So Many iPad Apps: So Hard to Choose.

These are the ones I find most useful. Bear in mind that I am a hobby photographer, a wannabe writer (which means I don’t really write much, just play with the idea of it), a reader and a TV addict. I play a few games, but the genres I prefer are those which don’t demand much of the graphics.

1. Writing
a) Pages (I have Pages on my Mac Mini as well, and now prefer to use it rather than the bloated Microsoft Office Word). Pages will save your writing to iCloud, and when you access it on whichever device, it will always be in sync. I find this very useful
b) Writepad continues to improve. If you want an app which recognises handwriting (I’m not talking about a simple note-taker) then Writepad is all by itself. I don’t think there are any other apps like it.
Additional tool: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover: Makes a massive difference to how you use your iPad.

2. Photography
a) Adobe Photoshop Touch. A cut down version of Photoshop and perfect for a tablet situation.
b) Snapseed. Once owned by Nik Software, now owned by Google. Some of us paid for it, and its now free. Really worth having.
c) Photosync and/or FlickStackr for uploading photographs. I use both at different times. Flickstackr makes it easier to manage my Flickr stuff than the website does, on iPad.
There are many other tools which I wont list here.

3. Reading
a) Marvin: an unprepossessing name for an ebook reader, but its so full featured, if you like to read ebooks, you’d be crazy to ignore it. It will not read DRM restricted books. When I say it reads, I mean that quite literally. It can read the book, work out who the main characters are, give you summaries of the book/chapters etc, find information on the internet. Mad if you don’t give it a look. A long one. There’s a free version for a taster, one book at a time, and theres an in-app purchase of themes. There is an option to sync bookmarks via Dropbox
b) iBooks: It works. Syncs between iPad and iPhone version so you’ll pick up on each device where you left off on the other. For most basic reading, its enough. Pales by comparison with Marvin.
c) Kindle and Kobo for reading their particular formatted books. Also Nook which I keep forgetting because we can’t get it in Australia, and theres Bluefire, which I also use on the iPhone, for my Library borrowing (its Adobe DRM registered)
No links for the apps in c). Search the App Store 🙂

4. Games
To each his own in this genre. I have a preference for quick fix games, so I have Solitaire City (the paid version, the free comes with two games), and a few Big Fish Hidden Object games. Because I only have 16GB on board, I usually play only one or two and remove from the device once I have finished.

5. TV and Movie Stuff.
a) I don’t use iTunes for this. I have a PLex server running on the computer which serves up TV and Video to the AppleTV via the PLex app on my iPad or iPhone (Airplay rules!) I also have CineXPlayerHD if I need to take something with me, away from the Plex Server. I have not, nor do I intend, to buy a streaming account with Plex because I dont want to waste my 3G bandwidth on that kind of thing. Others may like to do that.
b) For catchup TV in Australia theres ABC iView and SBSOnDemand. We can also download BBCiPLayer and have access for $10/month to the best of the BBC shows. This, for me, will be a better option than the dreaded Foxtel which has nothing that appeals to me.
c) Videos: Youtube without advertising. Excellent!

6. Getting the News
a) The SMH app for NewsStand. I like it, theres an edition morning and evening and its free. I think you do need to be signed up to Fairfax but I did that years ago so cant remember. No doubt non-Aussies will have similar apps in their own country.
b) The ABC (Australian) app: Includes audio and video news.

7 Online Storage and apps
Dropbox, Box, and Copy in order of preference. I was lucky to pick up a 50GB account for free from Box, but Dropbox was the first of the genre and has become pretty much the defacto standard for apps to access. Theres also Google Drive, iDrive and other similar. Most give you a small amount with extra for referrals. You’ll see my referral links for Dropbox and Copy, Box doesn’t seem to do it. I no longer use Sugarsync since it went paid for all accounts. Copy has been a dark horse. You get 15GB to start (so they are much more generous than others) plus 5GB for every person who signs up and installs one of the Copy apps. Additionally, The signee gets 5Gb extra as well, so its looking like its a total of 25GB to start. Or perhaps 20GB. Either way its extremely generous.

8. Miscellaneous stuff (and I have a lot of it)
a) File Browser: Accesses files on your network. Excellent for getting files to your iOS device which would otherwise not normally be available.
b) Chronicleapp: Keep tabs on your bills and their due date. Its been enormously helpful for me since I went on a pension.
c) TeamViewer: Cross-platform app for tablets phones and computers of most formats. Excellent to save those visits to help friends who have got a problem which needs sorting out, and you can’t spare the time to drive miles to see them. (LogmeIn is another.. I’m preferring TeamViewer)
d) The White and Yellow Pages. Invaluable. I’ve stopped the paper versions coming… do not need them anymore.
e) Wallet: Most people seem to use 1Password. I prefer Wallet. They all do the same job. Wallet syncs with Dropbox, so I have the same database of passwords and serial numbers on my phone, iPad and computer. Wallet has not been updated in a couple of years, but it still works with iOS8 so I’m not complaining (yet). Get 1Password or LastPass to futureproof.

There’s a lot more, but I’m stopping there. There is simply not enough time (or energy) to catalogue all the good stuff, and what I think is good may not be the same as that which you think is good. No matter, these are my current faves 🙂

{Addit} I wrote most of this some time ago, but given that the iPad Air 2 has just been released, time to publish, methinks.


4 thoughts on “So Many iPad Apps: So Hard to Choose.

  1. Chris 22/10/2014 / 9:26 am

    If I *do* get an iPad in the near future, hmmmm…..

  2. Sue 22/10/2014 / 11:48 am

    aaahahahahah! Watch out, you’ll cave in!

  3. Chris 23/10/2014 / 2:46 am

    The Writepad app you listed is particularly interesting. Sometimes I prefer handwriting to typing.

  4. Sue 23/10/2014 / 12:54 pm

    It works fairly well. It was cumbersome at first but has been in constant development since the first iPad. Of course there are others which are just handwriting apps and don’t convert to typewritten… dozens of them in fact. My preferred is Penultimate.

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