iPad Tips

Sunday, January 23, 2011, 10:59 PM

I’m going to Macworld this coming week and, because I have had a really bad case of the flu since Christmas, I am now running around trying to catch up on everything in the two days I have before I leave.

I have the iPhone app I need to record podcasts to send home to CapMac, my home Mac users group. It is called FiRe and if it is good enough for NPR it certainly is good enough for me.

I know how to take high definition photos using my iPhone. There is an HDR button at the top middle of the screen when you are focusing your picture. Make sure it says HDR on. HDR pictures have much better clarity than regular pictures. I know how to take movies. I have my Navigon GPS for when I get lost. I will get lost.

So me and the iPhone are are all ready. BUT….

I’m not taking my 15 inch MacBook Pro this year. It’s heavy. I’m 5’3″ tall and 70 yrs old. After 5 days it is really heavy. Nevertheless, I have to write columns and reviews for The Mac Observer while I am there. That means I will be using my iPad for all that work.

I decided I should look for some things to make my life easier and to make sure I could do what I needed to do.

The first thing had to do was my schedule and all the press interviews I had committed to. I put them in a nice database using the Apple database application Numbers. The iPad version of Numbers is $9.99. I emailed a copy of my schedule (in the Numbers format) to myself and opened the email from my iPad. Without Numbers installed on my iPad I could read the database just fine, but only as an email attachment. But once I installed Numbers, I immediately had the option of opening the attachment in Numbers which transferred the database to iPad.

The next thing I wanted to be able to do was iChat. I use iChat a lot to communicate with my kids who work places where they can’t get phone calls, but are allowed to iChat. I started looking on the iTunes store and found an app that is just like iChat (the typing part, not verbal or video). If you already have an iChat ID, you just enter the ID and password the first time you open it, and you are good to go. Just make sure you don’t also have it open on your Mac at the same time. The app is called IM+ and there is a free version and a paid version ($9.99).

The last thing I wanted to do was have the option of watching movies on my iPad should I end up with long waits in the airport like last year or in my hotel room. I went to the iTunes store and although there were no movies I really wanted to see, there were some TV series that I did want. I discovered that you can’t move rented shows to the iPad, but fortunately for me, I had some TV series I had previously purchased and not had time to watch, so I moved those episodes to my iPad.

It is really quite easy. Connect the iPad to your computer and click on the iPad icon when it appears. Then find the appropriate tab (movies or TV shows) and click on it. Put a mark in the box next to “Sync Movies” or “Sync TV Shows” as appropriate and then put checks next to the ones you want to download. At the bottom of that window, click the Sync button.

Warning: These are going to take up lots of space on your iPad. You can easily see how much by checking the capacity bar at the bottom of the window.

So, I think my iPad an my iPhone and I are ready to go. Now if I can just decide how many pairs of cords I will need……


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