Google Productivity Pad: iPad for College Part 3: Useful Apps

Monday, September 16, 2013

iPad for College Part 3: Useful Apps

Previously I discussed apps that are really essential to have if you are using an iPad at college, especially if you are not also using a laptop. Also in this series I discussed setting up an iPad for college and how to survive without Microsoft Office. Now I would like to talk about some apps that are useful to have which did not fit into the necessary category. 

Prezi -- Some people love it, some people hate it, most people just haven't got a clue how to actually use it. For those who will put in the time to learn to do a Prezi well, it is an excellent piece of free collaboration and presentation software. Unfortunately the iPad version still lacks a lot of features from the online version, but it is good for beginning projects and brainstorming, but you will have to add the details from a browser version later. The iPad version is also great for presenting if you have an iPad to projector adaptor.

Adobe Reader -- If your college experience is anything like mine, you will read more PDFs than you can count. I use to read these all on my laptop in the early days, the iPad or a Kindle provides a much better experience. While the iPad can open up PDFs by default and can also send then to iBooks, I prefer to use adobe reader for its annotation abilities and easy to use interface. 

iMovie -- If you are doing a lot of video production you are going to want something with a much bigger screen than either sized iPad, but if you just want to do some quick work on the fly than you will probably want this app. 

Penultimate -- This is the sketch pad notebook app made by Evernote. It is a fairly simple app, which is on of the really nice things about it. It is great for taking handwritten notes electronically. It has options for blank, lined, or graph paper,so it is useful in many different classes and settings. All you notes get saved in Evernote which does text recognition on your hand writing.

Skitch -- Another Evernote produced app, Skitch is for annotation. It allows you to draw over the top of pictures, screenshots, or PDFs. It makes explaining things really easy. I use it annotate most of the screenshots I share on this blog.

LinkedIn -- Most college students are using Facebook and Twitter, but LinkedIn is another important network that they should begin to build a strong professional presence on. Much of the business world is moving online and LinkedIn serves as your virtual, searchable, online résumé. They have been making a lot of improvements to the app over the past few months, it still is not fully fuctional, but it is getting there.

Wikipedia -- Professors may not all be agreed on Wikipedia yet, but students mostly are. It is probably the best place to gain quick information in terms you can understand, it can give you a summary and explanation of almost anything, often better than your teacher. There are a lot of different apps that can hook you into Wikipedia, choose one that you like, I use wikipanion.

iTunesU -- sometimes you just need a little extra explanation about a subject, or you can't take a course because you don't have time, but you would love to learn the about it. iTunesU has thousands of lectures that can help you, and they are all free! 

Well, this is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to start. Next in this series I will be talking about accessories and peripherals to use with the iPad in college. 

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Thanks for reading, and remember, live better.

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