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Essential iPad Apps for College Students

  • October 23, 2017
  • Blog

College. A continuous cycle of doing homework and late night study session in the university library. It’s no secret that it all can be somewhat difficult and extremely overwhelming. As a current junior this is something that I can definitely relate to. At the start of the Fall 2016 semester, I purchased a 12.9 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and it has honestly changed my college behavior. The large screen space partnered with the Apple Pencil is perfect for taking notes while viewing the slides for your lecture in split view. As the semester went on I discovered some amazing apps that I think could be extremely helpful to all college students. Check out some of the apps that I think are essential to easing any student’s college experience.

Notability

Notability is an amazing note taking application and also my personal favorite. It is compatible with the Apple Pencil and includes support for drag and drop. A few features it has includes drag and drop compatibility, the ability to complete and sign documents, and the ability to import PDFs of your textbooks or lecture slides into the app so that you can take notes right there on the material. One of the killer features, however, is the ability to record as you take notes. But please make sure that you have the professor’s permission before you start recording. There may be rules against this at your school, and even may be prohibited by law without your prefessor’s consent.

Notability is a PAID application and costs $9.99, you can find out more here


Pages, Keynote and Numbers

Apple’s iWorks apps are their own personal version of Microsoft office and the best part about it is that it is completely FREE. These apps include Pages, Keynote, and Numbers (Word, Powerpoint, and Excel respectively) and there is absolutely no subscription required to use them. These app support continuity and as long as you have it enabled you can start a document on your desktop or computer and easily pick up where you left off on your iPad. You can also save documents to your iCloud drive. The iWorks apps are great if you want to stick strictly to Apple and their services, something I personally like to do.

Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are FREE applications if you have a newer iOS device. If that is not the case then will have to purchase the apps for $9.99 each. You can find more about each application by clicking on the names above.


Quizlet

One of the best apps out for studying would definitely have to be Quizlet. With both an iOS app and a web-app, it gives you the ability to create digital flashcards that you can study and test yourself with. There is no limit to how many note cards you can make and if you’re lucky they might already have a set of flashcards your classes, created by other students,  already on the website. With Quizlet there’s no need for endless piles of note cards anymore!

Quizlet is a FREE application. You can find out more about it here.


Kindle

Another great app that I find essential for not only studying but also lightening your backpack load would have to be the Kindle app. Because Kindle is an Amazon application you can easily purchase your textbooks or any books that spark your interest and they will load right into your library which you can take with you on the go. One great feature it has is that your library saves across multiple platforms so if you are getting ready for the next class lecture on your desktop or laptop you can pick up right where you left off on your iPad. They also have a built-in flash card feature that lets you highlight and create flashcards right from the text.

Kindle is a FREE application. You can find out more here.


GoodNotes

Another amazing note taking app would have to be GoodNotes 4 and it’s not just because it’s a couple of dollars cheaper than Notability. This app is also compatible with the Apple Pencil and also supports iOS 11’s new drag and drop feature. You can also annotate PDFs and search for your notes. One thing that it does not have, however, is the ability to record audio, if you want that it will probably be best to use Notability.

One great feature it does have is a ton of customization. There are quite a few page and cover styles to choose from and you can even upload custom ones if you can’t find what you’re looking for. GoodNotes 4 also gives you the option of two different pen styles which are a fountain pen or a ball pen and the ability to change the size and color of them to what ever you want.

GoodNotes 4 is a PAID application and costs $7.99. You can find out more here.


While these may be some of the apps that help ease my college experience they might not necessarily be your cup of tea. Let us know what apps help you get through those crazy late nights of homework and all-nighter study sessions in the comment section below!

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5 Things You Can Do with the Apple Pencil (it’s Not Just Drawing)

  • October 13, 2017
  • Blog

The Apple Pencil is a wonderful tool for artists who want to draw and create something on a digital canvas, but what about those people with no artistic talent? Is the Apple Pencil useless for them? Absolutely not!Don’t believe me? Here are 5 things non-artists can do with the Apple Pencil on their iPad Pros.

DISCLAIMER: While the Apple Pencil is the main focus of this article, it is not necessary. So if you have an iPad Air or the latest iPad a 3rd party Stylus will work just fine for most of these things (except Instant Notes). So don’t feel left out if you don’t have an iPad Pro. This is also for all you non-Pro users!

1. Image Markup

iOS 11 really outdid itself when it came to screenshots. Now, instead of having to dig through Photos to find that screenshot you took, when you take the screenshot it shows up on the bottom left-hand corner for you to tap on and markup.

From there you can do things like make annotations on a webpage, circle where your mom needs to go in the settings, or anything else you need to do to get your point across to someone in the screenshot.

I use this more often than when I had a Workflow to annotate screenshots back in iOS 10 and earlier. Something about being able to natively edit a screenshot without having to leave what I’m looking at is so satisfying and convenient.

Give it a shot next time you need to write on a screenshot, you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s a great video from Apple Insider that shows you just how powerful screenshot markup and Instant Notes (which is next!) can be.

2. Instant Notes

iOS 11 really made the Notes app a very viable option to handle your ideas, writings, sketches, and more thanks to improved Apple Pencil support and a ton of backend improvements in the app as well.

The one feature you may not know about though is the fact you can tap on the lock screen with your Pencil and a new Note will appear for you to sketch on and make notes.

This is especially useful for students who need to write out something their professor is saying quickly so they don’t miss anything. It is also useful if you are the kind of person who needs to take notes for meetings at work or you need to get your ideas out of your head and on to a page immediately.

3. A Secondary Input Device

If you are like many who get cramps and pains when working in the same position, you might have RSI. RSI is more serious than an occasional strain or a little discomfort, it can be permanent if you don’t do something about it.

