Innovative Uses for Your iPad

Apple iPad

Apple iPadWe all know that your iPad is a great tool for surfing the web, reading e-books, checking e-mail, playing games and more. And, of course, there’s an app for just about everything.

With customization, you can use your iPad to balance your checkbook, find out how fast your car is traveling, log your daily food intake, watch movies, and do just about anything else you can think of doing. Here are a few more ways to use your iPad that you may not yet have considered.

Artistic Portfolio

Do you draw comic books? Paint beautiful oil portraits? Create Flash animations? When you attend job interviews or professional conferences, you can use your iPad to display your artwork. There’s no need to wait until you get home to e-mail a web link or snail mail a portfolio. Even if you have a card ready with your Web site link or a CD with images of your work, you are still taking a gamble that the person will actually go home and look up your link or open your CD.

With so many applicants being seen, you want to make an impression right away by wowing them with your work. The large screen on the iPad makes for easy viewing, and the interface allows you to slide easily between images. A laptop is a little more clumsy.

You can also use your iPad to create your art work. Sketch pad programs(like SketchBook Pro) allow you to draw original artwork directly on the screen, using a stylus. Some basic editing programs also allow you to make edits and add another dimension to your work.

Automate Your Home

Have you ever driven to work and wondered if you remembered to set your home alarm? Or turned off the lights in the living room? There are several apps for your iPad that allow you to control these things remotely. You can access your home security system, turn your lights on and off, and perhaps even access your heating system.

It would be great to be able to turn your heat off during the day when you’re not home, then remotely access it to turn it on so that your home is nice and toasty by the time you arrive. It would help save significantly on your electric bill in the winter. You can even set up your iPad to control your home-entertainment devices.

Mobile Vendor

If you have a small business, or even just a hobby in which you sell your wares, your iPad can make for you a useful credit-card processor if you attend local craft or trade shows. Don’t limit yourself to cash-only customers. (Who really carries that much cash these days, anyway?) Offering credit-card sales opens up your earnings potential significantly, which makes a big difference when you’re only a small vendor or a hobbyist. Apps are available for direct credit-card processing (but you’ll likely need a separate piece of equipment to add on), or you can use e-mail clients like Paypal or Propay to accept payments.

Place Your Order

Apps are now available to let you place and pay for your order, either in a restaurant, bar, or café. Of course, the establishment has to participate in the program for it to work, but there are more and more chains signing up for such programs.

One Indiana chain restaurant has iPads on each table to place orders and monitor order status. A Cincinnati nightclub gives iPads to its servers to place drink orders. And many coffee chains now give customers the option of ordering and paying while standing in line.

These are only a few of the many, many ways that you can make your iPad work for you. Don’t be satisfied with just a simple game of Scrabble. Think creatively and you will find that there are many ideal uses for your iPad.

Alexis Bonari Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and researcher for College Scholarships, where she has recently been researching scholarships for twins and scholarships for thespians.

In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.