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  • Writer's pictureDylan Abbott

Tech 101: These Apps Make Your iPad "Pro"

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

As a writer for a student newspaper, I believe that covering valuable tools for students is crucial to helping our readers find what’s right for them and their major, career path, or hobbies. In this series, I’ll be breaking down the latest in student-focused technology and helping you achieve your best. Welcome to Tech 101.

In this session, we’ll be covering the best apps to turn your iPad into a truly useful device for projects, classwork, and even professional tasks such as graphic design. While there are many flavors of iPad, such as a Mini, Air, or Pro, each of these apps will work just the same regardless of your model, assuming you have one from the last five years.


Procreate is the app for anyone who loves art. Whether it be complex animations, design work, or even simple sketches, Procreate can handle it all. Made exclusively for iPad, the app takes advantage of everything the device has to offer with layers, animation tools, and hundreds of customizable brushes to bring your art to life. Plus, for the college student on a budget, Procreate is a one-time purchase of $9.99. (

Goodnotes 5

Just as Procreate is made for the artist, GoodNotes is made for the obsessive note-taker. It features complete customization of notebook styles, page types and colors, pen strokes, and useful tools like handwriting recognition for searching through your notes, as well as the ability to scan documents. For those of us who don’t like to carry paper and live digitally when we can, GoodNotes is a godsend. Plus, like Procreate, GoodNotes is available as a one-time purchase for $7.99.

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer, made by Serif, is the fully-featured alternative to Adobe InDesign that iPad users have waited years for. Boasting all of the features of its Mac counterpart, Affinity Designer allows you to take your graphic design projects to the next level while retaining the portability of an iPad. Users can create vector graphics, print projects, and so much more along with support for iCloud backups and keyboard shortcuts. Affinity Designer is also a one-time purchase at $9.99.


LumaFusion might be the priciest app on this list, but it has no problem earning it over and over. This app is the real deal for anyone looking to edit video on the go, with support for a variety of effects, layers, plugins, and more. With features like green screen keying, a stock footage library, and great title support, LumaFusion can turn even the simplest projects into something that looks professional. As a Final Cut Pro user, I appreciate speed and fluidity, and LumaFusion checks those boxes handily. It’s available as a one-time purchase of $29.99, and I assure you it’s worth every penny. (

Now that I've shown you a few cool apps, get out there and create something awesome.

Class dismissed.


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