Assalamu’alaikum & heyyyy.
So I forgot if I ever told you here, but I was given an iPad (3rd generation) by my previous employers last year as a kind of parting gift, after my year in practice. I have previously never been an iUser (because I cannot afford to be one), but subhanAllah, the iPad has been such a useful little thing!
What do people use this for, again?
Now, if you’re an iThing-less, clueless n00b like I was, you would hardly have any idea how the iPad might be of use to you. I mean, I knew that people played games on tablets, and took photos, and … yeah, that was about it. So I thought I would do a quick list of some of the apps I have on my iPad right now so other new (or even experienced) iUsers can benefit too inshaAllah.
But before that —
“Hardware”-wise, I didn’t really have a casing or cozy for the iPad until recently. In the early days, I did make a sort-of case/stand for it because we were going balik kampung and I had to travel with the shiny new iPad, but afterwards I got lazy and just used the iPad naked, even stuffing it into my luggage during travels without any kind of padding or cover.
In the end, I dragged myself to purchase this flowery hard case on Society6, as it’s quite thin and convenient and hides the nicked corners of my iPad nicely.
The only other piece of gadget I purchased to use with the iPad is a cheapo memory card reader (with an SD card slot and a USB slot) via ebay. This is super useful for travels — or even at home when I’m too lazy to transfer camera photos to the computer. I actually favour editing photos on the iPad now, perhaps ’cause I’ve gotten bored of Photoshop and Photoscape for editing.
(I’m not exactly sure what you would call it: home screen? Uh.)
My current wallpaper is from Umar Mita’s FB, he’s just really good at sort of dreamy/surrealistic (but real!), beautiful photography. Another favourite source of more illustrative wallpapers would be Vladstudio (I recommend getting a membership — it’s quite cheap and lasts a lifetime).
My desktop / home screen
I have my six quick-shortcut apps in the dock, and the rest of the apps are categorised into separate folders. At first I could not be bothered to be that organised, but I think you would find that sooner or later, the app count will pile up and you’ll be needing those folders for the sake of your own sanity.
I’ll start listing down the apps according to category (I’ll likely skip some that I don’t think need much elaboration). Oh, some of these apps are purchased ones — I wouldn’t really remember which ones were free and which were paid, so you’ll have to click the links if you need to find out. Also, some of these apps would naturally have their Android equivalents, so even if you’re not an iUser, I recommend you to still browse through.
Apps for photo-taking and manipulation
- Photosynth — for taking panoramas straight from the iPad camera. I believe there are many other similar apps that do the same thing, but I happened to land upon this one.
- Snapseed — for general photo editing (it has Instagram-esque filters and things).
- Autostitch — to stitch panoramas from existing photos (either imported from your camera or the iPad camera).
- GroupShot — has a function similar to the “PhotoFuse” function in Windows Photo Gallery: basically you can merge two or more group photos and pick and choose the best parts from them to become one photo, eg. switch out a blinking/sleepy face with an awake one.
- Pic Stitch — for Photoscape-esque “frame” montages/collages, ie. combining several photos into one image to share on Facebook /etc.
- Split Pic — my newest addition, apparently for taking “clone” photos of yourself (with the same background). I haven’t actually explored this app yet though.
- Vimeo — for both browsing and video-editing. I think I tried editing only once or twice, it’s not quite my favourite tool for it.
- iMotion HD — this is for timelapses! I’ve made quite a few sky timelapses by sticky-taping the iPad on my window ledge. #truestory
- Lumify — another video editor, pretty good and even has speed-adjusting features for video clips.
- Pinnacle Studio — probably my favourite video editor. Pricey, though.
Drawing / art / sketchnoting stuff. I think I had more in this folder, but I’ve since whittled them down to the ones I like best.
- Procreate — the Photoshop/ArtRage/Corel Painter for the iPad. Very powerful but can be a little intimidating for casual doodling or taking notes.
- Penultimate — The companion to Evernote. I can’t remember much about this app, I guess I don’t use it much.
- Bamboo Paper — developed by Wacom, one of the first doodlenote apps I tried and quite like, only surpassed by…
- Inkflow Plus — my favourite because you can select and resize and rotate and move things around after drawing them in. There is a free version called Inkflow, with limited features.
