Square is the best iPad POS app on the market. It offers fantastic features, boasts a truly easy-to-use iPad app, and offers the best value of any provider we've reviewed — charging no monthly fee.
Square is closely followed by Lightspeed and Shopify. Lightspeed is a great choice for retail stores with complex stocks, thanks to its granular inventory management tools. Meanwhile, Shopify POS is ideal for retailers selling across channels.
Read on to learn more about the best iPad POS systems and find a solution that's right for your business.
What is the Best iPad POS App?
- Square POS – Best iPad POS
- Lightspeed POS: Best iPad POS for high volume retail businesses
- Shopify POS: Best for ecommerce businesses
- Clover POS: Best for companies with an existing online presence
- Vend POS: Best retail iPad POS
- Epos Now POS: Best iPad POS for a quick setup
- Talech POS: A strong all-round iPad POS
Use the links above for pricing information, or scroll down for our in-depth reviews.
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Best Overall iPad POS
Best Retail iPad POS
Free (but transaction fees apply)
| || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || |
As inflation rates escalate and customers reel back spending, 2023 is proving to be a tough time for retailers. iPad POS apps can be a great way to bypass the costs of pricey software, without compromising on useful features. If that's what your business needs, scroll down to discover our top picks, or compare the best apps on the market now with our dedicated iPad POS comparison tool.
What Is an iPad POS System?
An iPad POS is a point-of-sale system that can be used on an Apple iPad or tablet device. iPad POS systems offer just about any feature found in terminal POS systems, including inventory management, reporting and analytics, and flexible payment options.
iPad POS systems are a great way for small businesses to get started with POS software without needing to invest in costly hardware. Unlike POS terminals, they're completely portable too – making them especially useful for mobile vendors like food trucks, market stalls, and pop-up shops.
You can learn more about our top food truck POS systems here.
The Best iPad POS Apps – Reviews
Most iPad POS apps claim to offer similar services. However, not all of them can live up to their own hype. We’ve done the research on the leading providers, and found the ones that are actually worth considering:
1. Square POS
Square POS is defined by a slick, streamlined interface that's super easy to learn. The POS scored resoundingly well in our research securing an overall score of 4.5/5 thanks to its affordable software and impressive feature set.
In fact, our team of researchers found that it was the best POS for small businesses, retail businesses, and restaurants — which is a clear testament to its versatility.
- Free to get started
- Slick and stylish hardware
- Serves businesses of all sizes and in all sectors
- Strong analytics, inventory, and third-party integrations
- Some necessary features for mid-sized businesses cost more
- 3.5% + 15¢ charge for keyed-in transactions
- Support options vary by plan
What you need to know about Square's iPad POS app
If you're after a user-friendly iPad app with a feature package that gives POS terminals a run for their money, Square is that. Square's iPad app is exceptional, boasting an impressive score of 4.8/5 on the App Store, with more than 350,000 individual reviews.
Of course, you'd expect this from Square – its entire POS system is designed to function best on iPads. You can use the app to access the full Square dashboard, which lets you examine live sales data, access your analytics, and track your inventory.
You can record cash, gift cards, and other forms of payment, as well as send out receipts to customers via email or text message. Similarly, you can apply discounts and issue refunds.
You'll also be able to use Square's app to customize your POS with photos, names, and product variations. What's more, you can connect receipt printers, kitchen ticket printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers, making Square's POS app a fit for any type of business.
Square POS pricing
Simply put, Square's value is unmatched. Square has no monthly fees. Instead, it charges 2.6% + 10c for card-present transactions and 3.5% + 15¢ for keyed-in transactions.
This means that your business won't have to start paying for the service until you start making money, which can be a huge factor in getting small businesses off the ground – particularly with the current market uncertainties.
Square will also give you a free card reader to fit your iPad when you sign up. Plus, you can get a contactless reader for $49, an iPad stand and card reader for $169, or a full cash register kit with iPad stand for $646.
Due to this impressive return on investment, we gave it a perfect value score of 5/5, a score that only one other POS — Zettle by PayPal — was able to achieve. See our full guide to Square POS pricing to learn more.
