Monday, September 3, 2012

Organize Your iPad Apps

I have been writing about iPhone and iPad apps for about a year and a half now.  It has been a great learning experience for me and I hope that I have helped a few of you understand these apps a little better too. Hey, that's the whole idea behind this blog.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the apps that I have on my iPad and iPhone. Please give me some feedback on what some of your favorite apps are also. I am always looking for great apps to review!

I have my iPad organized into folders. As you all know, to create a folder simply hold your finger on any app until all your apps start jiggling. You can then drag one app over another to create a folder. The folder can then be renamed to describe what kind of apps are in the folder.  This also eliminates having to search through many pages of apps to find the right one.  I like folders because it allows me to neatly organize all  my apps by their function. Who doesn't like organization?

My wife thinks I am a little anal for such organization.  Ok, I admit I am very anal! But I find that it makes it easier to find my apps and it seems to work for me.  If you have a better way or organizing your apps please let me know.

The Camera/Video folder contains the Camera app which is the stock Apple camera app for taking pictures or video.  Facetime is a cool tool to video conference with someone anywhere in the world. I recently use Facetime to talk to my brother while he was on vacation in St. Lucia.  iMovie lets you quickly put together a polished video of your latest vaction footage. 360 Panorama allows you to create a super wide angle shot. The stock Apple Video player app allows you to watch any purchased iTunes videos.  The Adobe Photo Shop Express app is handy for doing some basic editing of your photos.

Games, I am not a big game player but I do on occasion finding myself so bored that I might play Angry Bird, Solitaire or some Black Jack.  Games are a great way to pass time. If you have kids your Games folder will likely be full of fun and educational games to entertain them.

GPS apps abound in the iTunes Store.  A few that I like are MotionX-GPS, Google Maps and CoPilot. CoPilot is a great turn by turn app used for street navigation. When I am not on the water I use CoPilot to find hotels, restaurants and other points of interest.  The Google Earth apps is amazing for exploring anywhere in the world!

The Media folder contains, YouTube, TV.Com, ABC, TNT, NBC, Facebook, Linkedin, Messages, iTunes, App Store and the Chrome browser.  These allow me to catch up on some of my favorite network shows.

The Remote app is handy for controlling my Apple TV or iTunes on my laptop. Netflix gives you access to thousands of movies and TV shows for a monthly fee.  Pandora, another favorite of mine, connects to Internet radio.  Internet base programming is plentiful and easily accessed with these apps with a cell or WiFi connection.

My Marine Nav folder contains mainly GPS charting apps. I have some favorites but I find that one app does not fulfill all my needs. Reviewing all of these apps lets me have the opportunity to try them all. My favorites are iNavX, iSailor, Navionics USA, EarthNC, iRegatta, Plan2Nav, SEAiq, Marine Navigator and FlytoMaps All in One.

iNavX is my go to app for now but there are others that are very capable. Navionics would be next on my list and SEAiq is rapidly developing many new features that make it a real contender.  Garmin was suppose to release their marine charting app this summer but I have not seen it yet.  Check out all of these on my list of Best Marine Charting Apps.

The Marine folder has a variety of apps related to the marine industry. Tides, NavLights, NMEA Remote, CompassHD, Sailmaster, MID WiFi, DragQueen, Compass Eye, Sea Tow, Boat HUD, Nav Rules, Harry's Sailor and MarinaLife.  If you need information, rules, regulations, NMEA data, marine points of interest or emergency help, there is an app in this section to assist you.

To display your ships NMEA data MID WiFi is my favorite. This can use the devices GPS locational data or it can be set up to remotely receive your ships data from an onboard WiFi server. DragQueen is a very functional anchor alarm provided for free from the folks at Active Captain, thank you. Everyone should have a copy of the Nav Rules onboard.  MarinaLife is a nice database of marine services.

My Productivity folder contains apps that help me do business while on the road. Notes, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Calculator, Google, CloudOn, DropBox, Onlive Desktop and Reminders are all valuable apps for getting stuff done.

Pages is a great word processor for recording your ships log information or just writing your thoughts down. The files can be saved and exported or emailed as a Pages, PDF or Microsoft Word file.  Onlive Desktop provides you a complete Windows Desktop accessed through your iPhone or iPad. This is handy to work on your Word, Powerpoint or Excel documents and save or export them.  CloudOn works with Dropbox to give you editing capability for Word and Excel documents also. 

The Travel folder has Kayak, Fly Delta, Yahoo Markets, American Airlines,Translate and Trip Advisor. Kayak is a super app for checking airline flights, car and hotel rentals across many different travel sites. If you travel internationally you can speak or type any word into Google Translate and have it translate it into
numerous other languages.  Trip Advisor is my favorite for getting honest reviews of destinations, hotels, restaurants and more.  Don't get stuck in a crummy hotel, check Trip Advisor to make sure the place you booked is going to meet your needs.

My Utilities folder contains Find My iPhone, Slashtop Desktop, iHandy Level, Flashlight, Convert, Alarm Clock and Splashtop CamFind my iPhone is a must for me. It is great for finding my own phone, plus it gives me the ability to check in on my wife and kids locations anywhere in the world.  Splashtop Desktop it a great tool which allows you to view and control programs on your laptop or PC remotely.  You can use your iPhone or the iPad to view and control the marine charting programs running on your laptop. No need to buy expensive multifunction displays.  The Splashtop Cam app gives you access and control of your webcam on your laptop or PC remotely over the Internet.  Use this to remotely monitor your boat or home from any iPhone or iPad. The Flashlight app uses the LED on your iPhone to provide a bright light source for those emergency needs. The Convert Units app is handy for converting temperature, measurements, currency, pressure, speed, length and other units.

Weather apps include, Weather Channel, KeloLand Local weather, Wind Meter, MyRadar, Intellicast HD, Planets, WunderMap, Weather4D and Intellicast Boating.  Most smart boaters pay attention to the weather and forecasts.  This list of weather apps should provide all the weather information you will ever need.  Weather4D allows you to download GRIB files and display time lapse forecast data on your iPad.  Intellicast Boating is the first weather app to incorporate NOAA raster charts into their extensive list of forecasts and real time data. Stay aware of the weather and keep your crew safe.

AIS apps include mAIS, Boat Beacon, Shipfinder, and SFHD Free.  AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. Large commercial ships are required to broadcast this data for safety purposes.   Many land based receivers are being set up to make this position data available to anyone on the Internet.  These apps accesses this data through the Internet and give boaters situational awareness of ship in their area.

On the bottom of my screen I have the standard apps for the Safari Browser, Mail, Music, Photos, Newstand and Settings. NewStand is great for keeping track of all your sailing or boating magazines.

There you have it! These are a few of my favorite apps.  Let me know what apps you are using on your devices. Please give me some feedback!


  1. Hi Mark

    Love your site and have read it over many times. My question is where did you get that lovely background of the fish.

    1. Rod,

      Great to hear from you! Just go to Google and search for tropical fish background. It should show up in images.

      Become a follower to keep up on the latest apps.

      Stop back soon!

  2. WakingNews Alarm Clock app
    WakingNews Alarm Clock is yet another beta app release with some potential. It functions primarily as an alarm clock. You set an alarm as usual and it goes off on time as usual. However, this one reads you the news from a variety of sources when it goes off. So it functions a little bit like old school radio alarm clocks. It has several good news sources, including Yahoo Finances, Yahoo Sports, Engadget, etc. However, there are some lesser sources of words there as well. Thankfully, you can choose the sources that play when the alarm goes off. It's in beta so there are definitely bugs. It is also free and has potential.