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iPad Portable Genius Kindle Edition

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Length: 339 pages

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Editorial Reviews Review

On January 27, 2010, Apple announced the latest in its line of revolutionary, ultraportable devices – the iPad. iPad Portable Genius is the latest in a line of ultra handy, go-to and goes-with you anywhere guides for getting the most out of a new Apple product. Written to provide readers with highly useful information that’s easily accessible, iPad Portable Genius is full of tips, tricks and techniques for maximizing each of the iPad’s most popular features.
  • Designed in full-color with an Apple look and feel, and written in a hip, sophisticated, no-nonsense tone that reads as though a friend is providing inside information on the iPad
  • Highlights iPad’s key features so users will quickly feel confident they are getting the most out of the mobile device’s array of amazing features
  • Other titles by McFedries: iPhone 3G Portable Genius and Teach Yourself VISUALLY Windows Vista, both by Wiley

iPad Portable Genius is an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand guide for quickly getting the most out of Apple’s new iPad.

Apps That Rock the iPad
Amazon-exclusive content from author Paul McFedries

At last count, Apple had stuffed more than 185,000 apps into the App Store, a pick-your-jaw-up-off-the-floor number if ever there was one. (And you can bet your last dollar that by the time you read this the number will be even bigger, probably much bigger.) The vast majority of those apps were designed for the iPhone and the iPod touch, so where does that leave you has a proud owner of a sleek, new iPad? Ignoring apps that simply don't make sense on the iPad (telephony apps, camera apps, basically anything that requires hardware that the iPad lacks), you can install almost all of those apps. You can then run them as is (that is, iPhone-size), or you can tap the "2x" button and scale them up to the full iPad screen--a technique that Apple calls "pixel doubling."

Pixel-doubled apps work just fine but, alas, they look terrible. Text is jagged, pictures are pixellated, and the app layout just feels wrong, because it was designed for a 3.5-inch (diagonal) 320x480 iPhone screen, not the expansive 9.7-inch, 768x1024 iPad screen. The iPad screen is not only 5 times larger than the iPhone screen, but it also supports full HD and displays extra-sharp colors thanks to its use of In-Plane Switching technology.

So to really get the most out of your iPad, you need to use apps that are designed take full advantage of the iPad's large screen, high resolution, and sharp display. Here (in no particular order) are 15 such apps, each one of which truly rocks your iPad's world.

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Instapaper Pro
Speaking of reading, if you're constantly perusing blogs, news sites, and other hubs of web content, you probably come across all kinds of pages that you don't have time to read now, so you save them for later. Like most of us "saving them for later" means emailing yourself the link, saving a bookmark, adding a favorite in Twitter, and on and on. Rather than having all these links scattered here and there, set up an Instapaper account and you can then store them all in one place. Even better, download the Instapaper Pro app for iPad ($4.99, although there's also a free version) and you can read everything right from the comfort of your iPad. Instapaper Pro is particularly suited to Wi-Fi-only iPads, because it enables you to read pages offline, so you can still catch up even with no Wi-Fi in sight.

Also: If you need to read PDF files, Microsoft Office documents, iWork files, and text files on your iPad, you can read all of these file types and more using the GoodReader for iPad app ($0.99).

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The iPad is ideally suited to "lean back" activities such as reading, surfing the web, watching videos and movies, viewing photos, and listening to music. However, you can also use your iPad as a "lean forward" device where you create content. For evidence, look no farther than Apple's new iWork suite for iPad. These three apps -- the Pages word processor, the Numbers spreadsheet, and the Keynote presentation program -- share the same names as their Mac desktop cousins, but make no mistake: These are brand new programs designed from the ground up to take advantage of all that the iPad has to offer. You probably won't want to use them to write your next novel or build the corporate budget, but these apps are simple, easy to use, have all the features you need or basic chores, and are absurdly cheap for office productivity apps: just $9.99 each. (By the way, I wrote this article using the Pages app on my iPad.)

Also: If you're a Google Docs user, you can create and edit documents on your iPad using the GoDocs app ($2.99).

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Media professionals, pundits, and prognosticators all expected the iPad to save the media industry from what otherwise appears to be certain doom. No one knows for sure what impact the iPad will have magazines, newspapers, and other media in the long term, but if the PopSci+ app ($4.99) is an indication of things to come, then I for one welcome our new iPad media overlords. As the extra + in PopSci+ indicates, this version of Popular Science isn't just some lame print-to-digital conversion. INstead, PopSci+ reimagines what a digital magazine should be: Stunning photos and graphics, innovative integration of text and images, intuitive navigation. All in all, a very satisfying and promising beginning.

Also: The GQ magazine app ($2.99) also has some interesting features, and in the near future look for apps from Wired, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker.

