Apple’s core iOS apps are good enough for what they are intended for but there are much better apps out there that can improve your iPhone or iPad experience. A lot of them are free and the others are worth the price tag. Here I will offer a list and short review of each.
Yahoo! Weather – A gorgeous and elegant app with much more info such as hourly and five day forecast, radar map, wind & pressure, precipitation, sunrise & sundown times, and moon info all with beautiful background pics from Flickr – Free for iPhone
Calendars by Readdle – A free alternative for both the iPhone and iPad. I love that you can swipe between each month instead of hitting left or right arrow buttons. Also, instead of seeing colored dots where you have appointments you can actually read them in the month-view calendar. Much better especially when you want to quickly glance at what you have going on. – Free for iPhone and iPad.
Let’s be serious; most people don’t use the Newsstand app. I know I don’t. Yet, iOS does not allow users to hide it in a folder. Therefore, it’s a useless app taking up space on your home screen. Fortunately, there is an extremely simple solution that only takes about thirty seconds!
From your Mac or PC download an app called ‘StifleStand.’ It is a very small file and the download time should only be about one or two seconds.
Once it’s downloaded, open the file and the following screen should appear:
Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with the USB cable. StifleStand will immediately recognize your device is connected.
Hit the ‘Hide Newsstand’ button and watch your Newsstand app ‘magically’ disappear into a folder. The folder will be named ‘Magic’ but you can just as easily rename it into anything you want and put in any other apps you want to keep in there.
Notice the folder named ‘Magic’ You can rename it & add other apps
It’s as simple as that! No fuss, no jailbreaking. If you actually do use Newsstand then don’t bother with this. The app won’t open when it’s inside a folder. That being said, if you do put Newsstand in a folder and want to eventually use it again all you have to do is drag it out of the folder and it will work just fine. So give it a try; you’ll be glad you did!
Mac Version PC Version
Still rocking the Original iPad? Wish you could use one of those cool Smart Covers like your iPad 2 or New iPad toting friends? There are workarounds to get your Original iPad to be compatible with Smart Covers but they all require you to glue or tape magnets directly onto your iPad which, in my opinion, takes away from the smooth style and polish of owning an iPad. Plus, this could just get messy leaving you with blotches of crazy glue on your iPad. Even if you use any kind of tape you could be left with visible air bubbles. Some of you may have been provided an iPad through your job whether it be in the education field, business field, or whatever else and you may not even be allowed to glue things onto it since it’s not actually yours. By combining two products into one I’ve finally figured out a great solution to using a Smart Cover on your Original iPad.
Safari, the iPad’s web browser, offers a feature that is often overlooked and hardly ever used – Reader. You probably see it all the time but may not have ever even bothered to consider what it is. When loading a site with an article, a ‘Reader’ button appears in the address bar.
What that button does is reloads your page in a much cleaner format by removing ads, marginal text, non-essential pictures, or anything else that clutters the page leaving only the article you are reading allowing you to stay focused on what you actually care about. It also resizes the text in an easier to read font size rather than you zooming in to a size you are comfortable reading in. In fact, if it’s still too small you can select a bigger size. I know my parents would appreciate the bigger size since they’re always reaching for their glasses. Anyway that is pretty much it. Press the ‘Reader’ button again to go back to browsing. This tip actually works on iPhones also.
Here’s an example using an article from the NY Times:
Much easier to read and no distractions! =)
Taking screenshots can be an effective tool for teachers for a number of reasons. Basically, whatever is on your screen can be captured and saved as a picture. For example, a social studies teacher can pull up google maps on the iPad and take a screenshot of a state or country to share with the class as a visual aid. Apple has made it very simple to take a screenshot on the iPad (as well as the iPhone for that matter).
All you have to do is press the home button and the power button at the same time. Done. The screen will flash white (to mimic the idea of a flash) and you can access your screenshot from the Photos app.
Here are some examples:
So there ya go! There are ways to crop, rotate, and edit images which I will cover soon.
As mentioned in my previous post about the split keyboard, my preferred method of typing on the iPad is to use a stylus. I find that no matter what position I’m in or how long I have to write for, I am most comfortable typing with a stylus. It doesn’t just stop there though as the stylus replaces your finger’s interaction with the iPad such as clicking on icons, browsing the internet, and are especially helpful with drawing apps such as Paper by FiftyThree. I find using the iPad with a stylus is a lot more comfortable but my point is that typing with a stylus is the most efficient and timely method in my opinion.
I’ve seen a number of different kinds at Best Buy and they range from $10 – $40. I haven’t tried all the different kinds but there really isn’t much to them as long as they are sensitive enough for the iPad anyone will do the trick.
First point I’d like to bring up is typing on the iPad. Typing on the iPad is a lot more cumbersome than it is typing on a regular keyboard or on a smartphone. The keyboard is big and typing on a big touch screen keyboard is awkward so if students are expected to write paragraphs, short stories, or multiple-page papers it may take them much longer than just using a computer with a regular keyboard. Some people hold their iPad portrait style and use the pointer finger to type. Others lay their iPad flat on a table and put it in landscape to try to type like on a regular keyboard. Every person has their own preferences which also depends on what mood they’re in or what it is they’re actually typing. Of course in a classroom setting time is always a factor and typing in either way students may get easily frustrated. The experience of typing shouldn’t be the reason why a student cannot get their work done so for the students’ sake it is worth exploring other methods.