When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad five years ago he famously argued that in order for any tablet to be worth making, it would have to be better at some aspects of performance than both a smartphone and a laptop. With that philosophy, the first iPads were designed for maximum interactivity with a beautiful, albeit casual, browsing experience.
As technological advancements made it possible for engineers to pack a heavier processing punch inside the iPad's ever-slimming profile, tablets have started to become more like laptops in their ability to perform powerful daily tasks. With this power has come a temptation for people to try to use their tablets like more portable, touch screen laptops, which Steve Jobs's initial proclamation would have hailed as a failure for the new breed of mobile device.
In keeping with Jobs's vision for a more specialized user experience, while also taking full advantage of modern iPads's technical capabilities, certain developers have sought to design apps that find a happy medium — an experience equally powerful and unique. Here are four tools you can use to maximize your iPad's tablet-ness:
- Clips: While it may be easy to switch between application windows on a laptop, and downright nonsensical to do any serious writing on a smartphone, Clips makes it easier to do both on an iPad. Clips allows you to save multiple quotes, links, images or anything else you might want to copy and paste, to your clipboard at once, then gives you easy access to them all in the Notification Center. This is the perfect tool for anyone who does a lot of writing or document editing on their tablet, as it saves them from having to switch between apps over and over again just to copy and paste multiple links.
- Genius Scan: One advantage the iPad will always tout over the iPhone is how much better it is at dealing with documents. With Genius Scan, iPad users can take that even further, using their tablet's built-in camera to digitize documents, then export them to various apps or as PDF or JPEG files.
- Workflow: While effective in their own right, iPad apps could better serve users looking for a more natural experience if they could communicate with one another more intuitively. While with iOS 9 Apple has hinted that it has its sights set on improving its devices' predictive and intelligent behavior in the future, for now you can build it in yourself with Workflow. This $3 app allows users to automate activity between their apps, effectively teaching their iPads how to act smarter. Users can their own unique workflows or use ones people have already created in the workflow gallery, such as one that automatically turns a Safari webpage into a PDF, or another that offers walking directions to the nearest coffee shop.
- IF: Similar to Workflow, IF gives tablet owners the ability to automate functions between apps, with a few major differences. First of all, users can download IF for free on the App Store. Once installed, IF responds to customized "If, then" statements. For example, IF can save photos you're tagged in on Facebook to your iOS Photos, automatically back up your Contacts to Google Drive, or even create a high-priority Reminder if you haven't worked out in a few days.