One thing that can be very helpful is switching how you do your work. Instead of constantly using your hand on the iPad you can switch over to the Pencil as an input device as it totally changes what muscles you’re using and allows the body to keep from straining.

Also, if you don’t have any indications of RSI it is still nice to be able to change things up from a mental perspective. If we get too complacent on how we do our work your brain isn’t going to be stimulated and you may fall behind in your work. Changing things up can be helpful for you the next time you have to be on your iPad for a long period of time. Not to mention a Pencil is much more comfortable to use when navigating your iPad whilst it is upright for keyboard use.

4. Email Files Markup

If you aren’t the type to take lots of screenshots and/or notes, markup could still be useful for you when handling email and files from your friends, coworkers, or family.

For instance, if you get a PDF of a contract you need to sign or you need to go over someone else’s work you can simply open it up within Mail. From there you can make any annotations or markings that are necessary and send it right back to the person who sent it to you. This can be extremely handy if you are the type of person who needs to sign everything during work or even in your personal life. You just need to open the file up and tap the Markup button.

Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough on how you can do this.

Add Signiture

Signature Added

Share Signed Document

Please note, this kind of Markup is available on the stock Mail app. There may be some 3rd party apps you can find that offer something similar to this, but if you plan on using this feature a lot, we suggest you use Apple’s Mail app.

5. Mind-Mapping

Speaking of getting things out of your head and on to the page, mind-mapping is a very handy exercise for new projects you are working on.

From new personal projects to a new client at work, you can really improve your thinking process on what is necessary to accomplish your goals with a simple mind-map. This allows you to get everything out of your head and on to something you can have in front of you to determine what is important and what isn’t.

If you can’t think of anything right now to mind-map maybe just try this technique from Jenny Blake on setting goals for yourself across all of the aspects in your life. It is never too early to start thinking about what you want to do in the next year, and mind-mapping it can be cathartic.

Conclusion

So whether it is to provide tech-support, handle files sent to you at work, or even higher-level thinking like setting goals for yourself, the Apple Pencil is a powerful tool you can use to help you get things done. If you have an Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro and feel like you aren’t getting your moneys-worth, try one or two of these things out today and see if it helps you.

Did we miss something you can use the Apple Pencil for without any artistic talent? Let us know in the comments below!

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Shelf Apps on the iPad

  • October 11, 2017
  • Blog

Working on an iPad with iOS 11 is now more mainstream than ever before. With the improved multi-tasking features and slide over you are able to handle several apps at once without issue. You can read a news article, take notes on it, and watch a video all at the same time.
Notes, Safari, and a video on the iPad in iOS 11

But there’s one problem you have with this new found productivity with the iPad: How do I save things to use in other apps?

Sure you can copy and paste text, or even use Drag and Drop to move things to their respective places, but what if you have several things you want to take from multiple apps and bring them to one singular app? Most people would say that you need to do it one by one in each app switching back and forth between them. However, with shelf apps you no longer have to worry about this.

4 Things You Can Do with Your Old iPad

  • October 9, 2017
  • Blog

As we all know, it’s been some time since Apple pulled the plug on supporting the original iPad. With the last update it received being from the iOS 5 era, one would think that the original behemoth is nothing but an expensive paperweight. But, think again! While it may be particularly difficult to find apps that still support the device there are quite a few things that can still be done with it. Here are just a few things we came up with.

Music Player

The biggest use that I still get out of the iPad is music, something extremely simple and easy to pull off. If I am in a music mood and my other tablets are dead or are dying I plug it into my sound system and rock out! Since the tablet is no longer supported by most apps that are around today, most of my music comes from my own personal library and I just loaded them on via iTunes. Aside from that this iPad, mine at least still has a pretty decent battery life.

WEB BROWSING

Sometimes I like to surf the web or post to Facebook before bed and even though it might be a little slow at times it gets the job done. It’s also great for emails, watching a few YouTube videos, and even catching up on your e-books! I check my emails and browse social media via Safari but I do most of my reading on the Amazon Kindle app.

ALARM

Because I usually leave my iPad on my nightstand I sometimes use it as an alarm clock! I went and purchased a metal frame from my local dollar store, something kind of similar to this MoKo stand, to prop it up on and downloaded the Nightstand Central app, one of the few still supported by the original iPad. While you can’t wake up to your favorite song you can still wake up to several other soothing sounds provided by the app itself.

PHOTO  STORAGE

Another great use that I get out of the device is a place to store a few photos. While you can’t  necessarily store much, you can add a few recent vacation photos to the iPad and have it be a digital photo album to pass around with friends and family. For this, I simply use Apple’s Photos app that ships with the iPad.

Conclusion

With all of the above being said, it’s pretty obvious that you can still squeeze a bit of use out of that 1st generation iPad that’s sitting in your nightstand drawer collecting dust. We’d love to hear how our Tablet Habit readers still manage to use their old iPads, sound off in the comments section and let us know how you still use your yours!

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iPad Home Screen Experiments

  • September 25, 2017
  • Blog

With iOS 11 now released, many iPad users, including myself, are rethinking how we utilize our screen real estate. The reason for this is the new Dock in iOS 11 that allows for quick access to many apps (or folders) no matter what app we are in. We now have the ability to drag and drop these apps to use with multi-tasking. But with this incredible feature comes the question: what do we use our home screens for now? For me, the answer comes from another question: do you use a keyboard with your iPad or just your hands?

Logitech iPad Pro Slim Combo Review – One Month Later

  • September 18, 2017
  • Blog

The iPad is my main computing device, I do all of my work on it, and I needed a case/keyboard that allowed me to do everything I needed without getting in the way, and for me the only option that seemed logical (no pun intended) was the Logitech Slim Comb; and after a solid month of using my iPad Pro 10.5” with the Logitech Slim Combo it is clear I made the right decision.

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