The headline features of the new iPad mini and iPad Air are their fast A7 processor. Tech this good deserves to be taken advantage of. So, to help you put your new tablet through its paces, we’ve compiled a list of the best A7-ready apps on the App Store.
If you haven’t yet discovered the pleasures of Minecraft, be very careful. This is a game that can easily vacuum up huge swathes of your life. And it all comes from such a simple concept, too. You build in this world by collecting blocks. First, you collect wood from trees. Later, when you’ve made the tools to do so, you can dig into the earth or carve caves out of rock. Minecraft has a vast inventory of materials to mine or gather, and tools you can create.
It’s like having a giant Lego set.
The iOS version of Apple’s brilliantly accessible photo-editing suite is a great tool for showing off the iPad’s screen. Not only does it offer unparalleled clarity when displaying your high-definition photos, but it also makes it that much easier to accurately edit your images. Unwanted blemishes are easier to spot, subtle tweaks are easier to appreciate and crops are easier to judge. Honestly, you’ll want to glue a picture hook to the back of your tablet and hang it on the wall.
Infinity Blade 3
The Infinity Blade series has long been the graphical litmus test for any new iPad. And the latest edition doesn’t disappoint. Infinity Blade III has already been optimised for the iPad’s 64-bit processor with full-screen anti-aliasing, bloom, full-screen vignettes, distortion, high-resolution shadows, and environmental reflections. In the words of the developer, “It looks crazy awesome!” If you want to see what the new iPad is capable of, this is the game to get.
Not only has developer Autodesk updated its digital sketchbook app to support the iPad’s Retina screen, it has also leveraged the device’s increased processing power to add functionality. Artists can now make use of more layers on their images – 18 (up from 12) for the 1024x768 canvas, and six (up from four) for the 2048x1536 canvas. In short, one of the best art packages available on the system just got better, and at no extra charge. Highly recommended.
It should come as no surprise that one of Apple’s own flagship apps was among the first programs to receive an update adding support for the manufacturer’s new generation of tablet tech. Full-HD footage captured with the iPad’s camera looks ace at 1080p. What’s more, Apple has even added extra features: new cross-app content sharing with GarageBand, a few new editing tools and the ability to cut together a Hollywood-style trailer for your movie.
Apple’s word-processing app was another obvious candidate for a Retina update, and the platform holder has failed to disappoint. As well as full support for the new screen, the latest update has brought a couple of additional features. You can now include a variety of charts in your documents, and there’s improved Cloud support. And on top of that, the new built-in dictation tool in the iPad’s virtual keyboard really comes into its
Mass Effect Infiltrator
The iOS companion piece to mega-selling PC- and console RPG Mass Effect is one the first new apps to come with Retina support as standard. The game itself is a stripped-down, arcadey take on its more nuanced and complex source material, but it’s a fun 3D shooter nonetheless, and a brilliant showcase for the system’s power.
In a similar vein, the Dead Space app, from the same publisher and developer, also has Retina support.
The fascinating interactive galactic map app was always going to benefit from the iPad’s extra power, and developer Vito Technology hasn’t let us down. The app now includes new high-resolution textures, slick visual effects and a handsome user interface that makes exploring our galaxy even more of a sensory assault. New space objects have been added, too, including the asteroid belt and the moons of Neptune.
Apple hasn’t wasted any time updating its Numbers spreadsheet app to take advantage of its newly empowered tablet. As well as support for that razor-sharp Retina screen, it’s shoehorned in a number of performance improvements and the ability to display your data in an impressive array of 3D charts.
It remains the best app of its kind on the App Store and a hugely useful office tool no matter the scope of number-crunching.
Real Racing 3
Firemint’s third instalment of its best-selling racing sim has made impressive use of Apple’s latest hardware update. Naturally, the already eye-popping visuals have received an additional boost thanks to the faster A7 processor. You get to race on a 22-car grid and can challenge your friends online. This is a realistic racing game that sees you driving fully licensed cars around real tracks.
It’s a fantastic showcase of the new iPad Air and iPad mini’s power. A visual tour de force.