iPad as Laptop Replacement
Blogging, Technology

iPad as Laptop Replacement

iPadGiven the nature of this post, it is fitting that I am writing this post as I am on vacation and using my iPad and phone as my only technology sources. I have had my iPad 2 for just over a year and don’t have the cellular version, so I have to be connected to a wireless network. For me this works just fine.

It has taken me some time to get comfortable with the idea of traveling without a laptop, but I can tell you it is totally doable (with the right apps). At home I mostly use my iPad for surfing Facebook, Twitter, reading and playing games. But away from the house I now take it to all my meetings to take notes and use it as my main technology when I am traveling.

One thing I have found to be critical when using your iPad as a laptop replacement is a Bluetooth keyboard and a stand. I bought my original one at Radio Shack in December and it only worked for about a month. Now I have a Logitech keyboard that comes with a case that doubles as a stand for your iPad. I like this one because I can set the iPad at whatever distance I want since they aren’t connected and the keyboard is a bit bigger than the iPad keyboards.

When it comes to apps for your iPad it all depends on what you are using it for. And there probably is an app for everything you need to do. I typically use mine to write, make posts, work on documents and do research on the web. I have by no means tried all the possible apps for each of these things, but these are the ones I have found and like. The apps I use are:

Pages for writing – I write all my blog posts in either Word or Pages first. I don’t like writing directly in WordPress, it makes editing more difficult. Pages can be used for note taking as well. It allows you to import or export documents to Word format.

WordPress app for posting – The WordPress app doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but enough to put together a good post.

Dropbox to connect to my documents – With the sync mechanism of Dropbox, you can easily view your files on your iPad and then import them in the appropriate app to edit or use them. However, it does only allow you to add photos or video to your Dropbox on the iPad; I am not sure if this is an app issue or an iPad limitation.

OneNote to take notes – I like using OneNote for my notes on posts and research, because it syncs via SkyDrive and I have access to them on my phone and laptop.

Numbers for spreadsheets (although not really happy with this yet) – I needed to create a spreadsheet this trip and downloaded this to try. It is very limited and I will probably keep looking for a different one, even though this app got the best reviews. Luckily I don’t work on many spreadsheets on my iPad.

iWatermark for watermarking photos – This app is very specific and doesn’t do much other than apply a watermark. When I found this one I only needed to watermark the photo.

Photo editing app – I haven’t found one I like yet. I don’t do much photo editing on my iPad. I am currently trying PS Express.

Flickr app for uploading photos to Flickr – Since I use Flickr as my photo repository, this app is easy to upload to my Flickr account. However they don’t have an iPad version, only the iPhone one. It works fine, but isn’t a crisp view like an iPad version would be.

Feedly for reading blogs I have saved in my Google reader – I have tried a few readers and found this one works the easiest. I like how it formats the blogs. Reader apps are definitely a personal preference.

Hootsuite to connect to Twitter – If you are used to Hootsuite, the iPad version is very similar.

Facebook app – This app keeps getting better with each version, however it doesn’t allow you to log in as your page and manage it.

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