Ok, let’s be honest, right up front. While we all love our families, and can agree that children are truly wonderful gifts, no one wants to go on an extended road trip with a backseat full of little ones. If they’re especially young — let’s say newborn to 3 or 4 years old — the suggestions that follow may not work for you. I know I’d hesitate to hand over my $500 device to someone under 4 years old.
But for anyone older than that — how about we say the 5 and up crowd — the iPad could truly be a tired parent’s dream-come-true. There is an absolute wealth of kid-focused apps for the iPad. From honest games that’ll kill time and keep them occupied, to more educationally stimulating offerings, the App Store has you covered. Let’s dive in, and I’ll show you some of the best of the best.
Throughout the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the iPad series, I’ve been subtly approaching things from the perspective of someone traveling for pleasure. Possibly an individual on a road trip, or maybe a family on a summer vacation.
But, there’s a large segment of the traveling population that isn’t exactly traveling for pleasure. They’re traveling for business.
Yup, I’m talking to you, weary road warrior. That guy who spends more time in airport terminals than in an office building. For you, advancements in technology have really been a godsend. The smaller and thinner and lighter the better, right? But you can’t sacrifice portability for power. And so for many, a laptop is really the only option. But before you drop $1000 on a shiny new MacBook Air or something, just hear me out. The iPad just might be perfect for you.
Let’s take a look at how to get down to business with the iPad.
Reference material. Not very exciting, is it?
Undeniably useful, but until you need it, it never crosses your mind. It’s ok. I’ve remembered it. In a lot of ways, an iPad is the perfect vehicle for storing and retrieving information while on the road. It’s thinner and lighter than a book, but larger than a smartphone. Even the cheapest model has enough storage to cover what you need.
There’s a lot of information you could potentially need on a trip. And the less familiar the place, the more important the accuracy of the information. From where to go, and what to see and do, to making sure you’ve got the right flight, and knowing your way around a traffic jam.
Let me show you the essential apps to give you the information you need, making sure it’s right at your fingertips.
When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007, pundits thought he’d lost his mind launching a phone with just a touchscreen. Surely no one wanted to tap on glass all day! Then, the iPhone proved the pundits wrong, and even Blackberry launched a phone with an on-screen touch keyboard.
Last year, the iPad faced the same dilemma. People had come to accept typing on a touchscreen phone, but for a laptop-sized device, surely that wouldn’t cut it.
Then we got the iPad, and discovered that you could actually type quite fast on a full-sized touch screen. So much so, in fact, that many declared the iPad the perfect writing device!
So, is there still any need to get an external keyboard for your iPad? I’ve recently picked up an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard for mine, so keep reading to see what advantages a “real” keyboard brings to the iPad and whether it’s worth getting … or not.
Ah, yes, the dreaded pre-trip. Depending on the kind of person you are it could be a month-long process, or just consist of throwing a change of clothes in your car and filling up your tank with gas. In any case, it’s probably stressful. Something’s bound to go wrong, or at least not go according to plan. And so adding one more thing to do – preparing your iPad – isn’t a really good thing, is it?
That’s why you’re reading this, right? Because I’m going to tell you precisely what you need to do so your iPad is perfectly prepared for any trip. Well, perhaps that’s a stretch, but I’m definitely going to give you the best head start I can. Just remember: don’t panic!
I’m a huge Douglas Adams fan. And by that I mean, I love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
I also mean that a small part of me feels a twinge of sadness when Douglas Adams and the iPad cross paths in my mind. Simply because I hold in my hands the closest thing to the fabled Guide that our world has yet seen.
And so it is with great honor that I riff off of Mr. Adams, and present to you my Guide to the iPad for Hitchhikers.
The first time I ever signed my name digitally was on a UPS deliverer’s handheld computer, and it seemed amazing that it would actually work. Years later, we sign our names on strips of plastic on credit card scanners in stores all the time, and it somehow doesn’t seem so magical any more.
Then, tax season comes, and we have to print out forms, sign them, scan them, find where the scanner decided to save them on the computer, and finally email them back to the accountant.
Wait, what? Surely with all the advances in computers, we should be able to file anything we need without resorting to a paper copy. Your iPad is the perfect device to make your computing more paper-free than ever. Keep reading to see how you can fill out PDF forms, markup and annotate documents, sign any document, and then send them anywhere you need all from an iPad.
If you are like me, then you will have lots of videos (HD and SD) stored on your computer, and most of these will be in a format that Apple devices will not be able to play.
This was a big problem for me, as when I am away from my main computer (both inside my house and out around town), I still want to have access to these videos, especially on my Apple devices – as they’re always with me!
Normally, if I wanted to watch my videos when I’m out and about, I would have to convert them into a file format that Apple supports before I left. With Air Video, however, this is not the case. Air Video allows you to stream all the major video formats to your iPad and other Apple devices. This enables you to watch all of your content over your local wireless connection, or over the Internet!
Read on to find out how you can take your entire video library with you!
Whether you like it or not, the familiar ring of the cash register may be going the way of the dodo. Today, people use debit cards more than ever, and having cash on hand is definitely more of a rarity.
On top of that, buying a cash register for your business can be pricey, and integrating a register into your system with a separate credit card machine gets expensive – don’t forget about the high price per swipe charges the credit card processing companies charge. It’s quite the racket, and it puts significant strain on any small business owner.
But what if we told you there was a way to accept credit cards for your business, pay low fees, and replace your cash register, without even having to sign a contract? You’d tell me I was a crazy man with a funny hat, and you’d only be half right.
There’s an easy way to turn your iPad into a point of sale (POS) terminal, and we’re going to show you how to do it right now!
When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in early 2010, many people thought it impossible that you’d be able to type accurately at any reasonable rate on a glass touch screen. After all, pundits still regularly mention the iPhone’s lack of buttons as a limitation, and that’s just a phone!
Surely no one would want a netbook-sized device without a physical keyboard! While you could always get a bluetooth keyboard or the keyboard dock, the hinderance to portability is a consequential downside.
So, is it actually possible to type fast and accurately on the iPad without an external keyboard? It turns out, you can definitely type fast and accurately on the iPad virtual keyboard. Keep reading to discover some tips to improve your typing, and find out more about TapTyping, an app that can help speed up your iPad typing. (more…)