Recently in Experiences with the iPad Category

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)

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 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 (free).
IM+ Pro screen grab screen grab

Personally, I find 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

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.

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.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Experiences with the iPad category.

*iPad App Reviews is the previous category.

free apps is the next category.

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