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The Most Popular Free iPad Apps Ever

Stocks in this article: AAPL

Ninth-most popular app: CNN App for iPad
CNN is the highest-ranking news app of any available on the iPad. All credit to Anderson Cooper -- and yes, some excellent video integration.

Eighth-most popular app: Angry Birds Rio HD Free
The birds strike again.

Seventh-most popular app: Pandora Radio (P)
Take that, Spotify.

Pandora Radio is the only music app to crack the top 25. Though, to be fair, the Pandora app has been around for years and it's free, which certainly helps its popularity. Just like Pandora's Web site, the app lets users create their own radio stations and stream a random set of songs based on their preferences. No, you can't pick out the specific songs you want to listen to, but sometimes it's more enjoyable to discover new music.

Sixth-most popular app: ABC Player
The ABC Player is a great way to watch recent full-length episodes from your favorite ABC shows, such as Modern Family and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Best of all, it's completely free.

Fifth-most popular app: Kindle
The Kindle app is arguably even better than Apple's own iBooks app. It gives you access to more than 1 million books through Amazon's (AMZN) store, not to mention hundreds of newspapers and magazines, and it syncs up perfectly across a wide range of devices including the Mac, iPhone and of course the Kindle.

Fourth-most popular app: Skype for iPad
Skype is less essential for video chatting with friends now that the iPhone and iPad have FaceTime, but it's still a great option for making free phone calls and cheap international calls. Also, if your iPad has only Wi-Fi access, you can use Skype to basically turn it into a phone -- though we wouldn't recommend holding it up to your head like a phone.

Third-most popular app: Netflix (NFLX)
The Netflix app is available on the iPhone as well, but the experience of watching movies and TV shows on the iPad at home or on the go is so much better. The app itself is free, though you will need to sign up for a $7.99 streaming subscription to actually use it.

Second-most popular app: The Weather Channel
It might seem odd for a weather app to outrank so many popular games and social networking tools, but The Weather Channel's app is an absolute necessity for anyone with a smartphone or tablet. It's simple to use, offers comprehensive weather maps and forecasts, and notifies you of any significant weather alerts in your area.

The most popular app: Angry Birds HD Free
Angry Birds isn't just an app, it's a franchise. There's a Wii video game, plenty of memorabilia and it even has a presence in space (sort of). So it should come as little surprise that it's also the most popular iPad app of all time. As you've seen already, once you finish playing this app, there are plenty of other versions available.

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