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Star Walk
The Star Walk for iPad app ($4.99) takes your current location and constructs a beautiful map of the night sky rom your vantage point. Swipe the map left and right, up and down to traverse the sky, and as you move Star Walk shows the constellations, major stars, and the current locations of the Moon and the visible planets. Awesome with a capital A.

Also: Distant Suns for the iPad is more expensive ($9.99), but it's a wickedly powerful astronomy app that gives you a wealth of data about planets, starts, nebulae, galaxies, and more.

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Cool Hunting
The iPad itself is quintessentially cool, so it appropriate that the online arbiter of cool things, Cool Hunting should have a very cool iPad app. The free app gives you easy access to all the latest ooh finds from the cool hunters.

Also: If you love travel and beautiful photographs, combine both passions with Beautiful Planet HD for iPad ($1.99), a stunning collection of photographs from around the world.

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Desktop Connect
The iPad is a computer, for sure, but it's not going to replace your desktop computer any time soon. However, what if you're kicking back on the deck with your iPad and you suddenly realize you need to access some data or run a program on your Mac or PC? You could run up to the office or den, do your desktop duties, and then return to your comfy seat. You could do that, but you won't have to if you install Desktop Connect ($11.99). This too-useful-for-words app connects to any Windows (XP, Vista, 7, Server) and Mac OS X (Leopard, Snow Leopard) PC that is configured for remote connections.

Also: If you manage a Mac OS X Server, you can now manage that machine from the friendly confines of your iPad with the Server Admin Remote app ($11.99).

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Apple surprised a lot of us by shipping the iPad without many of the little apps that we'd grown accustomed to on the iPhone: Clock, Calculator, Compass, Voice Memos, and Stocks. But for me the biggest loss was the Weather app, which I'd come to rely on, particularly when traveling. So it was off to the App Store or me, and although there are lots of good weather apps out there, the on that stuck out for me was AccuWeather, not only because of the price ($0.99), but because it offers all the information I need, and the graphics look stunning on the iPad screen.

I also really miss the Clock app, and so far I haven't found anything to replace it. The closest I've seen is the Alarm Clock Picture Frame app ($0.99), which offers multiple arm as, wake to music, and more.

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The Elements
There are lots of educational apps in the App Store, but the vast majority of them have such an old-fashioned feel about them: lots of text, static images, linear navigation. If apps are going to revolutionize education, as many people think they should, developers and educators are going to have to do a lot better than that. One such person is Theodore Gray, the developer of The Elements ($13.99), an app that takes you on a stunning visual tour of all 118 elements of the periodic table. Yes, you get tons of fantastic information about each element, but you also get a series of high-resolution images for each element, and each of those images is rotatable with simple finger flicks. Education isn't supposed to be this much fun!

Also: If you need to solve equations or create mathematical graphs on your iPad, then look no further than SpaceTime for iPad ($19.99), a professional-level math app that's both powerful and beautiful.

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As you can imagine, there are games galore for the iPad, and many of them are really, really good. Or, I should say, I hear that many of them are really good. I'm not much of a gamer myself, so I can only go by what other people tell me. I do play Scrabble, however, and I can tell you for a fact that the Scrabble app for iPad ($9.99) is an amazing piece of work. You can play against the iPad, against another person, against online folks, or even set up Party Play mode, where you and three friends connect and use your iPhones as your tile racks. And the game board looks fantastic on the iPad screen.

Also: The iPad has lots of great racing games, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that Real Racing HD ($9.99) is visually stunning and more than a little addictive.

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It's a rare dinner party of get-together where a friendly dispute breaks out about Kevin Bacon's first film or whether Al Pacino was in Star Wars (just kidding on that last one). Now these debates can be over in a matter of seconds thanks to the free IMDb (Internet Movie Database) app.

Also: TV fans will love the free ABC Player app, which lets you watch your favorite ABC television shows, such as Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.

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The days of recipes on index cards are just about behind us, but what will replace this long-time recipe storage mechanism? Many people install computers in their kitchens, but even a small notebook is still a bit too big for a kitchen counter. A much better idea is to have your trusty iPad at your side and use the terrific (and free) Epicurious app to look up your favorite recipes and find new ones.

Also: Wondering what wine to serve with your Epicurious recipe? Fire up the Wine Ratings Guide for iPad app ($3.99), which rates more than one million wines.

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Social networking is all the rage, and more than a hundred million of us use Twitter to send out thoughts, ideas, links, and breakfast recaps. The most populate Twitter client is TweetDeck, and I was pleased to see there's a nifty iPad version available.

Also: Tweetie is a great Twitter client, but as I write this it doesn't have an iPad-optimized version. However, Twitter just purchased Tweetie, and they've promised to have a free iPad version out in a little while. Keep your eyes peeled!

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If you're a fan of NPR, then you need to run as fast as you can to the App Store and download the amazing (and free) NPR app. You can listen to shows, read transcripts, tune in to stations, and much more.

Also: You can set up your own radio station by using the free Pandora app.