Square POS features
Outside of all the iPad features we mentioned above, Square will also let you create and send your own custom invoices. Its CRM system also helps you take care of your customer relations, allowing you to gain feedback from customers and manage any queries they may have.
Finally, Square even offers its own in-house payment processing, which means that you won't need to set your business up with two separate companies for managing sales and sending your money to the bank.
However, despite Square's impressive feature set, our research found that NCR offers more powerful restaurant features, with a category score of 5/5 compared to Square's 4.8/5, making it a stronger choice for businesses with complex POS requirements.
2. Lightspeed POS
Lightspeed is a huge POS company that best serves high-volume retail businesses. It offers two main iPad apps – one for restaurant businesses, ‘Lightspeed Restaurant L-Series', which has a user review rating of 3.5/5 on the App Store, and another for retail businesses, ‘Lightspeed R-Series', which has a slightly poorer user review rating of 2.4/5.
Despite lackluster customer reviews, our research found that Lightspeed's app offers powerful business management and inventory control features which is why we decided to rank it in second place.
Discover our other top options for stores in our guide to the best POS systems for retail businesses.
- Ideal for retail stores with barcoded inventory
- Straightforward pricing
- Slightly more expensive than some rivals
- Harder to use for restaurants, florists and businesses without barcodes
- Doesn't integrate with weighing scales
What you need to know about Lightspeed's iPad POS app
Lightspeed's Restaurant POS app will let you create a menu and floor plan, with discounts you can apply to customer groups, for promotional events, or even for specific items. Changing and adapting tables is as easy as tapping and dragging.
You can easily send orders to separate kitchen or bar displays, bills can be split or combined, and guests can even manually add tips themselves using your iPad. It comes with an offline mode, which automatically backs up your data. Reporting and data analytics can show end-of-day reports, as well as keep track of staff performance. Lightspeed's hospitality capabilites are so impressive, we gave it a near-perfect score of 4.9/5 for restaurant features, beating Square, Clover, and Shopify in the category.
Lightspeed's Retail POS app, on the other hand, gives you all the tools you'll need to run your store effectively, including on-the-spot returns, gift cards, and discounts. You can send email receipts, process special orders, and even provide patrons with a full customer-facing display, so they can see exactly what they're being charged for.
You can move around your store to help reduce wait times, and sell bundled, serialized, or unique items. You can import up to 1,000 new products to your inventory with a single click. Performance data can be tracked, with reports on profits and fluctuation over time.
What's more, while Lightspeed doesn't offer as many add-ons as Square or Shopify, its iPad app can be extended with a wide range of third-party integrations. In fact, you can bring the expertise of 250 different companies into your one POS.
Lightspeed POS pricing
Lightspeed has five pricing plans: Basic, Starter, Standard, Advanced, and Pro. All of these plans will charge you 2.6% plus 10 cents for card-present transactions, and 2.6% plus 30 cents for card-not-present transactions.
- Lean– The Basic plan costs $69 per month. You get a free terminal, and a very basic point of sale system.
- Standard – The Standard plan costs $119 per month, and you'll be able to integrate a third-party accounting platform into your POS – which could save you a lot of time.
- Advanced – The Advanced plan costs $199 per month. You'll be able to start offering customer loyalty features and rewards programs.
- Enterprise – The Enterprise plan is aimed at large businesses and, as such, Lightspeed will give you bespoke pricing and features.
Lightspeed POS features
Lightspeed POS excels when it comes to sales channels. You can sell across loads of different platforms using Lightspeed, including Amazon and Google Shopping.
Lightspeed POS has an extensive customer support program, with webinars, live chat, email, and 24/7 telephone support available. It also has a customer support forum where customers can pose questions or suggest features.
Lightspeed POS also has a strong suite of CRM tools, including loyalty programs and gift cards.
3. Shopify POS
Shopify is a great choice for businesses with both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail operations. It's one of the best ecommerce solutions on the market, and even provides a very impressive POS system for free.
With an impressive score of 4.5/5 on the App Store, it's clear its customers agree too. However, despite the app's rating improving over time, it still isn't quite as popular as our frontrunners Square and Clover.
