Skip to main content

MY IPAD APPS, PART ONE



 Yes, my folders are in alphabetical order.

Due to overwhelming demand (by which I mean, two of my Twitter Twerps asked their timeline for app recs, I replied, and they said, "thanks") I am finally posting my recommended apps for iPad.

The main things I use my iPad mini for are art, reading, games and social media, with the occasional information look-up. I guess it's a big debate as to whether iPads can be used for content creation, to which I answer - I can, so who are you to tell me differently? I don't write on my iPad except for the occasional blog edit, but at work I use it for note-taking and file storage.

Art/Photography

I've never been able to do any kind of drawing with a mouse. I used to idly think of buying a Wacom tablet, but as a non-professional, couldn't justify the expense. When you buy the iPad--BOOM! You have a freehand art input device. A stylus is needed for details, but they're pretty cheap. Sure, the iPad's not sensitive to 100 levels of pressure,  but you can still do a lot. Brushes is free (but the $2.99 layers upgrade is definitely worth it) and just takes a few minutes to learn. It's easy to export to the Photos app or to social media. Check out my gallery here

Colorsplash does just one thing, but it does it really well. It makes a photo black and white, and you touch parts of the photo to bring color back to the selected area. You can add photos from the iPad, Flickr, Instagram, Picasa, etc. and send them to social media. It also looks really, really cool.

 Photoshop Touch is pricey for an app at $10.00, but it's a lot cheaper than $20/month. You have a lot of options from the desktop version - eraser, lasso, magic wand, stamp, levels, curves, layers and 36 filters. The main thing it lacks is paths for easier removal of unwanted elements, but that's a lot to ask for in a mobile app.  I was able to do this quick and dirty photo manipulation on my lunch hour.  If all you want to do is punch up your photos a bit, Photo Editor by Aviary is easy and free.


Reading 

I've started to realize just how much I read online. It is just not comfy to read for hours on a desktop. For reading books or those long New Yorker articles I find the e-ink of my Nook Simple Touch much more easy on the eyes, but for short articles or blog posts, the iPad is good, as long as you have some way to get rid of all the ads and links cluttering up the average web page.

I was mad as hell about Google Reader going away, but now I like Feedly better for all my many blogs, webcomics, and Flickr groups. The killer feature is the "remove clutter" button which makes web pages so much nicer to read. It also lets you organize by topic, save posts for later, and send posts to social media or article-saving sites like Instapaper or Pocket. The one issue I have is that it crashes occasionally.

For saving articles from Twitter and Facebook, I like Instapaper. It has nice fonts and a soothing beige background and the Twitter app allows one-click export (sadly, not Facebook, but it's pretty easy to copy the link--Instapaper will automatically ask if you want to add the last link copied when you open it). Once articles have been downloaded, you can read them even if you don't have Internet access. Sadly, I am always behind in my articles, but that was true even in paper-&-ink days.

For magazines, Zinio is good, and, depending on where you live, you might get free magazines with your library card. Again, it has a "text" button, so you can read uncluttered, then toggle back to the regular page view for all the shiny pictures.


Well, this is getting a bit long, so I'm gonna continue this in another post. Feel free to post recommendations in the comments.




Comments

JethSeux said…
You know how to pick em!
The doubters can take a look at Bulgi the Tarsier if any reservations remain about the usefulness of the Mini as an art creation device . . .

Popular posts from this blog

STILL HATING ON MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTIONS

Jason had an insightful post on newspapers in the Internet Age on his blog wherein he suggested we donate to keep the watchdogs of the press going. In an aside, he mentioned subscriptions for music: To be honest, it's the same thing with music downloads. I've been screaming for monthly subscriptions for years now, and they're still not here. (At least not on the scale of an iTunes or Amazon.) Of course, I had to respond. Jason: I'm sorry to hear you've been screaming for years--you must be very hoarse. I believe the service you're looking for is called Rhapsody . I don't know what counts as "the same scale", but they have ads on TV. I don't know why anyone would pay $12.99/month to rent music, though. I want to own my music, I don't want some company to be able to take my access away or jack up the price at a whim. Rhapsody's main market must be people who don't own much music, have a lot of electronic devices but no interest

ONE DEGREE OF SIMPSONS SEPARATION

Well, I can finally say I talked to someone who's been made into a Simpsons character. The great comic artist Daniel Clowes was on the show, along with Alan Moore and Art Spiegelman . I once called Clowes on the phone when my friend Susan and I were visiting Chicago years ago. I didn't say much, I was just so surprised that he was in the phone book and actually picked up. I also saw him at the College of Comic Book Knowledge with Peter Bagge (the Hateball tour). I believe Joey Waronker was the drummer for R.E.M. when they were on the Simpsons , but they never showed the drummer's face. I think there was some contractual thing--he was never to be considered part of R.E.M., just someone who happened to be on stage while they were playing. He may have been on the Beck Futurama episode, but I'm not sure. Maybe my friend Hellbound can weigh in on this. Of course, I knew Joey from Macalester and Walt Mink , back when only a few of us were regulars at their house-basement

IS OUR LONG OBJECTIVIST NIGHTMARE FINALLY OVER?

Now that the most powerful and influential Randian of our time has somewhat repudiated his views , can we put Objectivism into the dustbin of history along with Communism? I mean, just because you thought that scene of a rebel architect ravishing a socialite on the top of a tall building was hot when you were 20, should you base your whole political belief system on it? Two Girls Fat and Thin was good, though.