The world’s most famous tablet computer is still Apple’s iPad, which comes in regular, Pro and mini flavors. While iPads have never been the cheapest tablets around, they come stocked with powerful hardware and software. After you make that investment in an iPad, you’ll be delighted to find there are a lot of freebies that can come along for the ride.
Free apps that let you make movies, record music and kick back with entertaining games are some of the first features you’ll want to explore. Your iPad can also be your ticket to free movies and TV shows. You also have options for free tech support, both when your iPad is new and later on.
There are lots of worthy paid apps out there, but exploring the world of iPad freebies can be fun and rewarding. We'll start with some overlooked Apple offerings and then dive into some good entertainment options.
Make the most of free Apple apps for your iPad
The iPad comes with a host of apps that are already installed, including standard Apple fare like Photos, Calendar, Camera, Notes and Clock. Once you look beyond these basics, you’ll find a wealth of Apple apps that will help you do everything from making videos to recording music. Best of all, they’re free with your iPad.
Musicians (or aspiring musicians) who want to make their own tunes should check out GarageBand, which lets you combine touch-activated instruments with audio recordings. Try it out and unlock your inner Bruno Mars.
Apple’s iMovie is worth the short learning curve needed to harness its features. You can use it to make an elaborate video, or just cut together some cute clips of your cat to share on YouTube. The extra screen space on an iPad is a nice luxury when editing videos in iMovie. Make sure to check it out when you’re touring the free apps Apple makes for your iPad.
Watch free movies on your iPad
There are a lot of subscription video services vying for your time, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, but there are also some sources for free movies and TV shows. You’ll need to have some tolerance for sitting through advertisements, but your pocketbook will thank you. Here are two apps to get you started:
Sony Crackle: Sony Crackle offers plenty of fun, free movies and TV shows to explore. A recent browse through the Crackle library shows blockbusters "Sleepy Hollow," "Superbad" and "The Bourne Ultimatum." The app also has some original shows made just for the streaming service. Whether you’re into comedies or action flicks, you’ll probably find some solid options here.
Tubi: Tubi might not have quite the same number of recognizable movies as Sony Crackle, but there’s a lot of variety here to check out. Tubi says it shows fewer ads than you’ll find on regular TV. A look at the recent video offerings show some quality movies, including the fantastical flick "Hugo" and the acclaimed western "True Grit." Between Sony Crackle and Tubi, you’re bound to find a movie or TV show you’ll want to watch on your iPad.
Keep up on the hottest free apps for iPad
Apple’s App Store is absolutely stuffed with iPad apps. It’s fun to browse around, but you can also keep up on the latest and greatest freebies by checking in with Apple’s iTunes Charts. This is like a Billboard top songs list, but for apps.
Navigate to the free-apps top chart to see what’s buzzing. A recent look at the list shows the addictive game Tomb of the Mask, the continuously popular Instagram app, and the cute ad-supported fishing game Go Fish! You just might find a new free favorite when you check in on the top-apps chart.
Get free tech support for your iPad
Apple wants you to have a good iPad experience, so it offers plenty of tech support options to help you with everything from getting set up to finding repair solutions. Your new iPad comes with complimentary telephone support for 90 days from purchase. Apple says this includes "support for basic setup, installation, assembly, and connectivity." Take advantage of this if you need it.
Apple also maintains an extensive support website stocked with tutorials and troubleshooting information. The official Apple Support Communities are another valuable resource. You can visit these forums to look up issues and ask questions. Both of these should be your first stops for free tech support after your 90-day phone option has expired.
Bonus! Your iPad works wonderfully as an e-reader: Tap or click here for our Komando guide to getting free ebooks for your Apple tablet.
Have fun checking out these freebies. They'll make your iPad feel like a bargain.
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