iPad innovators lead the best new iOS, Android apps of May 2013



It's a foregone conclusion that tablets are going to supplant PCs sooner or later, but just how soon it's going to happen may surprise you. Tablet shipments are expected to grow 58.7 percent in 2013 to 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units a year ago, according to a new forecast from research firm IDC. That means tablet shipments are on pace to eclipse those of portable PCs by year's end and will surpass both desktop and portable PC shipments just two years from now.

IDC credits Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad for kickstarting the tablet era but notes that sales of low-cost devices running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android are driving continued market expansion. "Apple's success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child."

Developers are in lockstep with the tablet revolution: Each time I compile my list of the best new iOS and Android applications of the month, it seems that more and more of the most ingenious and revelatory apps are created expressly for the tablet form factor, leveraging the expanded real estate to deliver rich, multi-faceted interactive experiences that redefine entertainment, education and all points in between: In fact, my selections for the two most engaging new apps of May 2013 are both iPad exclusives. That's not to say developers aren't still building innovative smartphone apps--far from it. But more often than not, the biggest, boldest ideas are on the biggest, boldest screens.--Jason

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