What’s on Your iPad – with Patrick McCarron

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McCarron's iPad Home Screen

Time for another What’s on Your iPad Q&A. Today we’ve got Patrick McCarron as the subject. I know Patrick ever since I started talking to him about the best damn Blackjack app for iOS (that he developed) back in 2008. Here’s a little more Bio information about him:

After starting tinkering in iOS development by creating one of the first games in the pre-SDK days Patrick quickly shifted to creating iOS apps and games full time. He created some popular apps such as Shanghai Mahjong, Blackjack 21 and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. He is now working with Stand Alone, Inc. where he co-created the new Game Center enabled words game Words Play.

Here are Patrick’s answers – questions are in italics with a grey background, Patrick’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?

My main iPad is the newest 3rd Generation model, with Verizon LTE and 64GB of storage. I have become accustomed to 64GB of storage for long road trips to fill with media and music, but in daily use I don’t often fill up 32GB but it’s nice to have when needed.

As far as why Verizon LTE? The first reason I chose Verizon over AT&T was with the iPad 2 I found myself in a hotel in a small midwest town and not getting proper AT&T 3G service. Having a secondary option of Verizon would nice for these situations I figured. The fact that Verizon has the larger LTE network and offered free tethering was just icing on the cake.
I still own a first gen and second gen iPad. They have become developer test machines (slower iPad 1 for instance is really handy) and when not used for that you can find them on my couch or in my bedroom for casual surfing.

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

Just a leather smart cover, for the iPad 2 I went with black leather, my last smart cover was a red black leather which is still on my iPad 2. I can now tell them apart this way.

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

My iPad dock is often changing as I use things more or less often, and for the new iPad I decided to be a bit more selective with apps I have on it because my other iPads got out of hand and filled with apps I don’t use often.
Current Line Up:

Words Play -  My latest game, always playing people and also often testing the latest version so I keep it on my dock.

Tweetbot – Twitter client of choice for on iOS

Notefile – I live and depend on for general note keeping with easy sync to the Mac desktop widget by the same time. Does exactly what I want it to do, and no fuss.

Air Video – For playing video on my household Apple TVs from my Mac Pro server

Safari – Obvious

Sparrow – My mail client of choice since I use GMail exclusively, even if it’s not iPad native it looks great on the new iPad since it uses the Retina iPhone assets.

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)

1Password Pro I can’t live without, manages my password lists and without it I may as well be crippled.

Verbs is my new IM client of choice for iOS, so when I’m away from the office I use this to make sure I get the IMs I may have missed that goto my desktop normally.

xScope Mirror I use a lot for application design and interface testing easily from my Mac to my iPad.

Kindle may be getting more use out of me now that the new iPad screen renders text so gorgeously. I’m locked into Kindle for books currently too, because I own an e-ink Kindle already. We’ll see if the iPad can take it’s place.

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

I typically don’t use Folders a lot, unless I have a lot of different apps of the same kind. So in the case of various reading, social or media apps I put those into folders.

The dock gets the most commonly used apps, and then I try to find a logical arrangement of the rest, as it fits.

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

Screens I use a lot to remote access my Mac desktop from anywhere, really handy and works great.

Notefile as I described earlier for keeping track of notes.

Pages for writing long form documents or meeting minutes for the home owners association I’m in.

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

No I have a few I’ve skimmed but nothing I can’t live without right now. Hope to see more magazine options in the coming years. I read The Daily occasionally but that’s about it.

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

Very little in the past, as I’ve used my Kindle for book reading mostly. Going to see if that changes with the new iPad and it’s much better text rendering.

Any favorite iPad games or fun time fillers?

I’ve been mostly playing turn based games, my favorite for a while now has been Carcassone as well as my game Words Play that I mentioned earlier. I’ve also been playing Batman Arkham City Lockdown and Infinity Blade 2 to test the limits of my new iPad.

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

Developers should check out the open source DocSets app on GitHub for viewing developer documentation on your iPad, great for using it next to your Mac while developing. It’s also available on the AppStore if you don’t want to build and run yourself.

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

Sparrow has partially filled the gap of a good third party email client, I just hope that we get some better way for developers to do background checking in a future iOS version so apps can do things like checking for mail or downloading new podcasts when available. If done right by Apple it’d be a nice option for developers and users wouldn’t have to worry about battery life losses.

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

I don’t care as much as i used to, I’ll often change it to something I like and leave it for 6-12 months. For the iPad (3rd Generation) I picked from the defaul wallpapers that look fairly detailed to help show off the screen but also don’t distract from the app icons.

Huge thanks to Patrick for doing this post with me, and for providing such great answers. I’m having tons of fun with this series and getting lots of good ideas from it. Hope you are too. If any of you have some questions you would like to see added to these posts please let me me know in the comments.

And if you’d like to see more great answers, check out the previous entries in the What’s on Your iPad series.

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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