40 Things You Can do with an iPad Air

I waited over three years to purchase my first iPad, which was the new iPad Air. During all that time I simply could not justify buying one, thinking that there was no reason to get a tablet. I honestly thought it was useless. I also thought that Steve Jobs had convinced us that we needed something we did not really need at all. I had my phone and my MacBook Pro so why would I need something in between them in size?

Well, on Friday, November 1st I had the sudden urge to get an iPad Air at the nearby Apple Store just to see what all the fuss was about.  I thought I could just return it if I didn’t like it. As soon as I purchased my iPad I of course began searching for apps to install on my new “toy”. After two weeks I have amassed over 130 apps and have discovered many more uses for this gadget than I had previously read about all over the web.

So without further ado here is a list of useful things you can do with an iPad, including some recommended apps for each activity. I assume that most if not all of these activities are possible on any iPad, but I do not own any of the previous models so I cannot be absolutely certain.

1. Read eBooks and magazines – iBooks, Kindle, Newsstand

2. Read the news – Flipboard, News360, Feedly RSS reader

3. Listen to audio books – Audible

4. Listen to music and podcasts – iTunes

5. Browse the web – Safari

6. Play games – Infinity Blade III

7. Journalling – Day One Journal

8. Get directions – Maps

9. Create artwork – Paper, ArtRage, ProCreate

10. Manage contacts, appointments and reminders

11. Create and edit documents – Pages, Numbers

12. Create presentations – Keynote

13. Create and manage notes – Evernote

14. Create and learn music – GarageBand, Djay 2

15. Capture and edit photos – PS Express, PS Touch, Snapseed

16. Record and edit videos – iMovie

17. Manage music, movies, TV shows, and documents – iTunes, iCloud

18. Play iTunes store purchases from iCloud on your iPad or AppleTV

19. Control your iTunes music Library on a Mac and send it’s content to your Apple TV using AirPlay

20. Stream content from various apps to your Apple TV using AirPlay – Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix, YouTube

21. Manage Flickr and various other accounts – FlickStackr

22. Manage blog posts – WordPress

23. Create and manage databases and sync them to your computer – HanDBase

24. Track packages – Deliveries

25. Check detailed weather conditions and forecasts – Clear Day, Living Earth

26. Social networking – Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, LinkedIn

27. A teaching aid for storing textbooks and other course materials – iBooks, Kindle

28. Aid autistic children in communication, focus and learning

29. Make FaceTime and Skype calls

30. A secondary display for your Mac

31. A reference source – atlas, dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, maps, TV Guide, etc

32. Learn a new language

33. Assist healthcare professionals and patients with tracking medical records, appointments, x-rays, and lab results

34. Allow NFL teams to use it for their play-books

35. Watch training videos to learn Mac apps and follow along in the apps on the Mac – iTunes, Podcasts

36. Follow instructions in eBooks to learn Mac apps and follow along in the apps on the Mac

37. Use the Siri intelligent assistant – it is getting more and more powerful all the time

38. E-commerce – shop the App Store, Amazon, the Apple Store, eBay, etc.

39. Hook it up to a wifi hotspot on your phone (no you do not need the cellular version or the expensive data plan that comes with it)

40. TV Guide

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My Favorite iPad Air Apps So Far

This is my first blog post!

I absolutely love my new iPad Air.  The reduced weight and thinner footprint make it very easy to handle in one hand.  iPads in general also benefit from a vast selection of high-quality apps in the Apple ecosystem.  Many of these apps are optimized for Apple’s latest iOS 7 software as well as the Retina display.  With the 64-bit A7 processor in the new iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 users will soon benefit from apps optimized for the new 64-bit architecture.  Several apps are already updated for the A7 chip and have improved performance, especially graphics intensive games and multimedia apps.

With this in mind I have purchased over 90 new apps for my iPad Air, most of which were free.  I have selected twelve of my favorite apps so far.  Most of these apps are optimized for the Retina display and iOS 7.  Some are also designed for the new A7 chip.  These twelve apps are listed below in no particular order.

 

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Atlas by Collins – developed by HarperCollins Publishers.

This amazingly complete world atlas consists of several rotating globes of the Earth, each overlaid with a particular attribute (Economy, Population, Physical Maps, etc.).  There are 10 globes so far but be aware that 8 of the globes are additional in-app purchases for $0.99 or $1.99 each.  The other 2 are included.  Also be aware that the additional globes take awhile to download and that this app is very processor intensive so it is probably better suited for the new A7 chip.  The developer is working on additional globes.

FREE (additional in-app purchases $0.99 to $1.99)

 

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Essential Anatomy 2 – developed by 3D4Medical

An absolutely stunning 3D model of the entire human body.  All anatomical groups can be completely isolated and body structures (bones, muscles, nerves, etc.) can be selected individually or in combination.  The entire model structures can be rotated in 3D space by moving your fingers on the model.  The current view can even be saved to the Camera Roll.  The developer offers several other anatomy apps with a more thorough focus on particular systems of the body.  Be warned that these apps are fairly expensive.

