Best iPad Apps for Students

By Andrew Buck | Updated on
Best iPad Apps for Students

Looking for the must-have apps for iPad? You've come to the right place. It seems like every day Apple adds another huge batch of apps to its already massive catalog. There are over a million apps on the App Store specifically designed for the large display and power of iPad.

The Apple iPad Pro is a phenomenal tablet that feels fantastic to use, with even more potential in the future. The new iPad Air has serious horsepower hidden behind its laminated screen and uses Apple’s excellent Smart Keyboard for proper 2-in-1 for productivity.

From taking notes in class to writing out a quick to-do list, using Apple Pencil with iPad is the best way to get what’s in your brain down on the page. The App Store is the best place to discover apps that let you get a leg up in geometry, learn a new language, and practice composing your own music. iPad lets you express your creative ideas in so many ways. Whether you’re painting a watercolor, designing a logo, or just sketching up a storm, Apple Pencil is the perfect tool to bring your vision to life.

Looking for apps for your other devices? We've got you covered there, too, with our Best Android Apps.

It took a little while for the apps to come into their own, but we’re at a place now where the iPad has nearly as good of a selection of apps as the iPhone. Now, it’s harder than ever to find apps that are worthwhile. Let us save you some time with this collection of the best iPad apps. From creativity to productivity, games to entertainment, you can do everything you love more easily and efficiently with these iPad apps for students.

Our list of the best iPad apps for students can transform your iPad, iPad mini, or iPad Pro into the ultimate tablet computer for work and play.

1. Notability

Notability is one of the most versatile iPad apps available for notes taking. You can type or write notes on notebooks and organize them into folders inside the app. It also lets you annotate PDFs, which can be great for grading student papers. It is one of the top selling paid app on iPad App Store.

Notability also records audio and lets you take notes at the same time. So, you could be having a reading conference with a student, or testing their reading fluency with the audio recorder, while taking notes at the same time on your iPad. It also works with on iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini and MacBook so you can stay organized and up-to-date wherever you are. Notability is the Apple Editors' Choice on iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Evernote is a great iPad app for students. Evernote helps students organize typed and handwritten lecture notes, diagrams, and other resources. If plain text is more your thing, Simplenote is the app for you.

2. Slack

Slack is a messaging app built to meet the needs of your college or university classroom. that allows you to easily group chat with friends and co-workers. Slack allows instructors and students to work together to share, discuss and deeply engage with learning.

The Slack iPad app makes work easier, more pleasant and more productive for students with all types of roles and responsibilities. You can organise your course conversations into topic-based channels. From assignments and due dates to lecture location and time changes, a course channel is a great way to centralise announcements to students without having to send bulk emails.

Price: Free

3. Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is the most widely used suite of office tools by students. You can edit, view and print documents, presentations and spreadsheets on your iPad with these apps for free, but to do so you will need to sign in. From a feature perspective, comparing Microsoft’s Office Web Apps and Office for iPad reveals that the tablet app is just a few steps up from the Web-based app.

The Microsoft Office student package is great for students on a budget, especially those who don't want to or can't pay the full price for the Office Suite. Microsoft Office apps are free to download from the App Store - Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook - to iPad user running iOS 15.0 or later.

Our pick for the best email client on iPad for students is Microsoft Outlook. It includes everything you need in an email client, including a unified inbox, customizable swipe options, powerful search, and a solid filtering system.

Download Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Price: Free with in-app purchases

4. WeekCal for iPad

If you don't like the layout and design of Apple's built-in calendar app, WeekCal is a calendar app for iPad users. It looks great and have lots of settings to play with, and it comes with useful additions such as Templates, complex Repeats, and multiple alarms. You will find dozens of options and settings to tweak, perhaps even too many if you don't like the idea of tweaking every font size, calendar behavior, or menu to your liking.

Templates are a fantastic addition to a mobile calendar app: once you've set them up, creating new events based on them will take seconds, saving you the annoyance of entering the same information over and over.

WeekCal works with all your calendars including shared calendars. iCloud, Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Exchange ActiveSync, iCal, CalDAV, ICS subscription calendars are all supported.

