Our favorite use of Apple iPad - Traveling


iBooks / FlightTrack iBooks, Free, FlightTrack $4.99
App Store

USA Today, Free
App Store

Videos, included in iPad

Target for iPad, Free
App Store

Reeder for iPad, $4.99
App Store

iSpeak Finnish, $1.99
App Store

iCurrency Pad, $0.99
App Store

Angry Birds HD, $4.99
App Store

Pinnball HD, $0.99
App Store

Solitaire Classics HD, $1.99
App Store

Labyrinth 2 HD, $7.99
App Store

Real Racing HD, $9.99
App Store

goodreaderGHTTP.pngPeople have asked me many times how to save PDF files to their iPad that they view online. If you have the GoodReader app on your iPad then this is very simple. When you open a PDF file with Safari just add the letter g in the front of the address and hit Go. Trust me, that's all there is to it. That PDF will then automatically download into GoodReader.

Here are step-by-step instructions from the makers of GoodReader.

To save a file from Safari to GoodReader:

• open the file of interest in Safari
• tap Safari's address bar (the keyboard will appear)
• go to the very beginning of the file's URL address, where the http:// or https:// part is
• add a single letter g in front of the address, so you'll get ghttp:// or ghttps:// instead of http:// or https://
• press Go on the keyboard (this will close Safari and start GoodReader)
• the file will start to download into GoodReader automatically (check Web Downloads section to find it)

When I first stumbled across AppStart for the iPad I have to admit that my jaw dropped. Literally dropped. This is the app I have been looking for to provide in response to the question "what should I use my iPad for?" or "Angela, I'm addicted to Angry Birds and I use the Internet all the time but what else should I be using my iPad for?" (that last one was from my own mother a few days ago who like many received this shiny new toy over the holidays). These are the questions of the newbie, beginner, or just curious iPad user who wants to see what all they can do and what is possible with the iPad. More than that, the question of "HOW" to do all these things on the iPad that some of us take for granted that we just seem to understand and have tons of time to play around. My answer- Download the $.99 app called APPSTART. In addition to being a helpful app, it's one of the coolest apps operationally speaking in terms of how you click on each section and interact with the app itself as you learn and review each section.

What is AppStart? (from the AppAdvice homepage-creators of Appstart)
AppStart is meant to help you get the most out of your iPad by not only filtering through the over 50,000 iPad apps out there but by also providing you with step-by-step instructions on how to fully utilize the apps themselves.

AppStart consists of four scrolling pages packed with tons of content to help the non-techies out there get the most out of their iPads. It starts off with the basics, offering up the top 10 apps you absolutely have to download before doing anything else, and then progresses into more advanced topics like how to replace your laptop with your iPad or how to print with no strings attached.

Each article was carefully crafted by our AppAdvice team to ensure that even the most basic user is able to follow along. Articles feature tons of screenshots so you know exactly what to look for, detailed instructions, fun tips, and app icons and direct links to mentioned apps so you can easily find and download them from the App Store.

If you try out AppStart and like it, I recommend the $1.99 app called AppAdvice to receive constant updates about tips, tricks, how toss, app recommendations, and countless other helpful tools for using your iPad.

- posted using Blogpress for iPad

To me, I feel the primary use of an iPad is content consumption and much that has been written about the iPad, even on this blog, has been related to this concept. However there is a lot to be said for using iPads as communication tools, interacting with others, just as computers have been for years. I thought a post discussing some tools and apps for interacting with others through the iPad would be helpful because there are many great uses.
skype-icon.png icon_implus1.jpg  imoicon.pngmailicon.jpg 201101031430.jpg

I should start by saying that when communicating with others online through Internet communication I use email through Google, online chat (text, audio, video) through Skype and occasionally Google Talk for those friends and family members that have yet to discover Skype or those who prefer to stay logged in to the online Google email system and find Gtalk easily available. I also maintain blogs when I want to provide information about myself or topics of interest to me to a broad audience to view as they please. I don't use Facebook, I don't Twitter, I don't use Myspace, I don't use AOL/AIM, Yahoo, MSN or any other available platform out there currently and it works for me. I like to keep things simple so to speak. But I do, however maintain MANY Google email accounts, and about 3 Skype accounts because I am a person who emphasizes and practices boundaries between personal, professional and everything in between. I appreciate the ability to control how my personal and professional selves are made available to others and maintained online as we enter a time of increasingly greater online relationships and interactions.

