With its glossy, reflective screen and 1.5 pound heft, the iPad makes a great travel mirror or paperweight. And when you load some apps on it, it just gets even more useful! Here’s a look at the top 10 (non-silly) uses for Apple’s iPad.
The iPad’s a bit heavier and less comfortable to use than a dedicated ebook reader, but at least four ebook stores have iPad apps for them: Kindle, Kobo, nook, and Apple’s own iBooks. Why not try them all out?
Watch HD movies
With a 4:3 aspect ratio, the iPad’s screen will put black bars at the top and bottom of HD movies. The capability’s still there, though, and there are plenty of HD movies to buy or rent on your iPad available in Apple’s iTunes store.
Play video games
It’s not just Plants vs. Zombies: There are plenty of indie games available for the iPad, plus games from big studios like SEGA and EA Games.
Do word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations
Apple’s iWork suite for iPad takes care of three of the items on our top 10 list. With MobileMe sync now up and running for those paying the $99 per year fee, iWork lets you work on standard Microsoft Office files on the go. And while it’s designed to work with the touchscreen interface, there are at least a few keyboard shortcuts available if you brought one of Apple’s bluetooth keyboards along.
Draw pictures and create designs
Apps like SketchPad HD, OmniGraffle and Adobe Ideas let you use the iPad to create sketches and design mockups, or even finished paintings. It’s almost surprising how many of these apps there are, until you realize how popular iPads are with the web designer community!
Play and compose music
This is one use for the iPad that Apple has heavily promoted, with commercials showing apps that let you use the iPad as a piano keyboard. People have created whole iPad orchestras, and even if you don’t play music on the iPad itself you can buy third-party accessories like the AirTurn BT-105, a footswitch that turns the pages on sheet music displayed on your iPad.
If you maintain a website, you can use apps like FTP On The Go and Markup For iPad to manage the files on your server. Even if your “website” is a WordPress.com blog, you can use the free (and open-source) WordPress app to moderate comments, update posts and check stats. There are also iOS apps for LiveJournal and Dreamwidth.
Browse the web!
That’s what everyone wants an iPad for, right? Whether you’re browsing sites like this, or using specialized apps like Facebook’s and Twitter’s to check on your friends, it all comes down to the Internet.
Whatever you use your iPad for, have fun with it!