For a gadget that no one was quite sure whether we really needed it, the iPad has certainly been a huge hit and revolutionised how we consume contents on the go today.
I have been a huge fan of the iPad since day one and had taken full advantage of it to satisfy my information addiction. With it’s unique form factor, large touch screen and constant connectivity, app developers have been on a roll, with new innovative apps appearing on a daily basis. As consumers of information, it means that we can now consume more content, at more places, with a level of ease never seen before.
Here are some of the ways I am using the iPad for content consumption and the apps that I use to turbo charge my content consumption on the go.
1. RSS/News Feeds
The iPad’s big screen and portability means it’s a great way to catch up on all your RSS feeds. The ability to store articles locally on the iPad also means that there is no excuses not geting through all your feeds on that long international flight :+)
There is a huge number of RSS readers in the app store today, after trialling a number of them, I have settled on the Reeder app. The reeder iPad app has an elegant and highly efficient interface. After years of update, it has all the features you can think of including Google Reader integration, social media sharing and offline reading (see point 2 below).
Most importantly, the reading experience on the reeder app is effortless and inviting, all important attributes as you get through your mountains of articles and work out wether to share them or archive them for later reading.
2. Read it later/Offline reading
Before the iPad came along, I often lose websites that I need to read when distracted by other urgent matters. Even when I do consciously make a note of a website and come back to it when I have a spare minuet when I wait for my coffee, the process has always been cumbersome and not ideal. It all changed when bookmarking/read it later services came along.
I now rely on the Read it later app to track website I need to read effortless across multiple platforms. Whenever I come across a useful website that I can’t quite finish but wanted to read next time I wait for my coffee, I simply click on the save button enabled by the Read it later Firefox extension. And I am DONE! Next time when I am having a coffee or have a spare moment, I open up the iPhone or iPad app, the article is there synced and ready to be consumed. Works almost like magic and I now never miss any important article.
The other very popular read it later app is Instapaper. Both app offers similar functionalities so it really is a matter of taste. I like the extensive cross platform integration of the Read it later app but many people find the simple, no-frill reading experience of Instapaper a winner.
3. Personalised Magazines.
The best way to explain apps like Zite is an “Interactive magazine tailored just for you”. These apps analyses your reading habits as well as your social network, then presents highly tailored contents for you in a visually rich layout. You then interact with the contents and articles as if you are reading a magazine. It is an unique experience that can only exist on the iPad and the app takes full advantage of all of the capabilities of the iPad.
Apps like Zite (which I prefer) and Flipboard have been all the rage with Flipboard even winning Apple’s iPad app of the year back in 2010. Not only are the contents highly tailored to you based on your reading habits and social network, the graphics rich, magazine like layout makes reading articles a wonderfully pleasant and casual experience. I, for one has replaced reading newspaper and now enjoy reading Zite every morning as I have my coffee and I thoroughly recommend it!
What about you? How do you like to consume contents on the iPad?