First, I have to be honest, it's not really "my" iPad. It's the family iPad. Although we do have a difficult time wresting it out of my husband's hands. For him, iPad is all business, and the workday never stops. The iPad in our house has become synonymous with Catalogs.com. It is an exciting and consuming work-in-progress.
So this list of cool things to do with an iPad is part "if I could grab that iPad" and part reality.
Here are my top ten cool things to do with an iPad, including some apps that I love:
I don't have long periods of time to check in on my online social life - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - so if I can grab the iPad to log in quickly, that's a big plus. It's easy just to go to the web version, but I've been having fun trying some of the social apps. Friendly is an entertaining way to browse Facebook. It lets me view my newsfeed, manage events and look at photos on the full screen. Because it is all touch-driven it took a bit of getting used to, so I didn't lose my status updates. The social apps are a good example how quickly apps in general update.
The iPad is perfectly between my phone and my laptop. It's easy to carry, simple to hold, and I don't need a magnifying glass to surf the web. After using the iPad, I really hesitate before packing up my laptop, unless I need it for the office or a business meeting. A laptop is heavy ... especially in comparison to the iPad.
I almost need an app to get around the iPad. There are so many cool apps to look through that I would never have enough time in the day to use them all. I am download-happy, if an app is free and it looks interesting, I get it and try it. Some I keep and some I don't. Paid apps take a bit more considering, so I like reading the reviews that people have given new apps. I can see myself developing an "app budget."
If my kids need input on researching homework it's easy for them to bring the iPad into the kitchen or where ever I am. We've found apps for chemistry formulas and math problems. We are having fun with a grammar app that is a big help with punctuation. Word Study has an easy-to-use table of contents and bookmarks where we last were to save our place when we close. I think that if you need a "tutor" there's an app for it!
6. Read news
Scanning headlines is really easy with the iPad, and I especially like the New York Times app. NPR has an excellent app as well. If I have five or ten minutes while I'm waiting or between meetings, I can get caught up with the day's news, and touch to read the full length story if I want. Apps on the iPad load quickly which is exactly the pace I need - the iPad can keep up with me!
5. Organize photos
I love the quality of my family photos on the iPad. I have been uploading them, working on organizing them and adding descriptions and making them easy to show off. Keeping my photos on the iPad is a great way to share them with friends when I'm on the go, and it's fun to flip through them like you would a real photo album without having to carry one around. I keep my photos on my laptop, but the iPad is so much easier to grab and go.
I don't have a lot of TV or movie watching time in my busy schedule, but this app that streams movies from my Netflix account is cool. The picture is beautiful and the screen is easy to watch. The iPad really makes movies portable, which is way beyond what they were on my laptop. If I have kids with me when I am waiting for one of the others at a practice or game, a movie on the iPad is a lifesaver.
The animation of this app is really cool, with what the developer calls "living" environments. Choose your bait, flick your wrist and catch a trophy fish if you're a pro. My kids love this too.
I LOVE Epicurious for the iPad. This app is beautifully designed. The page layouts are easy to look at, and the recipe search is wonderful. It's fun to browse even if I'm not looking for something specific, so it's kind of like reading a cooking magazine. The gorgeous photos are inspiring. The app generates a shopping list, too, which is useful.
Indulge me, readers. I'm dreaming of great successes here, but why not? I do all my shopping online (of course, I'm the ultimate CATALOG LOVER!). And I love our very own Catalogs.com for iPad app, and I would LOVE it even, if we hadn't thought of it! So I had to make it number 1 ... catalog lovers will surely be on my side with this one ...
I am used to going straight to store websites, but it's great to have an app that makes online catalogs more "touchable." Now I don't have to go upstairs to my office, I can just take the iPad to bed with me. The iPad could be my new partner.
I'm a catalog lover, a catalog shopper and a catalog saver. That's why I'm in the business that I'm in, of course. I usually schlep a white Rubbermaid tub fill of new catalogs (and a few other things) from home to the office and back again. The idea that I could find 30, 50, 100 or more catalogs on my iPad, all in one app, is amazing. Catalogs.com for iPad is my shopping solution because I like the page-flipping experience and the variety of merchandise.