On comparing Apple’s iPad apps with their iPhone counterparts, one thing immediately becomes clear: apps for iPad are more expensive.

A lot of the best free iPhone apps cost 59p or more in their iPad incarnations, and the level of quality of what’s still free sometimes doesn’t meet or exceed our expectations. But among the junk lie rare gems – iPad apps that are so good, you can’t believe they’re still free or are definitely worth your hard-earned cash!

Of those we uncovered, here’s our pick of the best free and premium iPad apps, some of which will run on both the iPad and iPhone, optimizing themselves accordingly.

Enjoy!

Syfy Now

Syfy Now

This entertainment app for iOS was developed by NBC Universal. With this app, you can watch your favorite Syfy shows, and catch up on new episodes the day after they air. You can add the episode to your watch list so you can view them later, sync your watchlist across multiple devices, and share what you’re watching via Facebook.

Plants vs. Zombies 2

PVZ 2

They’re back at last! In Plants vs. Zombies 2, brain-eating zombies are slowly making their way to your home and you must have a defense line and use your gardening prowess to stop them. Some of the new plants that’ll help you defend your lawn include Bonk Choy, Bloomerang, and the Lightning Reed. Collect coins and purchase power-ups that’ll take your game to the next level. See how long you can survive the zombie apocalypse in this hit action-strategy game!

TODAY Show

Today SHOW

The TODAY Show is an entertainment app developed by NBC News Digital, LLC. Browse through the latest news and hottest stories, and watch videos with this redesigned app. Save your favorite stories and share them with your friends and family. Get the latest scoop from TODAY anchors like Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, and more.

 

Food.com

Food . com

This food and drink app by Television Food Network G.P. gives you access to brand-new classic and holiday themed recipes. You can view classic recipes for upcoming holidays, save your favorite recipes, and even share them via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and e-mail.

We Heart It

We Heart It

With We Heart It, you can find beautiful images of your favorite inspirations and share them with your friends and family on Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter. Save your favorite images, be part of creative communities, and upload photos from other websites into your We Heart It collection. Discover inspiring quotes, view photos that match your mood, and follow top tastemakers.

 

Rise Alarm Clock

Rise Alarm Clock

This simple alarm clock by Kellen Styler allows you to turn the alarm on or off by using simple swipe gestures. Wake up and start the day right with your favorite music from iTunes or to one of the custom melodies. Make a playlist to help you fall asleep, snooze or turn off the alarm by shaking your phone.

Pages

Pages

Pages is a powerful Word processor app that’s tailor-made for the iPad and iPhone. With this app, you can easily create, edit and view important documents while on-the-move. You can also customize your documents by adding photos, charts, tablets, colors, fonts, and different textures. You can choose from various templates to create letters, reports, flyers, cards, and posters. You can even share your work by exporting it as a MS Word or .pdf file, and send it via e-mail.

Zoosk

Zoosk

This dating app by Zoosk, Inc. lets you see other Zoosk members who are in your area with simple swipe gestures. You can send a message to other Zoosk users by winking at them and before you know it, you’ll be making dating plans! Don’t feel like searching through members? No problem! Just click on ZSMS to get matched up with other users who want the same thing as you.

Candy Crush SAGA

Candy Crush SAGA

A fan of Bejeweled? You might just like Candy Crush SAGA, a highly addictive game app that will keep you at the edge of your seat! The game gives you different types of candies and asks you to match them in order to clear them and score points. All you have to do is to swipe your fingers across the candies to swap them. If you match four or more, you’ll gain more points. To do well in Candy Crush SAGA, set yourself up to get large matches and chances to gain massive points. The app integrates with Facebook so you can keep tabs on high scores and so you can challenge your friends.

Afterlight

Afterlight

Previously known as Afterglows, Afterlight is a cool photo and video iOS app by Simon Filip. App users can take photos and upload or add new filters to them, similar to the way you can in Instagram. You can add filters and set the brightness, saturation, exposure, and highlights on a photo. You can also easily change the photo’s orientation. If you enjoy shooting videos, you can also add instant film textures. Once your photo is exactly the way you want it, you have the option to save it and share through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, or via e-mail.