Tips for How To Multitask on the Apple iPad

By on Dec 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Update: The article has been updated by me and posted on iPadmodo.

I know there are a lot of you new iPad users out there after Christmas who like me — when I first got the device — don’t really know how to take advantage of the iPad’s many features and applications. So let me help you a bit and give you some tips on what kinds of apps to use for some basic multitasking. Whether to send multiple e-mail attachments, edit photos or blog, there are often many good options out there.

Organizing and storing multiple files, sending multiple e-mail attachments

If you want a great document file reader or storage and multitasking tool, look no further than GoodReader. with GoodReader, you can store and manage various files like ones in Doc and PDF formats, and through the management option send multiple e-mail attachments. However, if you use any of the iWork apps like Pages, you cannot send files to other third-party apps directly via ‘Send to’, or ‘Open in’ options — that many apps have as features for interconnectivity — but can e-mail them to yourself. You can use certain apps or methods Apple provides that are first-party applications though.

What I do is I create a Word or PDF document via Pages because of all the great spell-check and other productivity options it offers, and send it to myself via the ‘Email Document’ option. Once I log into my e-mail I can open the file by holding it and waiting for the option-box to appear and open the file via GoodReader. Once it opens in GoodReader the file remains there unless you delete it. It can also be managed and tinkered with under the ‘manage files’ menu.

Video, image, document downloading, viewing and transfer

Another great tool and even an internet-browser in its own right I recommend for good multitasking is the Downloads HD app. With this app you can browse various websites and download content like movie files or documents and they will be stored under its file menu. With another great app I recommend to grab from the App Store, called the VLC Media Player, you can open the movie file and watch it directly without the need of any sort of file conversions. The VLC Media Player app can be used with almost any movie file format. Multitasking with the Downloads HD and VLC Player apps is a great way to store and watch movie files without having to touch your iTunes account or main computer at home. You just hit the ‘Open in’ command and select the VLC Media Player from the stored file menu on Downloads HD or any other way you stored the video.

You can also use the Downloads HD app for image downloads and they will also be stored under files. From then on you can open them or add them to the main photos app that comes with the iOS. Then, you can edit them further with the Adobe Photoshop Express app. After doing this, you can insert the images via various apps to say blogs or social networking sites.

File sharing

For document file sharing, besides GoodReader and with more options for interconnectivity among various computers and iDevices, there is the infamous Dropbox. It is a great tool that can be used for sharing and storing files between your computers and the iPad (as well as other iDevices). As long as you have the app and are connected to Wi-Fi, you can do various file-sharing and file management tasks and aren’t bound by distance to your workstations. Although it doesn’t allow me to open e-mail attachments to the app directly nor does it have any inter-connectivity with Pages and iWork. I personally stick to GoodReader but many iDevice owners and iPad users especially use Dropbox for all kinds of multitasking support.

WordPress blogging

The iPad is a great social media and blogging tool as well. For WordPress blogging, the WordPress app is a must — but I have to warn you. If you don’t want too much frustration, you will be multitasking with it and the browser-based WordPress in its html tab. Sometime the app crashes or formats your blog post into one long text while taking away paragraphs when you save or publish your post. Other times, the header will get switched with another blog post. It also crashes quite often after saving or publishing a post; but WordPress has a great auto save feature built in so you won’t lose your work. 

So, to do proper blogging on the iPad you will need both this app and have the WordPress html editor opened up on your iPad browser (there are many to choose from). You should have the browser version copied before making changes in the app in case it does one of the things I mentioned, or just have it open to save over. But to upload photos you will need the app since you can’t do it directly via the browser. Also, for many drag-down options like categories you want your entry to be posted under, you will need the app as the browser version won’t allow you to drag down below a certain extend. With photos, you want to upload the images via the app in original size and edit them down in the browser version where you should change the dimensions, to say medium or thumbnail, as well as align them. It may seem like a bit of a pain, but after a while it will be a breeze and you will get a hang of this multitasking between the two versions.

Conclusion

I hope I offered some helpful tips for the less tech-savvy, or newer, iPad users out there and there are many other methods and apps that I still haven’t covered here. As the iPad expands and new apps appear we should see constant improvements and features being addressed. I wish Apple would work closer with third parties to offer better interconnectivity rather than just their own software, but discovering how to work-around certain restrictions and make the most out of our device is part of the fun. Hope you are enjoying your iPads as much as I am mine.

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