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30 March, 2012

The 10 Best iPad Apps for Showing Off Your Retina Display

The 10 Best iPad Apps for Showing Off Your Retina Display

March 21, 2012 By Peter Pachal for Mashable

The New York Times
Looking at the updated New York Times app (free for 10 articles/month) on a new iPad beside the old app on an old iPad, and you can really see the difference. Text -- headlines, body text and captions -- is visibly sharper, and photos really pop. The Times app, which has a top-notch photo viewer and plenty of multimedia content, serves as the textbook example of what retina can do for a news reader.
Alternative: The Daily (free, $39.99 annual subscription)

Solar Walk
At retina resolutions, Solar Walk ($2.99) -- a beautiful 3D model of our solar system -- feels tailor-made for the new iPad. Detail on planets like Jupiter and Saturn is visible even when zoomed out, and the pixel-wide orbit lines of moons are perfectly wispy, noticeable but not intrusive.
Alternative: Star Walk ($4.99)

Flipboard
What makes Flipboard (free) so suited for the retina display is its delicious mix of type and imagery. On the new iPad, your Twitter and Facebook feeds becomes a more readable social magazines, and photo feeds really dazzles. The app turns Instagram into a spectacularly visual social experience that you won't be able to put down until you reach the last page -- which never comes. Help me!
Alternative: Tweetbot ($2.99)

Real Racing 2 HD
Feel the need for speed? How about at extremely high resolutions? With Real Racing 2 HD ($6.99) upgraded for retina, textures in game elements like roads, lighting and the cars themselves are improved, and the quad-core A5X processor ensures those high-res graphics don't slow things down.
Alternative: Mass Effect Infiltrator ($6.99)

Mint
Personal finance never looked so good. The beautiful pie charts that Mint (free) serves up at retina resolutions will make you want to go over your bank account line by line. And when you need to dive deep in the numbers, the sharp rendering of text will make it as painless as possible.
Alternative: Evernote (free)

Barefoot World Atlas
If you can't explore the world in real life, traveling to world landmarks vie the Barefoot World Atlas ($7.99) on the new iPad provides a fun alternative. At retina resolutions, you can actually read the map labels at minimum zoom, and the detail on photos (like Mount Rushmore) is excellent. The information is a bit scant (it's meant for kids), but the interface is extremely inviting.
Alternative: The World HD Atlas & Factbook ($2.99)

Instapaper
Instapaper ($4.99) lets you save articles you see online for later reading, and it makes them easier to read by stripping out most everything except the text. That goes double on the retina display, which renders the text nice and crisply, and not too dark. The simple navigation is appreciated, too.
Alternative: Reeder ($4.99)

iPhoto
The iPad version of iPhoto ($4.99) is a joy to look at and use. Once you adjust photos via touch, you'll wonder why you ever used a mouse. With the retina screen, you won't need to zoom so much to see fine details. Extras like journals and maps look fantastic, too.
Alternative: Flickr HD ($1.99)

Art Authority
Whether you're a casual observer or a full-on art lover, Art Authority ($9.99) boasts a treasure trove of artwork that really pops on the retina screen. Great works like Vermeer's "Girl With a Pearl Earring" not only get richer detail but improved color as well. Even with the higher-res imagery, the app loads faster than on older iPads, too. The developer breaks down all the retina improvements here.
Alternative: Art Museum ($0.99)

Martha Stewart Cookies
Who could resist delicious desserts from the original domestic diva, all upgraded to the mouth-watering resolutions of the retina display? Martha Stewart Cookies ($4.99) isn't explicitly a photo app, but anyone with even a slight sweet tooth will find themselves browsing for hours. The recipes get the retina treatment, too, with crispier type and nice detail in the textured background.
Alternative: My Recipe Book ($1.99)
In case you hadn’t noticed, the new iPad is here, with a gorgeous retina display. Although virtually every app will look better on the new screen, software that’s designed for it from the beginning will always look best.
Good thing Apple made that easy. By going with a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution — exactly double the pixel count of the old iPad in both directions — all developers need to do is perform some grade-school math, add high-res artwork, and they’re done.
Since last week, developers have begun updating their apps for the retina display. Although by some countsthere are thousands of retina-ready apps already, some benefit from the extra pixels much more than others. A photography-centered app will look more vibrant than a simple line-drawn game, for example.
Book and news readers, though not as eye-catching as some multimedia apps, benefit greatly from the retina display. The increased screen resolution doesn’t just make text look sharper — it can actually help reduce eye strain, letting you read for longer periods.

That’s just a taste of how much retina-optimized apps improve your tablet experience. We’ve picked out the best iPad apps that are now optimized for the retina display from the thousands available. From games to star maps to social media to video players, these are the apps that will really make your eyes smile (and your friends jealous).

Did we miss any? What are your favorite retina-display apps for iPad? Shout out your suggestions in the comments.

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