7 Cool iPad Apps to Use Your Device in a New Way
Connect| By Stephen Fenech | February 5, 2021
The Apple iPad is a capable and powerful multimedia device that can do so much more than check emails and browse the web — just download these cool iPad apps.
Your iPad is more than just a way to send emails or access Facebook: it can help you make your life easier, express yourself artistically and musically, keep track of your invoices and receipts and even plan a revamp of your home. All you need to do to transform your clever device is download these cool iPad apps.
Take Written and Audio Notes
Students, lawyers, doctors and anyone else that needs to take detailed notes will find a friend with the iPad and the Notability ($13.99) app. It allows users to take detailed handwritten or typed notes and attach images, drawings, web links and documents in one spot. Notability can even record audio during meetings or lectures — just tap anywhere on the note to hear exactly what was being said at that time. Similar apps include <Noteshelf/a> ($9.99) and MarginNote 3 (free; with in-app purchases).
Turn Your iPad Into a Sketch Pad
Procreate ($14.99) is one of the most popular drawing apps, giving you the power to produce stunning sketches and paintings on the iPad. Aspiring artists can take their pick of hundreds of brushes and a plethora of tools to unleash their creativity. And to help you conquer that fear of putting pen to paper, the forgiving app has 250 levels of the capability to undo and redo! The beauty of Procreate being designed to work on the iPad means you can use it whenever — and wherever — inspiration strikes. Similar apps include Artstudio Pro ($17.99) and Sketch Club ($4.49).
Add a Second Monitor to Your Laptop
A feature introduced in macOS Catalina in 2019 called Sidecar can transform any iPad bought in the last few years into a second monitor which connects wirelessly to your MacBook. Simply click the AirPlay icon in the MacBook menu (Catalina OS) or open the Display menu (Big Sur) and select your iPad from the list. You can also make full use of the iPad’s touchscreen functionality and Apple Pencil to create and edit your documents. Other apps that offer this functionality to make an iPad a second screen on both Mac and Windows laptops with a cable include Splashtop Wired XDisplay (free) and iDisplay ($22.99).
Scan Documents Easily
If you have an iPad, you don’t require a separate scanner to scan your documents. All you need to use is the built-in Notes app. Simply position the document on a flat surface, open a new note in the Notes app, tap the camera button (or the ‘+’ button on older models and select “Scan Documents”) and frame up the entire document. Through the iPad camera, the Notes app can detect the areas of the document which contain text and automatically capture an image without the user needing to hit the shutter key. This is a great way of keeping a record of receipts, invoices and other documents..
Create, Record and Edit Music
Not only can the iPad be all of your musical instruments, it can also be your recording studio. BeatMaker 3 ($41.99) lets users play, perform and record all in one place and brings desktop features and power to the iPad. Musicians can use this music app to explore a wide range of instruments and samples, then it becomes a virtual multi-channel recording studio and editing suite where you can layer your music, create and adjust loops or play with the tempo and more. Other similar apps include GarageBand (free) and Music Maker JAM (free; with in-app purchases).
Talk, Don’t Type
If you don’t feel like typing, the iPad can take dictation in any part where a keyboard appears to enter text (such as in your emails and Notes). Dictation is a built-in feature of the iPad and can be accessed by hitting the key with the microphone beside the space bar. Then, whatever you say appears on the screen with surprising accuracy.
Design, Furnish and Decorate Your Home
Before augmented reality (AR) you needed a strong and colourful imagination to match what the Home Design 3D app (free; with upgrades for more functionality) can do. It allows you to plan a room or outdoor area from scratch, place virtual furniture in your existing surroundings and even change the colour of your walls to give you an accurate depiction of what your home could look like. Similar apps include Roomle 3D & AR Room Planner (free; with in-app purchases) and Planner 5D - Interior Design (free; with in-app purchases).
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