NOTE: Earlier today, you may have seen my iPad Pics post. Sorry about that error. Newbie blog mistake as I posted instead of drafting that from my iPad. I’m still learning to post into WordPress from the device. Until I get that down and their iPad app is a bit more like the website, it isn’t among my favorites. The following apps are, however.
When my family surprised me with an iPad for my birthday last fall, I wondered how useful it would be since I already have an iPhone, laptop and desktop computer. It didn’t take long for me to find several apps that were perfect for the iPad format and have made this newcomer almost indispensable. Here I share four of my favorites, two are general use and two I use for my writing.
My top favorite is Flipboard, a free social media magazine providing content from partners, it’s own topics pages and my social media streams.
This app is most appealing for keeping up with Facebook and Twitter. Flipboard pulls in the posts and any referenced images and articles and lets me read and reply to them in a magazine-styled format. Flipboard also partners with various publishers letting me pull in content from places like Oprah and Car and Driver. I use it to pull in my Google Reader stream and follow a few of Flipboard’s favorites.
Kindle for iPad rocks. Not having a real Kindle, I don’t have anything to compare it to, but being able to take notes, highlight, bookmark, search text and look up words from inside the app are great features that I use. iPad’s color screen and crisp resolution coupled with the app’s font size settings make it easy to read even without my reading glasses. It’s built-in WhisperSync lets me download straight to my iPad from the Kindle store, allowing me to get books while I am away from my computer. I am now reading about half of my books in Kindle format, the rest being pool and beach worthy. I’m not worried about getting sand or water splashes on my print media.
Index Card is a great writing tool that I use for working on my book when away from my computer. This $4.99 app lets me create content on index cards and see it in bulletin board view or as an outline. I can put notes on the backs of cards (however, they aren’t included in the export, only the content) and can reorganize easily to change the order of my scenes. I can share what I create through DropBox (free for up to 2 GB of space, letting you access info across devices) and then open it on my computer and import it into my writing program.
For thought gathering, project planning, brain dumps, blog ideas, character development, and various other “out of brain, onto page” uses, I go to iThoughtsHD. This is a mind-mapping tool and there are many out there. I have tried several and this one was my favorite for ease of use and intuitive controls. It is $9.99 and exports through email (basically a bulleted list) and to many of the most common mind mapping program formats.
I’ll give you some more of my favorites in a future post. If you have a favorite iPad or iPhone app you just can’t live without, let me know. I’m sure others want to know about it, too.