Posts tagged with "iPad"

My Must-Have iPad Apps, 2014 Edition

For the past four years, I've been running a series called My Must-Have Apps that, once a year, collects all the apps I find indispensable to get work done on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Considering changes to my daily life and workflow, this year will only feature my must-have iPad and iPhone apps. As with last year, I want to start from the iPad.

Over the past two and a half years, my workflow has become increasingly iOS-centric. Changes in my personal and professional life have convinced me that iOS is the best platform for me, with a rich ecosystem of apps that allow me to work faster and more efficiently no matter where I am. This year, my iPad has essentially replaced my MacBook Air, which I now primarily use to watch movies and record podcasts.

There's a few tasks that I still can't get done on an iPad, but the list is shrinking, and, thanks to iOS 8, developers are coming up with new ways to make working on iOS more feasible and pleasant. I don't use my iPad as a computer just to prove a point or because it's a popular topic among readers and listeners of Connected: I need my iPad, the apps it runs, and the workflows I've created to automate what I do on iOS.

It is with extreme seriousness, then, that I take a look at the apps I consider my “must-haves” each December and compile them in a list for MacStories. This allows me to sit down and calmly evaluate how I use my devices, the software I depend on, and how much the way I use apps has changed in 12 months.

This year, I'll only cover iPad and iPhone apps, starting with the iPad. In the list below, you'll find apps organized in eight sections:

  • Work Essentials (apps that I need and use for work every day)
  • Social
  • News & Links (apps to read and discover interesting news)
  • Audio (apps for music and podcasts)
  • Calculators
  • Images
  • Extensions, Widgets, and Keyboards
  • Everything Else

At the end of the article, you'll also find a few statistics about this year's collection as compared to last year's and my iPad App of the Year. Each app has a direct iTunes link, and, where possible, I've included links to previous MacStories coverage as well.

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Apple Debuts ‘Change’ Advert for the iPad Air 2

Overnight Apple published a new advert for the iPad Air 2 called 'Change'. Unlike their previous 'Your Verse' iPad adverts, which focused on how one person or small group used the iPad, this latest advert is a fast-paced montage of many different people using the iPad in many different ways.

Those apps featured in the advert include iStopMotion, AutoCAD 360, Molecules, Animation Creator HD, and many more. In fact along with the advert is a new page on Apple's website that is dedicated to highlighting every single app that was featured in the advert.

You can view the advert on YouTube or on Apple's website, as well as embedded below.

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Pocket’s Data on iPhone and iPad Usage

Fascinating data analysis from Pocket:

To understand how the 6 Plus affects consumption, we first looked at users who owned both an iPhone 5/5S and iPad and looked at how they spent their time reading on both devices. For these users, 55% of content was consumed on an iPhone versus 45% on an iPad. A fairly even split.

All this changed once users had the new iPhones in hand.

I bet that the trends Pocket uncovered could be applied to dozens of other media consumption services with iPhone and iPad apps.

The truth is that bigger phones are big enough for many people who still don't understand why they need an iPad. Or maybe they did get an iPad, but now they're discovering that reading and watching videos can be done on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus just as comfortably and with no compromises.

I think that, for the most part, this is an unavoidable consequence of putting a bigger screen on a device that you carry with you all the time. But, almost five years after the iPad was launched, Apple and third-party developers still tend to come out with iPad apps that are enlarged versions of their iPhone counterparts. I wonder if the lack of widespread unique iPad software is also the reason why people may be using the iPad less.

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Logitech Unveils New Keys-To-Go iPad Keyboard

Earlier today, Logitech unveiled updates to its line of iPad keyboards and cases (Ultrathin and Type+) and announced a brand new Bluetooth keyboard called Keys-To-Go.

The Logitech Keys-To-Go is a standalone ultra-portable Bluetooth keyboard that is thin, light and durable, making it the perfect partner for on-the-go typing. At just 6.1 mm thick and 180 grams, it’s simple to tuck into your purse, briefcase or coat pocket without taking up precious space or weighing you down, and is compatible with the entire iPad lineup. What’s more, the rechargeable battery can last up to three months on a single charge, so it’s ready to type whenever (and wherever!) inspiration strikes.

The Keys-To-Go will be compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and its FabricSkin material will make it waterproof and durable. The keyboard is fairly reminiscent of Microsoft's Touch Cover for the Surface tablet, which attaches to the device and lets touch-type via Bluetooth on physical “keys”.

