I shared some iPhone resources in January 2010, and now I’m ready to share some iPad resources.
1. iPad Apps
Here’s a screen-shot of my apps (in addition to the built-in apps) as they appear in iTunes (click on the image to enlarge):
1.1. My Favorite Reading Apps
There are many other useful apps that I’ve chosen not to use for various reasons (e.g., PIM, news, sports). I use my iPad primarily for reading, and these reading apps are my favorites:
- BibleReader. I reviewed this app in January 2010, and I’m still enjoying it. I use it almost every day, and I use it to read the Bible during sermons. I love using this app to access the original languages (with parsings and lexicons), several fine English translations (I usually use the NIV 2011 or ESV), and the ESV Study Bible.
- Instapaper ($4.99). When I come across an article that I want to read carefully but don’t have time to read at that moment (e.g., something I see in Google Reader, a website, or an email), I save it to Instapaper and read it later. Here’s how I save it: If I’m in Google Reader or on another website, I simply click my “Read Later” bookmark, which automatically saves it in my Instapaper account; if I’m reading an email, I simply forward the email to my personalized Instapaper email address that saves it in my Instapaper account. Ingenious. I’ve been using this app a lot. More instructions here.
- PDF Expert ($9.99). There are three good PDF markup apps, and I’ve been extremely pleased with PDF Expert. I have a lot of books and articles in PDF format, and I can easily mark them up with highlighting and notes with this app. I can even mark up PDFs that are locked—something I can’t do on my computer using Adobe Acrobat Professional. To add PDFs to my iPad, I move PDFs on my computer to a designated Dropbox folder and then sync PDF Expert with Dropbox. (If you don’t have a Dropbox account, you can create one for free. Great tool. Includes a Dropbox app.)
- iBooks. An elegant reading experience. Here’s a video preview.
- Kindle. A delightful reading experience, though not as nice as iBooks. Kindle is more versatile than iBooks because (1) you can access your Kindle books on your computer and (2) Kindle has a much larger bookstore. When I debated whether to buy a Kindle or an iPad, I chose the iPad because it can do so much more. The Kindle is for the Kindle like “The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs.” An iPad can handle Kindle books with the Kindle app, but the Kindle can’t handle apps like BibleReader, PDF Expert, iBooks, and Logos.
- ESV Bible. Simple and well-designed.
- Logos. I anticipate this being one of my favorite apps in the near future, but I almost never use it now because I can’t highlight the text or add notes to resources. (Very frustrating!) I’m waiting for Logos to enable those features to sync with Logos 4 across all platforms. Logos is working on this and has promised that these features are on the way.
1.2. Other Readings Apps
I asked some friends to share feedback on a draft of this post, and they recommend some apps that I haven’t tried:
- Reeder for iPad ($4.99). This syncs with Google Reader and is supposed to be a much better reading experience than using the Google Reader app. It can cache articles for off-line reading, and it easily saves articles to Instapaper.
- NetNewsWire for iPad ($9.99). Similar to Reeder for iPad.
- Flipboard. This streamlines your Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, and other social media in a magazine layout. Here’s a video preview.
- GoodReader for iPad ($4.99) and iAnnotate PDF ($9.99). These are two other options for reading and marking PDFs.
- Pages ($9.99). Word processor for document editing.
- Vyrso. Logos Bible Software just announced that they are teaming up with Vyrso to make up to 25,000 Christian trade books available this year. Logos explains, “Both Logos and Vyrso are tied to your Logos.com account, which means all your Logos books work in Vyrso. In addition, all your Vyrso books will work in Logos 4 and on Biblia.com.”
1.3. Two Organizational Suggestions
Here are two practices I’ve found to be helpful:
1. Delete apps you won’t use. Don’t simply delete them from the screen on your iPad, but delete them from iTunes: select Apps > right-click an app > Delete. (Navigate to “Apps” listed on the left pane under “Library”—not the “Apps” tab for your iPad, which appears under “Devices.”)
2. Organize your apps by using folders. (It’s easier to do this in iTunes than on your iPad.)
These instructions on how to do this on an iPhone work for an iPad as well. I’ve done this for both my iPhone and iPad, and I’ve been able to fit all my apps on a single screen using thirteen folders along with the home bar at the bottom of the screen (which can include up to six items, including folders). Here’s what my iPad’s home page looks like:
I could surely improve this organization, but it’s working well for now. Here are screen shots of what’s in each folder (not every icon is an “app”; some icons are bookmarks that go directly to a specific website in Safari):
After reading a draft of this post, my friend Matt Perman explained how he takes a different approach:
I organize my apps slightly differently. You’ve made everything fit on a single page, which maybe solves the problem I was solving, just in a different way. I found that for the apps I use most often I didn’t like having to use two clicks to access them each time (one to open the folder, then a second to open the app). So what I do is keep my most-used apps outside of folders, just having them there at the top level. Then I keep my less used apps in folders, which are organized in categories. It’s not perfect, but I’ve found it to be helpful. This is analogous (though not in all ways) to how the Mac itself is set up: you have whatever apps you want right in the dock, and then if you click in to the “applications” folder, every app is there.
I learned some good things from the categories you used for organizing your apps. I especially liked the people and places categories. Here are my categories (which still aren’t as organized as I would like):
- social networking
2. iPad Filtering and Accountability
What I wrote about the iPhone also applies here.
I’ve decided to enable Safari on my iPhone and iPad so that I can use more of the apps (e.g., the Kindle app along with the Google apps—Gmail, Calendar, Reader, Tasks). But I’ve taken some precautions:
- I never clear my history in any apps, and I’ve asked my wife to check them spontaneously.
- I have accountability partners.
- I’m straight up with the men from my church in my small group.
- I use OpenDNS Deluxe. OpenDNS can block sites at the router level, so it automatically blocks sites regardless of whether you’re connected via desktop, laptop, iPod Touch, or iPad. It is not tied to a particular browser. My iPad can access the Internet only via Wi-Fi, so when I use it at home (which is where I usually use it), every site I visit is logged on OpenDNS.
3. Other iPad Suggestions
- Use Google Sync if you use Gmail and Google Calendar and if you organize your contacts in Gmail. Google has created apps specifically for iPad.
- Use a case. Rather than using Apple’s Smart Cover, I use a Marware C. E. O. Hybrid folio (more info). It’s more sturdy, less conspicuous, and more versatile.
- Use a clear film to protect the screen and body. I’m pleased with ZAGG’s invisibleSHIELD.
- Use screen-capture by holding down the home button and quickly pressing the top sleep-button (or vice versa). It will snap a pic and automatically add it in your photos.
- Use a stylus (e.g., Hard Candy or BoxWave) and a handwriting app (e.g., Noteshelf) to write notes without a keyboard or paper. (I haven’t tried this, but some friends of mine do it.)
I’d warmly welcome feedback on these iPad resources, especially since I’m a new user.
- What are your favorite apps? What apps (other than games) would you recommend?
- Do you have any other suggestions?