Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Top 10 Most Useful iPad Apps - Dec 2013

To me, a most useful app is one that I use virtually every day. It helps me get something done or provides useful information to me in a manner I can use. Since I have a vision disability, I need larger print so the apps I choose have a bias to this required feature. As a result, many very useful apps are not on my list if I cannot see the text well enough.

Personal Productivity

Mail Apple's included Mail App. This is a FREE Choice

I am in and out of e-mail on my iPad, smart phone and laptop all through the day. I prefer the iPad's included e-mail app as I like the way it allows me to have all of my e-mail accounts appear in a single mailbox view. This is easy and convenient. The app also allows me to make the text larger so I can see it better. Included on the iPad.

Week Calendar HD $2.99 New to my Top 10.

This is new to my list as I've used Pocket Informant Pro for my calendar and to do list for many years. However, I've dealt with small text all this time since the calendar was so good. Well no more. Week Cal HD is a terrific calendar AND I can enlarge the text to my liking. What a joy. I don't mind paying the $2.99 price since I can see it well and use it every day. My favorite view is the weekly as the current day of the week is slightly wider than the rest.

Nightstand FREE

Since I have to charge the iPad and I need a nightstand alarm clock with very large letters; Nightstand for iPad fits the bill perfectly. I just set the iPad up as my night stand alarm clock and plug it in to charge. The numbers are 1 3/4 inches tall, shows the weather for my location and I can even dim the screen so it doesn't light up the room all night.

There is a pay version ($2.99) that allows for your own background photos as wall paper and eliminates the ads and this is the one I use.

OneNote FREE New to my Top 10.

OneNote is part of Microsoft Office and has been around since 2003 and I've used it since then. I was one of the testers of the app for my company in 2005 and used it daily. OneNote is a note taking and note organization app. The greatest value of the app is that all notes are searchable. This means I never loose anything since I can simply search for a single word in the note and I will get a list of all notes that contain that word.You can even hand write notes if your device can handle it like the iPad and Android tablet. I haven't worked for 3 1/2 years but I still use OneNote. One of the best features of OneNote is that I have OneNote on my PC, iPad, Android Smart phone and Android Tablet and all completely synchronized. I write in one and the note appears in all.

Social Media

Tweetbot Alternative Twitter app FREE

I am in and out of Twitter every day and post a link to this Tablet Grandpa blog on Twitter. It took me a while to understand and then love what Twitter provides. It shows short and easy to read quips, information and links to what people are saying and I get to choose the people. See my article on how Twitter is useful.

I gladly paid the $2.99 since I can easily read it throughout the day.

Facebook FREE

I have a love / hate relationship with Facebook and Facebook replacement apps. Replacement Facebook apps have some extra features beyond Facebook's own app and I like that but none of them have everything. What irks me most is that I cannot enlarge the text enough to make it comfortable to read. I put up with it because I really enjoy staying in touch with my friends and family and communicating with some of them. Eventually, someone will make that perfect blend of features and ability to enlarge the text for me. Until then, love / hate continues.

News and Information

Feedly FREE

For reading news, blogs and other articles on the web; I've used an RSS (really simple syndication) reader to pull articles into a single place where I can skim and go to the detail if I choose. I've used Google Reader for many years but Google has decided to discontinue it in July 2013. Feedly also works on my Android smart phone too.

Pocket FREE

I love to read but it so difficult with my vision disability. I require large text and a nice contrast between the task and paper in order to see properly. As a result, books and newspapers are out. However, Pocket saves me because I can "clip" web sites, web articles and other news on the web to Pocket where I have the text set to very large on a very white background. Via my smart phone, I can "share" tweets from bloggers that will put the bloggers article right into Pocket where I can read it comfortably. Pocket also strips out web and blog advertising and just shows you the text and included pictures.

AP Mobile (Associated Press FREE

There are many news apps for the iPad, some of which I like very much but none allow me to enlarge text enough to make them comfortable to read.  AP mobile allows me to enlarge the text enough for easy reading. Also available for iPhone and Android smart phones.

Flixster FREE New to my Top 10

I've used Flixster on my Android phone but now I also use it on my iPad. It is my "go to" app to see what's playing at my local movie theatre. No more Internet search or newspaper--I can simply see what's playing close by or even see which theatre has the movie I want to see right now.

I am a bit of a weather junkie and have used many free and paid weather apps for the iPad. Beyond being easy to read, I love looking at radar images of weather. I can see a 2 week forecast as wells as an hourly forecast over the next 24 hours. Many free weather apps limit you to one or just a few weather locations but Intellicast allows many cities. Intellicast is my current weather app of choice but I continue to look at the latest and greatest weather apps.

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