- Very strong ecommerce integration
- 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email
- Works with lots of different hardware options
- Exclusively-focused on retail and ecommerce
- Charges transaction fees unless you're using Shopify's own Payments processing system
- No offline mode
What you need to know about Shopify's iPad POS app
Shopify's iPad app allows you to easily sell products to customers in-store. It's completely mobile, meaning you can move around the store while still being able to take payments from customers using credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Shop Pay, and cash.
The app can automatically apply sales taxes based on your store's location. You can collect customer contacts with SMS and email receipts, and even customize printed receipts with your website, store hours, promotions, or store policies.
As the prices of supplies increase and consumer demand slumps, Shopify's sales features offer up lucrative opportunities for businesses conscious of their bottom line too. With Shopify, customers can save carts and retrieve them later, to help you speed up sales to other patrons. You can also create discounts and promo codes, as well as scan barcode labels with integrated hardware, while you can also track which staff have helped with sales to keep track of performance.
Shopify POS pricing
Shopify offers two POS pricing plans: the free Shopify POS Lite plan, and the Shopify Pro plan.
However, in order to access Shopify POS, you'll need to sign up for a Shopify ecommerce plan first. Shopify's ecommerce plans start from $29 per month, and will let you build a fully functioning ecommerce website.
- Shopify POS Lite – Shopify's Lite plan is included with all ecommerce plans. You'll get access to Shopify Payments, Shopify's in-house payment processing service, and you'll get charged 2.9% + 30c for online purchases 2% + the credit card fees from your payment gateway provider. With the Lite plan, you'll also get access to customizable checkouts, custom discounts, and a global search across your store and storage to check product availability.
- Shopify POS Pro – The Pro plan costs $89 per month, per location, as well as the cost of your Shopify ecommerce plan. You could, in theory, get a fully functioning bricks-and-mortar POS and an ecommerce platform for $118 per month. The Pro plan adds higher-end features than you'd find on the Lite plan. For example, you get automatic discounts, and you can let customers buy online and pick up in store. Customers will also be able to buy products in your store and get them shipped to their homes.
Shopify POS features
Shopify offers the full POS experience, from taking and processing payments to tracking inventory and managing your business. You get in-depth sales and inventory management, as well as employee management and performance tracking.
Shopify has strong sales analytics, and even offers 24/7 email, live chat, and phone support. It also offers a speedy onboarding process, as well as a 14-day free trial.
Of course, the star of the Shopify show is its ecommerce integration. If that sounds like something your business needs, you can take a look at our comparison tool to make sure you're getting the right price.
4. Clover POS
If your business is already performing well online but wants to expand into bricks-and-mortar, then Clover is the perfect POS for you.
Clover offers its Go Mobile Point of Sale app for iPads. It isn't quite the full Clover experience – you'll have to choose a full Clover plan for that. However, the Clover Go app integrates brilliantly with the Clover Go card reader, which costs $69 and lets you accept contactless, chip, mobile, and swipe payments.
- Great for companies that started online but need a physical presense
- Good range of hardware options
- 30-day free trial
- Need pre-existing website unlike Shopify, for example
- Additional features cost extra and can become expensive
- No inter-store transactions
What you need to know about Clover's iPad POS app
Clover's iPad POS app is one of the most well-regarded on the App Store, scoring a near-perfect 4.8/ 5 from more than 22,000 reviews and climbing from a 4.7/5 since our last update.
The Clover Go app will let you accept payments on the go, as long as you have wireless or cellular coverage.
The app also offers clear and intuitive reporting on sales activity, along with – surprisingly – insights about other local businesses within your industry.
Resolving queries promptly is a top concern for smaller service businesses using iPads like food trucks and market stalls. Fortunately, Clover also offers 24/7 customer support with the Clover Go app.
Clover POS pricing
Clover offers two pricing plans for iPads: Starter and Standard.
- Clover Starter – The Starter plan costs $49 up-front and includes the provider's mobile card reader, Clover Go, and access to Clover's Payments software plan. This tier gives businesses access to a range of basic POS capabilities including multiple payment options, invoicing tools, and online selling features.
