Sign up now to get free exclusive access to reports, research and invitation only events.
The third-generation iPad sports a eye-catching display. These App Store downloads use that improved screen to full effect.
Ready for Retina
It’s one thing to say that the third-generation iPad features a vastly improved screen. It’s quite another thing to see that higher resolution put to good use. We asked our editors for their picks on apps that really show off the new iPad’s Retina display. Maybe these 10 downloads will earn a place on your new iPad—or inspire you to upgrade to the latest model.
Real Racing 2 HD
Talk about distracted driving: The visuals in Real Racing 2 HD are so eye-popping, it’s tempting to take your eyes off the road. Everything from trackside signage to waterfalls off in the distance gets lovingly rendered, putting this game’s visuals on par with its outstanding racing mechanics.—Philip Michaels
I’ve written elsewhere about the limitations of Paper by FiftyThree. But the new sketching app still offers a beautiful way to illustrate ideas and daily activities, especially on the new iPad’s superior screen.—Serenity Caldwell
The Monster at the End of This Book
The Monster at the End of This Book is a great story for kids, along with adults who refuse to grow up. On the third-generation iPad, Grover’s blue fur looks crisper than ever before. The app’s hand-drawn text is similarly clear, making the entire animated experience look as good as the original printed book.—Lex Friedman
A mobile recreation of those photo booths you see at the mall or the amusement park may not seem like the best way to show off the iPad’s improved screen. And yet, the photo strip shot by IncrediBooth really looks sharp on the new iPad. Even small touches like the faux wood paneling have a detail you couldn’t spot in earlier versions.—Philip Michaels
It may seem like a small thing, but the new iPad handles text really well. Marco Arment’s Instapaper makes the most of custom fonts and a streamlined interface to create an absolutely stunning look for the iPad’s Retina display.—Serenity Caldwell
Apple updated all of its mobile iWork apps for the new iPad when it unveiled the third-generation model on March 7. So why single out Numbers? Because any screen that can make spreadsheets and charts spring to life is worth your attention.—Philip Michaels
Solar Walk lets you explore the universe, pinching and zooming your way across planets, constellations, and stars. Get the proper angle as you focus on Earth, and you might see another planet or two in the distant background. On the new iPad, those faraway planets’ labels are entirely readable, even when they’re tiny. If you want a clearer view of space, you’d better have an in at NASA.—Lex Friedman
If you—and your kids—think bugs are scary at normal size, wait until you see them blown up under a scanning-electron microscope. Mini-Monsters is a collection of over 500 super-high-res, and strangely beautiful, magnified images of insects, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies, professionally colored for easier viewing. Whether you’re looking at the receptors on the antenna of a bee or the glare off the eye of a spider, the new iPad’s Retina display ensures you’ll never look at these creatures the same way again.—Dan Frakes
Patrick Smith’s distinctive illustrations are what really bring the world of Windosill to life. And they look better than ever on the new iPad’s improved display, giving you more to enjoy about this involving puzzle game.—Philip Michaels
MLB.com At Bat
The 2012 edition of MLB.com At Bat still only shows the batter and no other on-screen players, even on the iPad’s Retina display. But that batter and his surroundings are remarkably crisp. While this popular baseball app looked fine on earlier iPads, the details of the stadium, the mussed chalk of the batter’s box, and wrinkles of the baggy uniforms is remarkable on the latest tablet.—Christopher Breen