UPDATE: In case you are coming directly to this link be sure to also see my post on Sente bibliographic software for Mac and iPad and further updates on using the iPad for research.
If you are like several of my friends you may have just gotten an iPad or other iOS device for Christmas. One of the failings of Apple’s app store is that it can be very difficult to find good apps, there are just so many and it is not terribly well organized. So in a sort of “best of” post that is always the rage at the end of a year, I thought I would remind folks of some of my posts on using the iPad and the apps that I have found most useful and fun. In another post I will point out a few accessories that I have found most useful in my portable life.
In October I wrote about Using the iPad – Research, meetings, and fun. I still stand by all those apps, Dropbox, Evernote, and Office² HD. The only caveat is that while the office app is getting better, I would like to find something not quite so quirky for opening/editing/saving Word docs to/from my Dropbox account. So please let me know if you have better solutions (I am loathe to spend $17 for Documents to Go just to try it out, another failing of the App Store, even the Droid store 15 minute demo would help). For reading and annotating PDFs I still love iAnnotatePDF. It has a slightly busy interface but it now allows you to download and upload from and to your DropBox account. Links to all those apps and more can be found in the previous post.
In terms of Bible apps, OliveTree’s BibleReader is still excellent and improving. The big news at SBL was Accordance’s announcement of their iOS app. It was due before Christmas but still has not arrived. I am sure it is coming soon and what makes it so powerful is that you will be able to take all of your Accordance modules with you on your iOS device. Holy pig! That is massive.
UPDATE: How is that for timing? AccordanceBible for iOS devices has just been released! Search the app store for the free download.
Games! One of the categories I don’t believe I have ever blogged about is games because I had not played many. Well lately I have acquired a few that are well worth playing. Do note that often times the iPad version is several dollars more than the iPhone version yet the iPhone version of many (such as Plants v. Zombies and Angry Birds) scale up beautifully and work on both devices. A few I recommend in addition to the two just mentioned: Pictureka HD (great for the kids too), Cut the Rope, Trivial Pursuit, Risk, Scrabble, and Need For Speed Shift.
I don’t want to leave you with the wrong impression, however. The iPad has been a tremendous boon for my work. There are those who predicted that the iPad would only be for content consumption and not creation. While it is true that being able to “consume” all those academic articles (and annotate them) on my iPad has increased my productivity, it has been the greatest use to me as a portable note taking device. Between Office² HD and Evernote I have been able to not only record my thoughts of speakers and meetings, but also write articles, reports, and create presentations. True, if I have some heavy writing to do I prefer having a bluetooth keyboard and a larger screen for really significant work, still the iPad has replaced my 15″ MacBook Pro.
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