Multitasking on the iPad Guide and Tips

By on Feb 16, 2011 at 1:38 am

A while back, I posted a little guide with tips on how to multitask effectively on the iPad and use the various apps together effectively to accomplish tasks normally reserved for non-mobile computers (desktops or laptops). In that sense, as an iPad owner, you can get a lot of useful productivity done. By multitasking and really learning how to use the iPad to it’s full potential, you won’t need to connect it to iTunes or a computer as often as you think. Since the time I wrote the Appmodo guide, I’ve discovered many other apps and features I wanted to add and address so I am updating the former article. I also realized that I only posted it on Appmodo and I’m now adding the guide to iPadmodo as well.

To really be able to get the most out of your iPad you should familiarize yourself with some of these apps as it will enrich your experience with it. Do you want to be able to edit photos, transfer them wirelessly to the iPad from your iPhone, blog on WordPress and upload photos directly to your blog, or store your resumes as well as send them through multiple e-mail attachments? You can do all these tasks straight from the iPad with its apps. The multitasking abilities of the tablet really surprises me sometimes with what the iPad can really accomplish.

After reading this guide I hope you will realize just how little you really need to have the iPad sync to iTunes and if you want to use the iPad for more than just entertainment consumption you really need to know how to take advantage of the iPad’s features that allow these apps to work together in unison. 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

Update: Atomic Web Browser should now allow you to download files as well for storage and multitasking. It is also much more efficient than Downloads HD because it allows you to store them directly to the Photos app and not just download and transfer them with a multiple-step process. Also, VLC Media Player got pulled by Apple.

Another great tool and even a good 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.

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.

Becoming an artist by manipulating photos or drawing your own images

There are some other great photo editing and conversion apps out there with a lot more features and options than Photoshop Express. One that I would recommend if you want to do your own drawing and art-related work and not just editing existing photos would be Art Studio for iPad. It allows you to work in layers and use layer masks like the real Photoshop allows. Art Studio features many brushes, tools, effects, and other features that you won’t find anywhere else. It is basically Photoshop on the go. Sketchbook Pro is another great app but to utilize it fully, you’ll need a stylus.

Reading Web pages in offline mode

If you own a Wi-Fi only iPad or want to conserve your 3G coverage than look no further than the Offline Pages app. It allows you to store website data and view it offline. You have to multitasking between the standard Safari browser pre-installed on the tablet and the app itself.

Using the iPad as a camera with photo storage

If you own both an iPhone and the iPad you can connect the two and multitasking between the devices with a photo-transfer app called Camera for iPad. If you have the app running simultaneously on the iPad and iPhone and connected through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can use the iPhone camera’s to take photos that will automatically transfer to the iPad for later editing.

The app also allows you to wirelessly transfer any of your already-stored iPhone photos to the iPad. Both of these methods of multitasking using this app require the app to be installed on the iPhone and iPad together and you can link the devices through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

File sharing

Update: I realized the strengths of the Dropbox app lies really in the space or memory it saves you when you upload the PDF files not directly to the iPad but your home server. The files can be viewed on the iPad or any device you have the app installed on and there is even an online server to access the files without storage.

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.


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.


Filed: EducationEntertainmentFeaturedHardwareiPadNavigationNewsProductivityUtilities
  • Anonymous

    Actually, I find the iPad works well as a ibook. Not to deny that the Nook has it’s uses, but most people I know use the iPad to reading. As for choice, it’s also important to remember that you’re not locked into one store with Apple. Indeed, I get most of the ibooks on my iPad . So when it comes to content, I actually prefer an iPad or an Android tablet that will give me multiple options for reading so that I have the widest selection of titles available
    p.s. watching movie on ipad for free