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Jan 28, 12 at 10:40pm ^What To Do With Your New iPad
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Contrary to popular belief (mainly from those pesky Android users ), it's not just a glorified iPod Touch. And it's time to point out the reasons why.
I got an iPad 2 for Christmas, and here are the things that I've found to be a better experience on the iPad than the iPod Touch (I have a 4th gen of that as well):
Games - The first thing you should do is run over to the App Store and install some apps that were made for the iPad. Start taking advantage of the larger screen and better graphics. It really does look amazing when you're playing some games made for the device. Here are some nice (and free!) games to try out:
Temple Run - A very simple game that provides some mindless entertainment and some pretty graphics to look at. You have a character that is running out of a temple being chased by demon monkeys. He's constantly running, and you just have to navigate him around. There's turns on the path where you have to swipe your finger across the screen in the direction you want to turn, there are gaps on the path that you have to jump over by swiping your finger up, things you have to slide under by swiping your finger down, and coins for you to collect by tilting your device left and right to get your character to move in that direction on the path.
There are also tree roots that you should jump over or else you'll stumble and slow down, allowing the demon monkeys to catch up with you. If you bump into too many of them (or even run against the wall too much), the monkeys will catch up and EAT YOU.
As far as I know, there's no real end to the game. You just run for as long as you can, all the while building up your score and collecting coins. There's a store you can spend them (the coins) at to get some nice upgrades. For example, a coin magnet, so you don't have to tilt your device to collect coins. Just keep running straight and all coins come to you (until the magnet runs out of juice or whatever).
The Ultimate Alphabet - A nice app for appreciating the graphics, The Ultimate Alphabet presents you with a very detailed picture in which you have to find many things that start with various letters. When you get the app you only have access to the letter "A", but it's enough to keep you busy for a long time. There are 362 different things for you to name that start with the letter "A".
If you would like to try other letters, you have to pay for them. For example, the letter "B" costs $3, a bundle of "B" and "D" ("C" gets no love) is $4, and a bundle of "A", "B", "C" and "D" costs $6. It seems a bit pricey, but considering just how many things there are to find for a single letter, I'm sure it's enough to keep you busy.
I am now tired of in-depth explanations, so if you want to hear more about the following games, just ask.
Glass Tower (1-3) - A rather addictive puzzle-type game. Break all blue blocks, but none of the red blocks (if you can help it). I played this pretty much constantly until I beat all levels.
Bowmaster HD - This is a crazy fun game where you've got a bow and arrow with which you shoot targets (oftentimes they are moving). Definitely worth checking out.
Aurora Feint 3 - I actually haven't played this at all, but I hear it's very good. I'll update this description once I've tried it.
Fall Down - Maneuver a falling ball to keep it from disappearing at the top of the screen. Just like the graphing calculator game, if you've every played it.
Doodle Devil - Free lite version to get. It's pretty much Doodle God. At any rate, it's fairly entertaining.
Giana Sisters HD - Free - Pretty much Mario. Need I say more?
Aside from games, there are other areas where the iPad excels. For instance, videos. Larger screen, excellent graphics...makes sense, right? Buy some from iTunes, sync some from your computer, or just watch some YouTube videos. I personally suggest buying or syncing an HD video or two. It's simply amazing.
But the real bread and butter for me is using the iPad as an e-reader. I'm actually someone who loves reading actual books, but I can also very much appreciate what an e-reader has to offer. Have many books on you at once, but none of that extra weight, be able to highlight parts of the book with the option to remove the highlight, search for specific passages, mark several pages for returning to without having a book with a bunch of sticky notes and such...
And it's definitely a good idea to get at least one e-book, because whether you like it or not, it's the future of books (although I'm quite sure actual books will continue to be made). It's worth it to get used to how they work.
You've got a couple options for this. You could get iBooks, which is Apple's e-reader app, or you could get the (free) Kindle app or Nook app or what have you. With iBooks you can find your books right from the App store, with the Kindle App, you buy your books from the Amazon website (with one click your purchase is instantly waiting in your Kindle app to be downloaded onto your device), and as for Nook...well, I have no experience with that myself, but I'm sure it's just as easy.
