They’re great for reading your favorite blogs, have made entertainment as portable as ever and can’t be beat when it comes to long lines, road trips and bored kids. Your tablet adds convenience to almost every part of your day, but most people are only using them in limited ways, playing games and stumbling around the Web. If you’re the play-and-surf-only type, you’re missing out on some truly innovative ways to use that expensive toy to its fullest potential.
For Public Speaking
Whether you’re teaching a class or going to Toastmaster meetings, public speaking is a talent most people have to develop through practice. Going in front of the group with a deck of index cards can help you remember your speech’s main points, but a tablet is a more elegant solution. The Best Prompter Pro app can turn your iPad into a professional teleprompter, giving you hints just like President Obama gets, but without his obvious hardware.
For Your Health
Many physical conditions require vital sign monitoring on a regular basis. Some wrist-worn devices take care of this chore, but they can be pricey. The 99-cent Vital Signs Camera app uses the camera on the iPad 2 to monitor heart rate and breathing rate. It will also share your numbers via email and on Facebook and Twitter, so reporting to your physician is almost effortless.
For Your Classes
For students taking more than one class, heavy and expensive textbooks are a part of life and, likely, a bulky frustration. Save your back (and some money!) by using your tablet as a textbook. Whether you use an Apple or Android device you’ll find almost every modern college text available in digital form. Most are even available for rental so you don’t have to worry about selling them back to the bookstore at the end of the semester like you used to with paper books.
For Your Band
Gone are the days of jamming in the garage with an improvised sound system. Today you can create entire compositions with GarageBand on iOS. Download the app and you can mix music, record using the entire recording studio interface, arrange scores, and do anything else a recording engineer can. It will record up to 32 tracks and share them online once you’ve perfected the sound.
For Your Business
Libraries holding book sales, homeowners selling at garage sales, and even Girl Scouts selling cookies were once constrained by the fact that they could only sell items to customers with cash in their pockets. In a time where more and more people abstain from cash, a device to accept credit cards makes sense for temporary and small businesses. A tiny credit card reader that attaches to your tablet can turn it into an instant cash register, taking payments from any available card and expanding your customer base. Girl Scouts are already using these when selling cookies. Can weekend garage salers be far behind?