March 21, 2013 by Will Ray
As you may have seen, I love my iPad mini. But when I first got it, I wasn’t completely sure how I was going to use it aside from email, web browsing, and some news/media consumption.
At the same time, you know I’m an app junkie. I love downloading apps and trying them out (if they’re free), whether or not I currently have a use for them. And that’s carried over to my iPad. As of this writing, I have 95 apps on my iPad mini. Here’s my two home screens:
I’ve found more and more apps that I enjoy, plus tons of games on TUAW’s Daily Deals, where they scour the web and compile a list of deals each day (accessories, hardware, and software, including iOS apps).
Many of the apps I love and use are always free (or at least freemium). Here are a few:
Having an iPad has revitalized my use of the popular note-taking and organization service Evernote. I’ve begun to take a bunch of notes on here, prepare for meetings, and store information again on it, since my iPad mini has been perfect to take on the go. I can create a note on Evernote my computer, and it’s automatically synced in the cloud and updated on my iPad, so I can use it for leading a meeting or reference it on the go.
The iPad’s camera takes great pictures, so I’ve even been taking pictures of handwritten notes, storing them in Evernote (which has convenient handwriting recognition) and trashing the physical copies. Less clutter = better life.
Pocket (formerly Read it Later) is a great little tool for setting aside articles and web content so you can read it later, online or offline. I use it in place of Safari’s Reading List, which you still have to connect online to use. In the case I know I won’t be able to go online, I can sync Pocket beforehand. It downloads the articles that I’ve saved, and I have them anytime. After they’re read, they go into the archive, or can be deleted.
I also like that I have a Safari browser button in the top right corner of my computer screen right now. I can find an article that I don’t have time to read, click the button, and then pull up that article later on my iPad mini.
Nancy and I had signed up for Mint.com a while back, but got into our own budgeting system and didn’t really use it much. The beautifully designed, easy to use iPad app brought me back. (No screenshots, as it’s got all our personal financial information in it.) Mint is owned by Intuit, who also owns Quicken and Quickbooks. In my opinion, you can’t beat what Mint offers at it’s price – free.
And the iPad app itself is well designed, and allows me to make changes, categorize purchases, or update accounts all within the app. It’s easy to use and powerful, a great combination.
I just recently started using Feedly, just before Google announced it is going to end Google Reader. Good timing. Feedly is an RSS reader that will aggregate headlines from your favorite news sites and blogs for you to read/scan very quickly. The iPad app has a great interface and syncs automatically with activity on my computer (can you see a theme emerging). It has a bit of a learning curve if you’ve not used RSS or RSS readers much, but overall it is a great little service.
This one is pretty straightforward. I love reading books on my iPad, so iBooks is where I do a lot of that. I also use the Kindle app, but if I can get the books on the iBookstore, I’ll likely do that. Great page turns, easy highlight/underline options, built-in dictionary. It’s easy to use and such a pleasure to have dozens of books all on one device.
Question: Do you have an iPad (regular or mini)? What are your favorite apps?