That beings said there are four or five applications (six if we count Blogpress which has already been reviewed here) that allow me to communicate and interact with others using the platforms described above.
*NOTE: I'm also an iPhone user so a lot of my communication is done through my iPhone (email, SMS/texts, and Skype especially). But I go back and forth with each device depending on the current need and ease of my desired function at that time.

IPad Email Application (free and pre-installed on the iPad)
For me, the iPad Apple Mail Application is one of the best tools for mobile communication out there, even ahead of the Mail application on the iPhone because of the larger keyboard in the iPad. Throw in the ability to setup Exchange email accounts to keep Email, Calendar and Contacts in sync, this is a home run app!

Read more about setting up Exchange Accounts on the U of M servers.

Google/Safari (free)Safari for iPad AppSo easy, so great, so self explanatory. Login, check email, write email, send email. On the iPad, the Google Mail application is just great! Bonus is the ease of integration with Google talk that just pops up in a second window. Winner of an app!

But, some might wonder why you would go to the online version when you can just use the built in Mail features. One reason- using an iPad that isn't yours, you wouldn't just setup a Google account in the other person's Mail application. Another, for someone like me, I use a lot of the Google Apps features in addition to mail such as Reader, Blogger, Google Talk, etc. And I also have MANY Google accounts. Online, you can get everything Google for that one account in one place.

Skype (free)Skype for iPad, iPhone, iPod TouchWhere do I begin with Skype? First, I should mention that Skype has yet to produce an iPad version on their iOS App. So how do you use it on the iPad? The cool thing about apps made for iPhones is that they can be viewed on the iPad in either native form (tiny screen size of the iPhone) or they can be blown up and stretched into iPad size. This is not the case for all iPad apps on iPhones though unless the app has been enabled for both platforms (denoted by a + sign next to the app in the Apple App Store.)

Skype on the iPad, well it is simply Skype as we know and love. Chat with other Skype contacts, use audio, text, your Skype credits work to call regular phones. It's Skype but on the iPad. AND, as of January 1, 2010 Skype video came to iOS!

For iPhone users this was huge especially those who are using 3GS model iPhones without the front facing camera and Facetime abilities. On the iPad this is neat for many reasons, though all of which, currently, can only center on the receiving of video on iPads. For instructors you could record your live lecture on your computer using Skype and send the feed to students on their iPads. I really enjoy Skype and features such as video on mobile platforms continue to take this app forward.

IM Chat Apps- IM+ vs imo.imIM+ iPad App imo.im App
Lastly, like me, many people manage multiple email, IM, and Skype Accounts. Mobile Platforms such as the iPad are doing a great job allowing us to integrate these multiple accounts into a single application. Two I have tried and like are
IM+ (free and paid Pro versions) and imo.im (free).
IM+ Pro screen grab

imo.im screen grab

Personally, I find imo.im to be better for the interface and account controls. In IM+ Pro, I can't seem to find a way to view my IM contacts on Glogle or Skype without making myself "available" for chat. In IMO there is the simple "view offline buddies" option. That might seem like a small feature but we all have this online "friends" that message us the second they see us pop up online. IMO allows me to have greater control. I need to spend more time with both to see which one I prefer. For now, Skype is my primary app for chats but the more people move to Google, the more Google Talk is being used.

- posted using Blogpress for iPad

This review is about Blogpress, an iOS app available on the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. This short review will be written and compiled entirely on the iPad to showcase the (hopeful) ease of blogging using the iPad and even highlight some potential drawbacks. I attempted a Blogpress review a few months ago and encountered serious issues with app crashes and minimalistic features which ended my pursuit of this app. But, six months later and blogging apps for mobile platforms are still so few and far between so I had no choice but to try Blogpress again (because using the iPad to blog, for me, would allow me to blog more knowing I can be so mobile and blog from ANYWHERE).

So, to start, the Blogpress interface. Below is an image taken from inside the app while writing a previous post. View more interactive Blogpress photos here: http://blogpress.coollittlethings.com/?p=screen

You can see it's pretty simple and straight forward. On the left hand side you see all your blog posts including those published and those still in draft form. You can also save posts at any point while writing either up to your blog server (we're connected to the U's Moveable Type blog system) or locally on the iPad allowing you to come back later and continue where you left off.

Inserting Photos and Videos
This is a challenge on the iPad if you're used to blogging on a computer because in Blogpress there is no ability to grab, drag or resize images with the click of your finger. The images you are viewing in this post have been created with the help of screen grabs that save the image into my iPad photo collection and to make edits such as rotating, resize, etc. I edit the images in Photoshop for iPad. Due to this, in find I use less photos because it is quite a laboring task.

