Five Weird and Unusual Uses For Your iPad That Actually Work
For those of you who don't have an iPad it's hard to see what all the fuss is about. It’s a laptop without-keyboard-meets a smartphone and has a baby… big deal. But, speaking as someone whose had this magical device, for almost a year, it really is useful for a lot more than Angry Birds and Scrabble (sorry Oprah).

If you don’t believe me, try using an iPad on an airplane flight, and see if you don’t feel the heat of a hundred eyes staring over your shoulder. (This, of course, only works if you’re not in the back of the plane). See if the flight attendant doesn’t stop and say something about your iPad. See if the child in the seat across from you doesn’t break down because they can’t play Cut the Rope. It’s almost like being famous except for the fact that the paparazzi won’t actually follow you home.

When I started this article, a lot of my regular “iPad uses” just didn’t make the cut because they’re far too common. Here are some of them:

Some “Normal” Uses For An iPad

- Flashlight
- Writing Surface
- Food Serving Tray
- Dog Amusement Device (they have no respect for it)

You see what I mean? Who hasn’t balanced a plate of food on an iPad while holding a soda in the other? I had to dig deeper and find the things most people probably hadn’t done.

“Unexpected” Things I’ve Used My iPad For

1. An Emergency Beacon
When early explorers made their way around the world by ship, I can just imagine what they would have given for an app like Star Walk (and a cell phone connection… and a global network… and electricity). I can also imagine what ship-to-ship communication might have looked like at night. Instead of signaling with lanterns, they could have signaled with their iPad screens. S.O.S. could have been signaled by opening and closing an iPad cover. Is there such a need for this crude type of communication in today’s world? Well, I found a situation that called for this type of action.

At a late-night neighborhood community meeting recently, one of the more senior attendees had a medical emergency and needed an ambulance. The road and parking area round the building we were in was dimly lit, so when the ambulance and fire truck arrived, I used my iPad to flag them down. I turned it up to its brightest screen setting and put an image of an arrow on the screen. Holding the iPad above my head, I was able to point the ambulance to the right location. Did it look a little weird? Yes. Did it work? You bet!

2. Ukulele Sheet Music
What do you do when you need the chord charts for a ukulele, while your friend is playing the guitar? Use two iPads to view them of course! My friend Jerry and I recently used 2 iPads to view the chords for a few songs we were practicing (Hotel California and Over The Rainbow). Jerry read the first iPad with the chords for the guitar, and I used a separate iPad with chord charts for my ukulele. I’ve also taken my iPad to group ukulele lessons and saved quite a bit of paper printing due to the fact that so many chord charts are online these days.

Bonus: Use a simple wire-frame cookbook stand to hold your iPad… everyone will think you’re a genius!

3. Haunted House Special Effects
I never thought I'd find myself sitting in front of my home with an iPad on Halloween, running scary sound effects out of the Halloween Shelf app, but that's exactly what I did. The trick-or-treaters loved it! I also used the PumpkinLite app to simulate a virtual jack-o-lantern on my desk at Retrevo when we had our Halloween office decor contest.

Bonus: On the next dark and stormy night, hide your iPad somewhere in the house and leave it on a “scary sounds” music loop just loud enough to hear and close to where your significant other will be that evening. When they start to say, “did you hear something,” pretend that you have no idea what they’re talking about.

4. The Ultimate Hipster
Shopping List

There's nothing quite like having a digital shopping list in your cart, especially when you're looking for something you were told to buy that you've never seen before. Just don’t forget it’s in the cart or the next shopper will think the store is giving away iPads to loyal shoppers.

5. An Infinite Reality Portal/Very Expensive Digital Picture Frame
For a fun visual illusion, you just need an iPad and a little spare time (I mean creativity). All you need is a camera and an iPad 1 or just an iPad 2 and you can make an infinite reality portal illusion on your desk to confuse your co-workers! This is an especially fun April Fool’s day idea.
Send Us Your iPad Discoveries
There you have it; the strange but true things that I’ve used my iPad for. I’m sure there will be more and I’m sure that you have some of your own that you’d like to share. Do be sure to drop us a line and let us know what magical uses you’ve discovered for your iPad.
Discover the Magic of Retrevo
Don’t forget to check out Retrevo for all your gadget needs. You’ll find reviews and manuals for all the latest gear including HDTV, laptops, cameras and more.

Trackback URL for this post:



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Stara man.

Stara man.

Infinite Reality Portal

What is a infinite reality portal and how do you do it?


iPad uses

I'm a librarian and use my iPad all the time to look up kids info, check out & in materials, but the most fun is using holler gram to communicate with my teacher assistants from inside my office (lots of windows) - I have to be careful, holler gram does have quite a few pre-made bar/crude sayings as well.
BTW, I, too, have used my iPad to carry a plate...or sometimes just food :/ ...thank goodness for the screen protector!

iPad 1.0

I've come to look at retrevo

I've come to look at retrevo as a source of good, useful information. This post just wasted my time.

hey man, every tech blog is

hey man, every tech blog is going to have a mix serious and goofy articles - when you read the title did you really think it was going to be a very technical, serious article?

If one can't appreciate some nice ukulele chords (F - Dm - Bb - C7) or tips on being an ultimate hipster, you're doing it wrong.

purchase cialis online

cialis, http://www.cheapcialispillsusa.com/ - cialis order

I Pad uses

I discovered that you can watch TV, record programs and then watch what you recorded by using one of the Slingbox apps. along with a Slingbox unit, attached to your home DVR. I bought one recently and love it!!!