Using the iPad to Support Academic Research

Caveat: a tablet is not a full-on personal computer but somewhere between a laptop and a smartphone.

1. The iPad for reading and browsing

Personalized News
Reeder (US$4.99, RSS app that connects to Google Reader, very clean interface) Nearly all journals, newspapers, etc. have a subscription feed (called RSS for really simple subscription/syndication). You can use the free Google Reader to bring these together into one place. The advantages of reading this way is that a) journal issue email alerts are removed from your inbox b) you can access whenever you want from any computer or mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc) c) it can be more than journal email alerts. Below are a few examples for different disciplinary journals. Clicking the link will take you to Google Reader where you either login if you have a Google Account (Gmail) already or create an account if you don't.

Flipboard (free, magazine style presentation of various news and social media sources)
Zite (free, magazine style presentation of various news and social media sources, you can add search topics related to your interests/study, you can add positive/negative reviews for articles it finds and it will constantly improve/refine its search)

GoodReader for iPad (US$4.99, integrates with cloud services like dropbox, etc. Can annotate MS Office docs as well as pdf. Lots of other functions.)
iAnnotate (US$9.99 - only annotates and works with pdf docs but very sophisticated at this and very fast at moving through the pdf document)
PDF Expert for iPad (US$9.99, also fast scrolling as optimized for pdfs, also has pdf form filling capability)
Articles (US$1.99) - Wikipedia articles optimized for iPad
Discover (free) - Wikipedia in a magazine
Diigo (free web app, social bookmarking and web annotation) - see Annotating the Web with Diigo
Evernote - overview video (free, free desktop/laptop clients to synchronize across devices/pc's)

Journal Databases
EBSCOhost (free)

Amazon Kindle App
Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader
Amazon Student App
Apple iBooks

Free eBooks
Project Gutenberg
Free eBooks at Amazon
Free eBooks at Borders
Free eBooks at Barnes & Noble
(Article with links) The best 6 sites to get free ebooks
(Article with links) 20 Best Websites To Download Free EBooks

Bibliographic (referencing) apps
Papers (US$14.99, 40% student discount on this price i.e. US$8.99) - can pull articles from databases and annotate downloaded PDFs
Sente (US$19.99, Sente Viewer is free if you want to share with research colleagues)
Mendeley Lite - Reference Manager (free app, web-based service), can be coupled with Zotero in your browser and standalone (free)
ZotPad (US$5.99, viewing your references from Zotero but no editing/adding/deleting)

Make the Safari web browser on the iPad work productively for you
There are a lot of useful browser apps for iPad but you cannot change the default browser as you can on a desktop/laptop. The key to productivity with Safari is social bookmarking and bookmarklets.

Read later function built into Safari browser.
Pocket (formerly Read It Later) (free and pro US$2.99 app)
Instapaper (US$4.99, should become redundant with iOS 5)

Diigo - Diigo app (free) - diigo bookmarklet - bookmarklet

Joliprint - print web page to pdf and save - lots of bookmarklets here, browse and see what might be useful for your workflows

2. The iPad as an idea development tool

Sticky notes
Mind mapping
Concept mapping
iCardSort (US$5.99) for card sorting/proriotization tasks.
Mindjet for iPad (free) - the desktop (win or Mac) application is integrated with MS Office and MS Project
Mindmeister for iPad (US$7.99) - individual or collaborative mindmapping
iThoughtsHD (US$9.99)

3. The iPad as a research data collection tool

PollDaddy (free from

Interview/focus groups
Field Notes/Journal
Note-taking tools

Tools for saving and moving files (cloud storage, remote to pc, wireless storage device)
Two options:
Cloud storage
  • iCloud
  • Dropbox
  • Google Docs
  • SugarSync
  • WebDav
  • FTP
  • Otixo - aggregated store (great if the app allows you to add WedDav)

Direct connection to your pc (over the same Wifi same network)

Database applications

Tools for creating and editing documents

Graphing tools

4. The iPad as a research group meeting and collaboration tool (onground/online).

Use any of the synchronized audio recording/note-taking apps above.
Idea Flight (free but with US$7.99 for Pilot upgrade and one person must in meeting/team/group be Pilot)
Meeting Mngr Pro (US$9.99)
Conference Pad (US$4.99)
MeetingRec (US$1.99)
Assemblee (free) - meeting procedure management app
GoToMeeting (free app, web-fee)
FuzeMeeting (free app, fee-based online meeting space that ramps up to HD video conferencing)

5. The iPad as a research dissemination tool



Attending Conferences & Seminars

FlightTrack Pro (US$9.99)
GateGuru (free)

TripDeck (free) - travel itinerary manager
Kayak HD (free) - deal finder: flights, hotels, explore
TripAdvisor (free) Hotels, flights, restaurants
TripIt (free or USĀ£.99 for no ads) travel organizer - keep family / colleagues informed (web site)

HotelPal (free)
Priceline Hotel & Car Negotiator (free)

XE Currency (free converter)

AccuWeather Platinum for iPad (US$0.99)
Weather+ (US$0.99)

Nightstand Central (US$1.99) - alarm clock with much more
The World Clock (US1.99) - timezone clocks

City Guides

The first two apps work on a remote desktop model which means you need to install a free client onto the desktop in the lecture theater/classroom or onto your laptop which you take to the venue. Once we know which presentation app or apps people prefer, CELT will discuss with ITSC about having these clients installed in classrooms and lecture theaters as part of the PC default setup.

2Screens-Presentation Expert (US$5.99 plus in-app purchase US$2.99 for AirShow in browser - works with latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari but not Internet Explorer 8)
AirSketch (free, US$9.99) - virtual whiteboard through the browser

iClickr (US$9.99) - slide annotation, can display your slide notes or can show (peak at) the next slide on from the one displayed on the screen via the LCD projector. Needs installtion of a free remote client.
Splashtop Whiteboard (US$9.99) - slide annotations can be saved as images, unlimited pages for whiteboard, lined paper or graph paper which can also be saved as images. App does not display slide notes nor the next slide. There is also a remote desktop client so you can run any software on the classroom pc/your laptop. Needs installation of a free streamer client.

Explain Everything (US$2.99)
Educreations (free)
Screenchomp (free, but can only post to their public site)
e-Lecture Producer HD (US$3.99) - create voiceover for your PowerPoint which then is saved as a movie

Networking - business card to contacts ... notes in contacts for question
Bump (free)