- Clover Standard – iPad and tablet users in need of more advanced POS features can also use Clover's Standard plan, which costs $49 up-front plus an additional $14.95 per month. Clover Standard also includes the provider's mobile card reader, Clover Go, but gives businesses access to the Essential software plan, instead. This POS software plan is more feature rich than Clover's Payment plan and offers a variety of top-notch tools including tracking and reporting, stock management and employee management capabilities, and access to the provider's excellent loyalty program.
On top of their base price, both Clover's Starter and Standard plan charge 2.6% + 10¢ for card-present transactions, and 3.5% + 10¢ for card-not-present transactions.
Clover POS features
Clover offers the best CRM loyalty features of any other POS we've reviewed, boasting unique capabilities like customizable rewards and a customer-focused app.
Clover also has an extensive third-party app market, allowing you to connect services such as Mailchimp and bLoyal to provide email marketing and customer loyalty programs, respectively.
However, there is one important thing to note about Clover. In order to get started making online sales with Clover, you will need an existing website to connect to. That's why we recommend Clover for businesses with an existing online presence, and Shopify for other businesses that need an online and offline POS system.
5. Vend POS
Otherwise known as ‘Lightspeed X-Series', Vend may only have a score of 3.4/5 on the App Store, but its still one of our top picks for retail businesses after an iPad POS app. This is because it offers fantastic features and has a very generous free plan, making it a great fit for startup businesses.
- Suits businesses of all sizes
- Works with loads of third party hardware and software options
- 24/7 support
- Strong ecommerce integration
- Reporting on lower pricing tiers can lack detail
What you need to know about Vend's iPad POS app
Vend's iPad app gives you a fully mobile experience, allowing you to scan receipts using the iPad's camera, and offers promotions and discounts from within the app.
It also lets you process on-the-spot returns and on-account sales, and even issue gift cards. You can collect customer details when making a sale to grow your marketing databases and run your loyalty program.
You can access your data in real-time with reporting, allowing you to track sales, inventory, and customer reports. You can also manage and track sales targets per store and per team member, to help optimize your business.
Unlike apps like Shopify's, Vend's iPad POS app even lets you take payments offline, allowing you to sell if your internet goes down or you're out-and-about at a farmers' market, for example. All your inventory and sales information will be backed up to the cloud, and will sync up again when you regain connection.
Vend POS pricing
Vend POS offers three paid plans, as well as its completely free plan.
- Vend Free – Vend Free gives you access to one register with one user account. You'll only be able to sell ten different products to a maximum of 1,000 customers.
- Vend Lean – The Lean plan costs $69 per month. You get one free cash register, an X-Series retail POS, and 24/7 support. You can also register unlimited users, but will still only be able to operate in a single location — making the plan a decent fit for a small retail store.
- Vend Standard – At $119 per month, Vend's Standard offers more advanced loyalty features, as well as ecommerce integrations and third-party add-ons. The sales cap is lifted too, meaning you'll be able to work across multiple locations.
- Vend Advanced – Vend's Advanced plan costs $199 per month. In addition to everything in the previous tier, it offers serialization capabilities and advanced reporting features.
- Vend Enterprise – The Enterprise plan has no fixed price, but Vend will give you a bespoke quote based on your business's needs. You'll also receive a dedicated account manager and a customized onboarding package.
Unless you run a very small operation, you'd need to fork out for Vend's moderately priced Lean package, which is why we've only given it a score of 2.8/5 in our price category, ranking its value below other contenders like Square and Clover.
Vend POS features
Vend offers customizable tax options, automated stock orders, and customer profiles that collect all the data about a customer’s purchasing habits in one location for you to easily view and analyze.
Vend has strong inventory tracking with a single central product catalog that syncs across all channels, to ensure pricing and stock counts remain consistent. Managers can also import and add products, along with barcode information and variants.
Vend can even automate stock orders to ensure your top-selling products never run out. Thanks to these impressive capabilities, we gave it a perfect score for inventory management, placing it on equal footing with apps like Square, Shopify, and Vend.
