The iPad apps I use

I recently (finally?) took the plunge and got myself a shiny new iPad. I’d delayed on this purchase for a long time as I didn’t really see the need for an iPad, and arguably I still don’t need one, but my list of things I wanted to do with a tablet kept growing to a critical mass. Though I know some die-hards for the Nexus (and it is a nice tablet), the features I wanted aligned more closely with the iPad, hence my decision to go with Apple.

My coworker Patrick has had an iPad for quite a while (and admittedly seeing him use his at work was a factor in influencing me to get one!) and he asked me what apps I ended up downloading, so here’s my list:

Basics

  • Weather HD – My family lives all over the planet in some pretty exotic locales. Weather HD lets me know what the weather’s like where they live (in a lovely way), but a side benefit of its display is it reminds me what time of day it is over there. Not the intended benefit of this app, but it’s a great help when your brother lives 14 hours ahead of you.
  • Netflix – Love setting this up on my desk at home when I’m working on some sketches or illustrations and running some TV shows in the background.

Social

  • Facebook (obviously) and Pages+ (for my personal page).  Really really recommend Pages+ if you manage a Facebook page, over going through the regular FB app.
  • Tweetbot – Makes it super easy to manage multiple Twitter accounts, which many of us in marketing often do.
  • Instagram – Duh!
  • Tumblr – A little buggy for me, tends to crash, but easier than using the plain web interface.
  • Vine – Mainly for the novelty factor at this point.
  • Flickr – I don’t use this as much as I used to, but their mobile app is really beautiful and a joy to use. I just wish more people were still using Flickr!
  • WordPress – If you have a couple WordPress blogs, you need the WordPress app!  You can blog and moderate comments on the go.

Music

  • Turntable.fm – I co-mod a fairly popular room here and like to tune in while I work.
  • Amazon Cloud Player – I am one of those weirdos that still buys physical CDs and, lucky for me, tend to buy from Amazon. Since Amazon now imports MP3 versions of albums you buy to your cloud player, I can listen to my inventory on the go, it’s great .

Productivity

  • Evernote – A must for easy notes on the go. I know some people don’t “get” this app, but if you are the kind of person who is a notetaker (at work, at home, at events, whatever) it’s a godsend, especially since it syncs easily and often without having to manually save. I type a note on my cellphone and can work on it later on my iPad.
  • Remember the milk – Very handy task and reminder app that my fiance and I use to track household items we need to get (“we’re low on toilet paper!”) as well as bill reminders and even long-term tasks (“we need to send out our wedding invitations by X”)
  • Dropbox – Another “duh.” Quick and easy storage of files I can’t live without. Here’s hoping they amp up the security though – it’s still too light for my liking.
  • iDisplay – This app syncs with an iMac via Bluetooth to function as a second display. AMAZING. I have an iMac at home and at work, so yeah, no brainer.
  • Mozy – Their free app lets me look at any of my backed up files from my home computer. Really handy for when you’re at work, kicking yourself about that file you forgot on your desktop at home.

Health

  • LoseIt! – My preferred calorie counting app for the moment, mainly because I like that they track your nutritional breakdown and sync with FitBit. The major flaw is that their food lookup is hugely lacking – right now most of my foods I have to input manually, and most people I don’t think would bother with this.
  • FitbitTracker – I love my FitBit pedometer and it is FANTASTIC that it syncs my data via Bluetooth in its iPad app.

Creativity

  • Celtx Script – Syncs with Celtx online, which I use to plan out a number of creative writing scripts. It formats for screenplays, graphic novels, you name it — a handy feature if you are writing for these formats.
  • Procreate – Incredibly powerful and versatile painting program, I’m still trying to figure out how to use it, to be honest.  But it syncs with my Pogo Connect stylus and that’s a great plus.
  • Inkpad – Another great painter app, this one is for vector art. Haven’t had much of a need to use it yet, but it’s good to have on hand for when I do.
  • Paper – My absolute favorite app download to date, and a favorite of many of my fellow illustrator-types. It’s very simple and extremely easy to use, just has a few simple brush types, but it is also able to work with the Pogo Connect so you can add in some pressure sensitivity — just versatile enough, but not overwhelming.  It syncs very nicely with a number of social media so you can share your work with just one touch, very nice.
  • Sketchbook Pro – Another powerhow like ProCreate, I find the interface a bit confusing but I’m figuring it out slowly. It has layers, so that is a pretty powerful bonus. Also works with the Pogo Connect.
  • ArtRage – Akin to Paper, this is not too complicated — gives you just enough options that you can have fun, but it’s not a full-fledged Photoshop-lite like Sketchbook Pro or Procreate. It does have huuuuuge variety of brush options though, which is very cool.
  • Brushes – As the name suggests, this app is all about different brush textures.  Otherwise it’s a bit similar to paper, so this might be a preference thing.
  • PS Express – Very very handy for on-the-go photo editing!  If you are using your iPad for any kind of photography, this is a must.
  • DrawQuest – This is a really new app that I’ve been enjoying. The goal is that it gives you a prompt and you answer it through drawing – it’s aimed at kids, to try and get them to be creative every day, but plenty of us older kids enjoy it too. There are some really hilarious answers to the prompts and I really enjoy seeing what other people come up with.

Miscellany

  • TripIt – One of my favorite web services also has an extremely robust app, I can’t recommend TripIt enough if you travel even just a few times a year.  I’m still pretty old school and keep printouts of most of my critical travel information, but I love having it aggregated (and updated in real-time!) through this app.  So, so handy.
  • ComicsX by Comixology – Great comic book and graphic novel distributor with the pretty nifty Guided View technology. I like that they distribute indie comics in addition to major publishing houses. As for Guided View, it sounded kind of gimmicky – until I tried it.  It shows you the page panel-by-panel and actually adds a bit of motion in to the panels themselves, it can be a fun way to read a comic book when done correctly.
  • Mint – Just like their website, the Mint app is absolutely top-notch UI and UX. Oh, and it puts my budgets into broader context while keeping track of savings and spending overall.

Oh yeah, and the Lightning to SD card reader is an accessory I’d highly recommend to any of my photographer friends as well. Viewing your pics on the tiny camera screen doesn’t compare to reviewing them on the god on a Retina display!  (And I’m pretty sure iPhoto parses RAW files… which you’re shooting in, of course? Right?)

 

Image of Captain Picard of Star Trek is copyright Paramount Pictures/CBS.

Categories : Geekery