I used to think iPads were useless toys parents bought to amuse their children, but no longer!
When the new iPad came out in March of last year, I had no plans at all to buy one. What would I use it for? I already had a new iPod Touch from Christmas and a 2010 Macbook Pro. I thought I was perfectly satisfied with what I had.
To my (gratified) surprise, one of my parents’ friends decided to gift the new iPad to me, because she was grateful for the help and support my parents gave to her. Not only did she pre-order it, but she also bought me a Smart Cover as well. It was an amazing gift, except for one thing - my dad took it over and I barely got a chance to touch it, let alone use it.
In August, I was more inclined towards the tablet and decided to look on Craiglist to see the current prices for a used iPad. Another surprise - I found somebody selling the new 64gb iPad for $300. Those were going for $700 in the Apple Store! I instantly seized on the deal, and since it seemed to be legitimate, I bought it.
Now, I’m glued to my iPad. My mom jokes that I go to sleep with my fingers still on the surface. I use it to take notes for school; I use it for surfing the Internet, for most of my social networking and gaming. I jailbroke it a couple weeks after buying it and loaded a bunch of different tweaks - theming, new gestures, even an emulator that allows you to play GBA games with a Wii remote.
Since I’m working on having longer posts, and such, I decided to list here a few of my favourite apps. It’s image heavy with full-resolution screenshots from my iPad, so read more if you’re interested!
By the way, some of the UI (navigation, icons, colours, etc) might look off because of my theme, especially for Textastic.
One game I’ve been absolutely addicted to is Kingdom Rush ($2.99). It’s a classic TD (tower defense) game - build towers of four different varieties, kill enemies, send in reinforcements, upgrade and sell and build. I’m a fan of strategy games like these because I’m absolutely terrible at action games that require accurate movement, such as Infinity Blade and its sequel. Make no mistake, I love those games too, but I just plain suck at them.
My favourite part, of course, is upgrading towers. There’s just something about it that gives me deep satisfaction, like I’m actually accomplishing something. Which of course, I’m not, unless you count wasting time gaming.
There’s twelve basic campaigns to complete the game, with an additional four post-game side-quests and three levels of difficulty per campaign. For each completed campaign, you earn three stars, which you can use to boost your tower stats or activate special heroes. Each additional difficulty completed earns you another star. You also earn crystals from killing enemies that can be used to purchase special items - extra lives, additional gold to bring to the field, etc. Addicted gamer that I am, I already finished the first twelve campaigns, but playing through the difficulty levels is taking some time.
I can never keep a planner, and in high school, mine was almost always blank within a few months of starting school. This time, I’m trying to keep one on my iPad instead. iStudiez Pro ($0.99) keeps track of my schedule, professors and group project members, and grades. I haven’t explored all its features yet, but it’s definitely coming in handy now that school has started for me!
I love Evernote (free). It’s easy to use and easy to take notes with, especially the WYSIWYG editor. Markdown doesn’t some automatically to me, and I don’t need a fancy editor with fonts and colors and such, so it’s nice to have simple headers, subheaders, and tabbed bullet lists.
The only thing I’m not crazy about is having to pay more to access my notes offline, but I figure that I’m in a wifi area nearly all the time, so I don’t need to worry about it too much. Worse come to worse, I can always copy the notes to another app to study while I’m on BART or something.
Last but not least, Textastic ($9.99). I use this to update and work on my websites. It’s a feature-rich code editor with syntax highlighting and FTP. I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I’ve been using it for so far. I love being able to code on the fly, and this is the perfect app. I was considering purchasing Diet Coda, since I use the regular desktop version of Coda, but it was twice the price with no offline editing. This is a much better buy.
I’m so in love with this thing right now. Best purchase I’ve ever made, by far. It still doesn’t replace a real computer, but it’s perfect for taking to school with me when I don’t want to lug my 4lb+ laptop around… which, strangely enough, wasn’t that heavy six months ago. Huh.
I keep saying, “Wow, Textastic baby” in my head. Earlier, I said it out loud by accident and my sister gave me a funny look. Note to self: tone down the k-pop.