Vend includes CRM tools across all its plans. You can create customer profiles to better understand and track the spending habits of regular patrons. Each profile logs a customer's purchase history, loyalty account, and available balance, while custom loyalty programs can be created to retain customers. However, if you're really committed to retaining customers, we would recommend Clover, as it includes features Vend misses like customizable rewards.
6. Epos Now
While its value may not top Square's, Epos Now is a cheap and relatively simple POS system with a quick and easy setup process. The company claims that you can be up-and-running in just 15 minutes. The iPad app itself scores 3.5/5 in the App Store, but does only have six reviews at time of writing – and they're fairly mixed.
- Quick and easy set up
- Simple interface makes it easy to train staff
- Widely compatible with barcode scanners and receipt printers
- Lacks complexity in reporting
- Paid customer support and no knowledgebase
- No kiosk option or CRM
What you need to know about Epos Now's iPad POS app
Epos Now's POS Till app lets you turn any iPhone or iPad into a register and business management device for a retail store or restaurant.
If you, like 97% of businesses are looking to cut costs ahead of the potential recession, you can download the app for free, and sign up for a trial account to give the app a go before fully committing. After testing the app ourselves, we also found that it was easy to use. Its dedicated register mode is intuitive and will let you easily add or delete items from carts.
What's more, if you're running a restaurant, you'll also find tools to manage bookings, tables, orders, and bar tabs, with an intuitive bird's-eye view of your location.
Read our guide to the best restaurant POS systems to learn more about our top picks for hospitality businesses.
Epos Now pricing
Epos Now is quite opaque about its pricing structure. While certain POS packages start at $39 per month, most of its retail and hospitality plans cost around $99 per month, depending on the size of your business and the features you need.
Due to this relatively high entry price, we gave it a pretty poor 2/5 value score, which is the worst value score featured on this list.
Epos Now features
As with most other POS systems, Epos Now will help manage your inventory and track online and offline sales. It also has built-in functionality to print invoices and read barcodes.
Epos Now has a dedicated hospitality version, offering bill splitting, table management, and loyalty programs.
If you're looking to get earning right away, Epos Now's main draw is its speedy setup. As we mentioned above, the company claims that you can get started using its system in just 15 minutes. This rapid setup is certainly aided by Epos Now's intuitive iPad app.
Talech is a decent POS system that can serve all manner of businesses, from retail to restaurants and even service industries. However, Talech wouldn't be our first choice in any of these scenarios.
Its iPad register app isn't the best on the market, scoring 2.5/5 — down from a score of 2.7/5 since our last update. However, if you're running a business that needs a bit of everything, Talech would be a solid, if unspectacular choice.
- Granular product settings
- Great support for customer exchanges and refunds
- Easy-to-use interface
- No ecommerce integration
- Feature set not as broad as competitors
- Low customer satisfaction score
What you need to know about Talech's iPad POS app
Talech's Register app allows you to take and manage orders, control your inventory, access customer information, and view daily reports.
Regardless of what type of business you're running, you'll be able to track and analyze customer transactions, and access real-time reporting on key business information such as sales. You can control employees' clock-in and clock-out, as well as manage their timesheets.
You can connect a cash drawer to the Register app, making it easy to accept non-card payments. Partial and split payment options are available as well.
While Talech restaurant features fall slightly short of Square's, with a category score of 4.6/5 compared to Square's 4.8/5, the offers a load of specialized hospitality tools including menu modifiers to make ordering easier, automatic gratuity, and table and layout control. You'll even be able to send order tickets to multiple printers – for example, if your bar and kitchen are separate.
Retail businesses can print barcode labels and scan items, manage inventory in real-time, and create product variations.
Talech POS pricing
Talech offers three main pricing plans: Starter, Standard, Premium. It also has an Enterprise plan with bespoke pricing.
- Starter – The Starter plan costs $29 per month for the first device, and another $29 per month for each additional device. The plan is limited to five employees and 100 products. You will have access to product and inventory, employee permissions, basic order management, refunds, customer history tracking, and basic reporting.
