I Would Rather Do it on the iPad


During my four hour flight down to Aruba I spent some time beginning to edit a number of pictures I took right before we left. I figured that, so long as I had the pictures with me I could do the reviews and news posts without having to actually carry many of the items down with me. So there I was, listening to music, sitting in a seat that was designed for someone just 5′ 3″ tall (or is it short), my knees firmly pressed into the seat back in front of me and gaining an ever-better understanding of what the term “cattle car” means. (And to add insult to injury, the airline doesn’t even give you pretzels or a small biscotti with your “complimentary beverage” in coach.) I was going to pull out my 11″ MacBook air (after much internal debate I decided to bring it with me) but instead I pulled out my iPad and started cropping the six dozen images I had quickly taken last night. When that was done I added a Gear Diary watermark to each of them using the app iWatermark. It was then that it dawned on me that I much PREFER cropping and watermarking images on the iPad to doing the same on my MacBook air. The process is simpler, faster, I find it to be more precise and, perhaps best of all, it turns a painful task into something that is, dare I say, fun!

Then I got to thinking what, if any, other tasks are there that I prefer to do on the iPad instead of a Mac? Here are a few and the apps I use for each.


Reading RSS feeds: This is a no-brainer. If I am sitting at my desk at home (these days the kitchen island actually) and I have my MacBook air and my iPad I will always choose the iPad to read, forward, copy and save news from my RSS feed.

My RSS app of choice? Reeder. While I hate apps that intentionally spell things wrong in order to be different or more readily recognizable I have to say Reeder is far and away the best RSS app I have found. It is fast, easy to use and offers a host of integrated services so you can save or share articles quickly.


Facebook: As much as I resisted it I have begun using Facebook more and more. It is just the nature of the beast these days. I need to use it for the site. I need to use it for my synagogue (we now have a main temple page, one for each of our schools and one for our your group) and even to stay in touch with some friends. The Facebook web interface is fine but the Facebook iPad app is just simpler and faster to use. Of course the Facebook app of choice is the free one the company finally released.


Twitter: the same goes for Twitter. The web interface or one of the nature programs for accessing Twitter work fine but the native iPad app is simple, clean, fast and easy to use. Given the choice I’ll use it every time.


Playing with pictures: It isn’t just cropping and watermarking pictures that is preferable on the iPad than it is on the computer these days. Playing with pictures is just so much more satisfying on the iPad than it is on the computer so long as you have the right apps. And what are the right apps? Here are a few of my favorites.


Photogene: For general image editing this jack of all trades is awesome. It lets you crop, convert, frame and do much much more with your pictures. Photogene 2 is currently out for the iPhone and is even more powerful. You can be sure I’ll buy the iPad version as soon as it is out.


Diptic: Diptic let’s you take a few different images and put them together into one new one. To some degree you might refer to it as a collage app but it really is much more than that. In essence it let’s you turn pictures into a one frame story board. I’ve used it for images on the temple website and to let people see three or four related images at one time. Recent updates added the ability to more completely control the layout of the images and the result is awesome… And fun.


Speaking of collages, the app Collage is a blast. It lets you select a number images and then, thanks to the iPad 2’s processing prowess, rotate, resize and reorder the images using multi-touch. It is a great deal of fun.

The final app I’ll list here is Comic Life. Like Diptic, Comic Life let’s you gather a number of images together n a single page. Unlike Diptic however Comic Life then let’s you add comic dialogue balloons and turn the pictures into playfully cartoon-looking images. It is a blast and a great way to tell a story or bring a smile to someone’s face.


There is one final task that I am increasingly happy doing on the iPad and while I won’t go so far as to say I prefer doing it on the iPad, doing this on the tablet is quickly moving toward parity with the Mac application. And what is it? Blogging. Yup, I’m finally getting the hang of using the WordPress app to write and edit posts on the iPad and that is something I never thought would happen.

Are there tasks YOU prefer to do on the iPad rather than a laptop or desktop? Are there tasks you can never see doing on the iPad? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

3 Comments on "I Would Rather Do it on the iPad"

  1. I took a trip overseas with just the iPad as my computer. The one thing I really wanted to do, which I could not, was to backup my SD card photos to my external hard drive. Luckily, all of the hotels I stayed in had a computer room, where I could do this backup, but it’s not my preferred solution.

    Backing up to the iPad is not good enough, as I tend to take raw images from my camera (instead of jpegs), which the iPad photo app ignores.

    Thus, my wish list is a file manager app that allows for a powered usb hub.

  2. Timothy Williamson | December 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

    Also, a note on the SD to iPad transfer dongle, we used it on a trip to New York City and it worked great. But the one problem I ran to appeared to be a bug (might only occur on iOS 4.x). Every night I would transfer only “new” images.

    After a few nights the iPad started telling me I didn’t have enough space to transfer the “new” images even though I had around 3GB’s free and was only transferring around 500MB’s of images. It appears the software was checking for enough free space to transfer ALL images instead of only the NEW images.

    The solution was to delete a few large games I had installed to free up even more space. And now in iOS5 I could delete the music that I had accidentally synced onto the iPad.

    Other than this, it worked great for me and was fun to review all the pictures we took that day on the big screen every night. 🙂

  3. Rodney St. John | December 15, 2011 at 7:44 am |

    Thanks.  I’m tempted by Reeder, but it seems more and more of my favorite RSS feeds are truncating their articles….I’m not complaining about Gear Diary or any of them, I’m just saying…..in today’s world of more truncated feeds, I’m going to need to connect to the internet and read the full article anyway….I don’t know if Reeder is worth 2.99 when I can do most of it just with GoogleReader in Safari.  
    Like I said, I’ve very tempted to purchase Reeder, but Google Reader works great and is free.  What am I missing with Reeder?

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