Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear iPeople Who Know iThings: I Need Your iPad Recommendations!

I need your help. The good news? No need to hide your wallets this time around! All I need is...information. Advice. Technical know-how. Which I am sorely lacking.

If you know me even a little, you know it is a divine miracle of sorts that I have a blog and occasionally even go on Twitter and um...yeah, that's enough to stretch me to my limits. But seriously, when I first started blogging with Jenny Jerkface almost three years ago, I used to email the pictures I wanted to use in my posts to her because I didn't know how to add them myself. For those of you who have not broken down and started your own blog: this is really super-easy to do and JJ was just trying to make sure the general tech-overload I was experiencing at the time didn't make me go fetal. It was touch-and-go for a while there.

Anyway, fast-forward a few years and I am now miraculously the proud owner of a shiny new piece of remarkable technology: an iPad 2!  [Please don't ruin this for me with your iPad 3 rumors, ok? I'm not tech-savvy but I don't live in a news-free bubble.]

 Me too me too me too!!!

I have lots of storage space and 3G aaaaand I have no fucking idea what to do with it. I need you all to help me keep this thing from becoming the world's most over-priced paperweight. I want to make it do all of the cool stuff that I know - I KNOW! - it is capable of, but I am afraid of cacking it up with a bunch of useless apps or doing something wrong. So far, the only thing I have added to it is Netflix (I know, I know - I'm amazing!). It should be noted that the only instructions that actually come with the iPad are on a 2" x 3" card with almost no text -

 [not kidding]

Not that I would actually read it if there was some sort of phone-book sized manual included, but it would have comforted me. So I need your recommendations and suggestions, please! I've asked everyone from my niece to my bloggy partners (well, the one who didn't just produce another human being, anyway - she's got her hands full at the moment) and it appears that everyone is too busy dealing with work and whatever it is that seven-year-olds do to get back to me.

Before you spring to to my rescue in the comments, please keep in mind that aside from an iPod Nano gifted to me on my 40th birthday by my lovely friends and Mr. Snarky, this is my first i-anything. I know they are supposed to be all intuitive and easy to use and stuff, but you are going to have to approach this as if you were explaining how an iPad works to an Amish kid during Rumspringa - I have no clue about anything, and I'll probably be drunk. Leave advice on your favorite must-have apps (or great tutorials!), the accessories that one simply cannot live without, and everything else I need to know to trick this baby out (and keep myself from killing it). I have been known to use my laptop to prop up the Sunday paper on the weekends. I need you.

Please don't let me and Steve Jobs down.

If this desperate cry for help doesn't pan out, I can always give it to the cat...


  1. Hahaha..I'm on my I pad2 writing's my bed time tool from reading ff..or a downloaded book to watching BD 1 2 or 3..or playing WWF or some other addicting thing like Pinterest like Family Feud. I love it..It doesn't do all that my laptop does, it doesn't have a flash drive, but I do watch Netflix on it and do my billing sometimes, and it's great to travel with. You'll find your way..I'm not a tech savoy person and this is also my first "I" something too..good'll grow to love it..xoxo

  2. @Double_dippin - YOU my good friend are going to have to go back and reread the part where I said please treat me like I have just time-traveled from the 16th century lol - PLEASE!!!

  3. I have had the iPad 1 and now the iPad 2 since each of their respective launches. Except for massive amounts of typing, I do everything on it (media consumption, email, games, writing, news/weather, video conferencing, etc, etc, etc).

    I have a great PDF document on using your the iPad and it's many features. Send me an email at PiedPiperOSIB(at)gmail(dot)com and I will forward you the PDF. Also, feel free to forward me any questions you may have.

    -Chris (PiedPiperOSIB)

  4. Here is a list of my must have applications for the iPad...

    - Kindle Reader (free)
    - Twitter (free)
    - Reeder (RSS Reader - $4.99)
    - Dropbox (free - I use DropBox for all my file storage)
    - Words HD (Words with friends client - $0.99)
    - DocsToGo (Office Suite - $16.99 for the premium edition)
    - EverNote (information management - free)
    - AngryBirds (game - $0.99)
    - TWC (Weather Channel App - free)
    -Skype (video conferencing and chat - free)
    - Facebook (free)

    I have many other games, cooking apps, writing apps, office suite apps, news applications, music programs, etc. If you have any questions about specific apps, let me know. If I have it I can give you my opinion.