- Standard – The Standard plan costs $69 per month for the first device, then $29 per month for each additional device. You're able to list unlimited products, and manage an unlimited number of employees.
- You'll stand to benefit from printed barcodes, clock-in and timesheets, kitchen printing, automatic discounts, exchanges, store credit, and more advanced reporting.
- Premium- The Premium plan costs $99 per month for the first device and $29 per month for each additional device. You'll be able to manage restaurant tables and book appointments, as well as gain access to online ordering, inventory alerts, and logs.
- Enterprise – The Enterprise plan is designed for large businesses with specific requirements. You'll have to get in touch with Talech's sales teams to find out about pricing.
We gave Talech a low value score of 2.8/5 because to be able to list unlimited products and access fairly basic employee management features, businesses will need to fork out $69 per month for the POSs Standard plan. If this exceeds your budget, you should take a look at our pricing comparison tool to get quotes from other standout POS providers.
Talech POS Features
Talech lacks some basic capabilities like ecommerce integrations, making it unsuitable for online and omnichannel sellers.
However, its hospitality toolkit is pretty strong – with the POS offering a number of advanced service features such as automatic gratuity, table layout customization and coursing tools.
Talech's hospitality capabilities impressed our researchers so much that they awarded Talech's restaurant features a score of 4.6/5 in our last round of testing – a category rating so strong it rivals our frontrunners Lavu and Clover.
How to Choose an iPad POS App
Choosing the right iPad POS app is far more complicated than simply opening the App Store and picking the one with the best reviews.
You should consider:
- Does it track your inventory and record sales?
- Does the POS app work properly in your industry?
- Does it support the payment processor you use?
All of the POS apps on this page will easily cover the first point. However, some are better suited to certain business models or setups than others. Square is a great choice for any business getting set up from scratch, while Lightspeed is ideal for growing retail businesses with barcoded products – although it won't work as well for other kinds of stores or restaurants.
The easiest way to find your perfect POS app is to let us do it for you with our POS system comparison tool. You'll receive bespoke, no-obligation quotes for your business's POS system, all without the headache of endless hours of research (we've already done it!).
Does my business need an iPad POS app?
It's worth considering whether an iPad-based POS system is right for your business at all. While Vend and Square are our two favorite POS systems on the market, Vend's iPad app isn't quite as well regarded as some of its rivals. However, Vend does work well on Mac and Windows devices, as well as iPads.
Some POS providers, such as Clover, sell their own hardware. This hardware is likely to integrate more deeply with peripheral tools, such as barcode scanners and cash drawers.
We would also recommend taking a look at iPad prices before committing to buying them for your business, especially if you've not already got ones lying around at home, ready to be repurposed. The new iPad Air models, for example, start from $599. The cheaper iPad Mini and plain-old iPads cost $399 and $329, respectively. If you're going to be kitting out a group of stores or restaurants in one go, it might be worth getting in touch with your POS provider, to see if they'll offer a bespoke price for bulk hardware orders instead.
Saying this, iPads are very intuitive – almost everyone will have used one – which can make onboarding staff significantly easier. What's more, you won't be beholden to a single POS provider with its branded hardware – if you don't like a change it makes, you can leave and delete your app.
It is worth paying attention to some of the latest customer reviews on the App Store. We've given you a quick insight into how well they score, but if your business is reliant on one feature or another, take a close look to see if your chosen app is up to the task.
Verdict: Best iPad POS System Next Steps for Getting an iPad POS System
We'd also recommend checking out our POS pricing comparison tool. It'll get you bespoke quotes from the leading POS providers on the market, with absolutely no obligations from your side.
If you click on, sign up to a service through, or make a purchase through the links on our site, or use our quotes tool to receive custom pricing for your business needs, we may earn a referral fee from the supplier(s) of the technology you’re interested in. This helps Tech.co to provide free information and reviews, and carries no additional cost to you. Most importantly, it doesn’t affect our editorial impartiality. Ratings and rankings on Tech.co cannot be bought. Our reviews are based on objective research analysis. Rare exceptions to this will be marked clearly as a ‘sponsored' table column, or explained by a full advertising disclosure on the page, in place of this one. Click to return to top of page