The New iPad: Ten Best Productivity Uses

A while back, upon the release of the iPad 2, I wrote a post titled “iPad 2: Ten Best Productivity Uses.”

Well, a new iPad is upon us… and it is called the iPad 3… I mean, the new iPad!

New iPad, New Uses

The new iPad builds on the foundation that the iPad 2 had set as the standard in the tablet market.

Apple continues to evolve their products at a truly breakneck speed.

The new iPad brings some great new features to the table including:

– a new Retina Screen

– 4G Connectivity

– a graphics processor that is 2X’s as fast as before

– a new 5MP camera

These improvements, while seemingly subtle, take the iPad to a whole new level of enjoyment and use.

Top 10 Productivity Uses

After using the new iPad for a few days, here are the Top 10 Productivity Uses:

1. True Mobility – One of the biggest features of the new iPad is the 4G connectivity. It does not disappoint. 4G LTE finally provides the mobile device experience that we have longed for. A mobile device that has true internet speed no matter where you are. Not some slow pokey connection. In fact, 4G LTE screams. Here is a speed test on the AT&T LTE network from Atlanta. As you can see, it was much faster than my WiFi connection via my local cable provider.

2. Retina Screen – Apple has been touting the Retina Screen on the new iPad. How good is it? It is amazing. In fact, it is so sharp, that it is subtle. Some of the interfaces are so crisp that your eyes do a double-take. It makes reading a joy. Interestingly, after a while my eyes adjusted. Just as I was starting to doubt the screen, I looked at my iPad 2 and could immediately see the difference. Reading on the iPad 2 was no longer fun after the clarity of the new iPad screen.

3. Email Machine – Email has always been a strong point of the iPad. Many people find it easier and more productive to process email on the iPad vs. a laptop. There is just something magical about touching your email. The Retina Screen and 4G combine to make the new iPad the ultimate email device.

4. Reading Device – It should not surprise you that I am a fan of reading on the iPad. From books to RSS, the iPad has become my main source of content review. (See: Why I no longer buy books.) You will want to read even more on this screen. The letters almost look fake, they are so sharp in some areas.  Amazon has already released a new version of its Kindle App and it is simply wonderful.

4. Laptop Replacement – Many people are starting to carry just an iPad, even when they are on the road for a business trip. For connectivity, communication, and reference the iPad wins hands down versus a laptop. This is doubly true when you compare size and battery life. (Look for a coming post on “Replacing your Laptop.”)

5. Cloud Access – The new iPad is the ultimate access point to your cloud data. Whether it is your files, your notes, or even your remote computer, the iPad is a portal to all your information. Dropbox, Evernote, and LogMeIn make this device your window to your data.

6. Dayplanner Replacement – I have previously examined whether the iPad could replace my dayplanner. It has been an evolution, as apps and hardware have improved. With the 4G connectivity, the iPad has become a tool that my dayplanner could not. Notes are still the one area for which I still use paper. (See “Why you Should Try a Moleskine“)

7. Camera – The camera on the previous iPad was adequate, but left a lot to be desired. The camera on the new iPad is much improved. I still wouldn’t want to walk around with this thing as a camera. However, as a business tool it can be very powerful. Awesome for capturing whiteboards, field intelligence, and more.

8. Apps – The new iPad is easily the leading tablet hardware on the market. However, the iPad’s secret weapon is its App Store arsenal. With the improved graphics processing and resolution, apps will continue to shine brighter on the new iPad. Great productivity apps like Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Day One Journal, OmniFocus, iA Writer, Tweetbot, and Reeder have already been updated.

9. 4G Tethering – Well, the 4G connection flies… and if you are on Verizon, you can set up tethering for your other devices. I have been unable to test this yet, since currently it is a Verizon only option. Hopefully, AT&T will get this up and running soon. (Hurry, AT&T!)

10. Enjoyable Experience – The iPad is useful… because it is a joy to use. From the great UI, to the best screen, to the never-think- about-connectivity 4G, using the iPad just becomes effortless. This may sound light and fluffy, but it is true. And from a productivity standpoint, I always advise, “Choose Tools You’ll Use.” The new iPad definitely fits this description.

New iPad, Even Better Productivity

Has the iPad finally eclipsed the laptop? Are we in the post-PC era?

I am not sure that “replaced” is the right term. It might be better to say that it has out-evolved the PC.

It performs many tasks better than a laptop at this point.

The new iPad does not disappoint and will be central to my productivity efforts.

Question: What about you? Do you use the iPad as a productivity tool? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.

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34 thoughts on “The New iPad: Ten Best Productivity Uses

    •  @stevemorton Steve, good stuff and thanks for sharing! 🙂
      I like the size. I use my iPhone when I am out and about, but the iPad is the perfect size for me tablet-wise. 
      The smaller tablets I have played with are often too small…with not enough screen real estate to be really useful. 
      Will be curious to see if Apple ever does come out with a smaller form factor.

