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A classic RPG adventure

Take your iPad to the kitchen

Samurai slice!

Be the band

Defend your kingdom

Build almost anything

The best first person shooter in the App Store

Movies and TV shows on the go

Taking notes in style

Racing simulator? Yes please.

Ski an endless mountain

Explore the stars above

Writing with elegance

You're the director

If you're one of the lucky people who received a new iPad over the holidays, we have a great collection of iPad apps to get you started. There are both free and paid apps here, but all are tried and true selections for everything from gaming to cooking. If you're on Android, check back tomorrow for the best new apps for your Android device.

Flipboard (free) is one of the best on the iPad for swiping through the news. It's fully customizable so you can just view the news categories you want, and you can even add social networks like Facebook and Twitter to read the latest updates. If you want an elegant way to swipe through the news on your iPad, Flipboard is the way to go.

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Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition ($9.99) brings more than 80 hours of Dungeons and Dragons-based adventure gaming to your iPad. Though it's not a simple pick-up-and-play game, if you like thinking through your combat strategy and following one of the classic epic gaming story lines, this app is a must have.
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Food Network In the Kitchen ($1.99) gives you tons of recipes you can browse and even categorizes recipes by the star chefs on the Food Network. Obviously, you'll need to be careful not to spill on your new iPad, but if you like cooking (or want to learn), this app is excellent.
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Fruit Ninja HD (99 cents) is one of the earliest games that became available for iOS devices. But there is an unmistakeable satisfaction when slicing through fresh fruit with a samurai sword, making this game an ideal way to get used to swiping on your new touch screen.
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GarageBand ($4.99) is one of the Apple-made apps (and it's hard to go wrong with any of them), but this music-making app offers a ton of instruments and fun ways to make songs. Even if you're not musically inclined, this app makes it easy to add tracks and make a great-sounding song. The Smart instruments that let you touch buttons to play chords (for example) make putting together a song extremely fun.
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Kindom Rush HD ($2.99) is one of many great games on the App Store from the tower defense genre. But playing this strategy game on the larger screen of your iPad makes it easier to try to defend against an onslaught of enemies. Tons of power-ups and several areas to explore give this game great replay value.
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Minecraft Pocket Edition ($6.99) brings the mega-popular building, mining, and survival game to the touch screen. Create your home base, craft tools, mine the depths, and watch out for monsters when traveling at night. Great for both kids and adults, this game is truly a classic, and gets more and more features with frequent updates.
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Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour ($6.99) is the latest installment from Gameloft's hit first-person-shooter franchise, and while it borrows heavily from the Call of Duty games, you can't beat the nonstop action and smooth realistic graphics. Play single-player campaign mode or try your luck against other players in a fully fleshed out online multiplayer mode. Watch out, though, some of those guys are good.
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Netflix (free, with account) requires an account with the service, but once you're set up, you can watch all the Instant Play movies and TV shows you want on the crystal-clear iPad screen. The Instant Play library is limited, but refreshes periodically to add new shows and movies. Even when you need to do something else, the Netflix app saves where you left off so you can always come back and watch the rest of the show.
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Notability ($1.99) helps you organize your notes for work meetings, college classes, or even just ideas you want to jot down. The interface is dead simple, and lets you categorize notes so you can quickly get back to them when you need them.
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Real Racing 2 HD (99 cents) has been out for some time (and Real Racing 3 comes out in early 2013), but it still runs like a dream on your iPad as you tilt to steer and race around several tracks. As you progress, you'll be able to buy new cars with your winnings and upgrade your parts to make your engine really hum at top speed. There are other arcade racing favorites in the App Store, but you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you skipped over this iOS racing classic.
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Ski Safari (99 cents) is a distance survival game that's incredibly hard to put down as you flip and ride your way down an endless mountain. To stay ahead of an onrushing avalanche, you can use your skis, snow mobiles, and even the cute wildlife of the mountain who will gladly give you a ride. Updates to this game have added whole new themed mountains to explore with new animals and new challenges. If I could only recommend just one game in this collection, I would probably pick this one.
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SkyView - Explore the Universe ($1.99) is like a window into the night sky, as it uses your GPS location and the iPad's accelerometer to correctly identify the stars you're looking at above. Simply point your iPad to the sky and look to see the paths of planets, artfully drawn constellations, and other heavenly bodies. If you've ever wanted to be able to look up and identify the stars above, this app will help you do just that.
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iA Writer (99 cents) lets you write your novel, short story, or paper in style, with beautiful typewriter-like fonts and several tools to help you along your way. If you purchase a keyboard case or one of the many Bluetooth keyboards that work with your iPad, you'll be able to take your iPad to the coffee shop and type your memoirs. Or, you know, you could just use it for writing course papers. Either way, this app is great.
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iMovie ($4.99) is another of Apple's apps that's hard to beat in the App Store. With iMovie, you can create your own movies and add transitions between scenes, editing your movie into a smooth-looking project. But the ability to make movie trailers might be even more fun, with several premade trailers from all the movie genres, only requiring that you add your clips and fill in the captions. If you like shooting video on your iPad, you'll love the things you can do with your clips in iMovie.
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