September 2010 Archives

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):

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

I find I review a lot of productivity apps for my iPhone and iPad and make lots of suggestions for others. I often get questions like, "why should I use this one over that one?" or "what does this app have that this one doesn't?" I find that it isn't so much how one is better than the other but rather how I use each app for different uses in my day to day life. I recently wrote up an example of how Evernote, Drop Box, Papers, and Instapaper work together for me that I wanted to share with blog readers. Enjoy!


evernote.png  instapaper_logo1.jpg Dropbox.jpg papers.jpg

"Productivity Apps- similar yet different"

There are many similarities to many of the GTD (Getting things done) apps rested in the storing of files and information. I think I use 5 or 6 on a regular basis but all for different reasons. The best apps, in my opinion are the ones that integrate with others so you don't have to reproduce things. For example, I use Evernote on my laptop to take notes (in class, etc.) and store longer text items (e.g. frequent flier information, etc.). I use Evernote on my phone to take quick pics that I want shared right to my laptop, out and about things like grocery lists, etc. that I want mobile in my pocket. Evernote on the iPad I use to review all those notes I've taken on my laptop, add to them or take notes in meetings (because all apps are in sync on the cloud). I use something like Drop Box for storing files that I'm working on (such as word and pdf docs for the current semester or things like my dissertation research) and I can open these docs in all kinds of apps on the iPad for different purposes- viewing online and off and editing and sharing. I use Papers (review coming soon!) for storing and reading journal articles that I plan to keep and reference for months or years- it's a Mac desktop app that syncs with the iPad and iPhone- if and when they expand to PC it's amazing and awesome and makes the iPad invaluable for graduate students.

Something like Instapaper is cool for the in between things of reading on the web, email, newsletters, all this consumption we do with text from others and bookmarking it to read later or decide what to do with it (so we can close it from an open tab in our browser or delete an email newsletter, or clean up our desktop bookmarks- keep it all in one place). I don't know about you but I always find myself bookmarking articles in my browser that I don't really want to keep in a bookmark and forget it's there later but lack a place to put it (because we might want it later, right?). Instapaper allows you to do that reading on the web and bookmark it/ catalog to read later, or share with others all in a mobile way (i.e on the bus, sitting in class, etc.) I really like the "sharability" across people and all my devices.

So, they all yes can do similar things but they all do it a bit differently. Our motivation for blogging about all of these tools is that we want to put out there as much as we can about all the apps we use (because there are a ton and we're addicted) and hopefully people will try them out and see what works for them and what doesn't so we can be prepared to discuss the pros and cons of apps with others. If certain apps don't work for you, that's always totally fine, but it would be great to know the ways they don't work and ways other apps work better for you to engage in discussion around apps, iPads, iPods, Kindles, what have you. Looking forward to your own thoughts on this topic.


Do you ever scour the web consuming news, doing research, shopping, viewing videos and photos and after a while find that you have 10 tabs and 3 browser windows of links open? Are you often distracted by the advertisements, bright colors, pop up windows, and numerous clicks you need to make to get through a site like The New York Times or USA Today to find out what happened today in the world? Do you find yourself doing research online and emailing yourself links to journal articles, newsletters and web links so you can access your material at a later date when you need to write a paper? If your answer has been yes to any of these questions then Instapaper is a service you will love to add to your daily web surfing and content consumption.

For a quick overview of the basic operations of Instapaper Pro on the iPad check out this short video tutorial of Instapaper Pro's functionality: video link (courtesy of


I've been using Instapaper Pro for the iPad and iPhone ($4.99) for about three months now and find it to be an indispensable piece of software that I use on an almost daily basis. On my iPad and iPhone I have a bookmark-let installed in Safari that allows me to bookmark any website I navigate to from news, to research, even cool coffee shops or vacation website that I'd like to visit and all these links drop into my online Instapaper account. In my RSS Reeder for the iPad (Reeder- $4.99) I have a "send to Instapaper link that I use to send articles I want to save for later viewing and don't have time to finish at that moment. Also, Instapaper provides an email address that allows you to email links to sites, digital newsletters and articles sent from friends as well. So rather than emailing myself links to sites and articles I want to save I just send them right into Instapaper. All of these links, videos and other online content are compiled online, stripped down to an easy to read format on mobile devices and synced into my Instapaper Pro iPad and iPhone applications to read later at my convenience. Lastly, it's really cool to be able to share these links with others. I can create a starred section on my Instapaper account which will allow others to subscribe to my favorite links, news, videos and photos. Want to try out the share feature and receive content related to iPads in Education? Add iPadnewsinEDU (or subscribe to the RSS Feed from Instapaper) to your list of folders and enjoy new content and news on this topic as we continue to add to this growing database of knowledge.


Instapaper Online: sign up for a free account

Instapaper free app for your iPhone?: Download Instapaper Free

Instapaper Pro (iPad)? Download Instapaper Pro for the iPad from the iPad store.

Do you feel like you already use a lot of productivity apps and unsure how Instapaper would be helpful in combination with them? Check out my Personal Reflection about the utility of using productivity apps in a combined way.

Adobe Photoshop Express for iPad (free app)


photoshop2.jpgAdobe has come out with Adobe Photoshop Express photo editing tool for iPad and it is free! First I want to tell you that this is not a full blown Photoshop you might have used on your computer but if you just want to do basic stuff to your photos like crop, straighten, rotate, flip, frame then this app is for you. Go get this app and play around with it. I still find new features after using it for a few weeks. This is a great app for editing photos before emailing them out to friends on an iPad.

Download Adobe Photoshop Express for iPad

Check out the video below. It's video review done by adoramaTV and it will go through what this app can do.

PCalc Lite Calculator for iPad (free app)


PCalc.pngSurprisingly enough, the iPad does not come with a calculator app installed by default and I'm sure there are times when we need to do a bit of adding and subtracting. But, thankfully, the App Store has a lot of them. Some of them are free but most cost anywhere from 99ยข to $25.

I've been using PCalc Lite Calculator which is free. It has very clean design and comes with the RPN mode and unit conversions. Most of my calculator use is just basic math, nothing too complicated so if you are looking for a scientific calculator that you might use in a math or statistics course then prepare to shed some cash but in the mean time give PCalc Lite Calculator a shot!

Download PCalc Lite Calculator for iPad

ipad-exchange.jpgA lot of talk has occurred about setting up exchange email and calendar through Google so you get that "push" syncing in your iPad iCal and Mail programs. Essentially what this means is your calendar events on the web stay connected to your iPad calendar so when you add events on your iPad calendar they appear on the web and vice versus (translation- you don't have to manage your calendar on multiple platforms- yeah!) Below are instructions for doing just this.

First, make sure you have setup your Google account and have your UMN Google password. OIT can help you with this if you have yet to convert (U of M COCONUT).

After you're setup with Google, follow the instructions from the Google Mobile homepage about setting up exchange.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2010 is the previous archive.

October 2010 is the next archive.

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