What’s on Your iPad – with Joshua Schnell

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Joshua Schnell iPad home screen

It’s time for another post in our What’s on Your iPad series. I’m glad to see that some of you are enjoying these posts as much as I am. I find them a great source for discovering interesting new apps and thoughts on how to organize apps on the iPad.

This week Joshua Schnell is providing answers. Joshua is the Editor In Chief at one of my favorite Mac sites – macgasm.net. I’ve known Joshua for a few years now after we originally met on Friendfeed through our mutual griping and troubles with  the lack of good comment services for blogs. One of the things I like about Joshua is he’s very rarely on the fence about anything, and he’s never likely to pull his punches when sharing his opinion on a subject – as you’ll see in his answers here. I’m very happy to have him taking part in this series.

Here are Joshua’s answers – questions are in regular text, Joshua’s answers are in block quotes:

Which iPad model do you use? (original or iPad 2, WiFi or WiFi + 3G, storage size) Any particular reasons for choosing this model?

I’m currently rocking a 16 GB Wifi iPad 3, AKA new iPad. I got the new iPad for the Retina screen, but I chose not to go 3G/LTE because I think data plans are ridiculously priced.  If I need the Internet, I just tether my iPhone to my iPad.  Works great, and saves me cash.  Up here in the great white north, a lot of us qualify for free tethering. I took advantage of that and went with the WiFi model. It’s been working out great.

Do you use any sort of case with the iPad? If so, which one/s and why?

I usually alternate between going naked, and a Pad and Quill Contega case. I tend to prefer using my new iPad case free, but the moment I plan on leaving the house I make sure I put it in a case.  I wouldn’t be able to stomach scratching that sexy Retina Screen.

What’s on your iPad dock currently? Do these apps pan out as your most frequently used?

Currently I have Reeder, Mail, Rdio, Pocket,  Safari, and Blogsy. There are my most used apps at the moment, but my dock changes quite frequently. Just the other day I removed Tweetbot, Flipboard, and the Sonos app.  The mainstay’s tend to be the Apple apps (Mail, Safari, and Messages sometimes).

What are some of your other most-used apps / what’s on your first home screen? (and any reasons why you’d like to offer)

I try to keep my homescreen pretty clutter free. Right now I have Tweetbot, Newsstand, Terminology, iPhoto, Fancy, NBA JAM, and Death Rally on my homescreen.  You kind of caught me in a re-arrange mode for my iPad. I’ve been trying out a lot of new apps, and trying to work them into my workflow.  Day One, and Flud were on my homescreens until last week.  They got demoted though because I’ve been really trying to turn my app usage on its head the last couple of days. Gotta keep it fresh, right?

How do you arrange your home screens? Do you use folders at all / heavily?

I hate folders. They’re poorly done, especially the limitation on the iPhone.  I keep all folders off my homescreen. After that I tend to categorize things on my second screen. My homescreen has become a bit of a staging area the last couple of weeks.  For the longest time it was my most used apps, but now it’s a mishmash of awesome apps that I’m determined to work into my workflow. Like Terminology,  I love that app.

What are some of your most used productivity apps on the iPad? Any that you use for work?

Calendar, and Mail are pretty much my go to “productivity” apps on the iPad. I don’t do much GTD on the device. It doesn’t work for me. All my GTD apps, like OmniFocus, live on my iPhone. I tend to use my iPad more for leisurely, passive engagement. A lot of games, and a lot of reading apps.

Do you read any newspaper or magazine apps on the iPad? Do you subscribe to any?

Yup. Absolutely loving Fast Company. I was a big fan of their magazine, but at a dollar per month, their Newsstand app is a must have. I would say it’s easily my most read magazine. I also subscribe to Wired, The New Yorker, and just recently the Economist. I haven’t had a chance to read much of the Economist though.

How much, if any, book reading do you do on the iPad?

Almost zero. I bought the Jobs biography in the iBookstore, but ended up picking up the printed book as well. I got half way through the bio.  I don’t hate reading on the iPad, but when I’m reading a novel, or anything similar, I prefer to get off my iPad and other digital devices. I need an excuse to unplug, and a great novel is a great excuse for that.

Any favorite iPad games or fun time fillers?

I’ve been playing a lot of AirSupremacy, which looks great on the iPad. My go to though has to be Monsters Ate My Condo. That game is chaotic, and addicting. It’s a lot of fun.

Have you got a ‘hidden gem’ type iPad app that more people should know about?

The Mint.com app is really underrated. If you run a small business, or just like keeping dibs on your finances, it’s a must have. It’s fantastic.

Any killer apps you think are missing from the iPad App Store, apps you’d love to see come to the iPad?

Man, so many to choose from. I think too many developers are getting caught up in creating variations of things we already have in the app store. Like Minimal writing apps, how many of those do we need? Why do we have a billion of those, but no one has taken the time to create a podcast creation app that lets you not only record and edit your podcasts like Garageband, but also do show notes, and upload your files to popular hosting services? I’d pay for that app.

Do you tend to pay much attention to your home or lock screen wallpaper? Change it up often?

Fairly irregularly. I love minimal, abstract wallpapers that are great to look at, but that don’t distract me while I’m poking around my homescreen. My wallpapers usually last a couple of months before I start hating it and move on.  With the new Retina display, I find it really hard to find quality apps that meet my needs.  Most of them are attention whores.

Huge thanks to Joshua for the great answers. I’d be well on board for that type of podcast creation app too.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out the excellent previous entries in the What’s on Your iPad series too.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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6 thoughts on “What’s on Your iPad – with Joshua Schnell”

  1. Possibly the best post of a great series, at least that I have seen since I have subscribed!

  2. How do you tether your iPhone to your iPad? (without it being plugged in)

    Step by step directions would be most helpful?

    I’d like to tether when I’m on the subway or on the bus! Thanks :)

    1. See my comment just a few above yours, with the link to the wallpaper at our Flickr Group page.

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