For two months now, I’ve been using my iPad exclusively, replacing my MacBook as my main computing device. Since I’ve started this endeavor, I’ve explored many other apps that have either improved my productivity or improved my iPad experience. I’ll outline them below, again, by category.
I’ve dumped Chrome. Since the release of iOS 7.1, I have experienced the Safari crashing issues that were so prevalent. However, I still wanted the ability to upload attachments, a feature Safari lacks. I found Puffin Browser is wonderful at this. I can upload files from either local storage or via Dropbox, which is my favorite go-to cloud storage drive. Puffin suffers occasional web connectivity hiccups, but all in all it is a great browser for getting around Safari’s limitations.
I also dumped the Dropbox and Google Drive standalone apps for Readdle’s Documents 5, which connects to both cloud drives and also offers local file storage. I LOVE this app. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t yet support Copy, so I need to keep that app at my disposal.
My wife and I like to watch Hell’s Kitchen. Unfortunately for us cable cord cutters, we can only retroactively access the show online, and only on a desktop Mac. So, I installed VNC Viewer to connect to her Mac Mini and stream the show to our Apple TV. The video is extremely choppy but the audio is clear. Hopefully soon we will all be able to access for channels on Apple TV without a cable subscription (though I won’t hold my breath for this to happen anytime soon).
I’ve passed out the apps in this folder to more logical places. I only store apps here that I can’t delete, like Notes and Mail. Reminders and Contacts remain here, probably just to keep my unwanted apps from getting lonely.
I tried to like Office for iPad. Actually, I really did. However, I simply don’t want to join any precedent in buying subscription-based apps, and I can’t justify spending $120/year on Office for what I get for free with iWorks. Those apps (Word, Numbers, and Keynote) are now in this folder, and at the top for easier accessibility.
QuickOffice Pro is now gone, having been purchased by a third-party vendor and destroyed. Office2HD is also gone, since I never really used it and find iWorks to be much more compatible with Microsoft Office files due to Apple’s recent update to the iWorks suite. PDF Reader now handles all of my PDF-related needs. I’m on the fence with keeping GoodReader, but I’m going to stick with the software if I have any weird Office compatibility problems and need a solution to open/convert these files in any way.
The ability to add fonts to the iPad was also a problem for me, as I like custom font solutions and I don’t like opening files that have incompatible fonts from a file created on a desktop. Thankfully, I can now use AnyFont to install TrueType or OpenType fonts. I added Font Preview to view all of the fonts installed on my iPad, and Fontasy to download open-source Google fonts and install them. Characters is also new to my Utilities folder for adding custom fonts that I don’t get from Apple’s native iOS characters.
I wanted to use nested folders to separate my e-readers, music and movie apps. Since iOS 7.1, I can’t use nested folders anymore, but I’ve instead separated these media apps into three panes within the folder.
The first tab has Infuse (for watching all of my DVD rips), Netflix/Crackle for finding movies/TV shows on Apple TV when I’m not near my Apple TV, Trailers, and iMovie.
The second tab has the music apps—iHeartRadio, Spotify (love, love, love Spotify), Pandora, SoundHound, Remote, GarageBand, Podcasts, 5-0 Radio HD and TouchTunes.
The third tab houses Newsstand, Kindle, and iBooks.
Not much has changed here, but I did delete Photoshop Express after discovering how much more robust iPhoto is. I also tossed PhotoBooth into this folder, even though I never really use it since it’s so gimmicky.
Finally, I now use Molto for my Gmail and iCloud email. Molto is a uniquely-designed email app that organizes my messages in a social media-style format, and allows me to read emails without having to open every one every time, allowing me to quickly archive messages and reply with custom backgrounds. It was very important for me to find an email client that will let me access my personal Gmail folders, and Molto does this with ease.
As time progresses, I’ll write more about individual app experiences rather than these long updates on my iPad structure. All in all, I’m still very happy that I can still use my iPad for my everyday needs. I still need an external Mac for reading stored DVD rips (and perform them), but other than that, the iPad is getting quite a workout.