60 Days with my iPad – My Must Have Apps

I now have had a chance to get beyond the honeymoon period using the iPad which I picked up on April 3rd. While it is noted that the iPad does not have the same functionality as a netbook or my tablet pc, nevertheless, it has transformed my how I use technology In my life. Rarely do I pull the laptop out of my case when I get home from school, unless there is a project which requires significant use of a keyboard. I am able to simply open my iPad and consume the media that I need to, with some very light creation when needed.

Although I have a non-3G iPad, I have found it extremely useful when performing the function of Dad Taxi. Waiting for them to get to the car or while they are at an appointment, I am able to access the material that I have already downloaded, saved, or purchased. I almost wish my children were younger and I would have to cart both of them around so that I could take better advantage of this feature of the iPad, the same way that I began to incorporate my iPod into my professional learning practice when carting the kids to swimming, dance, grocery shopping, or to friend’s houses.

There are many iPads beginning to show up on my campus and people ask me which are my must have apps. While they may differ based upon personal choice, here is how I have my home page of apps loaded:

On my dock
On my home dock, I have placed the apps which I want easy access to all of the time. For me, going from right to left, this means first the Mail app, to access all of my email accounts. Next is the MLB At Bat app. I am a huge baseball fan and now love to access my baseball news and to listen to a game from the west coast, especially when the Giants (Jon Miller) or Dodgers (Vin Scully and Charlie Steiner) are playing. I will do this while I read a book using the Kindle App as I wind down for bed. The Safari App is there whenever I want to surf or fact check while watching a show or sporting event. I also have the Photo App and iPod app at the ready for those functions.

The first app on my home page is a link to my Google Calendar. While I have limited editing functions, I often want to review what I am doing on a particular day. The next apps are some of the built in Apple apps, Video, YouTube, Maps, Settings, the App Store, and iTunes. I use these Apple apps frequently enough that I want quick access to them. The next apps on my page are the newest, but very indispensable. The first is HelTweetica, which is my current favorite Twitter app. I do have Twitterific and TweetDeck on my second page, but I love the speed and feel of HelTweetica for the moment. The next app is Reeder, which connects me to my Google Reader RSS feeds. I love the way I can zip through my feeds and it will cache items so I can read them while not connected to a network.

The next group of apps are my news apps, the Weather Channel, New York Times Editors Choice, BBC News, and The NPR app. This is now I get my news in the morning. Five minutes with these apps and a quick scan of HelTweetica, and I feel like I am as current in terms of global news as anyone. At least I can reference it and go back if I need to.

My next app is one of my favorites, GoodReader. This PDF reader is simply outstanding. I have it configured to access my Google Mail apps and attachments for both my personal and domain accounts, plus accessing the web based set of PDF newsletters and other reports. Simply outstanding. By far, the most value for it’s cost of any apps I have purchased, with the possible exception of the MLB At Bat app. On the bottom row, when horizontal, are the Zinio magazine reader app and the Wired App. It is through Zinio that I can access my Sporting News Today, a which shows the power of magazine publishing. As a life-long baseball fan, it broke my heart when TSN began to lose my interest in the early 1980s. But this daily dose of coverage surpasses what used to be a week late. I also like he fact that they provide sample articles from a number of their different magazines for free. And if you want to see the future of publishing, one needs only to take a look at the Wired app. The inclusion of video and audio into the print version, with promises of more, recalls the first time that I picked up version 1.01 of the magazine oh so long ago. I hope that they are able to deliver on the promise of this initial attempt and make it a reasonably priced experience. Next are my offline web page readers, Instapaper and Offline Pages. Before moving to Reeder, I would have suggested that one save the money and stay with Offline Pages. But the integration of Instapaper is changing my mind. I have installed both of the bookmark tools on my laptop browser, so when I know I may be without access, I can download and reward clippings from the web while on the train or waiting for my kids. This is a great way of catching up all of the great thinking.

My last app on my home page is the Enjoy Daily (Free) Sudoku app. Hey, everyone likes to play a game. Although the iMahjong, Frenzy, and Skeeball apps are great time wasters, I love a logic puzzle to sharpen my mind.

Now if you are counting, there is one slot left on my homepage. I have no idea what app while makes its place there. Could yours be next?

So that’s $30 worth of apps, plus the cost of some music and books. Not a bad little learning machine which allows me to access my reading when I am ready. What’s on your homepage?

(sent from my iPad – how cool is this)

Posted via email from Vinnie’s posterous

2 thoughts on “60 Days with my iPad – My Must Have Apps

  1. Vinnie,

    I so much appreciated this post! I’ve also had my iPad for about 60 days now and I appreciated your assessment of some of the tools available. Some of these I was already using regularly (and love) such as Weather Channel, NYT, NPR. Others, such as HelTweetica and Reeder, were new to me. Thanks to your post – they’re now among my favorites too.

    Other favorites: CloudReader, Kindle app, LogMeIn, PaperDesk, & the Denver map app which works w/0 a connection.

    Thanks for your post!

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