All iPads College students, how do you use your iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by rockyroad55, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I'm a student trying to see if an iPad will help me in my studies. Just looking to see how the rest of you guys use it for academics.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2013
    When I had mine, I would use goodnotes and a stylus to take notes, either over downloaded slides or by creating a virtual notebook and using it as a notebook replacement.

    I would also be running a voice recorder app and recording the audio lectures.

    I could then email the mp3 or exported pdfs to myself and study on any device.

    I've since sold my iPad and moved on to a macbook air - but am really missing the iPad.

    If you're studying a subject that requires tons of equations and math - the iPad with a stylus is simply unbeatable.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    The iPad came out during my third year of college, so I was only able to use it for about two and a half semesters before I graduated. It was great for reviewing my professors' PowerPoint slides while studying for tests. Substantially reduced my need to print things. None of my books had an ebook version, unfortunately, but there is another reason an iPad is a great tool to have.

    I don't see it as practical for note taking, especially if you have to draw a lot of diagrams, or for writing long papers. But maybe there is better note taking software now than when I first got my iPad.
  4. thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I'm going to have to disagree with your last statement. Nothing beats good old pen and paper for equations and diagrams in math and science. I don't expect to use the iPad for Orgo and Calc.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2013
    Have you used current note writing software and styluses?

    I bought about 6-8 different note writing apps (the writing engines were different..), and tried many different styluses before finding one with the proper balance for me.

    Some apps had very smooth writing engines that worked well for equations. I was a bio/chem major and the ipad worked very well..
  6. macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    I use mine for everything at school other than typing papers and taking notes. I use my MBP for coding, paper writing, video editing etc. and prefer pencil and paper for notes. My mini is great for power points, calendar, and many other things and fits great in my backpack. The portability is great!
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    I wrote this earlier today; I didnt feel like rewriting it, so I'm just pasting it.

    I LOVE my iPad mini. I have all my college textbooks on it (purchased via Aamzon or scanned), take all my notes on it, and game and surf on it when I'm bored. Ok, so the screen isn't Retina, but it's still a great screen. I mirror what a bunch of people have already said: readability of textbooks is fine, I don't have to "constantly zoom in and out" like other "users" do. I posit that these "users" probably don't have minis, are hard of seeing (not being rude), or are whiners (being slightly rude). I user PDF Expert to keep all my books and school material (syllabi, ppts which I've converted to PDF, etc.) on my mini with PDF Expert's excellent Dropbox syncing (other PDF software also has Dropbox syncing). I use the new Jot Pro by Adonit (with sound dampening tip purchased from Amazon) to take ALL my class notes. I don't use paper at all anymore, and by following Lifehacker's posts on keeping your computer linked to Dropbox, whenever I'm on my Retina Macbook Pro, all my files are synced in the background.

    iPad mini + the Jot Pro + Lifehacker's Dropbox info + PDF Expert = Awesome.

    BTW, I have the 16GB mini wifi, as I use my iPhone's wifi hotspot when I'm not at home or school, which both have wifi. Also, I can even fit the iPad mini in the front pocket of my jeans! I wear Express Kingston classic straight leg jeans- so they're not skinny jeans, nor are they baggy jeans.

    Personally, I've used the iPad 4 and I just think it's WAY too bulky and heavy. The mini is the iPad Apple should've released from the beginning.

    From someone who uses his mini for at least 5 hours a day- many times 7-10 hours a day, I am super happy I bought it! Hope this help dude. You can PM me if you have any other questions.

    16GB iPad Mini Wifi = Awesome
  8. Matthew9559, Jan 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013

    macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    I used it mostly for the courses I didn't have to take too many notes in so I used it for slides and quick notes in Pages. Since I had a MBP I used that as my primary device for classes.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2012
    The iPad is great for school. Get a bluetooth keyboard and stylus and you're set to go. I have both a rMBP and iPad but usually keep the rMBP at home and use my iPad on the go.

    There are soo many apps that can cater to your needs but I'll mention the ones I use most. Notability is a top notch notes app for that allows me type, draw, take photos and record all in one note during lectures. I use Dropbox and Google drive to save and sync all files between my rMBP and iPad. Most of my textbooks are ebooks and I save them to dropbox so I can open them up on my iPad to read. Lastly splashtop is another favorite, the ability to access my rMBP remotely is icing on the cake.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2013
    I carry a camera bag with an iPad mini, Maglus stylus, iPad mini-sized Bluetooth keyboard, VGA adapter, USB adapter for my Android phone, and cleaning cloth.

    I use:
    Goodnotes for notes
    Goodreader for reading/storing/syncing notes, textbooks, other things
    Scanner Pro for scanning
    ..and several other apps that are nowhere near as important as those three. They work together, so I can e.g. be handed a paper document, scan it in Scanner Pro, open in Goodnotes, take notes, export finished document to Goodreader, where it's synced to Dropbox in the next sync.

