

Remember when this was $50, available for the iPhone, and slightly less useful than Wolfram’s website? Well, now the megasmart mathematical search engine/calculator is $2, available for the iPad, and looks wonderful. Get it in iTunes.

National Geographice World Atlas HD

The earth, annotated by the people who’ve been obsessed with documenting it since before your grandparents were born. $2. Get it in iTunes.

You need a dictionary on your iPad. Here is a free dictionary for your iPad. (And even a thesaurus!) Get it in iTunes.


Expect a slew of iPad cookbooks to show up in the App Store, and expect a lot of them to be less useful than Epicurious’ tremendous database of recipes. Free. Get it in iTunes.


A travel planner, writ large. It always felt weird dropping hundreds of dollars on airline tickets on your phone, anyway. Free. Get it in iTunes.


Again, an app that presents the data of its source in a better way than its source ever coulda€”this one for Wikipedia. Free. Get it in iTunes.


The ender-of-all-movie-arguments app will now sit dormant on your iPad, on your coffee table, waiting to distract you from that movie, with that guy. (What’s his name?) Free. Get it in iTunes.


Scribbling/drawing/painting apps are such an obvious use for the iPad’s touchscreen. This one’s full-featured, but garish and toylike. $10. Get it in iTunes.

Sketchbook Pro

Sketchbook, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated, and a bit more powerful. This one’s for the serious artists, while Brushes will probably appeal more to the kids. $8. Get it in iTunes.


You got your iPad early, congrats! Now turn around, mark it up, and sell it to some dude in London, stat. Free. Get it in iTunes.

Connect to PC

Want to know what the iPad would be like running Windows? OS X? Linux? Download this VNC client, and control any computer in your house, wirelessly. $5. Get it in iTunes.


A life organizer, portfolio, scrapbook, and general information receptacle. Get it in iTunes.

Voice Memos

The iPad doesn’t come with a voice recorder app, for some reason. Here’s a free one that looks like it records sounds just fine. Get it in iTunes.