September 19, 2020

Apps to make the most out of your iPad

These days, more and more college students can be seen using iPads instead of laptops. This academic year, the university piloted a program that gave iPads to first-year students, fully equipped with keyboard cases and Apple Pencils.

The iPad has changed a lot in the last few years. With the help of powerful apps, the iPad can now fully replace a laptop for many students. (Image- Patrick Schneider on Unsplash)

Within just the last few years, the iPad has transformed into a fully-fledged computer replacement as opposed to a secondary media-consumption device.

The iPad’s success as a productivity machine is directly tied to the power of the apps used on it. Below is a list of some of the best apps depending on reasons for use. Use these to take your iPad productivity to the next level.


Thanks to the Apple Pencil, the iPad can now be used to replace a traditional notebook, allowing for a truly paperless college student experience. (Image- Suganth on Unsplash)

When it comes to note-taking you are in one of two camps: you type your notes or you write your notes. The iPad allows you to do both. For those of you who prefer to write notes with the Apple Pencil, the following two apps will please and delight you. They offer a ton of features and are a step up from the Notes app that Apple provides with iPadOS.

Notability- (4.8/5 stars, 52,000+ ratings)

Notability is one of the most famous note-taking apps for the iPad. Students of all majors can enjoy the app’s clean and limitless whiteboards of space and power features such as inserting pictures, PDFs, and more. This app even allows users to record audio while taking notes, which is great when you go back to study lecture notes after a long day.

GoodNotes 5- (4.8/5 stars, 66,000+ ratings)

GoodNotes 5 is a more traditional note-taking app in that it more closely resembles virtual versions of notebooks and folders for organization. It won’t offer unlimited white space like Notability, but some people may prefer a more familiar look and feel if they are transitioning from physical paper notebooks. This app also features the ability to upload documents and mark them up freely, which is a great way to annotate handouts.

To see a direct comparison of these two apps, check out this YouTube video.


The iPad has empowered a whole new generation of artists thanks to the Apple Pencil and innovative drawing apps. (Image- Dose Media on Unsplash)

The Apple Pencil has empowered an entire new generation of digital creatives. Graphic designers can sketch concepts for logos, art students can create digital paintings, and casual doodlers can create entire comics thanks to these apps.

Adobe Fresco- (4.4/5 stars, 1,800+ ratings)

Adobe Fresco was released last year and was specifically designed for use on the iPad with Apple Pencil. It features all of the depth and power-user features that one comes to expect with an Adobe product and it will cost you. Fresco is free to download but requires a Creative Cloud subscription to access.

To see more Adobe apps for iPad, check out Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Photoshop Sketch as well.

Procreate- (4.5/5 stars, 11,000+ ratings)

Procreate is a competing drawing/sketching app and the go-to choice before Fresco was released. For the artistic type, this app offers a full-screen canvas to create on, along with all of the brushes and pens you could imagine.

Planner/To-do listing apps

When it comes to creating a planner, there are a lot of options. These apps allow you to manage tasks, classes, and more all from your iPad. (Image- Plush Design Studio on Unsplash)

Everyone has their own way of keeping organized. Whether it be a physical planner, calendar app, or to-do list in a notebook, organization of tasks is an important part of managing life whilst in college. Below are some apps that aim to help with getting things done.

Trello- (4.6/5 stars, 3,800+ ratings)

Trello is a fantastic app for personal planning or even team task assigning. It features boards, which can further be organized according to your needs. The iPad app presents this all in an attractive, easy-to-use way.

Google Tasks (4.8/5 stars, 17,000+ ratings)

For those who prefer using the Google Suite of products over Microsoft or any others, Google Tasks is the no-brainer choice for you. The app syncs with a Google account and integrates directly with Gmail and Google Calendar, so you can easily keep track and keep connected.

These are just some suggestions for iPad apps. For more apps to make the most out of your iPad, check out the suggestions on this Reddit thread, which is where many of these apps were originally discovered.

  • Zach Ferenchak is a current Senior studying Emerging Media with an emphasis in PR. Along with serving as managing editor for The Chimes, Zach is heavily involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America, where he serves as the organization's incoming National Vice President of Brand Engagement. He is an avid communicator who hopes to one day elevate brands and causes through effective storytelling.

Leave a Reply