This is an idea that was given to me from a lovely Patreon Supporter. You can follow or even put a pound in here.
There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t use the iPad.
But six weeks on with iOS 11 still installed, I thought I’d share what apps I frequently use.
All of these apps can be used on an iPhone as well, but I find them better suited to the iPad, alongside some methods I use to better differentiate how I use it from the iPhone.
All the posts on Outpost originate from the iPad. Once the drafts are at a good point, I then move to the Mac to edit the placement of some lines and images.
But during this, I use the below apps in some way, whether its a short period of procrastination, a mind-block, or having two apps run side by side.
This is where all my thoughts and drafts live. If an idea crops up for a new post or an existing draft, it goes here.
IOS 11 has helped it with pinned notes, so I can easily go back to them when needed.
The reason why the screenshot is showing Notes in split-view is simply because, more often than not, I will suddenly think of a sentence or a section to an idea, and quickly launch it into split-view from what I was previously doing on iPad.
For example, I’ve thought of an idea for ‘The Outpost Show‘ as I was on Twitter and watching this recent Tomb Raider II speedrun, and I swapped Twitter for Notes to quickly jot it down, and switched back to Ulysses from the dock to resume a draft.
This is a newcomer. In all honesty, I was put off by the price it offered, but since it started offering a subscription, I took part in the 14 day trial, and I was convinced.
The layout is cleaner and sharper than what IAWriter offered, and the ‘goal’ feature is incredibly useful. I can set a word goal, and it will let me know when I’ve met or exceeded it. This helps keeps the post in control, and even helps me when editing it.
Years ago, I had a massive DVD collection. But I wanted rid of it, so a weekend was given of me backing them up all to a hard drive, so I could watch them on my MacBook when needed. Fast forward to today, I wanted to take advantage of the massive 256GB storage on this iPad, but video apps that I had used, were awful. Some wouldn’t play a file, others demanded an in-app purchase to play certain videos with codecs, while others had terrible UI to navigate, with no Picture in Picture or Split-View.
Just when all hope was lost, I came across a post on MacStories, on how a video app had been updated. When you load the videos onto Infuse, it renames all of the videos, gives it a thumbnail or a poster, and shows it in a concise list, without you doing a thing.
This also has a subscription for a fiver a year. This ‘Pro’ version downloads subtitles, allows for Dropbox integration to easily download files to the iPad, and lots more.
The UI is great, and it saves me a hell of a job to find decent images for all the videos.
Self-explanatory, but the fact that it still doesn’t have Picture-In-Picture mode baffles me.
Previous to this, I would download an app called ‘Comic Flow’, and attempt to read someone’s scanned images of comics of Marvel. Some would be of such awful quality, it wouldn’t be worth trying to read. Which lead me to this app.
It was recommended to me by a Nottingham local, and a devoted fan of a show called Baywatch Nights. They had informed me of a free trial for the first month, and then it was £8 after. I tried it, and soon after I was sold. I’ve read so much ‘Spider-Man’ since 1962 and I love it. The images of the comics are of incredible quality. I can easily browse comics from ‘X-Men’, to ‘What If?’ and have them ready to read when needed.
The only complaint I have, is sometimes it can be slow to download a comic, even when I’m in a strong 4G area. But otherwise it’s a great app to have when you’re on a train.
This is an odd one. Odd in the fact that I prefer using this on iPad than I do on iPhone, where I use the official Twitter.app.
To me, it’s better made for the bigger screen, where I can see an ‘Activity’ pane of ‘likes’ and ‘mentions’, while I can switch to other accounts easily.
If I use Twitter’s own app, there’s so much wasted empty space, it doesn’t use the iPad’s bigger screen well.
The price of £9.99 may put some off, and I suspect a new version is on the horizon by Christmas time, but for what it offers, especially if, like me, you have more than one account to manage, the app and its UI makes it easy to navigate.
This is essentially a Webpage wrapped up in an app, but for WhatsApp, very useful and justified. It has Split-View and notifications enabled, so it allows me to go into all of the conversations I have on my iPhone as long as they’re both connected to the internet. When I’m sitting down and writing posts like this, it’s easier to bring up the dock and reply to someone.
Sometimes the notifications don’t work, but I suspect that’s more of an iOS 11 Beta bug, as notifications have been temperamental on other apps anyway. But regardless, it’s very easy if the phone is charging in another part of the house and I’m on the iPad.
Even though I have this on the iPhone, I use it so much more on the iPad. It works exactly as it does on its website on a laptop, but with added benefits on iPad. It has Picture-in-Picture mode, so I can watch the above as I’m using two apps or just Notes for instance.
Watching speed-run attempts on Twitch are very fun to watch for me, especially when its the Winter and Summer events of ‘Games Done Quick‘ each year. On the iPad it makes it easier for me as I’m writing a draft.
These eight apps justify how I use the iPad. Before it, I’d try and use some workflows on the Mac but it would be more of a struggle. Now it’s great in arranging the writing, alongside reading and watching what I want to, but in decent quality.
At best, I only use a Mac three times a week at best now. If iOS 12 cuts the chord even more, the usage could go down even further for me.