Since 2012, I've been using Logitech's original Tablet Keyboard as my external keyboard for the iPad and I love it. The keyboard is large enough (smaller than Apple's Bluetooth keyboard but larger than Logitech's keyboard cases and upcoming Keys-To-Go), it has dedicated iOS shortcuts (I use the Home and Spotlight keys a lot), and it's sturdy and durable. When it comes to controlling iOS with a keyboard, I can't recommend the Logitech Tablet Keyboard enough.

I'm intrigued by the Keys-To-Go: it comes in multiple colors, it keeps the dedicated iOS keys, and it has a rechargeable battery. And, it looks really thin and it can be wiped clean easily. But I've never typed comfortably on small Bluetooth keyboards, and I'm afraid that I would miss the subtle clickiness of the Tablet Keyboard.

The Keys-To-Go will be available next month at $69.99.



Project LayUp for iPad

Project LayUp is an upcoming iPad brainstorming app developed by Khoi Vinh in collaboration with Adobe that was announced at Adobe MAX earlier this week. Based on the information released so far, LayUp will let you sketch ideas and start your design process on an iPad with a combination of wireframes, graphical assets, and even real fonts loaded from Typekit. Then, LayUp will be able to export a live InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop file to continue working on your project in Adobe's full-featured apps.

From the description:

Tablets are no longer just for browsing and playing games, they’ve become an integral part of the creative process. Project Layup is the brainchild of a customer and partner who used our just announced Creative SDK to reimagine on device prototyping, sketching, and ideation.

And from Vinh's blog post:

So that’s what I proposed to Scott: a new iPad app that would turbo-charge the brainstorming phase of the design process, and that would play nicely with Adobe’s marquee apps. I called it “LayUp.” To my surprise, he took me up on the idea, and assigned a team at Adobe to start developing it. So for the better part of this year, I’ve been working with that team to bring LayUp to life.

You can watch Vinh's presentation at Adobe MAX below, which features a preview of the interface and gestures used to assemble ideas and gather assets directly on the iPad.

I'm intrigued by LayUp's use of gesture shortcuts: drawing lines and other shapes to drop blocks of text or images into the canvas is smart, and the implementation looks natural and intuitive. Alissa Walker, writing for Gizmodo, notes:

What I was most struck by while watching Vinh demo the app is how natural this felt: It was as if the iPad has been waiting all this time to be used to its full potential in this way. The resulting file is not a production-ready document, of course, but this is far better than anything else you could create with the tools that are out there. Adobe is very smart to bring on some of the top designers to play around with new ways to make their software even more relevant across more platforms.

I often need to sketch out ideas I want to send to our designer for MacStories, but I'm not good at sketching. I'm looking forward to trying LayUp.

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The iOS App Teaching Kids How to Program

Cassidee Moser writes about Hopscotch, a coding app for iPad:

Turbine Truck is a small iPad game made up of very basic mechanics. Players guide a cartoon truck across a 2D plane, smashing into as many oncoming cars as possible while evading the police. It lacks complexity and isn’t necessarily a grueling test of skill, but Turbine Truck remains notable for one reason: it was created by a child using Hopscotch, an iOS app with its own visual programming language used to teach kids the basics of coding and programming.

Hopscotch is impressive, and you should check it out on the App Store.

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Apple Debuts Two New ‘Your Verse’ iPad Adverts

Apple last night posted two new iPad adverts as part of their ongoing 'Your Verse' series. The two adverts feature travel writer Chérie King and composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Like Apple's previous 'Your Verse' adverts, they tell a story about how people use the iPad in different ways.

My iPad lets me share my journey with the world. Other deaf people tell me they're traveling more now because they see it's possible. (Chérie King)

In the advert with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Apple features the apps The Orchestra, Pianist Pro and Notion. Apple has also made available a live performance from Salonen free on iTunes (if you are in the US).

Meanwhile, WordPress, BabelDeck, AroundMe and Fotopedia are just some of the iPad apps featured in the advert with Chérie King.

iPad is the best tool I've seen to write down the first impulse. Those moments when your mind is open, free. And then you think, what if? (Esa-Pekka Salonen)

You can view the full adverts below or on Apple's website, where you can also read the full 'Your Verse' stories from Chérie King and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

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