At the end of the last year I bought myself an iPad. The main reason back then was to take it to my travels as a small “computer” with long battery life. Now, over half a year later, I can say without any doubt that iPad is the single best thing I’ve ever bought in my life (the very best things cannot be bought, but that’s another story). iPad is much better than a regular computer in several ways – already mentioned battery life, also compactness, quickness of use, mono-tasking enforcement, and most notably, apps. I went over the apps I use most frequently and here’s my top 5:
1. iBooks and Kindle
Yes, I read books on iPad now. My Kindle is collecting dust in my bookshelf because the user experience is just so much better on iPad. I do have a Kindle app that allows me to read the books I buy from Amazon Kindle Store; lot of books are not (yet) available in iStore. But I do use iBooks almost as often as Kindle – i read my pdf’s there.
It breaks my heart to see the brick-and-mortar bookstores dye, but I do like reading the books in my iPad. At least its better for the environment..
2. Newsstand / FlipBoard
Newsstand is an iPad app for e- newspapers/magazines that you have subscribed to. I haven’t touched my paper version of The Economist since I got my iPad. In fact, by the time the newspaper hits Advisio mailbox on Monday, I have read the Economist already (it becomes available in iPad three days earlier, on Friday).
FlipBoard is another amazing app that I use to read newspapers and magazines. Its an app that provides you with some articles from a broad range of magazines for free. For me this is the place where I read the magazines that I’m not interested enough to subscribe to, yet interested enough to take a look at them every once in a while.
3. iTunes University
Have you ever regretted that you did not attend any top-tier university in the world, such as Harvad, Stanford, MIT or any other? Well, don’t – you can take the exact same courses in iTunes University. For free. You can watch the lectures, see the materials and even homework assignments. There are thousands of lectures available for pretty much each subject you can imagine.
You don’t need to have an iPad to watch those lectures – they are available in desktop computers, too. Its just that I like to watch them in iPad. Monotasking is one reason, but another feature I really like about iTunes University is that I can watch the lectures with 1,5x speed – this means that the lecture pace stays good enough for my attention not to go wander.
Seconds Pro enables me to create interval timers that are highly customizable. Even better, it is plain, simple and very intuitive. I use it to count seconds and make sure that I do not cut corners in my daily morning practice. The other times I use it is after my trainings as a counter for stretching sequence. Highly recommendable.
If you are not using Evernote (the computer version) already, then slap yourself to your forehead, go download it, start using it and you can thank me the next time we meet. I sometimes still see people holding their notes in .doc files spread out in their computers hard drive, or even worse, making notes on pieces of paper or paper notebooks. I still amazes me what lengths people are willing to go in order to avoid learning to use a new tool that would make their life that much easier.
Evernote app is the iPad equivalent of the computer version.
Besides these five, there are numerous others, including games, of course. There will be another post on those, soon. 🙂