Technology has grown rapidly over the last 10 years or so, that is no secret. However, what we can do with that technology to benefit our own, everyday lives is something that hasn't been quite as easy to decipher as there are just so many options, it’s easy to get a little lost. Now, of course, there are some of the basics such as; having the internet at our fingertips at all times, having access to GPS, etc. but let's take a look at some applications you can use on your iPad for everyday occasions and activities that can help you and your family get the most out of your tech usage!
Tablets have really opened up an entire world of possibilities as far as reading. Whereas you used to be limited in being able to carry a book or two or a few various reading materials, now you can basically have an entire library in your bag!
The best place to start for reading on your iPad, well something not a ton of people know of is all iPads come preloaded with Apple’s own e-reader called Apple Books, which works seamlessly with the iOS system.
Apple Books not only gives you access to an entire catalog of reading material for all ages, but it also can be synced to the cloud to give you access to your library across all your iOS devices. Apple Books doesn’t just give you access to novels, they also have a selection of audiobooks, kids books, magazines, and even comics!
Another great app for reading on your iPad is Bookly. Bookly has been described as a fitness tracker for readers; showing you how long you have read, how many pages you have made it through in one session, and can overall enhance your reading experience. Bookly helps turn reading from something you have to do, to something you want to do! Especially if you are someone with a competitive nature, as you will always want to beat your previous reading goals.
We also can’t have reading suggestions for devices without mentioning one of the originals, Amazon. Maybe not as common on Apple users due to Amazon having their own device, rest assured, you can have all of the benefits from the Amazon Kindle app directly on your iPad! Perhaps, giving yourself a best of both worlds situation with internet/applications plus the reading benefits from the Amazon Kindle selection library.
Learning On The Go
Maybe reading is not your child's favorite thing, but you find yourself still wanting them to stay productive on a family road trip or to avoid the summer slide. Your iPad is also filled with games and activities that will keep your child entertained for hours, while also engaging their learning at the same time!
Some of our favorite learning apps for kids are:
Khan Academy Kids- aimed for children ages 2-7. Five animal characters will help guide your kids through hundreds of games, lessons , and stories, all carefully examined by early-childhood education experts.
BrainPOP- aimed for children 4+. BrainPOP uses animated movies to engage kids using narrative, humor, and characters on topics that span from math, science, social studies, art, english, and more!
Kodable- Aimed for children 6-9. Kodable has hundreds of games that will introduce your young learners to the world of coding! It is done in a fun, interactive way that will have you questioning if your child is actually playing something educational or not!
PBS Kids Games- No age range given as the PBS Kids Games app actually includes around 100 different games aimed for all different age ranges! From a trusted name you know, PBS, the games span categories such as; math, reading, writing, science, creativity, art, and much more! You cannot go wrong with the PBS Kids Games app
Increasing your productivity at home whether it’s a work-from-home situation or even just working on your own fun projects can be hugely beneficial! One easy way to increase that productivity can be using your iPad in conjunction with your laptop or desktop to create a second monitor.
The simplest way to do this is by using the Sidecar app. To connect your iPad as a display, either connect your iPad to your Mac over USB, or to do it wirelessly, ensure Bluetooth and WiFi are turned on. You'll also need to be logged in to the same Apple ID on both devices.
Then, click the AirPlay button in your Mac's menu bar and select your iPad from the list. The icon will change, and clicking the menu again will offer you a number of options. You can mirror your Mac's display or extend it, show or hide the Sidebar and Touch Bar that appear on the iPad, or disconnect your tablet.
Mirroring your display onto two screens can give you much needed space to simultaneously work on a project!
Summer entertainment, a topic that can be thought of as very wide and maybe a little vague. However, we will talk about some of our favorite ways to use your iPad to up your family’s summer entertainment.
First, road trips. Road trips are quintessential to summer in our minds! Whether it's a quick day trip to the beach or a two week road trip around the country, some of our favorite summer memories revolve around being in the car. However, we do realize kids can become a little restless if they are in the car for too long. That is why we recommend using an attachment strap to set up your iPad on the headrest of your vehicle. Giving your kids in the back seat a front row view of their favorite television show or movie! One of the great benefits of all the streaming services out there these days, which can give you access to almost any title you can think of even without WiFi.
Finally, our personal favorite way to enjoy the outdoor summer weather and keep entertained is using your iPad to sync up with an outdoor projector to play a movie outside!
One of the coolest experiences for kids is being able to watch a movie outside, under the stars on a blanket, around a fire pit, or even while in the pool. A simple way to do this is by using the combination of an outdoor projector and your iPad, so you don’t have to carry an expensive laptop or heavy desktop.
There are many different projectors on the market these days, in all price ranges, and sizes. One common thing you will need, for most projectors, to hook up your iPad is an HDMI or VGA cable and the compatible HDMI or VGA adapter to be able to plug it into your iPad port.
Once this is done, you will have the freedom to be able to watch a movie from anywhere you have an outlet! Trust us, it’s one of the coolest ways to enjoy a summer night as a family!