Workshop Review: Our Favorite iPhone & iPad Apps

by Patrick Kammermeyer on June 10, 2010

This post is a quick summary for those of you who either missed this workshop, and/or would like to review some of the material that we covered and distributed in the workshop.

Projecting From the iPad

The AverVision CP150

First, it must be noted that there were some challenges in using the iPad (in its current stage of evolution) as a presentation tool for a workshop. To help present from the iPad in this workshop, we used a document camera (AverVison CP150) checked out from MDS. This turned out to be quite useful, as it allowed us to simultaneously connect video-out to the projector, and video-in from the iPad. In this way, we could push a button to display from the few apps that currently project from the iPad, and then push another button to display the apps that currently do not project directly from the iPad. The quality of the projection in the second case obviously suffered, but it was adequate.

Currently, the iPad can natively project the following apps:

  • Keynote (in slideshow mode)
  • YouTube
  • Videos
  • Photos (in slideshow mode)

We also demonstrated a newly discovered iPad application called VGA Expedition ($1.99) which allows you to directly project web browsing. 2Screens-Presentation Expert is another application we talked about which not only projects web browsing, but also allows you to project a large number of additional file formats (see our iPad Projection Guidelines handout for details).

We noted that there is speculation that when the new OS for the iPad is released in late Summer, there may be an increase in the  number of apps that will project.

Our Favorite Apps

We quickly demonstrated a few of several apps we find to be both useful and entertaining. Here’s a brief description of a few of those we demonstrated:

Dragon Dictation (Free)
Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon NaturallySpeaking that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, itʼs up to five times faster than typing on the keyboard.

iBird Explorer Western ($9.99)
iBird Explorer Western is a must-have ebook for every birder and nature lover of California. A comprehensive compendium of identification, behavior and habitat information, iBird offers hand drawn illustrations, professional photographs, range maps, playable calls and more for 828 birds of the western states of North America and Hawaii.

Speak It! – Text to Speech ($1.99)
Future Apps presents Speak it!, the highest quality text to speech App available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and now iPad! Speak it! utilizes the same voice synthesis engine that has made iSpeak translator apps such a great hit. The text to speech engine is so powerful, it reproduces speech which is clear and natural sounding.

Pages ($9.99)
Pages is the most beautiful word processing app ever designed for a mobile device. Itʼs the application you know and love for the Mac, completely reworked from the ground up for iPad. Documents look stunning on the bright, vivid iPad display. And writing is a dream with the large onscreen keyboard. You can use Apple-designed templates and Multi-Touch gestures to lay out letters, flyers, brochures, reports, and more. With Pages for iPad, itʼs never been easier to create great-looking documents, all with the touch of a finger.

Mocha VNC Lite (Free)
Mocha VNC provides access to a VNC Server. Using your iPhone or iPad, you can connect to a Windows PC or Mac OS X and see the files, programs, and resources exactly as you would if you were sitting at your desk, just on a smaller screen.

Star Walk ($2.99)
Indispensable for amateurs and professionals, as well as for kids who are eager to learn, Star Walk will guide you through the night sky in style. Star Walk’s digital compass allows you hold the iPad up to the sky and see the stars and constellations in that position.

Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search (Free)
No keywords, or typing—just draw on your screen with your finger to identify where you want to search. Youʼll get a birdʼs eye view of your restaurant results, all conveniently located near your destination.

For a full list of our favorite apps, see the Our Favorite iPhone & iPad Applications handout.

In the Fall we plan to give a more comprehensive workshop on the iPad, including any new features introduced in the forthcoming OS version. We hope to see you there.

Workshop Handouts

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