This is the second post in what I hope will become a regular series here at iPad Insight – What’s on Your iPad. I love seeing how others get the best out of their iPad and learning from them – which are their favorite apps, their most-used productivity apps, and all about their iPad usage.
I’m thrilled to have Rob LeFebvre as the subject of What’s on Your iPad today. Rob is an Editor, Writer, Techie, and a Special Educator. He’s the owner of GameAreEvil, editor at 148apps, a freelance writer at GamesBeat, Cult of Mac, and Shelf Awareness, and a Techie Educator at ATLA.
So here we go – questions are in italics with a grey background, Rob’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 bought an iPad 1, WiFi only when they first came out. I quickly
realized the joy of 3G on the iPad, and sold the first one and got an
iPad WiFi + 3G at the 32G mark. Bigger was in fact better in this
case. Being able to connect to the internet when travelling was the
key factor, and more storage meant more apps and games I could put on
it for reviews. I still use this one for all my 148Apps/TPG
Do you use any sort of case with the iPad? If so, which one/s and why?
I’m currently using a Logitech/Zagg keyboard case with a work iPad 2,
and love it to death. I borrowed one for my iPad 1, but it wouldn’t
hold a charge. I like having a keyboard with me, for lengthier email
replies and posting to the various sites I write for. It also
ruggedizes the iPad, which is worth the trade off in terms of bulk, in
The iPad 1, though, I have a Zagg film on, since I have custom artwork
on the back that my girlfriend painted for me. The film seals in the
artwork, and protects the whole thing at the same time.
What’s on your iPad dock currently? Do these apps pan out as your most
frequently used? 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)
My home screen has all the apps I use most often, like Informant HD
(Google Calendar app), GigBook (lyrics and chord sheets for my disco
band), the Settings app, Facebook and Twitter, and Rdio (my favorite
How do you arrange your home screens? Do you use folders at all / heavily?
I try to keep stuff I use daily on the main home screen. Then the
second page is all the games I keep, organized into folders by type
(mostly). I have a third page for apps that I use, but don’t need
daily access to, in folders. Then a third and fourth page is for all
the stuff I’m looking at for review, or stuff I haven’t organized or
decided to keep, yet. I even have a fifth page, with apps I’m testing
out for articles like the top 10 gaming apps of the year or the like.
Like I said, 32G is a lot of space.
I know you’re a big-time games guy and a games expert. So dare I ask how the
iPad stacks up as a gaming device?
I think the iPad is a fantastic gaming device. One of my gaming writer
idols, Michael Abbott (http://www.brainygamer.com/), said that the
first time he saw the potential of an iOS device for gaming (in
general, not even mobile) was when he used an iPad to play games on
it. I’m in total agreement. I don’t know if you read Jeff’s article on
AirPlay and the iPad, but playing a game on the big TV from the iPad,
wirelessly through an AppleTV? That’s gaming nirvana.
I know a lot of folks complain about the games on iOS as being
throwaway experiences, not anywhere near the depth of PSP or DS games.
I agree there are many out there like that, but there are also many
that provide as high a quality experience as the traditional ones. I
think iPad gaming is here to stay; when I have a choice to play on an
iPhone or an iPad? I go iPad, every time. It’s fast, it’s a nice big
screen, and most devs have figured out the best control options at
this point. I really do not use my DSi or PSP or PSPGo any more.
Do you have some favorite iPad games?
I love Greed Corp, and I love Monopoly. I also play Ticket to Ride a
LOT. I love to show off Infinity Blade, of course, and pretty much any
tower defense game. My current favorite there is Gem Keeper. I’m also
a big fan of Plants vs Zombies, Small World (another board game app)
and my kids can’t get enough of Muffin Knight or Fruit Ninja.
What are some of your most used productivity apps on the iPad? Any that you
use for work?
We use iPads a lot at work, as I’m an Assistive Technology specialist.
I help kids get access to print materials like textbooks with
specialty apps like Read2Go and Learning Ally, not to mention
communication apps like Grace and ProLoQuo2Go. For office work, I tend
to like Pages more than any of the Office clone apps, and we use
GoodReader as a PDF annotation tool when we need folks to sign things
As a writer, I use the WordPress app a lot, obviously, as well as
Evernote for all sorts of story ideas or research or articles I’m
working on. In the disco band I play in, I use the iPad religiously
for the setlists and lyric/chord charts, and have been dabbling with
apps that connect to MIDI keyboards and such.
Do you read any newspaper or magazine apps on the iPad? Do you subscribe to
I subscribe to Edge magazine, and I spent some time with The Daily
App, but now I just subscribe to Edge. It’s still kind of a pain to
use, but I like the convenience of getting it on my iPad when a new
one shows up. Also, less paper is good. I also grab DC comics from
their app, currently Batgirl and the Grant Morrison Superman stuff.
How much, if any, book reading do you do on the iPad?
Since I already have two Nooks (I’m kind of a gadget freak, but they
keep paying me to write about this stuff, so I keep justifying it –
grin), I tend to do all my eBook reading there. A lot of the book
reviews I do are eGalleys, so sticking with one device per book is
Have you got a ‘hidden gem’ type iPad app that more people should know
Seriously, Evernote is a killer app, across iPad, Mac, PC, iPhone,
whatever. Go get it. I also really dig Flipboard – no other news
aggregation app has gotten it as well as they have.
Any killer apps you think are missing from the iPad App Store, apps you’d
love to see come to the iPad?
Well, I’d love to see World of Warcraft on the iPad, as well as my new
fav MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic. Other than that, no – there’s
already a ton of apps out there for every need.
Do you tend to pay much attention to your home or lock screen wallpaper?
Change it up often?
Nah. don’t care too much about them. My lock screen is the tiki/totem
face thing and my home screens, as you can see in the screens
attached, are the Earth.
Huge, huge thanks to Rob for doing this with me, and for offering up such great answers. It’s awesome to hear a real games expert talk so enthusiastically about gaming on the iPad.
I think it’s fascinating to see how people get the most out of the iPad and iPad apps – and hope you all are enjoying this series as well. To see all the entries in this series, check out the What’s on Your iPad page.
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