I probably sound like a broken record since my final tool of the series has been mentioned in almost every post this week. Last July my first generation WiFi-only iPad without a camera was one of my favorite tools. It was the thing you never knew you needed until you got it. And even then, it’s not really a necessity, but it’s something you find you don’t want to live without once you get used to having it.
Over a year later, I’m still in love with the iPad but I’ve upgraded. Last August (for my birthday) I bought the newer version with the 3G connection as well as WiFi, and with the camera and video, Skype and FaceTime capabilities. I love it even more than the first generation I have. I’ve found it invaluable for travel. When I go to a convention and the hotel wants to charge us $10 or more a day for WiFi in our room, or when I’m away on a beach vacation and internet is no where to be found, I switch on my AT&T 3G for $15 for the entire month. When the month is up, I cancel. No penalty. No fee. No contract.
It does double duty. It’s great for work and for play.
iPAD FOR FUN: I can put it on the window sill in my bathroom, open the shower curtain a crack, and catch up on last night’s shows I missed while I’m getting ready for the day. With the $25 rechargeable speaker I ordered on Amazon, I can hear it over the sound of the water. With the free apps from HBO, Netflix, ABC, ABC Family, and NBC, I can catch up on all my fav shows. I can go to Lifetime.com in the Safari browser and watch full episodes of Drop Dead Diva or Army Wives on the iPad as well, even without them having an app for full episodes like the other networks.
It’s also become my eReader of choice. I have books in the iBooks app that I’ve purchased elsewhere (such as All Romance eBooks), saved to the Dropbox, then opened to read in iBooks. I have the Kindle app on there so every one of my Kindle purchases are synced to the Kindle app on all my devices, including my iPod Touch–my first ‘eReader’ purchased years ago. [FYI- I do not own a Kindle. I can still have a Kindle account on Amazon, download the hundreds of Kindle free reads (and I buy eBooks from there too) and I can read them all on the app on my iPod Touch, or on my computer, or on my iPad 1, or on my iPad 2, so there is really no need to comment below, “I wish I had a Kindle so I could read your eBooks”. You don’t need the device to read the ebooks you get at Amazon, or any of the other sites (Smashwords, BN, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, etc). Any computer or smartphone or tablet can be an eReader.]
I even have recipes and cookbooks on the iPad. I prop it up on the counter when I cook. That said, the iPad is useless in direct sunlight, so my beach eReader of choice is still my first generation, black and white eInk screen Nook (I can side load the Nook with eBooks I own in either PDF or ePub formats). I’ve even taken Word docs I’ve needed to proof or read from my own computer, made them into PDFs and sideloaded them to the Nook or sent them to iBooks from Dropbox on the iPad.
iPAD FOR WORK: As I’ve said above, I have proofread on the iPad. Besides reading, I’ve filled it with apps that help me do my job better. The new Pages app for monitoring and posting to my FaceBook author page. The WordPress app for blogging on the go, or approving blog comments or checking stats. Echofon for Twitter-my favorite Twitter app so far with a really nice feature of showing you the whole conversation in a bubble, which I really wish my Desktop Tweetdeck would get. Yahoo IM for communications with my co-workers (who are the only people on my Yahoo IM list so don’t send me a chat request. Sorry.). Photon-which solves the iPad lack of flash support by allowing you to view flash sites. (well worth the $5 app).
And as I’ve mentioned in prior posts this week, with Dropbox, CloudOn, PlainText and GoodNotes, I can pretty much totally untether myself from the laptop and still be able to handle anything that comes up work wise. I can email files. Open and view email attachments. It really is like a mini computer though, in my business, I would never, could never, give up my computer for the iPad alone. It does make it easier for travel, or just when I can’t look at the computer one second longer.
So that wraps up the week of the Tools of My Trade. I hope you discovered something new or useful for your own use. Thanks for joining me!