We all know that having the right tool is essential to getting a job done well. Since the iPad was going to become my main productivity tool, I needed to be sure it was well equipped for the job. This has been process of trial and error for me, so I would like to share what I’ve learned so far. This will probably be a longer than usual blog post! (sorry…and you’re welcome)
There are thousands of apps for the iPad and that is a very, very good thing. When I first got the iPad, I was blown away by what was available already. And as time progresses, the iPad will become more and more functional due to the fact that, as the advertising slogan goes, “there is an app for that.” Finding the apps that work…and weeding out the ones that don’t…has been a learning process. So what have I learned? Let’s do this in categories.
I needed a Word Processor, a Spreadsheet Application, and a Presentation Application (you know…an iPad version of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint)! Since I have moved all my documents over to a GoogleApps account, getting access to these documents was important…though I have to admit nerve-racking. I tried several solutions including DocumentsToGo, and Office2 HD. Both of these solutions ended up frustrating me! DocumentsToGo would not connect to my Google Account and getting help was nearly impossible. I finally discovered that I had too many documents. Office 2.0 did not support keyboard shortcuts…big problem, in my opinion. So after fighting with these for a couple of days, I broke down and purchased Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (for about $10each). These three apps make up the iWorks suite, and they are very good at what they do…however it’s a task to move the documents to a cloud-based document server (GoogleApps, DropBox, etc). So, I’m finding myself using several apps. I do most everything in the iWorks suite…but when I need to have a document available to on the GoogleApps site, I use Documents to Go..which I’ve connected to a separate GoogleApps account with less documents. For most users, DocumentsToGo will do the job, so that would be my first recommendation. If can afford also getting the others, do it. You won’t regret the purchase.
LogMeIn Ignition was one of the most expensive apps I purchased, but let me say…it was well worth the money! Basically, it allows you to log into another computer with your iPad and operate it as if you are sitting in front of that machine! With my iPad, I have access to the Church computer, my laptop (which is sitting in a refrigerator in a back room at the church due to an over-hearting processor), the Worship Center computer, and my home computer. Since I have MS Office2010 installed on the church computer, I can essentially run Office2010 on my iPad! It’s nothing short of amazing! Plus, it opens up many other wonderful solutions! What? The printer at church is not working and it’s my day off? No problem…I just log in and take care of business! What? No flash support on the iPad? No problem…just log into one the Windows machines and get the job done! I also have access to my full PC version of Logos4…from my iPad!
To get it working, you need to go to LogMeIn’s website, set up a FREE account, download a FREE app on each machine you want access to, then purchase and download the LogMeIn Ignition app on your iPad.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I really like the Logos App,though I do have a couple of frustrations with it. First and foremost is the lack of copy/paste. You can’t do it in the Logos App. This is a big problem since I often quote from commentaries and books in my sermons…not to mention Scripture passages! I’ve found a work around using LogMeIn, but this should be native to the app! Another frustration is in the social networking capabilities. You can Tweet and Facebook about a passage, but instead of just copying the verse into your status, it adds a LINK to the verse. Not nearly the same thing.
So in addition to the Logos App, I also use the ESV App. I preach from the ESV and it allows copy/paste into my sermons and when I tweet or fb, it posts the verse (with a link) into my social sites. It’s very well done and fun to navigate.
I use BlogPress to write my blog posts. It allows me to add pictures, write off-line, and it lets me type code when needed. It sometimes crashes…but for me the most part, I like it.
I also enjoy reading blogs and I LOVE BlogShelf! I can pull all of my favorite blogs in an iBooks like environment where it renders the blog in an easy to read format.
I’m kinda an app hound and I could go on and on. I’ll just list a few others I use quickly; I print with PrintCentral. Though I now have AirPrint with iOS 4.2, it still doesn’t allow me to print to networked printers (non-wiresless ones). However, AirPrint will print to any printer connected to a networked computer! It doesn’t always work like it should, but it’s adequate. Also, I can manage my projects with SG Project. It allows me to create task lists and will generate a Gannt Chart. It also imports XML files, so I’ve moved projects from MS Project on the PC over to my iPad! Pretty cool! I use iAnnotatePDF to scribble on my sermon notes…a weekly ritual I’ve had since I started preaching…only now I do it all on my iPad. iDraft is a great, FREE, portable white board. For reading, I used all the major ebook apps, iBooks, Nook, Kindle, CBD Reader, Google Books, and Kobo. On the Entertainment side, I LOVE Pandora, the PBS app, and the ABC player (feeds my Wipeout addiction). I’ll just NOT even go into games…that would be another post all to itself (though, I will say the game I play the most is Harbor Mater…don’t know why).
Here are a couple of “hardware” accessories that I’m geeked about.
I love the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. It was very easy to setup and since I do a lot of typing, it was a must. It took a little time to adjust to the Apple keyboard shortcuts, but now it’s hard going back to the PC world. The keyboard looks cool (see pics below), travels well, and feels great.
I think it’s also essential to have a good case that will also double as a stand. At first I didn’t have one…so I went to Walmart and picked up a plastic picture frame holder for $3! It actually did quite well! Then I found a very cheap case on Amazon…shipping and all, it cost me about $12. But, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for! It quickly began to fray and it didn’t look very professional. Since I carry my iPad to the pulpit, it really should look sharp. So my wife and I picked out the one in the pics below at Christmas. It the Phillips case from Target and it’s a winner! It holds the iPad for viewing and for typing and it also looks sharp when closed.
I picked up the Camera Connection Kit which allows me to import pictures from my camera and/or an SD card. I can load pics on my iPad MUCH quicker than on a PC and much it’s very easy. Just plug connector to the iPad, then plug the camera or the card in the slot…and the Photos app starts! You touch what you what to import, press the import button and you’re done.
I recently picked up the VGA Adapter. Now, I can show presentations from my iPad on any VGA compatible projector. It’s not the same as Windows…no mirror mode…but it does great with videos, pictures, and Keynote Presentations.
One of the trickiest accessories for me was a decent bag. Most of the iPad bags out there are glorified Man-Purses (Murses, if you will). Again, I picked up a cheap one at Target, and regretted it later. After doing a lot of research, I finally settled on a backpack from Eddie Bauer. It’s built for laptops, but works great for the iPad. I found it on an amazing sale (from $80 to $30) and used birthday money to get it! It fits my iPad, keyboard, wiping cloth, Bible, a couple of books, all my connectors, coffee travel-mug…and much more. Plus, there is a quick access side zipper which gives me access to my iPad without opening everything up!
Way too long for a blog…but that will wrap up the iPad blogs! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad