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How-To

With GarageBand installed, an iPad is a powerful and portable tool for musicians. However, just like its desktop version, GarageBand for iPad can also be employed by non-musicians too, as I’ll highlight with a step by step guide to making a podcast on your iPad, complete with accompanying music.

This How-To will be aimed towards those who have a basic understanding of GarageBand, or at least the principles behind music software in general, but I will endeavour to keep each step as beginner friendly as possible. If you have any questions or problems, please let us know in the comments and I’ll attempt to help you through it.

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Ever since the introduction of GarageBand for iPad back in February, many iPad users have really immersed themselves into music creation because of how easy it is with the app. Today I’m going to teach you an easy way to create a guitar song using the built-in Smart Guitar instrument. To add to this, you can even learn a little bit more about the app in general.

Please note that this will require a little knowledge of how to use the iPad, some music terminology, and common sense on the side. Keep reading for the full guide.

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Photography is a form of art especially close to my heart. It’s something I enjoy immensely, and something that I’ve always thought would be perfectly suited to the iPad. There has always been a vibrant community surrounding iPhone photography, and some truly great apps have appeared to help with editing and organizing your photos.

But what about where the iPad’s concerned? The iPad 2 has a camera, but it isn’t of the same quality as the iPhone’s. There’s the optional Camera Connector Kit, to import photos from your camera via an SD card or a USB cable too. That’s really what we’re going to be focusing on today.

Unlike the iPhone, where it’s both the photo capture and photo editing device, the iPad really only excels at the one aspect: photo editing. I mean seriously, are you going to be waving a 10″ tablet device around, taking snapshots on vacation? No, didn’t think so.

Let’s dig into what the options are for editing and organizing photos on the iPad, and where iOS developers still have room to grow and improve.

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If you have worked with computers much at all, you’re probably well aware that one of the worst potential scenarios is when you have to work with a printer. There are few things in the computer world that can rival the printer as far as time wasting goes – the endless tinkering on, habitual issues created, and bewildering variety of selections available often make for a dire experience.

The drivers tend to be massive, and are only barely compatible with your computer. At least, that’s always been how it seems to me. If a printer is such a pain to get to work with a computer, can you imagine getting your iPad to work with one?

The mind boggles.

So I was somewhat surprised when I discovered that Printer Pro actually does an excellent job, and is easy to use. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get the most out of it.

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Sunshine on a Cloudy Day?

So, its been a few of months now since the Dropbox dev team released an iPad version of the hugely popular Dropbox app, but what does this mean for iPad users?

It’s a cloud backup service, isn’t it? Shouldn’t you just sit tight and wait for iOS 5’s iCloud service? Well, in a word, no. I’m going to show you how to make this little gem of an app sing, dance, and do other cool stuff. You will begin to think differently about Dropbox, how you use it, and what untapped potential it has. Would you like to:

  • Break out of the 1GB local favourite storage limit?
  • Keep persistent copies of books, photos and music, even when you empty your Dropbox?
  • Download music and films remotely, using only the iPad?
  • Work in a new way to break out of the 2GB total free space limitation?
  • Run scripts remotely?

Let’s take a closer look…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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