What’s the Point of an iPad?

The Top 10 things I use my iPad for.

Filofax

In the olden days I had a hardback diary, an address book, a scribbled to-do list. A notebook. A scrapbook of cuttings and notes for my latest project. Later on this became a filofax (a really nice one with a green leather cover). Nowadays everything is held electronically and kept in-sync between my computer, phone, and iPad wirelessly. I use the tablet most of all. It’s faster to start-up than the computer, more portable, and has a bigger screen than the phone. (This’ll be a running theme.)

Newspaper

Flipboard is a great little app that pulls in content from all over the web (you pick and choose) and turns it into a personalised electronic newspaper. Headlines from the BBC, local news from the Reading Chronicle, tech news from Wired, etc.

Web Browsing.

Pretty much anything I can do on the web I can do on my iPad. Managing our movie rental list. Paying bills. Checking if that guy in BSG is Badger from Firefly. Without waiting for a computer to boot up or reading webpages on a tiny phone screen. It’s an instant web interface.

Phone Calls & Social Networking

Before breakfast each day I sit down with a cuppa and catch up on my messages and social circle news via email, Twitter, and Facebook. Using Skype’s free phone calls and video conferencing we’ve called friends and family who, inconveniently, live all over the place. (Even though we only have the wi-fi version, with apps like Skype and Beluga, the iPad can be used as a phone.)

E-book Reader

Rather than buy a separate device I use the Kindle and iBook apps on my iPad. It works for PDFs like Grand Prix Plus magazine and my knitting patterns from Ravelry too.

Portable T.V.

Whilst away from the lounge I use BBC Iplayer and TV Catchup to watch live and on-demand television. Dr Who during the ironing. Sky News when I’m brushing my teeth.

Set-top Box

By connecting the iPad to our TV we can watch movies, shows, and video clips from the internet. For example, we regularly watch The Totally Rad Show in HD. We can view You Tube, our home videos, and any shows we have digital copies of too.

Recipe book and stand

I’ve moved all my recipes to a free online cloud service called “Evernote”. Adding more to this homemade database by typing them in, photographing them, or clipping them straight from the web. Once in there they’re fully searchable by tags I’ve added (like cheese, salad, main course, etc) or by text in the recipe, including the photgraphed recipes. I can look at them on my iphone when I’m shopping for ingredients but when I’m at home I use the iPad as my recipe book and use the cover as a stand to prop it up in the kitchen when I’m cooking. Evernote is awesomesauce.

Hand-held Games Machine

It’s my go-to device for portable gaming above and beyond simple mobile phone games. Meaty games, fab graphics, at extremely cheap prices. Often with lengthy free playable demos. All directly downloadable to the device. Currently I’m having trouble putting Dragon Vale down as I’m busy cross-breeding dragons to discover new dragon breeds.

Digital Photo Frame

On paper the iPad has a 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi). In reality it makes photos spellbindingly beautiful. Included in the operating system is a little photo frame app. When the iPad’s screen is ‘locked’ press the photo button to start a slideshow of photos stored on the device (configurable in Settings). Used with the Apple iPad cover that works as a stand, the whole thing easily converts into a digital photo frame when it’s not in use or charging. A wireless, wi-fi enabled photoframe. Photos can be added by email, wirelessly over the home network, or saved directly from the web (e.g. From Facebook). I use an app called PhotoSync to send photos straight from my phone to the iPad.

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