Mobile Learning‎ > ‎

Collection of iPad Apps

After two months of using my iPad for administrative work, instruction, presentations, practical everyday use, and entertainment, see also my related post on what I really like, what needs improvement, and what so far are disappointments. Below are a growing collection of free and paid apps that I use most often. Unless otherwise indicated all apps below are designed specifically for the iPad. Please comment and let me know what apps are important to you!

Dragon Dictation - Converts what you speak into surprisingly accurate text. The process is simple: press the recording button at the top of the screen and start speaking - slowly and distinctly with minimal background noise works best. Dragon Dictation processes and converts your speech through online servers and displays the converted text on your iPad screen, which you can either edit, copy, or e-mail. Although Dragon Dictation limits speech conversions to 60 seconds at one time, you can record more sessions to append and build text of a complete recording. You can separate sessions by creating new notes. Press the information button at the bottom of your iPad screen to bring up a help screen that provides tips for effective recording and shortcut speech commands to format your text (e.g. "next paragraph"). Additional tips are available athttp://www.dragonmobileapps.com.

Voice Memos – Not to be confused with Apple's own Voice Memos app, which is only available for iPod touch (2nd generation or higher) and iPhone. Although the app is not free (it costs $1.98 - $.99 for the app plus $.99 for the share memos add-on), it is elegant, easy-to-use, saves files as compressed .m4a audio files, allows simply text tagging, and export by e-mail and iTunes file sharing. E-mail exports are limited to approximately 20MB or 40 minutes of recording. Unlike Apple's native app Voice Memos cannot record in the background and does not provide a tool for trimming recordings on the fly.

USAToday Reader. An app browser designed for elegance, stunning images, simple navigation that allows you to easily read the latest in USA News, Sports, Money, and Life. When you open each category in Reader, the information is updated locally on your iPod. You can then take these stories with you to read off-line - simply ignore any not-connected error and continue reading.

NetFlix Subscribers have essentially the same functionally as the full web browser version (manage your NetFlix DVD and Instant queues, view Recent activity such as when your next DVD's will ship, etc.) and can instantly watch TV episodes and movies streamed from Netflix on their iPad in full screen. The quality is excellent and the experience is superb.

Evernote If you have not already done so create a free Evernote.com account and download the Windows or Mac desktop application. (The web browser works well enough when the full application is not available.) Use Evernote to create notebooks of just about anything digital that you can imagine: images, audio uploads, PDF's, web clippings, and of course your text formatted notes. The Evernote apps allows you to access your notes online and add text, voice notes, and images from your iPad Photo library.

Dictionary
 accesses the Random House Unabridged Dictionary online providing basic definitions with sentence example and word origin. The audio pronunciation tool is embedded in the definition and plays in the background while you read. Dictionary includes a Thesaurus and the Word of the Day.

DropBox – Go to http://dropbox.com and create an account. Install the software on your PC or Mac and place documents that you want to sync to your server account (2GB) into the Dropbox folder. When you edit a file locally it syncs to the server. If you install DB on another personal computer, then it will sync from server to the DropBox folder on that computer. Dropbox displays iPad compatible file formats (e.g. images, music, Office and iWork documents, rtf, and html) stored on your share and provides tools to open them into apps such as GoodReader, Keynote, and Pages. Read these top five uses of Dropboxincluding copying PDF documents to a special folder (e.g. ebooks) and then marking them as favorites for off-line reading.

Twitterific There are many Twitter clients for iPhone and iPad and choice is often based on personal preference in addition to features. I like Twitterific because it is visual attractive, easy-to-use, and includes . For example tweets are color-code by mentions, replies, direct messages, and personal tweets. Clicking a tweet's embedded URL opens the page within Twitterfic's own pop-up browser. Clicking the Done button returns to the active tweet. 

Speak-It! Type or copy and paste text in the "text to say" window and have a synthesized voice speak back to you. You can choose from two American voices (good quality) and two British voices (better quality), increase or lower the volume, and adjust the playback speed. Text can be saved as phrases for future retrieval and then exported as a TTS audio file, which can be e-mail for storage and retrieval. 
There are a number of application for Speak It! including hands-free listening of online news, playing back text for those who are unable to speak, and assisting auditory learnings with reading text. For long text such as chapters and books, I recommend a solution such as iSpeak It and iTunes.

WordRefer – Web app that accesses thehttp://wordreference.com web site. Excellent resource for translating words between languages (e.g. English, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish, and Japanese), providing many example idiomatic expressions based on the word, and conjugating verbs. Users can also join a Discussion forum to pose questions about word usage in a given language. The app's design is average but provides an excellent reference and communication tool for language learners.

SonicPics for iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad (although not yet native) is an elegantly simple, all-in-one mobile solution for creating audio slideshows — still images synced with audio as they relate to each image — that provide enhanced online and mobile learning opportunties for students as compared to audio only media. The slideshows can be exported as QuickTime chapter videos or uploaded directly to YouTube for instant sharing! SonicPics uses the iPad's built-in microphone and imports images from your iPad's Photo library. Even though the app is not yet native, SonicPics runs without issue on an iPad, which is a natural for annotating audio to images because of its larger screen and built-inmicrophone. For detailed information on SonicPics read Creating Collaborative Audio Slideshows.

GoodReader - By now most everyone is familiar with GoodReader and would agree that it is the best available PDF reader for iPad.

iBooks - Apple's ebook reader that requires a separate download with any new iPad. You can read, browse, purchase, or upload for free from a large library of books in ePub and PDF format. Be sure to install the latest update, which includes a note tool, flexible color highlighting, and bookmark syncing with iPhone/touches running iOS 4.

Keynote - I am not sure Keynote is worth the $9.99 price for creating Keynote presentations from scratch on an iPad, although I need to devote more time to master the touch commands that mimic the full version. However, Keynote for iPad easily and quite accurately imports PowerPoint (Windows or Macintosh) and Keynote (Macintosh) presentations, especially when used with the Dropbox app. From your PC or Mac save your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to a Dropbox folder (e.g. presentations), open Dropbox on iPad, load the presentation, and choose Open In Keynote, which automatically imports the file. The process takes less than one or two minutes depending on the size of your presentation file. The optional iPad VGA adapter allows you to project your Keynote presentation, although it must be in play mode.

Reeder is arguably the best and most full featured RSS Reader for the iPad, although app is $4.99. The iPhone version must be purchased separately. Reeder is actually a client for Google Reader and provides options for sharing through e-mail, Twitter, and Delicious bookmarking.

Droppler is an iPhone native app that manages Drop.io shares. (Drop.io is an easy way to share and display-play published documents such as PDF documents, podcasts, and video clips.) You can display documents, upload images, URL's, and notes, and create RSS feeds of your drops. I was reluctant to include this app for iPad because of a number of incompatibility issues (audio recording and Blog do not work, and side view display is buggy) but I still find Droppler a useful tool. Update! The developer is working to fix the Blog button crash (designed to display items in reverse chronological order) and will have a new iOS 4 compatible version soon. Plans follow to create an iPad native version.

NPR Music is one of the most recent apps that I have downloaded and already I have had the pleasure of discovering, reading about, and listening to several new music groups. You can explore genres by Rock/Pop/Folk, Jazz & Blues, World, Classical and Hip Hop/R&B and browse by Programs and artists. There are live performances, reviews, and interviews to supplement what you listen. Create your own playlist of performances that you want to quickly retrieve.