$9.99 to $49.99 (most are $9.99 to $12.99)

 

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Evernote – developed by Evernote.

The gold standard for cloud and client based notes.  This app has evolved to become the most complete platform for notes that can include several attachments such as pictures, files, video clips, audio clips, etc.  Attachments are stored inside the actual note. Notes are synced to the cloud and also to client apps on iOS devices and Macs, offering a robust backup system.  There is also a Safari extension called Evernote Web Clipper that adds a very powerful way to select portions of webpages you wish to save as notes, including all formatting   and graphics.  This app ecosystem provides many features which would require a short book to describe.

FREE

 

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Day One Journal – developed by Bloom Built.

This app provides a simple and elegant journaling format, including a timeline view of entries on the left side and a journal entry viewer window on the right which looks very similar to the Mail app on the Mac.  Entries can be tagged for future searching.  It has had some glitches in the past with some users experiencing data loss from a corrupted database but this appears to have been addressed by the latest release.  Regardless it is a good idea to utilize the built-in export to PDF feature to back up your journal entries from time to time. I still like this app because it is very easy to use and is also password protected.  The journal database can optionally be backup up to the cloud if you are willing to allow hackers the feds to potentially view your journal!  I prefer to just export to PDF in iTunes.

$4.99

 

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Paper – developed by FiftyThree.

A beautiful drawing app consisting of several types of notebooks at the top level which can be selected and used to store different types of work like drawings, paintings, etc.  Each notebook contains as many pages as desired and the pages turn by swiping back and forth.  The top level view of the notebooks also allows the pages to be turned.  One tip that took me awhile to figure out was how to switch between the top level and the full screen notebook view.  You just swipe your fingers outward from the small notebook view to go to full screen and inward from the sides of the screen to go back to notebook view.  This app seems to be the most popular drawing app so far.  Be warned that it only includes a couple drawing tools and the rest can be purchased within the app for $6.99.

FREE (complete essentials tool pack in-app purchase is $6.99)

 

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Epoch 2 – developed by Uppercut Games Pty.

This app uses the same graphics engine as Infinity Blade 3.  This post-apocalyptic   robot on robot action game has been seriously updated from the first version released several years ago to include amazing graphics, additional weapons and new enemies.

$2.99 (50% off for initial launch)

 

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Infinity Blade 3 – developed by Chair Entertainment Group.

This incredible display of graphics is completely optimized to showcase the full glory of the retina display.  This app completes the trilogy which was originally announced at the Apple WWDC in 2011.  I am very impressed with the story format and of course the graphics.  Motion is extremely smooth on the new iPads, there is absolutely no lag.

$6.99

 

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The Drowning – developed by Mobage.

Created by the developers of Halo.  The first first-person shooting game developed for tablets that provides a simplified experience comparable to console based shooting games.  You just tap to where you want to shoot or walk and swipe to where you want to look.  Pinch to zoom in or out.  This horror based game is very fun to play.

FREE

 

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Fitness Buddy  – developed by Azumio.

Very thorough fitness app that includes over 1700 exercises and allows  you to  track your progress over time. (weight, BMI, etc.) You can select individual muscle groups to focus on and choose individual exercises from the list on the left.   The viewer on the right shows a graphical display of a person doing the chosen exercise step by step.  Swipe to the left to view each step.  When you reach the final step an animation shows you the complete motion.  This has to be one of the greatest bargains I have ever found on the App Store.

$2.99

 

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djay 2 –   developed by algoriddim

The beautiful interface and powerful performance in this feature-filled mixing app is optimized for iOS7 and the new iPads.  It includes parallel waveform viewing, sampler, track preview, effects, x-y pad, colored waveforms, Slip mode and Sliced Beat mode Crossfader features like one-touch fade and transformer switch.

$9.99

 

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News360 –  developed by News360.

This streamlined news app offers custom tailored content from multiple news channels.  You can completely customize the topics you want to see and select an icon for each at the top of the screen.  The layout consists of five or six story headlines with pictures on every screen within the feed.  Swipe to the left for more screens.  This app offers more options than Flipboard and has faster performance.

FREE

 

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Photoshop Touch –  developed by Adobe

A very robust implementation of Photoshop for the iPad.  Offers layers and adjustments.  A major limitaion is that it cannot open layered PSD files from the desktop version but does support images up to 12MB that can be opened in the full desktop version.  It includes layers and several adjustments but offers fewer filters than Photoshop Express or Snapseed.  A great overall effort from Adobe though.  This app has been updated several times since the problems it had in 2012.

$9.99

Well that about does it, hope this is helpful.  Bye for now.