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.