  1. My only hesitation with ever getting an iPad is the readability of text (pdf documents, ebooks, etc.) in comparison to products like the nook or kindle. The strain on the eyes was too much for me.You mention that the text almost looks “fake” – does that mean it’s good for long bouts of reading?

    •  @Vito M Ah… good question.  I guess that was a poor choice of words on my part… I meant that they look too good… “almost unreal.” So, I meant it in a good way. 🙂
      Some people say they don’t like to read on a backlit display, but I do not mind it. (Kindle Fire is also backlit.) However, the letters on the new iPad are really, really sharp. 
      So far, I am loving the text reading on it. 🙂

  2. I develop stuff for the iPad and when I’m developing, it’s the iPod touch I use for mail while the workstation and the iPad are more or less offline. Otherwise, I have the iPad in the evening when I check my mail, browse, look at videos while I make food etc. iCloud syncs everything nicely. Calendar, mails, books, notes, and links.
    I’ve read a couple of books on the iPad 2 and it’s ok. Probably much better in the new iPad, which I haven’t gotten my hands on yet.

      •  @pekka.kuismanen Love reading on the new iPad screen. The text is amazing. Pin sharp. Really makes a difference.
        And yes, I love to use FaceTime and Skype on the iPad. 
        Interesting that they are limiting FaceTime so that it cannot currently be used on the 4G connection… after all, the 4G is running 2-3X’s faster than my cable modem. 🙂

  3. Hi Craig,
    I’m still waiting for it arrive in Norway. I have the iPad 2, but I’ll end up buing the new iPad as well. I read somewhere that it doesn’t support the European 4G network, but hopefully that will change soon. I live in a fairly small town, and we probably won’t have 4G for many months, so it really doesn’t matter that much :)Do you use a keyboard for your iPad? I don’t like writing longer paragraphs and long blog posts on the touch screen. That’s the only thing I don’t like doing on the iPad vs my MacBook. 

    •  @Jens I do not have an external keyboard for my iPad.
      That is the one thing I use my MacAir for, as well. The MacBook Air is my blogging tool. The iPad (new) is my communication hub and online access. 🙂
      And yes… sorry to boast… but the 4G screams. 🙂

      •  @TMNinja I’d love a post where you list all the productivity tools you are using for the iPad. I am currently using Things to manage all my tasks. Are you using any similar tools?

  4. @TMNinja I shot a video on my iPhone, imported straight to my iPad and then edited it, and shared it via Dropbox. All with the iPad.

  5. I’d like to start relying on my iPad2 rather than my laptop, but haven’t found the right keyboard case to use; any recommendations?  Are you just typing on the interface keyboard?

    •  @rosemaryoneill I don’t use an external keyboard at this time. Use my MacBook Air if I have serious typing to do.
      Have considered using the external Apple keyboard, but haven’t gotten to it yet. 🙂

    • Best Buy carries cases, mostly black.  i got an ipad2 before 3 came out, still in it worth the exchange, its been 33 days! will Best Buy do it? We’ll see! I wished the sales person at Best Buy had advised me to wait, she said there wouldn’t be much difference.

      • plus I thought, one day the ipad2 could become a collectors item, being that Steve Jobs was alive when it was released. As is not the case with the ipad3. I’m from Palo Alto…grew up w/ seeing their Co grow from onset…good stock. He always had beautiful orange poppies in his field of a front yard. Bless you Steve!! n Thanks!

  6. Craig,
    Well, it seems that iPad is getting better and better all the time!
    I’m still wondering how it will fit into my toolbox …
    Also, how does the keyboard work (or can you have an external one)?

    •  @TimoKiander Timo, the keyboard works well for email and web. I answer all my email on the couch or in the kitchen, or anywhere. Yes, there are external keyboards, but I personally don’t see the point in them. Maybe if I wrote a book on it…

      •  @pekka.kuismanen  @TimoKiander I agree, I don’t use an external keyboard. 
        You can get some fancy cases that have a keyboard built-in… and even Apple’s bluetooth keyboard will sync to the iPad.
        However, if I have serious typing to do, I use my laptop.

  7. I am trying to sell my iPad 2 first.  The 4G really gives you connection everywhere?  I was thinking of getting the WiFi.   I love my iPhone 4s and my macbook pro and sometimes my iPad takes a back seat.

    •  @Lori Peters You have to choose what is right for you. The 4G is great and the speed “screams” for me. However, make sure you check coverage where you are.
      I do use my MacBook Air for blogging and typing duties. However, my iPad is my main email machine! 🙂

  8. I don’t have 4G and I am finding the iPad kind of a waste for productivity. Yes, it is great for email, reading, games and searching the Internet. But without a really solid WIFI connection, there isn’t much you can do. I never realized how spotty our workplace WIFI is until I started using the iPad. It’s a long way from being a replacement for the laptop.

  9. i wonder why the facebook does not recognise the device i-pad or i-phone, like the way it recognises blackberry. why cant the apple people develope a programme for FB.

  10. I have a lot of recipes that I would like to put into my iPad Air and organize them. I’d like to organize them by category (salads, soups, fish, cookies, etc). Do you have any suggestions? Thanks