iPad Versatility: 5 Things You Probably Think It Can’t Do


The iPad and Misinformation

As demonstrated in a recent spate of Microsoft commercials, there is a lot of misinformation about the iPad out there. And I say that as a recovering Microsoft fanboy myself. I used to think that the iPad was slow, useless when it comes to “real” tasks, and only good for consuming media. Now I use it to maintain this blog, run my freelance writing business, create art, stay connected with friends and family, and play the occasional game.

Napoleon Holding an iPad
Need to prevent tactical disaster at Waterloo? There’s an App for that!

For some reason, there is still a pervasive idea that the iPad isn’t good for much. This idea is primarily held by people who have never actually used an iPad. If I could, I would hand each one of them their own iPad, walk them through a few basic tutorials, and let them go nuts. In the meantime, however, here are 5 things that non-iPad users probably think the iPad can’t do.

  1. Yes, the iPad can Multitask

  2. This is the myth that simply refuses to die (LINK). Microsoft and its legions of supporters will never cease to spread the lie that the iPad is incapable of doing two things at once. The truth is that the iPad can juggle lots of tasks at once – iOS is simply designed to have the user focus on one task at a time. If you’re looking for a device that will let you watch a Youtube video while you’re writing your term paper, look elsewhere. Frankly, the device itself isn’t doing you any favors.
    I wrote earlier this week all about how Multitasking actually hinders the quality of your work. However, the iPad can still do basic task switching. To switch back and forth between apps, you just need to use the “four-fingered swipe”gesture. There are even a few apps that can combine other apps and perform some pretty impressive productive multitasking, as you can see here.

  3. The iPad is Capable of Rich and Beautiful Presentations

  4. While it’s true that it won’t run Powerpoint specifically, there are some great alternative apps out there that frankly blow Powerpoint out of the water. Haiku Deck is a good example, and of course there’s Apple’s own Keynote. And if you have an Apple TV, it gets even better – you can stream your presentation directly to a big screen and control it with your iPad.

  5. Create Professional-Grade Art

  6. Serious artists use Photoshop, right? That may be changing, thanks to the iPad. It should come as no surprise that the iPad has incredible artistic capabilities. Apple Computers has a long history of catering specifically to the art community, and the iPad is no exception. I do understand why a lot of people still believe that the iPad can’t really be used by itself to create impressive pieces of artwork quickly. It’s because of the specs.

    The iPad boasts a mere 1GB of RAM. Most laptops are being offered with 4GB Minimum. This has lead some people to conclude that the iPad must be terrible because it has so little by comparison. However, iOS is specifically designed for the iPad/iPhone. This means that it is designed to do more with less. And when companies like Savage International decide that they’re going to make an App specifically using the iPad’s resources, great things happen.

    I’ve written a lot about Procreate before (LINKS), but it’s an incredible, affordable App that is worth writing about. The art that professionals have made using it is nothing short of stunning. Even the other Apps like Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage, and iDraw have helped people produce some impressive pieces.

  7. Print

  8. Full disclosure: you probably won’t be able to print with your iPad out of the box. However, there are a few Apps out there that can enable printing, and they’re fairly inexpensive considering the demand. I use PrinterPro, and if you’re interested, make sure you download the free PrinterPro LITE first to check for compatibility.

  9. Seriously Advanced Math

  10. That’s right – the iPad can do Calculus. There are a bunch of free Graphing Calculator Apps, and you may as well use your iPad instead of one of those big fat graphing calculators. In fact, the iPad is becoming one of the most valuable educational tools that you can buy. In Holland next month, they’re opening experimental schools where students will use the iPad as the primary learning device. My 3-year-old daughter absolutely loves learning Apps like Leo’s Pad, and since she loves Dinosaurs, we spend a bit of time in the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs App.

There are far too many other possibilities to go into here – people keep finding new uses for the iPad. In a way, that’s probably what makes the device itself so compelling. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, it can probably be done with the help of an iPad. What kinds of iPad tasks do you find surprise people the most? Leave a comment, or send me an email – editor[at]iPad4Life.net .

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