You have tons of options for calendar apps on the iPad, but our favorite on iPhone is Fantastical 2, and that remains the case for the iPad as well because it’s a perfect mesh of features and usability.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

5. Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook for iPad is a simple note-taking app that enables you to tag your notes to make them easily searchable and keep them organized. The app allows you to drag and drop to personalize, organize, create note cards, share content, and more with Notebook for iPad Pro.

Your note cards just became more flexible. Combine notes by dragging Photo or Audio Cards into a Text Card. Or drag images and recordings out of a Text Card to turn them into individual note cards.

This free app from Zoho gives you virtual notebooks with designer covers to store card style notes. You can also choose fonts, font size and colours as per your preference. The app lets you create notes in 6 categories: text notes, checklists, audio notes, photo notes, sketches and document notes. On iPad and iPhones, the app integrates with Siri. You can ask Siri to search through notes, for instance. If you want to have your notes synced across your devices, you need to sign-up for a free account.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

6. Todoist

Todoist is a free iPad app to keep track of everything for either personal use or work use, individually or as a group. It helps you to easily organize and prioritize your tasks and projects so you’ll always know exactly what to work on next. You will be able to connect Todoist to various apps like Dropbox, Amazon Alexa, Zapie, and so on.

The app creates one seamless, end-to-end integration of your Todoist lists on all your Apple devices. The native Todoist for Apple Watch eliminates the loading time when navigating between screens.

For whatever reason, the iPad is pretty devoid of to-do apps, but thankfully, our favorite on iPhone, arrived on iPad. Any.Do has a simple interface that makes it easy to add tasks and organize them, but you can also add tasks with your voice, share lists with other, sync across multiple devices, and even easily postpone tasks.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Read also: Productivity Apps

7. Wallet - Budget Tracker

Wallet is an income and expense tracking iPad app that helps you track your spending and save. Like many, it syncs your balance and transactions with your actual bank. It also features account sharing so you can share with your significant other, accountant, or whatever. It also supports multiple currencies, cloud syncing, warranty tracking, templates, shopping lists, and it can export to a variety of file types.

Record all of your lists, keep track of them, and know exactly how much your expense for the month is. Records will be saved and archived with the ability to share with friends or family in an instant.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

8. Mint: Personal Finance and Money

Mint is probably one of the essential iPad apps out there in terms of finances. It allows you to connect your bank account directly with the app, so all of your deposits and spending automatically gets updated. You can also keep track all your bills on the go in Mint—from credit cards to utilities, rent to the babysitter.

You can receive alerts for unusual account charges, and get custom tips for reducing fees and saving money. It also allows you to pay bills (including things like student loans) directly from the app.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

9. Splitwise

Splitwise app takes the trouble out of sharing expenses – with friends, with roommates, with anyone. Dividing bills has never been easier. The app allows you to split payments across groups, different categories of events and most importantly manage what you have to pay.

The app tracks borrowing and lending over time. And, until the balance is settled up, each person’s outstanding balance may go up and down. Splitwise sends reminders at the end of the month so everyone can pay what they owe and go into a new month with a fresh start.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Read also: Finance Apps

10. Calculator Pro+ for iPad

Calculator Pro+ is a simple calculator for your iPad with unit & currency converter and multitasking mode. Calculator Pro+ for iPad is a free app designed for everyone looking for simplicity and functionality.

Enjoy basic calculations in Portrait Mode with big handy buttons, or make complex calculations in scientific calculator, available in Landscape Mode. Calculator Pro is the only one calculator needed for math classes from primary school through college. The app is great in basic everyday calculations and solving complex problems in physics, astronomy or chemistry as well.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

11. PicsArt Photo Editor + Collage

PicsArt is a leading all-in-one image editing app for iPad and creative community that makes it easy to take your photos to the next level. With thousands of powerful editing features, you can make amazing images, collages and drawings, and remix photos with friends.

Millions use PicsArt because it packs a selection of premium tools like photo blending, artistic filters, AI-powered photo effects, Photoshop-style layering and drawing tools, cropping, text overlays and more. Discover thousands of free sticker packs, fonts, collage templates, backgrounds and brushes.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Other iPad apps for designers

Adobe Capture app, like the other Adobe apps, is a seamless Creative Cloud experience. It works great on the iPad and iPhone, using the device’s camera to capture inspiration around you, including patterns, color palettes and brush textures.

