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New Ipad, what apps to put on it?

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Posted by jamesofford
Dec 7, 2012 at 01:36 PM


Good morning folks:
I finally bit the bullet and bought an iPad. I had been vacillating for a while, and then one day when I was looking at the stacks of pdfs on my desk at work I decided it was time to go paperless. I bought one of the new iPads, the one with the A6 processor and retina display. I loaded Papers(The program) onto it and synced up with my Papers 2 library on my mac. After a while(2700 pdfs on the mac)the sync was done, and now I have all of my pdf on the iPad. I went in to look at a few papers and they look beautiful. I do a lot of immunochemistry and read a lot of immunochemistry papers and the color figures look magnificent on the retina display.  When I read a pdf on paper I write notes to myself, and highlight stuff. Papers will hopefully allow me to do that on the iPad.
All this was a preface to the question-What other apps do I put on the iPad? I have a calendar app(Pocket Informant)which works well. I also have an RSS reader(Reeder, I love this on the mac, not so much on the iPad) What about outlining apps? What about apps for information management?  Papers works great, but I also use Devonthink on the mac.
I will probably not do an significant amount of writing on the iPad. emails and such.
I realize that we have had discussions about a number of different apps over the last little while, and I could go back and look through what the thoughts of the group were, but I figured that others would be interested, and it would be nice to have a list.

Many thanks


Posted by Dr Andus
Dec 7, 2012 at 03:37 PM


Here are my favourite (most frequently used) iPad apps:
- GoodReader and PDF Expert - for reading, annotating PDFs. I use both because they have slightly different highlighting options and format the email export differently. I keep all my PDFs in GoodReader and use PDF Expert occasionally for multi-colour highlighting.
- Nebulous Notes - main text-only note-taker, synced with Dropbox (replaced Notebooks for iPad and native Notes).
- CarbonFin Outliner - syncs with web app and exports into Natara Bonsai.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary - replaced Dictionary.com.
- Notability: recently replaced Penultimate for hand-written notes and SketchbookX and TouchDraw for concept-mapping.
- iThoughtsHD - mind-mapping.
- imo.im - instant messaging via Gmail especially.
CHM+ Lite - for reading .chm help files.
- Dropbox
- Passwords+
- BBC iPlayer (UK only)
- 4oD (UK only)
- TV Guide (UK only)
- Met Office (UK only)
- Clock Pro - for world time
- The Radio

Native iPad apps I use heavily:
- Mail
- Safari
- Reminders
- Messages
- FaceTime
- Contacts
- Calendar

Have but rarely or no longer use:
- Informant Pro
- iA Writer
- DocsToGo
- Instapaper
- iAnnotate PDF
- Notebooks for iPad
- Toodledo
- Evernote
- Wordpress
- Wunderlist
- Inspiration
- Mindjet Maps
- Dictionary.com
- TouchDraw
- Google
- Mendeley
- and many more not worth mentioning…


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Dec 7, 2012 at 03:49 PM


I’ve been going through the same evaluation process on my iPad Mini.

I’ve been trying out almost any app that sounds interesting. So far, these are the ones I’m finding most useful (but please read this list as preliminary):

For outlining, I have found OmniOutliner most useful so far.

For mind maps, I really like iThoughts, though I am also using Mindomo, since it has a desktop app as well as an online version, so they all can stay in sync, but also allows you to keep local copies, so you’re not out of luck if you can’t get online.

For general personal information, I use PocketInformant.

For structured data, I use Bento, which syncs to the computer version nicely.

For keeping a daily journal, I’ve found Day One works really well, especially now that it has better search and tagging.

I’m still fussing around trying to find a good note-taking app. There are essentially three factors I’m considering as I work through this evaluation:

1. Ability to share with other apps, getting info from one app to another, and from the iPad to my MacBook and/or PC.
2. Local storage of information; no requirement for cloud access, the ability to share through the cloud.
3. Ease of use, including the added keyboard functionality for cursor control and other useful keys.

To some extent or the other all apps fall short in one of these areas. Here is a partial list of some that intrigue me:

- ThinkBook: has an innovative user interface and allows you to combine todos and notes in a hierarchy. Interacts with Dropbox.
- Catch: a nice, clean interface. Create todo lists or text notes. Sync to online app. Requires monthly subscription to get full use (which I have not done).
- Circus Ponies Notebook: Perhaps the most powerful of all these apps. Lots of things to like about it. What has killed it for me is that it is dreadfully frustrating to get the cursor into the text I want to edit.
- Evernote: This is, of course, the most logical choice, but for my own perverse reasons, I seem to keep rejecting it.
- Notebooks: I continue to want to make this work, but I don’t find the organizational interface convenient, and I had trouble with it freezing up when interacting with Dropbox (though they may have fixed this with the latest release).

So the search continues. I’ll be interested in reading about your search.

Steve Z.


Posted by Franz Grieser
Dec 7, 2012 at 04:29 PM



I am also still evaluating. What I use on a regular basis:

- Dropbox for syncing
- Index Cards and Notebooks for notes and new writing projects (beta-testdriving Texts for iPad and for Windows)
- Evernote for accessing my info database
- Office2 HD for editing Word, Excel and Powerpoint docs (I also bought DocsToGo but the app refused to open some of my LibreOffice/Word 2007 files)
- Goodreader for annotating PDFs
- Grafio for charting
- Bamboo Paper and Artrage for scribbling
- Creative Whack Pack by Roger von Oech for fun and inspiration


Posted by jamesofford
Dec 12, 2012 at 12:44 PM


Many thanks to all who replied. I am taking a look at the list and trying to decide what to put on my iPad. Once I have made some decisions and done some evaluations I will let everyone know what I decide on. Also, having the iPad for a little while, I can give my take on what works well and what doesn’t.(Obviously, this will be very idiosyncratic.)

On another, related, note-I was reading an article on ars-technica this morning about Microsoft porting a version of Office to iOS. The article is here:http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/12/in-bringing-office-to-ios-microsoft-is-playing-a-dangerous-game/

I was reminded in the article that Microsoft already has a version of Onenote on iOS. I had forgotten that. Has anyone tried Onenote for iOS? How is it? I used to run Onenote on my work computer(running Windows XP)and I liked it. There are lots of other outliners that run on the Mac, so I haven’t really missed Onenote. I might like to have a version on my iPad.



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