You’ve got yourself a new iPad (Pro)!
You’re excited! You unbox it. You admire its craftsmanship..
And then it hits you! That question:
The answer is, of course, highly dependent on who you are and what your specific needs are. This article helps you in setting a course towards turning the iPad that you got in a standard box into YOUR iPad; THE one that is tailored to YOU.
# The proper mindset
Now, different people have different opinions on the iPad; whether or not to buy it in the first place, and what to do with it. My take on the issue is that the iPad is currently the best mobile computing device for your work on the go and out of the office (I’m typing this on an iPad while keeping an eye on my infant daughter. My desktop computer is too far!).
Is the iPad a true laptop replacement? Mobile Computer Blog’s answer is: Yes, for most people, and especially if one had – beside the iPad – a computer permanently sitting on a desk.
With that in mind, it would be more fruitful to deal with the iPad as an iPad, and to try not to fit the uses and expectations of a PC onto it. It is not a PC on wheels! Instead, it a unique implementation of mobile computing that hits the balance between mobility and ability.
It gives you all-day battery life (leave that charger at home!), in a mobile casing (light and smaller than computers), and is versatile in working with countless accessories. In addition, it has the best tablet-specific app options. In other words, the iPad empowers you to do what you need to do, without having to hook yourself to a desk.
# Your main needs
Based on a proper mindset of the iPad, you need to identify your main uses for it. Everyone is different, and so should their iPads be.
Identifying your needs helps in sharpening your apps, accessories, and in fine-tuning essential settings like the Dock.
In terms of apps, you would be surprised about the width and depth of apps available for all sorts of uses. But unless you have a clear idea of your (not your friend’s!) specific needs, a walk into the App Store could prove overwhelming.
You could identify your needs starting from a blank page, but you could also take ideas from the following general use areas:
– Time Management
You care about being organized. You work on your calendar and To-Do lists on a daily basis.
You write for a living, or to follow your passion! You need proper apps to organize your writing project and brings them to fruition.
You take lots of notes. You need to be able to quickly jot down notes, organize them, and find them efficiently. Your preferred input method could be a keyboard or the Apple Pencil.
You love earth! You want to keep your workflow as paperless as possible. You need to view, annotate, and organize PDFs effectively.
You want full control of your presentations and do not wish to hand your “Powerpoints” in a flash disk to some stranger!
You’re an artist! And that Apple Pencil makes it enticing to create your best (future) works!
You take photography and videos seriously (really, seriously!). You could be a professional photographer, a vloger, or someone involved with movie producing.
– File management
You have loads of files! You need to be able to access them, organize them, and save into them.
That’s your thing! You want to be on top of your emails; to read, respond, make attachments, and organize.
– Other Internet tasks
Social media could be your thing; Managing those accounts and keeping a close eye on the analytics! Or it could be Youtube, following the news, or just plain internet browsing.
– Don’t ask me about gaming! That’s not what this blog is about! 🙂
Look into the above use areas. Which ones are the most important to you? That understanding would spark your iPad-tailoring journey!
# Discovering your apps
There are (literally!) over a million apps designed for the iPad! You could get lost in that jungle! That, of course, unless you have prepared yourself with identifying your core mobile computing needs (the section above!).
Subsequently, a good tuning of perspective is important.
Your tailor-made iPad is a forever-improving-project!
This means that within the first couple of days of having the iPad (and following the tips in this article and blog 🙂 ), you would have a good tailor-made iPad. However, with your accumulating experience learning about the iPad, the apps, and yourself, your setup will keep evolving. I find that beautiful and exciting!
Ok, what does that mean in a less abstract sense. Well, it means that you should be delving into the iPad experience gradually (slowly, smoothly, and confidently). Don’t rush into solutions and don’t (big NO) merely try to do everything that your friend does!
It’s about you!
Let’s say that you have identified writing, emailing, and note-taking as your core mobile computing needs. In this case, you should first work on evolving the most suitable solutions for these use areas. Once you feel comfortable about them, you could then gradually move into other areas.
As a general rule of thumb, I would advice that you start with the built-in apps (if available) to get the hang of it. They are not the most powerful usually, but they tend to get the job done and could dance better with iOS. For our example here, that means gaining experience in using Apple Mail, Apple Notes, and Pages (Ok, that’s not built-in right away, but it is Apple’s word processor). It is expected that after a while of using these apps, and learning their set of features, you will better understand whether they are truly sufficient for you or not. If you get to know that Apple Notes, for example, is OK but doesn’t provide enough coloring and note management solution, you would be in a much better position to search through the App Store and know exactly which app you prefer (my personal pick here is GoodNotes)
The iPad is solid as is. However, depending on your specific needs, augmenting it with suitable accessories would be valuable. Following on our example above, an Apple Pencil and a suitable keyboard are very important.
Again, this is an evolving experience. You might get attracted to an accessory today, but find out later that it is lacking in some respect. This would help you better understand which other alternative is suitable to YOU.
The iPad is an amazing piece of tech, but unless get it tailored to your specific needs, it would end up being just one more (beautifully engineered!) souvenir!
It is absolutely essential that you define your core needs. You then use that to pick and learn about suitable apps and accessories. Gradually, the iPad would continously evolve into better iterations of the machine that is just right for you!
And, of course, the Mobile Computer Blog would continue to be an enlightning source of mobile computing tips, ideas, and solutions for you! 🙂