iPad Cheat Sheet

by admin

I get asked all the time for advice when someone is considering buying an iPad. I decided to turn it into a page on my site that I refer people to. I’ll also keep it updated as things change.

Do I like it? Should you get one?

Yes, and yes. I honestly can’t think of a single person that has one that doesn’t love it. I use it much more than I ever thought I would (and I thought I’d use it quite a bit.) I have it with me all the time.

What do you use it for?

It’s not a replacement for a laptop, but you can do just about anything you want.

Here’s short list of what I use mine for:

  • Reading the news
  • Reading blog posts and websites that I follow
  • Reading books (I read more now than I have in years)
  • Reading and writing email
  • General web surfing
  • Watching videos (usually marketing related stuff that I download from the web)
  • Watching TV programs and movies via Netflix
  • Drafting documents (either as a text file or in an alternative to MS Word) if it’s short to medium, I’ll use the on-screen keyboard. If it’s longer, I’ll use the Apple Wireless Keyboard.
  • Managing my to-do list
  • Managing my calendar
  • Managing my contacts
  • Updating and referencing some custom databases that I use

Which one should I get?

All of them come wi-fi, which will give you a free internet connection. There’s no monthly cost for it. However, if you want to have an internet connection in places where you can’t get a wi-fi connection, you’ll want to get the 3G model.

I bought the 64 Gb 3G model. I typically recommend that people go ahead and get the 3G model. You don’t have to activate the 3G plan, but you can if you need it. The data plans are fairly reasonable. I think there’s a $15 a month plan that should be fine unless you plan on streaming a bunch of Netflix movies over the 3G connection.

I’d get the most memory that you can afford, but unless you want to be able to load a ton of movies, etc. on it, you’ll probably be fine with the 16 Gb or the 32 Gb model.

Protecting your iPad

I didn’t get AppleCare for my iPad. (AppleCare is Apple’s extended warranty.) It extends the warranty from 1 year to 3 years. However, I did get an insurance policy for it that covers theft and/or damage. I got the policy from SafeWare and I think it was around $50 a year.

I’ve gone through a lot of cases and I haven’t found one that I like as much as the Apple case. It’s a simple black folio, but it’s one of the better ones I’ve found.

General Use Tips

Apple has some very good help videos that will be very useful if you’ve never used an iPad or an iPhone.

iPad Guided Tours


When you’re looking at apps, try to find the ones with a little + on the name. That means it’s for both the iPad and the iPhone. You can also look for apps with HD in the name. In general, you don’t want an iPhone app on the iPad. It will run, but it will either be too small or you can blow it up to double size.

** I’ve started being much pickier about which apps I will allow to send Push notifications. I don’t want my iPad making noise all the time every time I get a message. For instance, I can’t get the NYTimes app to stop alerting me in the middle of the night.

Must Haves

  • NYTimes – when you install this, it will ask you if you want to allow Push notifications. Say NO. I have not been able to turn this off once you say Yes to it. It’s not a problem on other apps
  • USA Today
  • NPR
  • iBooks – I like the interface better than the Kindle app, but there just aren’t many books.
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Netflix
  • ABC Player
  • PBS
  • Digits – calculator
  • Google Earth
  • Accuweather
  • Amazon
  • Words with Friends HD
  • EverNote – this is a very useful app. Go to their website and watch the overview video to see what it does. EverNote Website
  • GoodReader – reads PDF and a ton of other file formats
  • Dropbox – this is a killer app, but it may not mean much to you unless you understand how to use it. You can learn about what it does here: Dropbox Website
  • Instapaper – very cool app – lets you save any articles/web pages as you’re browsing so you can read them later. Check out how it works: Instapaper Website

News Apps

  • NYTimes
  • USA Today
  • NPR
  • Pulse
  • Flipboard
  • Bloomberg
  • SkyGrid
  • Mashable
  • NewsRack


  • Netflix
  • ABC Player
  • Flixster
  • IMDb
  • PBS
  • TED
  • Pandora
  • Discover – interesting WikiPedia app


  • iBooks – As I said above, I like the interface better than the Kindle app, but there just aren’t many books.
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Marvel – comic books, but it’s a very cool app


  • Quickoffice – reads/writes Word, Excel, etc.
  • Pages, Numbers, Keynote – these are cool, but you may want to wait until you need them.
  • Simplenote – This is a simple text note app. It syncs to a web based note taking app.
  • Outliner – good outlining app – it syncs with a web based app
  • Other Note Apps – there are also a lot of apps that sync text based notes using
  • Dropbox. I’m using Elements and Plain Text, but I haven’t decided which I like best.


  • Epicurious
  • Weber On the Grill


  • Guardian Eyewitness
  • LIFE

Misc Utilities

  • Noterize – for marking up PDF’s – we’re using it for document review in the office.
  • Google Earth
  • iTranslate
  • Dragon Dictation
  • WebMD
  • Friendly – a better interface for Facebook

Remote Connection

  • LogMeIn
  • WinAdmin – RDC client. There may be better ones. This is just the first one I tried and it seems to work.
  • GoToMyPC – I haven’t used this, but I’ve heard good things about it.


I’ve tried all of them. Many of them crash frequently. These are the 2 that I use fairly regularly.

  • Accuweather
  • Weather – it’s a black and gray icon with a cloud on it


  • Amazon
  • Amazon WindowShop


  • Angry Birds
  • Plants vs Zombies
  • Chopper 2
  • Duke 3D
  • Tesla Toy
  • Words with Friends HD
  • Boggle
  • Scrabble HD

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