    I'm studying to become a teacher, so I also use it as a teacher. Mostly the same apps, though some teacher-specific ones for attendance etc. I love Goodnotes' dual screen mode when connected to an external monitor. Actually used that today, for helping someone with math:

  12. macrumors 68040


    Dec 22, 2009
    I used it for taking notes and writing essays all the time before I sold it for a Nexus 7. Both do the job very well but I prefer the smaller Nexus myself.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2010
    I used to use PDF Expert (by Readdle), synchronised with Dropbox, to annotate lecture material.

    I would often review these on my ipad but could just as easily access them from my MacBook.

    Worked great and saved me carrying a laptop most days.

    I was a biomed student so I didn't really need to annotate using free hand drawings too much.
  14. macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    I use mine all the time! I still use paper for some notes taking. I will write a paper on here no problem!!!

    I use Evernote, flashcards, noteability the most. For paper writing I uses pages and iCloud.

    This is the first semester I've bought an e-book and I'm hooked!!

    The ipad has completely changed the way I study, I actually study now LOL! I used to make flash cards and then always forget them. Now I always have them with me.
  15. macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I'm a researcher too. Can you tell me a but about the apps you use for reading and annotating PDFs and other academic papers?
  16. macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2010
    I use my iPad mini for taking notes in class. It's pretty handy. I can also look at any further PowerPoint slides or reading documents on BlackBoard (the mobile app or through a web browser). PDFs work fine on it since they've updated.

    I would recommend buying a Bluetooth keyboard for note-taking. I used to take notes on the touchscreen and it's not such a great idea when the professor talks a million miles an hour. I'm a keyboard kind of guy, so I bought one for my Mini and it helps tremendously. The app I use that was recommended to me for taking notes is called Notability. Gives option for bullet points, highlighting, and drawing. I love it.
  17. macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2012
    Definitely recommend getting a bluetooth keyboard like someone else said. It comes in handy so much (I'm pre-law). If you're a freshman/sophomore I'd recommend it for sure because there's a lot more e-books now. Which are always cheaper. A junior/senior ehh. At that point it won't make too much of a difference I'm in my 4th year. Don't get me wrong it helps, but unless you're going to use it for other things post-graduation it's not better than whatever laptop you're using and possibly a waste of money.

    Plus you can view PDFs, slideshows, make your notecards, take notes, save on paper (I'm an environmentalist.:p) And perhaps most importantly it's faster than writing. At first I thought I may have trouble writing everything that I might need down, but honestly it's been easier since I'm a way faster typer than I am writing. Another perk is when you're bored in one class that the professor is droning on about something can do other homework. I'm a big fan of working on papers during one of my history classes just because history comes easy to me and I can read it and learn it better by reading it.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Hi there,

    For annotating PDFs, my favourite app is iAnnotate, which I've written about here. Other good alternatives are GoodReader and PDF Expert.

    For reference management, I use Sente, which I've written about here and here. Bookends and Papers are other good alternatives (there's stuff on BE in one of those posts, too). All these apps have some annotations features, Sente has a nice 'quote' function which is good for processing review notes.

    For note taking, I usually export annotations from iAnnotate and send them to Circus Ponies Notebooks, which I've written about here, here and here, although I think I'm about to change to Evernote.
  19. Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    I bought an iPad, wanted to take handwritten notes, and do powerpoints and stuff, but I found for me, personally, I preferred going to class and taking handwritten notes because it was much easier.

    My girlfriend on the other hand, who is med school, uses hers extensively. 12 hours per day kind of extensive. It seems to work really well for her, she listens to lectures, and takes notes and stuff on Powerpoint slides.

    Only issue seems to be making sure you have the right apps, idk what she uses. Probably iAnnotate.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    I do not hand write notes in it, I only will take notes that require typing letters exclusively.
  21. macrumors 6502


    Feb 7, 2010
    as an engineering student, i use the ipad as a calculator and a textbook, and sometimes a video recorder.

    its tough to draw diagrams and equations in engineering, especially if the professor is discussing.

    i think the ipad as a note taker is perfect for probably business or english major students.
  22. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011

    Hi. I am a researcher who gets a lot of use out of the iPad + Incase Origami + Apple Bluetooth keyboard combination.

    I use the following apps on a daily basis:

    Evernote (my external brain)
    iAnnotate (stable, easy to use, and frequently updated)
    GoodNotes (best line quality)
    Papers (only app with footnotes)
    Dropbox (files)
  23. thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Are there apps that I can open a word document from Blackboard and edit right away?
  24. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011

    Yes. Any app that edits Word documents can do that. It depends on what level of access you want to editing features. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
  25. thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    How about Pages?

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