Our guide to iPads
Hotcourses Editor

Our guide to iPads

First published date February 11 2014 Amended date February 11 2014

Whether you want to learn the basics of how to make the most out of your iPad or knuckle down to the creative and technical side of things and learn all about designing iPad applications, there is a wide variety of iPad courses to suit all levels. Do you remember the days before the iPad, before touch screen, before social networking? The first iPad made its way on to our shelves back in 2010! At its peak, Apple iPad owned a huge 50% market share of all the mobile tablets available to consumers. Since the release of the first generation device things have only continued to become more powerful and more compact with the release of the iPad Air and the second-generation iPad Mini – small enough to fit in your clutch bag or jacket pocket.


What can an iPad do?

Maybe an easier question would be to ask just what isn't an iPad capable of? As far as we're aware they are yet to be able to teleport us from one place to the next, but, they can shoot photo and video, store and play music, browse the web, organise your diary, respond to email, and store your bookshelf. That's all without delving into over a million downloadable applications in the App Store. Your iPad is a chameleon; it can become a game play device, a GPS navigation system, a social networking hub, a design suite all at the touch of a...touch screen.


What situations are iPads great for?

When you're on the move. Whether you're dashing from meeting to meeting across the city or jet setting off for some summer sun, the neat, lightweight design means that it won't take up much weight or room in your bag and more to the point will keep you totally connected to the things that you need most when you're away.

When you're feeling creative or need to show off your creativity. The iPad is a great way to showcase and flick through your photos or your design work. There's no need to carry a huge folder full of your paper portfolio around with you anymore, just a swipe of a finger to wow and impress. There is also a huge amount of apps available to stimulate your creativity, from drawing with your iPad to editing images on the fly.

When you're in the mood for lounging on the sofa, iPads are great e-readers,  the screen is brilliant for catching up with the latest television that you may have missed or for browsing the web.


Designing for iPad

App design is big business; mobile development and games studio start-ups are shooting up all over the place all the time. The popularity of mobile tablets doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast which means that there is an abundance of design work to be done! There are more and more iPad courses on offer in the different areas of design so that you can learn the skills you need for that next big hit in the App store. If you want to skill up in using XCode (Apples' own development suite) or learn Adobe Air then taking a course in technical design will be for you. Perhaps you are more of an artist and you'd like to explore using Adobe Flash or Illustrator specifically for iPad design then a creative course will be right up your street. User experience design has become an all important field for mobile tablet design and UX (the abbreviated lingo) is a handy area to hone skills in when wanting to work with applications and mobile devices since good interaction design brings digital products to life.


Our favourite iPad apps

Spotify – MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC on your device for wherever you are. You have to be a premium user to sync up across all of your music devices, which does require a subscription but if you really want to take your music everywhere you go then this is an ideal. It has a great user interface too, making it really simple to create playlists and discover new music.


Tiny Games – Made by the small studio Hide&Seek, Tiny Games is an app to get you playing with your friends and the world around you. Just tell it where you are, who you’re with and what's to hand and it will tell you a real world game to play, there and then.


The Guardian – The Guardian app is a great way to consume news on the go. One of our favourite things about the Guardian is the recipes section, oh and the photography section, so that's two, both of which display on the iPad really well!


By Sarah Butcher