My Love Affair With iPad
I have not always been the most technological person. My father and brother have been responsible for setting up my last printer, laptop, and anything to do with my cable TV. I am the person who calls tech support yelling and screaming that something is wrong, only to be directed to plug the item in.
I have never really been an Apple person, my computers and laptops have all been PC's, I waited in line for "free-after-rebate" MP3 players the morning after Thanksgiving, and never saw a reason to chose anything other than the free phone special available with a new contract.That is until I was introduced to the new love of my life.
I first met iPad thru work. My boss decided to set us up on a blind date, and soon you seldom saw one of us without the other. We were quite exclusive at first, but soon I started to yearn for some of his friends. While I admit I was the one to approach iPod Touch as a possible running companion, iPhone literally refused to take no for an answer when it was time to renew my contract. Soon, I had an "iSomething" for every night of the week.
iPad still holds a special place in my heart, I have been his one and only since I registered him with my Apple ID. I have enjoyed exploring ways to make us more compatible and decided to share a few of my favorite "can't live without" accessories and apps.
Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg
My most recent purchase, and something I am amazed I lived almost an entire year without. It has a hard case with a full bluetooth keyboard. I had looked at other keyboards, but many are gel keyboards which I did not like. This sleek case has a well for iPad to sit horizontally in, giving it a small laptop appearance. Using this case emails and longer typed documents become a breeze to complete.
Perfect Web Browser
Working as an online teacher many of the sites I needed to access for work did not open in Safari so I was constantly dragging both my laptop and iPad everywhere. In an effort to decrease the number of bags I needed to lug with me I set out to find a way to use Firefox 3.6, and found that with Perfect Web Browser. With this app you are able to use Safari, Firefox, Explorer, Chrome and Opera. For $2.99 it has allowed me to access websites and complete forms I couldn't before using Safari.
One thing lacking in my relationship with iPad is a USB port. I have solved this problem with the GoDocs apps, allowing me to create, store, access and organize my google documents. Again, without a "word" program to use, this is the next best thing and has been invaluable while finishing my Masters program.
This has been an priceless app for my family and I. Each of us has a google calendar and have given permission for each of us to see each others. Again, after trying several calendars I was becoming frustrated with only being able to do minimal actions on my iPad, many only being able to be done on my laptop. CalenMob solved this problem. I am able to add, edit, delete, and set up appointments that repeat.
Having a 10 year old daughter I have also learned a great deal about tween apps. While I will spare you the many, many fashion, pet, vampire, baking, and dress designing apps that have found their way into a folder on my iPad, I will share a few that I make sure she utilizes often.
We are on the road a lot to dance lessons, swim class, and tone chimes so learning to use that time to our advantage is always good. Spelling Test allows my daughter to type her spelling words into the iPad, then she records a sentence using that word. Once she has entered all her words she saves the test and is able to take a iPad generated test each day after school for the rest of the week. We can then practice the words she misspelled when we get home later in the evening.
Stack The States
I am always on the look out for apps that do two things. First they need to capture their interest and second I want them to teach them something. Stack the States does both. Multiple choice questions appear with 4 states being given as possible answer. If they choose the correct answer they get to try and stack that state on top of states they have previously gotten correct. They are trying to create a stack that reaches a line at the top of the iPad. If they are successful they receive a state to place into a United States puzzle.
I truly believe Math is a skill that you need to use daily or you will start to lose. My daughter has pretty good math skills, but struggles with fluency. I looked for an app that not only gave her math problems to solve, but also encouraged her to do so quickly. Math Bingo answered my call. Participants are given a BINGO board with whole numbers. They are then given math problems and have to look for the answer on the board and "tap it". When BINGO is complete they win and are awarded a Bingo Bug which they can celebrate with.
While this is in no way a comprehensive list of apps and accessories, it is a list that has strengthened my relationship with iPad. While I still have dalliances with a few of his relatives (iPod and iPhone), our relationship has almost reached exclusivity status in regards to my tired, old, boring laptop.