    -Chris (PiedPiperOSIB)

  5. I wish I could help but the only i thing I own is my currently broken ipod (sad panda) I do look longingly at my sisters ipad though and hope that someday I can afford one so I can be as addicted to angry birds as everyone else. I also want to play this game called alchemy which is suppose to be lots of fun

  6. Typing this on my iPad. I freaking love it. Open the Safari icon (your browser), hit the icon on the top that looks like an open book. It opens a list that has the iPad user guide. The guide is very intuitive and easy to follow. Enjoy!!

  7. I have an iPad 1st generation. Well, it's actually my 11 year olds. I got it for him on his birthday last month and he LOVES it. He has autism and he can't talk, so the the iPad does it for him. It's changed his life and mine. Steve Jobs was a fricken genius!

  8. I. Love. My. Apple. Products.

    Whether it's my iPhone 4S or my iPad 2, I LOVE THEM.

    You absolutely NEED (all free):
    - Facebook for iPad
    - Twitter for iPad
    - Skype
    - Flipboard
    - Fruit Ninja - best game EVER
    - Kindle reader

    There's a great feature on the iPad 2 that is a split keyboard, so that if you're holding it up (like, above you as you lie in bed) you can tweet with your thumbs!

    Now. Fan fiction. THE GREATEST! I use iBooks (which is already on your iPad) and because I'm a picky bitch and only like completed fics, I download stories from FFn in PDF form.

    To do this, I use the FlagFic downloader ( which is SO easy you can't go wrong. Basically, you get the number of a fic from FFn, input it in the FlagFic site, and it will email you a pdf of your story.

    Then, open the email, save the attachment in iBooks, and voila! There you have instant fic. And if you're used to reading on a phone, THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

    Enjoy this technology. I LOVE IT. Did I mention that?

  9. I just got an iPhone (with no instruction manual). I am managing & loving it. I can not help you with your iPad however. Sorry!

  10. I own an iPad version 1 and they are pretty great. I don't utilize it the way it can be and since I don't bring work home with me, own a blog or have an addiction problem to Angry Birds, I've got it posted for sale on eBay so that I can just buy a new Kindle as it seems to be the only real thing I do with my iPad is read!!!

  11. You can read any fic using the broswer (I think it's called Safari, right?). Just go to Google and type in the name of the fic with "twilight fanfiction" at the end and it almost always gets you what you're looking for.

    @TwiKiwiFifty did you know about the fic dowloader that creates ebook compatible documents from not only ff but also from Twilighted or many other fic sites? All you need is a google account and you can download it directly to your computer (I don't have an iPad so I don't know how this would work on your iPad, but you could probably email it to yourself). Just go to:

    Although PDF is great, I like the ebook compatability so you can zoom and make the text bigger without all of the freaky scrolling etc that you have to do if the PDF text comes out too small (which is a bigger deal on my small Kindle that it would be on an iPad) and of course you can take advantage of any of the other nifty tools the ereaders have.

  12. @TwiKiwiFifty I just went to flagfic and it downloads to ebook readers too! And it doesn't look like you need a Google account. Way cool!!! I'm going to check it out now!

  13. What Amy said. She taught me that trick (Amy, ILY).

    Click on the App Store button and search for Facebook for iPad, Pandora for iPad (just log in and it loads your stations), and Twitter for iPad. Those are essentials. Skype is also free... I havent tried out FaceTime yet but I think it might be the same idea. You can also search for the following free and addictive games in the App Store: Angry Birds, Early Birds, Drop7, and Mahjong.

    The little switch on the top right side turns off auto rotate if that drives you crazy.

    You can use the Mail app for your email. I have it set up to receive my work email, and I use Safari for gmail. And of course, I always keep a Pinterest tab open. You can add websites to your bookmarks by going to the site and touching the button at the top that looks like a square with an arrow.

    It is a little tough to adjust to the no-buttons thing but it's worth it. Have fun!!

  14. We have an Ipad2, but I can barely wrestle it away from Hubs playing angry birds to use it.

  15. Both Kindle and ibooks also have a ton of free books that you can download. Just look for the "free books" tabs once you have downloaded both apps. I got the Kindle app from but you can probably get it at the App store too. Also at the App store are categories to browse-- you can chose from Free apps or enter in areas of interest. Of course, I have 200 kids games and books on mine, as I find it to be the best babysitter since Rachel moved out of unit 3J.
    Good luck! And enjoy!

  16. I LOVE ALL YOU GUYS!!! Thanks for all the help so far - I clearly need it! Will definitely be going through all the suggestions over the weekend as soon as I trick Mr. Snarky into putting the damn thing down for two seconds so that I can get my hands on it...

