iPad notes and comparisons (part 3)

Sunday, August 1, 2010
Okay, I've been tooling around the iPad App store and found some gems I'm going to be trying out and reporting back on. Keep in mind I'm reviewing this gadget from the perspective of a professional writer first, reader second, and nerdgasming geek third.

Also keep in mind I'm a speed touch typist, meaning the "keyboard" really pisses me off because it limits me to a two-fingered (more or less) hunt and peck system. Frankly, the iPad is never going to be a portable "replacement" for me, especially since I've got the Wi-Fi only version. (It's not practical for me for checking email when I'm on the road and not near a Wi-Fi source.) At home I run only PC laptops, not a Mac in sight. To interface and transfer files like ebook files I have to use the iTunes software. (When my iPad is connected to my wireless router via Wi-Fi, I can download apps directly from the Apple App Store, and apparently some of the file transfer programs I've got to experiment with allow direct Wi-Fi connection to my laptops but I haven't played with that yet.)

I have a BlackBerry, which all my mail funnels into. I've also used the note taking feature on it before to jot stuff down, or email myself notes. I've used it for reading e-books with the Kindle and Mobi apps too. (I need to see if there's a B&N app for it.) My calendar and contacts are synced automagically with my Google calendar and contacts.

e-Book apps:

iBooks - Default app, you can load .epub books (non DRMd) that you already have via iTunes, or .pdf files. (There's a switch in the interface to change modes.) You can also buy and download books from the Apple bookstore.

Kindle - Free app you download from the App store. Works pretty much like you'd think it does if you're familiar with how the Kindle app for PC and other devices works. Adds another virtual Kindle to your account.

B&N - Ditto. You can download your B&N books from your account into it.

Notetaking/writing/journal apps:

Notes - The default app that comes with the iPad and looks like a virtual legal pad. (The menu shows up automagically if you have the iPad rotated to landscape mode.)

Pages - Paid app, if you need a word processor, this is apparently the biggest one available right now. You can export to .doc files if you're normally running a PC with Word or Open Office.

Notebooks - Paid app. You can set up different "books" and add notes to them. You can set up passcode protection on some or all of the books/notes. Export to mail and other options. Lots of features.

Daily Notes - Snazzier interface, you can also passcode protect, set up tabs, but you're limited to one note per tab per day, so if you want a bunch of notes under one tab (say you have one for work notes) they'd all be under one day, whereas in Notebooks you can separate them by note and by "book." Lots of features.

EasyTask - App (can't remember if it was free or paid). To-do list management.

iBrainstorm - Haven't played much with this one yet, so can't give you an opinion on it.

MomentDiary - Basic journaling software.

Secret Diary - Another journaling software.


Calendar - Default included option. You can sync it to Google Calendar. (That's what I use, so I can't speak to other options.)

Informant HD - Paid app, uber-calendar for those needing more details, you can also sync it to Google Calendar (among others).


I use the default contacts, synced to my Google contacts.


I'm using the default mail, with my Google accounts synced into it.


TWC Max+ (The Weather Channel)
Connect (Memeo Connect Reader - lets me view my Google Docs)
Y! Messenger
GoodReader (pdf manager, but that was before I realized iBooks reads .pdfs)
BlogPress (mentioned in earlier post)

I've also loaded some various news apps, like BBC, Mashable, AP News, etc.

So for now, that's what I've got. I will continue to update stuff as I go through it in more detail.

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