Some new iPad owners asked me which applications (apps) I use on my iPad the most and make me more productive. I have lots of applications (apps) on my iPad that I rarely use, but those listed below are what I find really useful (and use all the time with one exception):
- The Wall Street Journal - helps me stay up to date with current events and not dependent on the Early Bird.
- Instapaper - quickly saves web pages off line so I can quickly identify articles I want to read and then save them to read later when I don't have internet access (like on airplanes). Great for airport waiting areas before you board the plane. It also has a feature that allows you to display web pages without adds and graphics, which is handy if you want to cut and paste from the file. I use this application all the time. The downside is that it does not allow you to cut and paste text from the application to others, which would be handy.
- GoodReader - all purpose pdf and file reader. If you have it installed, you can open a file sent to you as an attachment in Mail and the Mail program will ask you if you want to open the file in iBooks or Goodreader (if it is a pdf) or Pages/Goodreader (if it is a doc or other kind of word processing file). In Goodreader, you can make annotations on the pdf file (notes, diagrams, arrows, highlight, etc.) that can be saved in a separate file from the original. I find this particularly useful. It has a built in web browser so you can download documents directly into the application.
- Pages - Apple's word processor for the Mac adapted for the iPad. It is not likely I would compose a long document on the iPad, but having this app and keynote gives you the option to review and make changes
while on the run.
- Keynote - Apple's presentation program. It allows you to view ppt files on your iPad. Good Reader might also, but I think I was not satisfied with how it displayed the graphics.
- Dropbox - this is a cloud storage service that allows you to sync files between multiple computers (Macs and PCs) and make sure they are up to date on all machines in near real time. You get 2 Gig of storage for
free. On a computer, installing the program creates a Dropbox directory on your computer. Any file you place in that directory automatically gets synchronized on all other computers. This sure beats emailing files back and forth among computers. When you are not on NMCI, you can also access the
files via the dropbox website. It is a great way to synch files between computers and works fine on the iPad. If you sign up, mention that I referred you (use my netscape email address) because I will get more storage that way (or don't mention me, your choice).
- 1Password - a program that comes in flavors for Windows computers, Macs, iPad, iPhone, etc. You just have to remember one "master" password and the program takes care of the rest and keeps you from having to do what most people do, use the same password on every site that requires it.
- Simple Note - note pad that synchronizes all your notes between iOs devices (notes are also accessible from their website).
- Kindle Reader - not all the electronic books you might want to order are available on iBooks (Apple's electronic book app). The nice thing about the Kindle reader app is that you can read a chapter (or a few
pages) on your iPad, then later use your PC to read a few more and the PC version already knows exactly where you left off reading on the iPad (or iPod or Mac).
- Google has an app that gives you ready access to all Google applications
- Evernote - This is not my main web clipping tool (right now, the tool I use is "Ubernote," but Ubernote lacks an iPad/iPhone app so its notes are not available when you not connected to the internet), but I am experimenting with the iOS application to see if I want to switch. Web clipping tools allow you to capture notes, parts of web pages, or links to web pages to access later. This is a key productivity enhancer. If you are not using some kind of web clipping tool, you are missing out. For example, I might access a web page that has just a bit of text that I want to save for later. You can use a tool like Evernote to highlight the text you want to save, then click a link in Safari (the iPad browser) and the text and website address will be captured and you can use the Evernote app to review the info later (or paste into a document). Evernote has a website where your clippings are also available and has lots of applications in its "trunk" that add additional functionality. Since i received a 4th generation iPod touch for my birthday, I can say that the integration of iPod/iPhone, iPod, and desktop data via the cloud makes this application outstanding. I have "grabbed" many how to/work flow design articles for Evernote and put them into an Evernote notebook (where else?) that i can share upon request (just send me an email). This application has great promise. I use my web clipping tool all the time.
- I have a mobile me account and use it to keep the bookmarks, contacts, and other information on my Apple devices synchronized. If you don't use a Mac at home, then you should consider getting the Xmarks app, which synchronizes your Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer bookmarks.
- Several new applications with which I am experimenting now
- Netnewswire - off line access to your google reader blogs (seems very handy)
- Macworld reader
- Notes Plus - note taking application (needs a stylus, I have a Pogo Sketch).
- The Daily
- Nike+ GPS