    : )

  17. You bitches are making me jealous. As much as I love my Kindle Fire, I kinda want an iPad now.

  18. I wish I could be more help, but I hardly ever see my iPad outside the hands of my 10 year-old. I think I downloaded 2 apps to it (I love Flipbook!), but when I went in to update those 2 apps it told me I was out of space. Whaaa? My kid filled it up with movies & games. It's still really great for online shopping though... Which is not a good thing for me.

  19. Just learning my way around my iPad2 as well. So far I fluv it! Will check out flagfic. Thx ladies. You are all so wise and good luck STY!

  20. iBooks has both the manuals for iPad and iPhone and they are great. Easy to read and follow and searchable!! I recommend them highly. Good luck and have fun!!

  21. First, the App Store is an awesome place to download games & such. I don't say "buy" because everything I've gotten from the app store is free. Here are some essentials.

    * Words with Friends - you know Rob plays this game.
    * Angry Birds - everyone loves that game for some reason.
    * Facebook - how I learned today that I'll be a grandma in 17 more weeeks

    Safari goes to the internet, so whatever you normally read/do on the net is right there.

  22. Does this mean we get a Twitarded app? I looked for that in the app store btw.

    I FLUV my twiPad and I'm a PC gal. Here are my recs:

    1 - Small button next to the volume can be changed in Settings to (a)prevent the view from changing as you rotate the damn thing or (b) Mute. Your choice.
    2 - Go to to make your iPad your twiPad. They sell Twilight skins for your iPad and you can also customize your own. Edward is currently guarding the apple on mine.Love the skins.Seriously cool.
    3 - iMessages - handy dandy IM system for apple users.Free and already on your iPad. Basically, an apple based Twitter/text service that allows for built in pictures.
    4 - FaceTime - Easiest video conferencing application I've ever seen. I even got my MOM to use it. Came free on your iPad. No charge for this service.
    5 - Photo Booth - Free app on your iPad. If you like Andy Warhol, you should like that funhouse picture app.
    6 - At the app store, get the following free apps:
    -If you have a wireless HP printer: HP home&biz ePrint. That will let you print from your twiPad.
    -WebMD - Cuz its handy.
    -Google Earth - Cuz its really cool.
    -Shazam - This app will identify the artist/song playing on the radio or tv commercial for you.
    -Dragon - This will type what you say. It is a voice to text app. Handy if you don't have free hands.
    -Google+ - FaceBook for everyone else.
    -tmSoft: White Noise - Awesome awesome app. Plays white noise & other soothing sounds AND has an alarm. Love this app. I was tempted by the iPad just for this app.
    -eBay - so you can easily buy Twi-ish.
    -LoseIt - This little app helped keep me on track to lose 20lbs. I still use it to maintain the weight loss.
    -Pandora - to take your music with you.
    -Netflix - Great and easy viewing. Who needs another tv anyway.
    -npr - why not?
    -Discovery - Cool ish.
    -Maps - who needs mapquest now?
    -Sodoku - This is really popular.

    BTW, if you buy Twi ebooks from the App Store (which will be stored in the iBooks app (free and installed on your twiPad), buy them separately rather than the 'group'. The price is the same and this way they appear in iBooks as separate books. You get to see all the covers. If you buy the group, all the books come under one cover.

    One other thing, TweetBot is a pay app (a couple dollars) but I've heard is the best twitter app for those folks with multiple twitter accounts. Evidently the free apps for this 'drop' or 'lose' tweets frequently.

    Ok, one more thing, if you want to rearrange the icons, tap+hold the app until they all start to wiggle. Once the apps wiggle you can move them around or to other pages or down on the main app bar at the bottom. To stop the wiggling, push the home button at the bottom.

    Ok, big braindump there. Sorry, but I hope it helps. Can you tell I'm kinda excited about my twiPad?

  23. @Lila and @MyAfterCar - you're welcome xxx

    @TwitardedMom - OMFG! via Facebook!

    @STY - just remembered to tell you, if you hit the home button twice, any apps you have open display along the bottom. If you hold your finger on them, they will wiggle with a little minus sign. If you hit that minus sign, it will close the app. This can save battery apparently, and also enables you to reset an app if they're frozen.

    If you swipe to the right in this screen, you can lock or unlock the auto-rotation too.

  24. I've emailed you all my suggestions. And you know where to find me if you have any problems or questions. All I can say is have fun sharing that iPad -- you'll be fighting over that thing all the time! Guarantee! My hubs is such a technotard, he calls it the InkPad. He's so cute.

  25. My son gave me & the hubs ipad2 for xmas. The laptop, RIP, just before xmas. Hubs has been using it mostly. I have my ipod, so I showed him some of the tricks that were mentioned above.

    I'm still figuring it out too.
    I like it,it's the 16G with wi-fi no 3G.

    Thanks STY & everyone!


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