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Have you ever been listening to the radio, heard a song you loved, and then cursed the DJ when she doesn't tell you the name at the next commercial break? Me too! That's why I now avoid this hassle by cranking up the SoundHound app ($4.99). This amazing app analyzes whatever song is playing at then tells you the name of the song and the band, supplies links to videos, and even lets you buy the song on iTunes.

Also: The Shazam app is almost as good as SoundHound, and you can't beat the price: free!

From the Back Cover

The Genius is in.

You don't have to be a genius to use the Apple iPad. But if you want to get the very most out of yours, put this savvy Portable Genius guide to work and start ramping up the pace. Want to connect your iPad with a Bluetooth headset? Configure e-mail accounts and messages? Organize your life? Enhance your iPad by using the App Store and iBooks? You'll find cool and useful Genius tips, insider secrets, full-color screenshots, and pages of easy-to-access shortcuts and tools that will save you loads of time and let you enjoy your iPad to the max. Keep this indispensable Genius on hand and watch your iPad IQ soar.

Portable GENIUS

Fun, hip, and straightforward, the new Portable Genius series gives forward-thinking Apple users useful information in handy, compact books that are easy to navigate and don't skimp on the essentials. Collect the whole series and make the most of your Apple digital lifestyle.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5093 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470540966
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 20, 2010)
  • Publication Date: April 20, 2010
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003IS765S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,188 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jon E. Brubaker on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is very well written. It is a good instruction book for I Pad newbies or to learn the idiosyncrasies of the I Pad. There are just enough illustrations along with text to make the subject understandable. It is strictly a user manual and doesn't cover hardware or programing. Great book of the I Pad buyer. Another great book by Mr. Mcfedries
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Boyarsky on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
"iPad Portable Genius" assumes you already know the basics of using the iPad and want to learn more tips.

What I liked best
1) The physical size of the book was really cool! It is smaller than the iPad and fits well in the case. Book on one side; iPad on the other. I could try things as I read with everything on my lap!
2) The tips - connect to iTunes to get operation system update, fully discharge battery every month or two, type, wifi into maps to see hotspots
3) Suggestions on sites to look for.

What I would have liked better
1) Assuming a bit less knowledge like that the reader knows where the "sleep" button is.
2) Clearer differentiation between wifi and 3G models. It was there, but not that obvious.
3) More pictures - I couldn't figure out how to select well for copy/paste.

I also read "iPad Made Simple" so my recommendation includes when to buy each of the books. The price is only $5 different so that isn't a factor. If you already know about the iPad, want some tips and want to read it on your lap, get "iPad Portable Genius." If you are new to the iPad or plan to read it on a table, get "iPad Made Simple." Either way, enjoy your new iPad!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
After scouring Barnes and Noble's iPad shelf, I settled on this one. First because, unlike the other books, it began by going beyond the obvious. It assumes the user is not "an idiot," and that he can figure out most things by himself. And while this is not always a good assumption, with the ease of use and getting around on the iPad, it turns out in this case to be a great rule of thumb.

All the things one would never think of (such as how to cut and paste from the web, the "ins and outs" of WiFi, juggling multiple web pages, etc.) this book makes these things seem like a normal progression from the basic tutorial instruction on the iPad.

It is an easy read. I read it from cover-to-cover on a four-hour bus ride to the beach, and feel immensely enriched by it. Until "The Idiot's Guide to the iPad" comes out, I believe this is the one to buy. Five Stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
The "Portable Genius" line by Wiley is a relatively new series by them primarily designed to take advantage of Apple's unique meaning of the word "Genius." Primarily, they compete with the Peachpit Visual Quickstart guides. Using copious screenshots and short explanations of popular concepts, Portable Genius covers that 20% of features you'll use 80% of the time.

Both the table of contents and the index allow readers to hone in on the key functions which interest them. Concepts are well explained in a "how do I?" and a "can I?" format instead of a feature- or app-based approach. New iPad users will find this presentation more approachable.

Unfortunately iPad Portable Genius suffered from some poor editing in which too often the author didn't update the iOS steps that differ for an iPad and an iPhone or iPod Touch. On rare occasions, the advice given is controversial. For example, the author suggests if you can't sync all your content to your iPad you should consider deleting some content from your main computer. That is just irresponsible! Additionally the steps and screenshots in the book are primarily Macintosh based so Windows users might be a bit confused.

Overall this is a competent and quality beginners guide to the iPad and a welcome addition to the existing guides available

Pros: functional approach with concepts well explained and easy to find
Cons: assumes end user has a Mac, some errors and confusing passages
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book rather than to print out the Apple User Book from my computer because the Apple Book was 178 pages and not nearly as easily understood. The IPad Portable Genius book gives excellent illustrations that are easily understood by an 'older adult that is not a highly experienced computer user'!!! The descriptions are also easier to interpret and follow. Thank you.
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