You’ve just begun exploring the capabilities of your brand new iPad, and you wonder how exactly this device can best used. Can it take the place of a computer, and if so, how? Here we’ll look at the key tasks you may want to do on the iPad instead of on your computer, as well as the best apps to make that possible. So slip your new tablet into the best iPad Pro 12.9 case there is available— or another case, if you’ve got a different model—- and start computing!
Messaging is one task best suited to an iPad or other portable device. When you’re on a computer, you’ve got to sit in one spot to stay with a conversation, but with an iPad, you can take that conversation anywhere. Need to step into the kitchen to watch the rice? No problem; just take the iPad along. The premium-level display on your iPad is perfect for viewing any pictures and videos that you might be sent, and you can use either forward-facing or back-facing cameras to take your own pictures.
There are dedicated apps for any messaging service you might want to use, and they all function smoothly on the iPad— in many cases, with less lag than the analogous computer app.
2. Video Calls
Another task you will probably never go back to a computer after using your tablet is video calls. Whether you use FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or an alternative service, video calls on your iPad are an optimal experience. The Center stage allows you to remain the focus of your forward-facing camera’s image, even when you’re elsewhere in the room, and high sound and image quality allow for an almost immersive experience. It’s almost like you’ve got that other person with you in the room.
The iPad may not look like a traditional camera— or even like that phone that has been your camera substitute for the last ten years— but it turns out it can take some pretty good pictures. The main downside is the form factor— it might be a little large to hold out when you’re trying to frame that perfect shot.
That said, you don’t have to squint to see everything in the room, and if you’ve got a good case with flexible angle stands, you can use it as a tripod of sorts. Apple’s Camera app is best for general-purpose photography, but if you want to fine-tune the aperture and other higher-level settings you can also download a variety of pro cameras in the app store.
2. Photo Editing
While the iPad might not be the go-to for photo editing for professional photographers, dealing with thousands of pictures on a regular basis, it’s got the power necessary to do any photo editing you might want to do on a smaller scale. Find the apps that suit your level of editing, then explore what they can do on your tablet.
Facetune and Snapseed are great for basic edits geared toward social media users. Adobe Photoshop Express is also optimized for the iPad and allows you to use touch gestures to get done what needs to be done. Of course, your iPad’s native iPhoto app also allows you to make some basic corrections and filtering as well as do all the organization you might want to do.
Do pictures fall flat for you, and do you prefer the action and motion of video? Use iMovie to mix clips, music and transitions to create a presentation worthy of anyone, or try the free app Magisto if you’d like to play around with filters on your videos.
5. Internet Browsing
Why sit at your office chair, gleaning information from the web, when you could be doing the same thing in your recliner, deck chair, or out at the beach? The iPad is the ultimate portable internet browser, and it performs as well as the desktop version on all counts.
Which internet browser you choose to use depends on your preferences. The default is Safari, which works decently well. You also have the option to add Chrome, Firefox, Dolphin, or Opera Mini.
Apple bundles their iWork office suite with iPad OS, so you’ll have access to a comprehensive suite of office apps right from the get-go. Numbers are the Apple answer to Excel, Pages does everything Word ever did, and Keynote helps you create and edit PowerPoint presentations.
If you’d prefer to stick with the Windows office apps you’ve used and love, you can download these for the iPad as well. Or experiment with third-party offerings, like Textilus, Libreoffice, or the omnipresent Google Docs.
Your iPad is a handy reader and can set up to handle any type of ebook—epub, Mobi, or even pdf. If you’re already set up within Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem, you’ll want to download the Kindle app and sign in with your Amazon user name. All your purchases will immediately populate within your iPad, and you’ll be able to make new purchases on Safari on your device.
There is also a Nook app, where you can download your Barnes and Noble books. If you’re not committe to any one ebook reader yet, start out with Apple’s own Books app. A clean interface and distraction-free reading experience make it a great book reader for most users, and you’ll be able to move books from your computer to your iPad using iTunes.
Of course, this is only the beginning of what you can use your iPad for. If you’ve got a modern version of the iPad Pro, your tablet is as powerful as a computer. Pair it with a keyboard, and you can use it for pretty much anything you’d ever want to do.
The only exceptions might be applications where screen space is everything, and where you’d usually spread your workflow over two to three monitors. Die-hard gamers may sometimes prefer to sit at a regular desktop computer, and photographers may appreciate the bulk tools they have grown to love on their traditional form factor computers. But for those of us who use computers for causal browsing, social media, and maybe a little creative work? The iPad will do all that and more.