My gentle readers have seen posts about Blackberrys, PCs, and software here. On Father’s Day, I got an iPad so now we can take a look at some of the cool stuff about that lovely piece of technology!
Since I’m into gadgets, I’ve been looking at the iPad since it was announced. I love my iPod Touch (that’s the iPhone without the phone part) and was intrigued about how cool the iPad could be. Most importantly, for me, I needed the iPad to be more than a toy: could it replace my laptop when I traveled and could it be more than a music player?
This isn’t going to a full-fledged review of the iPad. I’ll tell you about some of the things I’ve done to make it useful for me and why I’m liking it a lot.
There were two main functions I needed the iPad to do in order for it to be a true tool:
1) I needed to be able to connect into my office PC over the network using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop so I could troubleshoot and fix any issues when I’m out of the office and
2) I needed to be able to load photos from my camera onto the iPad so I could do light editing and email the photos.
As a corollary, I didn’t want to spend a lot more money making the iPad into something useful. As you can guess because I’m writing about it here, I was able to get the iPad to be what I needed…I’ve taken two trips without my laptop and was able to do almost everything with it!
I’ll be writing about what’s on my iPad so, if you have one, you can grab some cool stuff for it too. So let’s get to it.
While you might not care about remoting into another computer, for me it’s a show stopper. There are a bunch of apps that give you remote control; the one I’m using is called RDP Lite. It’s free and works really well over the wi-fi and 3G connections. The one beef I have with it is that it doesn’t support right-click mouse commands. I know I can spend a few dollars and get that function so when I really need it, I’ll grab the app that does that.
The second key function I wanted was the ability to load my photos from my camera onto the iPad so I could email them. Apple sells the iPad Camera Connection Kit for $29 that includes two ways to get the photos onto the iPad: using your camera’s USB cable or directly from an SD card. The kit supports standard photo formats including JPEG and RAW. When I got my kit, the iPad was relatively new so I ordered it on the net and it was mailed to me. You can probably get it in the stores now. It works perfectly.
There are two free apps I use to deal with my photos: PS Express (photoshop online) and Photo Layout. If you don’t have them on your iPad (or iPhone), I heartily recommend them!
I’m writing this post on my iPad…to make that doable, for me, I also bought the wireless bluetooth keyboard. It’s $70 and, if you plan on typing, worth it for sure. The on-screen keyboard is definitely cool but, if you write anything longer than a page at a time, the keyboard is a winner. I suggest you take a trip to your local Apple store to check it out if you’re not entirely sure; you can test it out on one of the Macs.
There’s a lot I want to share with you about how I’ve made my iPad useful for business and fun. And I promise I will!
See you soon.