- Vittle — the sister app to Inkflow. It does “whiteboard animation”, ie. video+audio recording of what you’re drawing as you’re drawing them. There are cool features like selecting a portion of the screen to be recorded, the ability to record or not record zooms and pans, etc. I usually use the output from Vittle and speed it up in Lumify before uploading them online.
Reading stuff and writing stuff
Reading and Writing
- Goodreads — I don’t feel like I am a proper bookwormy type, but there are times when I think it would be great to actually log the books I have read / am reading / have come across but have yet to pick up. There’s also a cool barcode scanner so you won’t have to type-search the book title.
- WordPress — for writing my blog entries. I don’t quite feel as comfortable blogging via this app as I do on a real computer, though. Limited capabilities and such.
- Evernote — the note-taking app that spans across practically all platforms.
- bloglovin’ — the replacement for Google Reader (RIP), my previous RSS reader. Bloglovin’ is actually pretty good.
Web browsing and stuff
- Chrome — sometimes things work better in Chrome than in Safari.
- SkyDrive and Google Drive and Dropbox — standard tools to access my files in the clouds. I’ve turned on Camera Uploads for Dropbox as well, which is useful for transferring/syncing/helping-you-catch-criminals-in-case-your-tablet-is-stolen.
- RTM — rememberthemilk, my online to-do list. It’s the free version and is quite limited, though.
- TeamViewer — for remote access to my PC. It works well and all but I haven’t found much need to access my computer from campus or stuff like that.
- Adobe Connect and Ustream — for online webinars and conferences.
- Sleep Cycle — kind of like sleepyti.me, which supposedly helps you calculate the ideal time(s) for you to wake up based on a 90-minute sleep cycle. (Sleep cycles are a whole ‘nother topic, feel free to Google it up. )
- 30/30 — a focus management utility, kinda like Tomighty which is based on the Pomodoro Technique, but with 30/30 you can list down the specific tasks and breaks (and their durations), and then the app will have a timer for each of those items, alerting you when you should stop one task and start the next one.
- Skyscanner — my housemate’s favourite flight-search app, it has a map utility too, where you can fly over an area and it’ll show you the cheapest flights to different locations.
Watching and listening
- YT Player — an alternative to the official YouTube app, it has the ability to play videos (audios, really) in the background so you’re free to use other apps while listening. Also, it seems to have the power to bypass the “The content owner has not made this video available on mobiles” or “Not available on this platform” restrictions…
- TuneIn Radio — just a radio player. I don’t remember what stations I used to listen to here, maybe IKIM and One Legacy Radio.
- OPlayerHD Lite — I think this was a way to watch streaming video on iPad (since most web browsers can’t play Flash videos).
- TED — when you need to watch something more intellectual than most YouTube content.
- Podcasts — are like radio shows but … different. I subscribe to IKIM and Fajr Reminders and the Sketchnote Podcast. The app is good ’cause it downloads new episodes when you have internet access, then keeps them for offline access too.
- Bayyinah 30 — an unofficial free app to access the free audio tafseers of juz amma.
Useful Islam-related apps
- myDuaa and Al-Dua — awesome du’a (supplication) collections based on Fortress of the Muslim. It’s useful, in both apps, to bookmark the ones you tend to need and recite a lot.
- SkyPrayersLite and Athan — probably more useful to those of us living in places where you can’t hear the real live athan. I used to just use Athan (based on IslamicFinder) but our local mosque uses a different calculation method, that SkyPrayersLite happens to use as well.
- Night Alarm — for tahajjud and qiyam. It wakes you up with a hadeeth, in fact.
- iQuran HD — my favouritest. So freaking useful for copy-pasting translations and also the arabic verse into your note app, or Facebook.
- iMathurat and AlMathurat — the same thing, really, but AlMathurat is free and came out later so I had to use iMathurat in the meantime. They contain morning and evening remembrances.
- Zabihah and iEat Halal — to find halal eateries when you are traveling.
- FastReminder — sort of a calendar/reminder of which days of the month are sunnah to fast. Pretty app, too.
And that is it!
I’ve left out the typical social media stuff like Facebook, Pinterest, Skype, etc. etc. because everybody has them. Oh, the last uncategorised app, Lumosity, was discovered via Abu Productive, but like one of the commentors voiced out — it might be more of a marketing trick rather than actual brain practice. I haven’t been very consistent with the “games” after a few weeks either.
Hope this was a tiny bit helpful, and feel free to let me know what apps you use on your iThing. Bye-bye.