So, this might be the tipping point for some in their choice of using Blogpress on the iPad. There are currently only HTML functions available to edit text (I.e. Bold, underline, insert links, etc.)- photo below. And to add these functions you need to select the piece of text you want to emphasize. Using a mouse on a computer, we all do this often, on an iPad, yeah it is a bit tricky to grab just the right amount of words you want to bold or underline. But, once you get used to it, and use it sparingly it's quite easy.

Blog platforms compatible with Blogpress

With a $2.99 price tag and the ease of use, lack of crashes and easy integration with just about every blog platform around, I consider this a must buy if you're a blogger with an iPad. My guess is it will only get better. This entire post- time it took to write- approximately 30 min.n


Apple iPad and Projecting


project1.pngFirst, let me just get this out of the way. iPad won't be able to project like your laptop. With a laptop you just plug in the cable and everything is projected onto the screen. iPad does not work like this unfortunately.

To be able to hook your iPad into a projector you will need a "dongle" from the Apple Store. (The official name is Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter). This dongle will set you back $29.00 and is available in Apple Stores.

Unfortunately you cannot just plug in the cable and project everything that happens on your iPad screen. Projecting from the iPad is app dependent. Certain apps support projecting but most of them don't. So before purchasing any apps you want to use for projecting make sure you do some research if the app is capable of doing it. **HINT- while browsing the App Store in iTunes or on your iPad, each app that is capable of being projected will state this in their app description.

Here's a few iPad apps that support projecting.
-Keynote. Projects your presentations (PowerPoints, Keynotes, among others). You can use your finger as laser pointer. Just touch your iPad screen while you project your presentation.
-GoodReader. Projects your documents (Word, PDF, etc).
-YouTube. All the video clips you can find on Youtube can be projected.
-Videos. All the videos you have on your iPad can be projected.ipad-vga-adapter.png
-Photos. All the photos you have on your iPad. You have to turn slideshow on and projecting will start.
-WebShow + VGA Out. This app is just like the Safari browser but it is capable of projecting the browser window.
-PaperDesk. Able to project your notes (typed or drawn).

Here's great guide how to get your PowerPoints into Keynote app.

UPDATED: As of Jan. 2, 2011, GoodReader for the iPad is currently $2.99

A while ago we reviewed an app for the iPad called Dropbox to help you manage files stored in the Dropbox online space or "cloud" and access them on your iPad, iPhone, Mac and Desktop devices. Dropbox is a great platform to manage files you keep stored on Dropbox servers. Taking online storage a step further, there's an amazing application for the iPad that allows you to access a even greater range of files on the web including photos, video and web links in addition to providing annotation capabilities of text files, native file storage to your iPad, in addition to allowing you to upload files back to the different servers and platforms where your files are hosted. The app we're referring to is called GoodReader and it's just $1.99 from the Apple iTunes Store .


What file formats does GoodReader support?

  • MS Office - .doc, .ppt, .xls, .rtf, .and more
  • iWork '08/'09
  • .PDF files
  • HTML and Safari webarchives
  • Photos and images
  • Audio and Video!

What Web Servers does GoodReader support?

In addition to allowing you to access your files stored on DropBox, GoodReader provides access to the following online web storage servers:

  • IMAP and POP3 Email servers (allows you to have access to all your email attachments such as articles sent from colleagues or travel itineraries)
  • MobileMe iDisk
  • Google Docs
  • box.net
  • Any WebDAV server (including accessing the U of M's Netfiles web server in GoodReader)
  • Many others including FTP online storage!

GoodReader - Servers.png

How do I use GoodReader to manage my online files?

Once in GoodReader, you have so many options for managing files in terms of downloading files from your different online servers (photo below connecting to Dropbox)


And once downloaded you can move files into different folders using Copy and Move options in the Manage Files section. You can password protect files you have downloaded. You can E-Mail files to others, rename them to organize in your GoodReader database, you can also open files in other applications. For instance if you have .ppt files hosted in Dropbox or Google docs that you want to open in Keynote on the iPad you can do so as you please by clicking the ...Open in... button and selecting the application you want to open the file.


How do I use GoodReader to annotate my files and documents?

New in version 3.0.2 is the ability to mark up, highlight and annotate your files in GoodReader. This option is best learned by opening up a document in GoodReader and playing around with the different annotation items. Many people, including myself have been previously doing these annotation functions using an additional software such as iAnnotate for the iPad. The challenge with iAnnotate is the files stay in iAnnotate. Having the ability to use GoodReader for annotation limits the need for additional software in addition to being able to upload your annotations back into your hosted file network and keep the annotated files alongside your other files.

mzl.gyayqiio.480x480-75.jpg mzl.nubhaojc.480x480-75.jpg

Download GoodReader for the iPad today to get started and learn more about this software!

