Shapr 3D

Shapr3D Zrt.

Running CAD software has generally required a desktop computer with considerable processing power. Shapr 3D changes that. This pro-level iPad app offers unparalleled performance, compatibility with all major CAD file formats, and instant export for 3D printing. It also makes the design experience incredibly tactile, especially with Apple Pencil. Whether crafting a face mask, a hot rod, or an architectural project, you’ll feel like you’re manipulating virtual objects in the real world.

Available on iPad

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Looom

Eran Hilleli

Looom brings hand-drawn animation into the iPad age, making the process quicker and accessible to all. No experience necessary here. Sketch with your finger or Apple Pencil, then swipe to bring up a new cel; what you drew earlier stays faintly visible. Accessible enough for hobbyists but powerful enough for pros, Looom keeps the intimidation factor low with toy-like gears that tweak frame rate and more. Going back to the drawing board has never been this delightful.

Available on iPad

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StaffPad

StaffPad Ltd

The way StaffPad transforms hand-drawn music notation into professionally formatted sheet music on the fly feels almost magical. Using your Apple Pencil or finger, scribble notes on the blank staff, add a few articulation marks (a staccato here, a tenuto there), and maybe a crescendo and diminuendo for good measure — then watch a polished score come together right before your eyes. Another StaffPad feature that really sings: Press play to hear your composition-in-progress performed by a full ensemble of virtual orchestral instruments right in the app.

Available on iPad

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Darkroom

Bergen Co.

This comprehensive and surprisingly powerful photo editor comes loaded with all the granular controls and moody filters you’ve come to expect — with an elegant interface that truly lights the way. Its simple Curves editor lets photographers of all levels fine-tune light and color in an intuitive and artful way. Pros will appreciate Darkroom’s ability to batch-edit images, open RAW files, and create custom filters. In the crowded world of photo-editing apps, Darkroom shines bright.

Available on iPhone and iPad

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Sayonara Wild Hearts

Simogo/Annapurna

Part ’80s music video, part classic arcade game, Sayonara Wild Hearts is pure interactive poetry — the kind that gets your adrenaline pumping and makes your spirit soar. The objective: Heal your broken heart. To accomplish that, you’ll race across surreal landscapes on your motorcycle — sometimes in cities, sometimes in space — with the occasional detour into balletic battle sequences, all to a killer synth-fueled soundtrack. And it features the voice of Queen Latifah!

Available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV

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Song of Bloom

Philipp Stollenmayer

Stollenmayer is best known for his quirky, physics-based games, including the lovably weird food-flinging trilogy Bacon, Pancake, and Burger. With Song of Bloom, he brings his appealing oddballery to something totally different: an artistic puzzle game in which challenges branch out from one another (and often require nontraditional solutions, like plugging in your charging cable). Giving too much away would spoil the fun. Suffice to say, this fascinating nonlinear game is as unique as its creator.

Available on iPhone and iPad

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Where Cards Fall

The Game Band/Snowman

Where Cards Fall proves as moving as it is inventive. The premise of this brilliant puzzle game is simple: Strategically build houses of cards so you can leap and climb your way across dreamlike levels. The twist? Each level represents a memory of the game’s protagonist, and as you master its increasingly tricky puzzles you’ll reconstruct chapters of an unexpected (and, we warn you, tearjerking) story. The game may be called Where Cards Fall, but there’s nothing remotely unintentional about it.

Available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV

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Sky: Children of the Light

Thatgamecompany

Some games reward quick reflexes, others cunning ambition. Sky: Children of the Light is predicated on something else entirely: generosity. The desire to help others is woven through the game’s very fabric. Players work together to bring light to a lush, open world; pair up to solve puzzles and unlock secrets; or simply hold hands by a fire and chat. Richly drawn and endlessly inventive, Sky soars.

Available on iPhone and iPad

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