Apps You'll Want to Keep
Digging deep and paying $10 for an app isn't ever easy. But here are 15 apps worth the price. You won't be bored after a few hours and you'll find that this group will blow all those free and $0.99 apps out of the water. Add value to your iPhone and iPad with these $10 apps--they pack a punch for the price, and there's something for everyone on our list.
Who's it for: Casual gamers up for an immersive puzzle challenge, wrapped in a spooky storyline.
Why it's worth it: It has beautifully drawn game rooms, with both good graphics and sound. There are hundreds of hidden objects to find in the puzzles, while you search for your way out of the haunted manor after being trapped by the Lord of the Mirrors.
Developer: Big Fish Games | iTunes Link
Splashtop Remote Desktop
Who's it for: Anyone who needs to access any documents, files, or software on their PC or Mac remotely via an iPad, using touch gestures instead of a mouse cursor. It's like Windows running on an iPad.
Why it's worth it: You get speedy response times, your gestures replicate mouse actions, it works with Flash animations and video (including Hulu), and it has a dedicated video mode which works well with video games too. (BONUS: on sale for a limited time).
Developer: Splashtop Inc. | iTunes Link
Who's it for: Ideal for professional and aspiring DJs, or for mixing up party tunes straight from an iPad.
Why it's worth it: Use its realistic turntable interface with live performances or mix recording capabilities; it has fully-advanced DJ effects and even a separate accessory available for live pre-cueing.
Developer: Algoriddim | iTunes Link
Who's it for: Aimed at frequent and business travelers, this app helps you navigate unfamiliar settings at airports across the world, but it doesn't neglect the typical flight information provided by the lower-cost alternatives in the App Store.
Why it's worth it: It's a universal app, and you conveniently forward your booking confirmation emails instead of having to input your flight data. American airports get 10-day weather forecasts; some airports even show the number of your baggage carousel, and in flight, offline route-mapping capabilities show you altitude and speed.
Developer: Ben Kazez | iTunes Link
Real Racing 2 HD
Who's it for: Any racing games fans, especially iPad 2 owners looking for a good game to show off the graphic capabilities of their new tablet.
Why it's worth it: This app has best in class graphics, engaging gameplay, accurate tilt controls, up to 16-player online matches, and amazing HDTV-out dual screen gaming (telemetry is displayed on iPad, game on TV screen) via cable.
Developer: Firemint Pty Ltd | iTunes Link
Who's it for: Serious chatters with accounts spread across Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Facebook, and Twitter.
Why it's worth it: It's a universal app that supports most IM networks (including Skype chat, group chats, and multiple accounts per network). It also gives you online and on-device chat history, a built-in browser (so you don't have to get out of the app to check out a website a friend shared), and an optional in-app purchase allows you to dictate messages instead of writing them.
Developer: SHAPE Services | iTunes Link
Golfscape GPS Rangefinder
Who's it for: Golfers who want to view distances on 37,000 golf courses across the world via the phone's camera (via augmented reality).
Why it's worth it: The app pinpoints your position on the course and get accurate distance readings for the fairways after you point your phone's camera at the hole you want to reach. The clean and intuitive interface gives you all the readings you need for the front, center and back of the green--so you can play like a regular at any course.
Developer: Shotzoom Software | iTunes Link
Air Sharing HD
Who's it for: If you need to view and share documents wirelessly on an iPad, or if you have files spread across various cloud hosting services.
Why it's worth it: You can mount your iPad as an external drive on a Mac or PC over Wi-Fi (it acts as a wireless hard drive), access Dropbox, FilesAnywhere, and FTP servers, print wirelessly via shared printers on a Mac, and view popular document types right in the app.
Developer: Avatron Software, Inc. | iTunes Link
Scrabble for iPad
Who's it for: Fans of the classic game will appreciate integrations with Facebook and exhaustive multiplayer capabilities.
Why it's worth it: Play with up to four friends using iPhones in local party mode, or with up to 25 others online. The experience is all wrapped in quality graphics and an intuitive interface. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, the game will turn your device into a personal tile rack (via separate companion app).
Developer: Electronic Arts | iTunes Link
Who's it for: Anyone who needs to annotate, sign, read, or manipulate PDF files.
Why it's worth it: Use its clean interface to store and send annotation summaries (usually the first paragraph of an annotation) from any PDF file; there's good business use with Adobe forms and signature support, your bookmarks sync across devices, and it has Dropbox integration.
Developer: Readdle | iTunes Link
Documents to Go
Who's it for: This app is for those who need to open and edit Microsoft Office documents straight from an iPad or iPhone.
Why it's worth it: The app is universal, with Word and Excel viewing and editing (it alos has many other file formats available to view); it allows you to send and receive attachments via email, and 2-way Wi-Fi sync is possible via desktop app. Unlike less expensive alternatives, Documents To Go manages to maintain most formatting in complex Office documents.
Developer: DataViz Inc. | iTunes Link
Who's it for: A touchscreen spin on the classic board game, Monopoly is well suited for families and parties alike.
Why it's worth it: This app has fantastic four-way multiplayer with iPhone and iPod touch users (via a separate app), and it's playable as a tabletop game (app rotates automatically to face the current player). There are also extra features including customized house rules and dice data analysis, which should be a good tease for sore losers. You can also play against the computer with four levels of difficulty, or learn to master the game with tips and tutorials in teacher mode.
Developer: Electronic Arts | iTunes Link
Who's it for: Budget-conscious types who want to track their spending, budget ahead, and collate their financial activity into one app.
Why it's worth it: You can keep track of several credit and debit cards, as well as cash, and the app arranges all your bills into a calendar, with reminders for payments included. The handy budget section lets you plan income and expenses, and the friendly interface allows you to get the job done quickly.
Developer: iBear LLC | iTunes Link
Who's it for: Those who subscribe to many RSS feeds from blogs and need an efficient app to keep on top of their subscriptions.
Why it's worth it: This app keeps your read items in sync throughout all your devices. It has Instapaper and Google Reader integration, built-in Web browser, and interface animations make reading a pleasure. The app is particularly efficient if you subscribe to a large amount of feeds--otherwise less expensive alternatives will serve you well.
Developer: NewsGator Technologies | iTunes Link
Who's it for: Web developers and Website administrators. This is an ultimate iPad code editor and FTP client for coding and development when away from a computer.
Why it's worth it: Each of your sites has a tile with a thumbnail on the main interface, with tabs to switch between open coding files. Also, edited files get pushed to the server without leaving the code editor screen, and you can preview web pages locally.
Developer: Horse and the Rook | iTunes Link