There’s An App for That

15 08 2011

I took some screen shots from my iPad2 to show which apps I currently have and use.  “Currently” is an important thing to remember.  I have only a few paid apps and so I experiment with new ideas and apps and have no regrets deleting (or removing for the time being) the ones that didn’t live up to my expectations.

This is my “desktop” where I keep the things I use most frequently.  I don’t want to have many pages to scroll through, so I have organized the apps into “sub-directories.”  I find it easiest to do the arranging in iTunes.  To do this, drag one icon on top of one you want in the same sub-directory.  Most times, the iPad will come up with a title for the group, but that can be changed.  If you want to do this “on the fly, press on an icon until they all start wiggling and have little black circles with an “x” in it in the upper left corner.  You can then move or even delete the icons.  You can also “park” up to 6 icons in the tray at the bottom of the screen, but Safari, Mail, iPod and Mail can’t be removed.

You may notice that the picture is in Landscape mode.  I prefer that orientation and have locked it.  To lock the screen orientation, double tap the home button and then swipe the tray to the right.  You will have several controls available, including the screen lock on the far left.  (Tap Home once.)

Tray first:  I have added Kindle and The Weather Channel to the tray.  I think Apple’s weather app sucks.

From top to bottom:


This is one I change around a bit.  I haven’t deleted the San Francisco apps I included for my June trip to the City by the Bay.  AA is our local carrier; you probably know Trip Advisor; Gate Guru is helpful in getting around unfamiliar airports; TripCase is excellent when flying with connections.  PFHD Free is just something I was fooling around with.  You can track a plane by tail number.  (Remember, I work at an airport.)

News — Pretty self-explanatory.

Utilities:  Another transparent one.  I like Nightstand because the display is BIG.  I have the Wi-Fi only iPad.

(So far, you’ve seen only free apps.)  I don’t know why Flickr Studio is there all by itself, but it is.  Good app for viewing Flickr files.

Games — these are all free except the Angry Birds apps.  For something different I really like Gerd Arntz and the Faile Puzzle Boxes

Entertainment:  IMDb is a must for when you’re watching a TV show and can’t remember the name of the actor.  Streaming videos via Netflix, PBS, TED, HBOGo.  I can schedule my DVR via the U-verse app.  This is a well used “page.”

Maps and Contacts.  ::yawn::

Lifestyle:  This is an odd assortment but I love all of these.  There are actually two paid apps on this page — the National Geographic Park Maps and Audubon Guide — Wildflowers.  I think I want more of the Audubon Guides too.  I use Yelp more on my iPhone, but use this while sitting on the couch wondering what’s for dinner.

Books:  LOVE THIS PAGE!  Two of my favorite apps are here.  Zinio is for digital magazines.  I have several subscriptions, but National Geographic is awesome.  They use the interactive features to their full extent.  Flipboard probably should be on the front page alone.  I use it a lot.  You just need to go get it and you’ll be busy with Flipboard alone for hours, if not days.  Overdrive is the app I can use to download books from my public library and the “M” one is Mango and I think it’s for learning languages via the public library (have not used it.)  I don’t use Nook.  The Apple iBook app is good.

Foresquare and GetGlue you know, as you do Google.


G Eyewitness and all of the Fotopedia apps are photo collections.  Word Lens is a cool thing where you take a picture of a sign in a foreign language and it translates it.  0 to 100 Project is a cool photo project.  LOVE 100 Cameras in 1; Instagram is fun.  Photo Booth looks fun, but I haven’t played with it much.  I don’t understand Paintbook.  PS Express is the Adobe Photoshop app for iPad.


The only sub-directory is Real Estate — Zillow and  I’m nosy.

The others are apps I don’t use often.  I use the Audible app on my iPhone to listen to books.  The camera sucks on the iPad.  I don’t really tweet.  From the Edge and MyPad will be deleted soon.

I hope this helps show you the variety of apps you can have.  You just need to find ones that suit your interests.  Welcome to the club.


Oh, in addition to apps I have one important accessory for my iPad — the camera connection kit.  There are two adapters that plug into the slot where your charger plugs in.  One is for a USB connection and the other for an SD card.  So if you’re out and about and want check a photo you took, you just plug in the adapter, slip in the SD card and you can see if the pooches are in focus or not on your iPad screen instead of the tiny camera screen.


Protecting My Investment — The Traveling Klutz’ Way

15 08 2011

I’ve had portable electronic devices long enough to know that if it can be dropped, scratched, drenched, or mutilated in any way, I can and will do it. So when I got my iPad2, the first thing I researched was how to protect it from its owner — me.

One of the first things I learned is that when you get a device within the first month or so of its release, there are not a lot of choices. So when I was looking for a light weight protective case, my choices were limited. I wanted something that would cushion the iPad when I tossed it in my purse or stuffed it in my camera bag. What I found was a neoprene sleeve that was actually designed to be used as a sleeve for a portable DVD player. But it met my requirements — it’s cushioned, easy to use and, as a bonus, it has a degree of waterproofing.

In the meantime, at the same time I ordered my iPad, I ordered the Apple cover.  I didn’t want to use a screen protector because one of the primary reasons I got an iPad is to view and process photos.  I feel that the screen protectors alter the otherwise crisp and accurate projection of photos.  So I use the Apple cover as just that — a cover, not a stand.

Now the back of the case.  I have used Gelaskin products since I learned of them from an online friend.  They are basically vinyl stickers that protect your device, but in creative manner.  You can order one of their hundreds of designs or design your own.  I chose a relatively generic, but colorful, skin to protect the case of my iPad.  For another $29.95, I can change its look whenever I want.  (NOTE:  The skin also comes with a “frame” for the front of the iPad and a file so you can use the same design for your wallpaper.  I have opted to not use these, but have them if I change my mind.)

The other bit that I’ve attached for protection is the StuffBank sticker.  If a good citizen finds my iPad left somewhere unattended, they can contact StuffBak and they will contact me.  I can offer a reward or not.