For all of them there are many books that you can get for free that are typically classic novels and the like. But something I've noticed is that iBooks is better for those, as the formatting of the content is much better than what you get on the Kindle app (specifically, chapters tend to end and start on the same page and it doesn't look very nice - Amazon doesn't seem to have put a lot of effort into making their free books very presentable), but books you purchase look just fine and are very nice to read on the Kindle app. I actual prefer it to iBooks for reading my purchased books. I'm sorry that I can't offer any insight on the Nook app though, since I haven't downloaded it. I'll have to do that and update this post with a little information on it.
Another area where the iPad performs very well in comparison to the iPod Touch is with productivity apps. Meaning Word Processing, PowerPoint, etc. However, with these things I highly recommend getting a wireless keyboard for your iPad, or it's not going to be very easy. If you have a laptop or PC available to you, I suggest using that, but the iPad can do a fine job at it too, if you don't have that option. You'll need to buy these apps though. For Word Processing there's "Pages" which costs $10, as well as other apps like "DocsToGo" which I don't know the price of off the top of my head.
And, of course, web browsing is a much better experience on the iPad than the iPod Touch. It's not perfect (sup Flash), but it's very nice.
Something to keep in mind is that the iPad isn't a replacement for a laptop or PC. Don't ever get this instead of a laptop/PC. Know what you're buying, and know what to expect. The iPad is a very useful device, but it's pretty much just a toy right now that shows potential for being a serious device like a computer.
Now, everyone can feel free to mention anything they have in mind that's better on the iPad, good for trying out when you first get it, etc., or you guys can ask me about what I've already mentioned.
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Jan 28, 12 at 11:40pm ^re: What To Do With Your New iPad
I help out with tech support for a small answering service in my hometown. I need to always be able to get on right away and help them with their problems and I used to have to take my laptop with me where ever I went. Now that I have the iPad 2 with 3G I can help them anywhere with ease by using LogMeIn Ignition. All of their desktops are setup to work with it and I can login to any of them through the iPad. The iPad 2 is fast enough to where it is a very smooth experience and I can work with it almost as fast as I could with my laptop. I went on vacation last summer and with the built in 3G I didn't have to worry about having to find WiFi.
I think that you are going to start seeing a lot more of this as tablets become more and more mainstream and become faster and faster. It's so much easier to just have the iPad than to have to haul a laptop or use a desktop. With the built in 3G you won't have to worry about finding WiFi.
Jan 29, 12 at 12:57am ^re: What To Do With Your New iPad
My top uses: Words with Friends and web browsing. I love browsing on my iPad because it is just so much quicker than turning on my computer or laptop and it is easy to carry between rooms (great for sharing info in dorms) and its a lot smaller and less of a distraction to others in class.
In terms of games, you should add some "real" iPad games to your list that make it great to have. One of the first games I got when the iPad 2 came out was "Pinball HD" which is absolutely phenomenal and definitely an excellent way to show off what your iPad can do. Then there are the board games like Scrabble and Risk which I play a lot with friends. A more "obscure" title is Neuroshima Hex (and the related Puzzle title) which is a new game to me but definitely fun, even against the computer if you're into strategy ish games. Oh, and World of Goo. I bought it for every system when it came out (even multiple times on PC), but I only ever beat it on my iPad because it was more fun.
Hootsuite for Twitter.
Zinio for reading magazines. It is a handy multiplatform version of newstand that has been around much longer. Most newstand magazines seem to be glorified Zinio versions tbh, but they are only accessible on iOS devices while Zinio copies can be accessed on any iOS device, computers, and other tablets as well.
iBooks is nice and you can import copies of books from other sources other than the bookstore (which has been great for me).
Pulse is a nice app to catch up on news with, great design and it somewhat caches things quickly for offline reading (sans images).
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