Tag Archives: tablet

What’s on Doc’s iPad Part 1

I used to be one of those that thought I didn’t need an iPad . . . OK few of us really NEED an iPad, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my iPad is a wonderfully handy tool and I use it almost daily. The iPad has not replaced my Kindle as my favorite way to read books. I find both the Kindle and the iPad helpful for different purposes.

Some of my favorite apps were recommendations from friends or articles I’ve read.  This article is the first of a series of three articles where I will review my favorite, most used iPad Apps.

The first app I installed was Evernote which is essentially a digital filing system. Evernote is a must have. It works across all platforms, allowing you to save something on your desktop PC and have it automatically sync with all of your other devices.

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It is excellent service and obviously not just for iPad users. When I was doing research for my book An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations To Hundreds Of The Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked all of my data was saved to Evernote, thus no trees were harmed in the making of this book. Evernote has a free starter program and if you need more storage or expanded options there is a paid program.

SugarSync is another must have which syncs your saved data among all of your devices. SugarSync will automatically back up anything you designate and then allow it to be accessed by all of your devices. SugarSync has many other nice features, too many to list here; however, one of the features I particularly like is that it  automatically backs up the photos on your phone and makes them accessible to all of your devices. SugarSync  has a free 5 GB introductory account with paid accounts starting at $5 per month.

Many people. myself included, like to work with music in the background. Numerous apps do this. I like Pandora. It lets you enter a song or an artist and builds a play list with similar songs. When a song you like is played Pandora will then let you buy it within the app. Pandor has both free and paid options.

There are many apps that let you organize your Todo list. I like Remember The Milk. I use it frequently every day. It is free for use on your PC, however if you want to share your Todo list across mobile devices, such as an iPad, Kindle or your cell phone it’s $24 per year.

So far we’ve covered productivity apps. The iPad is a great device for entertainment though. If you hit writer’s block or need to blow off some steam, logging a little bit of air time flying a paper airplane or a foam biplane might loosen things up. Air Wings lets you sit in a five different airplanes or a quadracopter and dogfight with your friends or people all over the world. Games are quick, lasting only a couple of minutes. A word of caution though, it can be addictive. Air Wings is free. Upgrades are available for different airplanes and new maps.

Gmail has rapidly become one of the most popular cloud-based email providers. Gmail’s iPad app gives an excellent user experience and gives you fool access to your email, just like using the browser interface.  Given that email has become such an integral part of our work and personal life I this is easily one of my top 5 most used apps. The Gmail service, as well as the Gmail app are free. This app is easily a must have for all Gmail users.

Flipboard board is beautiful on the iPad. During set up you tell it what feeds you want it to include, such as Twitter, Facebook, or numerous other social media services. You can also include online news services such as CNN and FoxNews. Also available, is the option to include your interests or hobbies and it will go out and find relevant content. Flipboard then formats the data into your very own personalized news magazine. Flipboard is free.

Alarm CLock HD is just what it says, however it will wake you up in the morning by reading the news, your tweets or Facebook  or even wake you to music. It also has a flashlight mode should you need some light in the middle of the night. In addition to giving you the time, Alarm Clock HD also has the current temperature and weather for the day. Alarm Clock HD has a free ad-supported version or for $.99 you can go advertising free.

There you have it, in no particular order, nine of the apps on my iPad . I’ll post part two of this series very soon. Like I said, some of the best app recommendations I’ve received have been from people like you so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know what iPad apps you can’t do without.

Amazon Fire a New Generation e-Reader is it the iPad Killer

I’m really excited to try out Amazon’s newest tablet computer the Amazon Fire. I love my Kindle Keyboard however it is not yet the perfect e-reader. In looking at the new specs for the Amazon Fire this new offering may come pretty close. Amazon has also updated it’s entire e-reader line with three other e-readers at much lower price points. The Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Touch 3G all of which have no keyboard. The Kindle Fire incorporates a multi touch screen like the iPad, however it is the same overall size as the Kindle Keyboard , albeit slightly thicker with a color screen.

I dont’ really see the Kindle Fire as an iPad2 competitor. This model is really more of a Barnes and Noble Nook killer. The Fire will allow users to access basically everything Amazon has to offer in their store plus Android Apps, streaming music and movies, email and the Web. I do see Amazon coming out with a version that will directly compete with Apple’s iPad, possibly by Christmas 2012. In order to compete with the iPad, Amazon will have to add a few more capabilities such as 3G connectivity, front and rear facing cameras, more internal storage and a microphone. Some people don’t like the size of the iPad and adding those capabilities in both the 7″ and 10″ inch screen sizes will be a great combination.

Not everyone wants an iPad to read books on, frankly I find the iPad much to heavy and large to easily read a book. It would be nice however to be able  to read magazines in color and to easily visit a link in a blog or PDF, the Amazon Fire will allow us to do this very well.

So as soon as I get my hands on an Amazon Fire in November I’ll give a more complete review along with how it may or may not help patients with low vision. The Amazon Fire and the other new Kindle’s will ship on November 15. You can pre-order yours here.