With the launch of the iPad 2 over the weekend, we thought we would share with you our ten coolest things you can do with the device. Most of these iPad tricks will work on both the original and new iPad. We'll let you know if it doesn't.
1. Play movies on your TV with Apple TV
Speaking of the Apple TV, you can also show videos on your TV if you have the Apple TV already hooked up. Right now, not many apps feature this capability, but the built-in Videos and YouTube apps will do it. And we expect more to come, including the Majek app, which is from the people who made Goldilocks, a web actions series shot entirely on the iPhone. They plan to add this feature so you can watch their shows and films on a TV.
2. Use it as a game controller for a Mac game
There are a few games that can be installed on the Mac and the iPad which allow the user to control the game on the Mac via the iPad. One such game is Chopper 2, a game where you fly a helicopter around. This fun and we think it is the future of an Apple game console. If Apple is smart they will allow games to be installed on the Apple TV and use iOS devices as remote wireless controllers.
3. Show off pictures you've just taken
After taking some snapshots either with an iPhone or a camera that has either a USB cable or SD card, you can show them off to your friends and family. What you will need is the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit and optionally the VGA Dock connector adapter or HDMI adapter that was just released. Here are the steps:
Take pictures. Plug in the iPad Camera Connection Kit adapter that works for your (USB or SD depending on which way you prefer to hook up the camera).
Plug either the USB cable from the camera to the adapter or take the SD card out of the camera and plug it into the iPad.
The iPad will recognize that the kit has either the USB cable or an SD card attached and open the import tool automatically.
Import either all or just the pictures you want to show off.
Now use the Photos app (it is open automatically after connecting the cable or card in step 4 above) to show them off either in a slide show or just manually.
Optionally you can hook up the iPad to a TV, projector or some other external display via the VGA cable or HDMI cable. With the iPad 2 you could just use AirPlay hooked up to a display with an Apple TV installed.
You can even play some music while you do this.
4. Create a home movie with iMovie
This is an iPad 2 specific use because Apple's new iMovie for the iPad only works on the newer tablet. You can shoot movies either with the new iPad or on an iPhone. If you do the later you will have to import it using the iPad Camera Connection Kit and your USB charging cable. We recommend this if you can since the iPhone's camera is so much better. If you don't have an iPhone, though and don't want to use the iPad's camera to shoot video, you are out of luck at this point. Hopefully Apple will fix this.
5. Make beautiful music with GarageBand
GarageBand works on both iPads but it works better on the new one. This is a cool app that lets you do some amazing things. It has synthesized instruments that let you create multi-track recordings. Export them to the iTunes app on the iPad or download them to the computer to put on your iPod or iPhone. Alternatively, you can email the tracks. Even if the result don't sound that great, they are a lot of fun. If you have any musical talent at all, you will likely be able to use GarageBand.