Picture 1.png    & goodreader_icon.jpg

In addition to allowing you to access files stored in your Dropbox and Google Docs web servers, GoodReader provides users the ability to access files stored in WebDAV servers. For University of Minnesota students and faculty this feature enables the linking of our WebDAV server called Netfiles to the iPad for mobile access of securely stored files.

Why would I want to access NetFiles in GoodReader (especially since I can just use Dropbox)?

This is a really good question with a really easy answer. Netfiles provides U of M users with access to secure online file storage on a university supported platform with 5GB of free online storage. While Dropbox is GREAT for managing personal and professional documents and media, Netfiles meets the security requirements that researchers need for managing things like IRB documentation and research participant information. These are important considerations for faculty and students who engage in academic research at a variety of levels from classroom assignments to thesis and dissertation work in addition to peer reviewed journal submissions.

How do I connect my Netfiles account to GoodReader?

First, you want to make sure your Netfiles account is activated: Activate your Netfiles account here (U of M x500 access only)

After your Netfiles account has been activated, Download GoodReader for the iPad if you have not already done so

To get familiar with GoodReader you can check out our post reviewing Goodreader for the iPad


Step 1: Add a new server in GoodReader


Step 2: Connect to a new WebDAV Server (click "Any WebDAV Server" to add a new Web Server)


Step 3: Input your Netfiles account information as follows:

Readable Title: How you want the server to show up in GoodReader (e.g. "UMN Netfiiles Account")

URL-address: https://netfiles.umn.edu/users/<internetID> (substituting internetID for your UMN X500. For example: https://netfiles.umn.edu/users/gopher002)

User: Your UMN x500

Password: Your UMN Password associated with your x500

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: If you use your NetFiles account to manage sensitive information such as research and IRB information to name a couple you SHOULD NOT INPUT YOUR X500 AND PASSWORD. Instead, input only a Readable Title and the appropriate URL address and each time you connect to your NetFiles account in GoodReader you'll be prompted for your x500 and password. Yes, this can be a pain BUT, it helps in assuring that if you happen to lose or misplace your iPad your data will remain protected.


Step 4: Click "Add" on the top Right of the prompt box when finished


Step 5: Verify your NetFiles Account is listed with your list of servers (see below the addition of UofM Netfiles)


And that's it, you should be able to access all files in your NetFiles account on your iPad through GoodReader! Enjoy!


Additional Resources:

Netfiles at the University of Minnesota

Netfiles Training from the University Technology Training Center

GoodReader for the iPad

We recently did a post about one of our favorite iPad applications- Dropbox for the iPad. I wanted to followup with a cool feature we forgot to menton (that just got better). By default, Dropbox provides each user with 2GB of space for free. BUT, if you send out referrals to others they give you a credit of 250 MB per person who uses your referral link to sign up for Dropbox. So, by referring four friends, your 2GB of storage increases to 3GB (4x250MB)

I just learned that for people with .edu email addresses (students, faculty, staff, anyone associated with a university) for each referral you make, you'll receive a 500 MB increase. And there's a grandfather clause so if you've already referred some people and register your .edu email address with your account future and previous referrals will credit you with 500 MB- previous referrals will add an addition 250 MB to equal 500 MB per referral. Pretty cool! The best part is you don't need to re-register or start using a different email address. Just link your .edu email address to your current account and all future and previous referrals will apply the 500MB credit- awesome!


Go here to get started (if you aren't a current user it will prompt you to sign up):https://www.dropbox.com/edu

Download Dropbox for your computer
Download Dropbox for free for the iPad
Enjoy the extra FREE online storage space!

How to Take a Screen Shot on the iPad

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Did you know you can take a screen grab to capture images of websites and applications on your iPad? Here are some easy how to steps courtesy of wikiHow, enjoy!



  1. Browse to the screen on the iPad you wish to capture.

  2. Simultaneously press the on / off switch and the center home button at the same time. You will notice an on-screen flash. If you have sound enabled, you will hear a camera click.
    Press on/off and center home button simultaneously.
    Press on/off and center home button simultaneously.

  3. Using iTunes, sync your iPad to your computer. The screenshot will then appear in default photo application
    Example iPad screen shot
    Example iPad screen shot

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