5 Great Entertainment Apps for Your iPad - dummies

5 Great Entertainment Apps for Your iPad

By Nancy C. Muir

“Entertainment” means a lot of different things to different people, and so this list includes several kinds of apps for your iPad. Some — known as hybrid apps — were written to run as native apps on both the iPad and iPhone (or iPod touch). Hybrid apps have the advantage of allowing you to buy once and use on whatever iOS device you have.

Magic Piano

Free — Hybrid

Magic Piano (by Smule) is described as a piano game. With this app, you can access new, free songs daily. You can play in game mode to earn points by playing tunes of the day, or just use the app to play any of more than 1,000 songs. You earn new songs by playing, and your songs sync across your iOS devices.

Movies by Flixster

Free — Hybrid

Look up a movie to get critic and viewer reviews, photos and information about the cast and director, and even showtimes in theaters near you. A great thing about the Movies by Flixster app is that it shows a map to theaters. Tap a link to go to Rotten Tomatoes, the review site run by Flixster.

IMDb Movies & TV

Free — Hybrid

With IMDb Movies & TV on your iPad, you get an enormous amount of data about TV and movies on an interface that’s far superior to the service’s browser-based home. Although the IMDb app takes you to the website if you ask it to, it’s easier to use the context-oriented menus and buttons on the iPad than it is to click around in a browser on your computer.

Marvel Comics

Free — Hybrid

If you’re a big fan of comic books, this app (by Marvel Entertainment) provides you with a way to download and navigate hundreds of Marvel Comics. You can choose a guided view that gives you one panel at a time through a comic, or device controls that allow you to move around and through pages of comic books. If you download a comic, its data will update automatically without your having to perform an update to the app. This app has been updated for iOS 7.

Gravilux and Uzu

$1.99 each — Hybrid

Gravilux (by Scott Studio) and Uzu (by Colordodge Labs) are two particle visualizers for the iPad.

With Gravilux, you “draw with stars” as your finger becomes the very embodiment of gravity itself. Where you touch your iPad’s screen, the stars react to your immense gravitational pull.

With Uzu, particles careen around your screen, but they obey rules and patterns according to how many fingers touch it. (There are ten sets of parameters for up to ten fingers, not all of which have to be your own.)