Without question my favorite electronic device is the iPad. Although I first purchased my iPad 2 less than a year ago, it has already integrated itself into almost every aspect of my life. Yes, I have found the iPad to be great for browsing the web, posting a status update and emailing my friends. However, as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ I have found that the iPad is also a very useful tool in my journey with the Greatest of Masters.
The following is a listing of iPad apps that I have found to be of great benefit… though your unique situation is obviously different than mine, I think you will find the following 5 apps to be of great value in your walk with the Lord.
1. Olive Tree BibleReader
Of the five apps that I have listed, the Olive Tree BibleReader app is the only overtly ‘Christian app’ (of course an app can’t be a Christian, but you know what I mean). There are many excellent iPad Bible apps (I presently have 5 installed), however there are a few aspects of the Olive Tree Bible Software platform that could very well make it the best of the bunch.
Because the platform’s freemium pricing structure the overall cost is very reasonable. The app, a couple of Bible versions, and a few basic resources are available free of charge. However, there is a charge for other resources.
The Bible Reader includes all of the features that you would expect such as note taking, bookmarking, highlighting, and syncing across all of your devices. Another very helpful feature is the ability to have a split screen. You can use this feature to do a parallel Bible reading, or simultaneously view a Bible passage along side of your own personal notes or a book that your reading. The app even automatically hyperlinks your note’s scripture references.
Evernote is an incredibly powerful note taking and archiving tool. The app allows you to take and store notes in many different ways. Find an interesting webpage? Save the entire page in Evernote for future use… on any of your devices. Just thought of good idea that you don’t forget? Record an audio note. See something that might be of value sometime in the future? Take a photo note of it.
After capturing your notes into Evernote you can edit and organize your notes in numerous ways. Your notes can be easily annotated, searched, tagged and organized into folders. Since everything is synced to the cloud you can retrieve and use your notes virtually anywhere and on any Internet connected device.
Evernote is extremely flexible and is useful for almost anyone, there are some specific ways Christians can use this tool. One example is to use Evernote as a digital prayer journal. A friend of yours asks for prayer? Snap a picture of them and place it in a folder labeled prayer. Hear a prayer request at church? Jot down a quick note and put it in the same file. Read a blog post about persecuted believers in a distant land? Save the webpage to your prayer folder.
GoodReader has been called the “Swiss Army knife of awesome.” That is quite a statement to live up to, however after using this app I think you will agree with me that the app lives up to its reputation.
GoodReader allows you read and organize numerous different file types including PDF, TXT, MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and various image, audio and video file formats. Files can retained and organized on your iPad, and/or synced to the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and many other services are supported). You can even transfer your files over a WiFi connection.
The app also allows you to annotate your files as you read. Mark-up a PDF with virtual sticky notes, highlights, lines, arrows, and even freehand markings.
For the believer the application of GoodReader should be obvious. There are tremendous resources available for the Christian in PDF (and in the other supported file formats) that you can easily access with the app anywhere you can take your iPad. No need to lug around a library of physical books with you… you’ll have everthing you need right on your iPad.
Dropbox is a cloud based file hosting service that allows you to easily synchronize and share files. Dropbox stores your files securely on the service’s Internet servers . Files can be made available to anyone on the Internet (public), selectively shared with whomever you choose, or kept totally private for your own use.
The Dropbox iPad app extends all of these features to your iPad. As a Christian blogger I’m constantly sharing numerous files with other bloggers from around the world… a video files from a blogger in England, a Podcast from Canada, and a blog entry from an itinerant preacher traveling in the Bahamas.
If you use more than one computing device or you are regularly sharing computer files with others Dropbox is a must have tool.
There really isn’t much to say about the Gmail app for the iPad. Gmail is generally recognized as the premier free email service. The features and benefits of Gmail are beyond the purposes of this post, you’ll just have experience it for yourself. If you haven’t switched to Gmail yet, what are you waiting for?
The Gmail app brings all of Gmail’s goodness to the iPad… so wherever you access your email (PC, Mac, Android, iOS, web) all of your activity will be seamlessly synced across all of your devices.
If you need help in setting up the Gmail app look here.