If you have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, Procreate is a must-have app for illustrators who want to test the limits of Apple's hardware. You will see this on the top of most designers’ app lists, and for good reason. It comes equipped with brushes galore, plus there is a thriving market online for even more brushes you can upload.

12. Stop Motion Studio

Looking to get into moviemaking with your iPhone or iPad? Stop Motion Studio is a photo and video tool that makes creating animations simple and easy. Stop Motion Studio lets you to create their own stop-motion animations using a mobile device. As a creation tool, it's a great platform to share their stories. They can make a stop-motion animation about family vacations or birthday parties or a fantastical reenactment. The design focuses on the creation tools, and some students may require prompts to get started. The featured videos provide great inspiration for those who need it and may even encourage to create work to share with a broader audience.

Stop Motion Studio comes with dozens of sound effects and music clips for you ready to use in your movie. Bring characters to life by recording a voice over track directly to your movie. Stop Motion Studio has support for new Apple Pencil and works great on the new iPad Pro.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

13. Spotify Music

Spotify app for iPad plays host to over 40 million tracks and offers many exclusive content deals. With curated playlists, custom stations, offline listening, and more, Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services in the world. The Spotify service is currently available in more than 50 countries worldwide. Split View for Spotify is now available to all iPad users.

Spotify Premium Student allows you to download your music directly to your device. This way, you can turn on offline mode, and because you have music available on your device that you downloaded, you can save cellular data.

Yousician will help you learn to play the piano, guitar, bass or ukulele. Yousician is an interactive music app for iPad that’s designed to really provide a fully-formed experience for just about everyone to better their instrument playing.

The app is designed to give the player a chance to improve through practice and competition. When you’re starting, you can tackle the standard lesson structure, and as I mentioned, the lessons ramp up at a very comfortable pace.

14. flowkey

Flowkey is one of the easy and best way to learn piano. The app allows you to learn piano with the songs you love. The application flowkey is a series of courses to help people from the very beginnings to the more able develop their piano skills. This app is available only on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

It is aimed towards any student wanting to develop their understanding and keyboard skills, and covers not only the skills to play the keyboard, but also the theory behind this, development of this as a musician, and a range of songs to work through. The display is very simple to navigate and understand, and the course is really interesting and versatile.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

If you’re gaming on an iPad, you will want to check out graphically impressive titles that maximize your screen’s real estate and take advantage of the Retina display.

15. Monument Valley 2

The first Monument Valley blew players away with its MC Escher-style optical illusion puzzles, all of which were set against gorgeous, colorful backgrounds. Excellent sound design and smooth, mind-twisting animations provided the perfect vehicle for a brief 10-level story that followed a silent princess through a series of ever-evolving geometric worlds. The sequel brings back the puzzle-based gameplay and adds several new elements, like a new playable character and tools like light and water that you’ll use to navigate the game’s 14 levels. Art design is more varied this time around, too, and the graphics are better than ever — perfect for showing off your iPad.

Price: Paid

16. Star Walk

Star Walk is the most beautiful stargazing app you’ve ever seen on an iPad. It will become your go-to interactive star chart of the night sky, following your every movement in real time and allowing you to explore over 200,000 celestial bodies with extensive information about stars, planets, satellites, and constellations that you find.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Related: iPad Educational Games

17. Headspace

Headspace takes a calm, relaxed approach to bringing calm relaxation into the lives of students. The app uses common meditation techniques -- such as body scans, becoming aware of environmental sounds, breath awareness, breath counting, and more -- to establish a serene, aware space for the mind to rest.

Users can learn the basics of meditation and mindfulness. As they follow the instructions and are reminded by the app to meditate each day, they can develop the habit of making time for personal growth and self-reflection in different situations, such as bedtime and waking up.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

That concludes our roundup of the best apps for iPad, but it's certainly not our last word on the subject. Be aware also that some apps are expensive to buy or contain in-app purchases designed to tempt students.

If you're looking for more app recommendations, you'll be delighted to discover that we've also compiled lists of the best iPad educational games, the best iPhone apps for students and the best free iPad games for the kids (and adults) to enjoy.