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iPad, iPhone, Apps, and Ideas…


(This one’s just for fun…)

When iPad was introduced, nearly every blog and media outlet had an article about it. Some were sceptical, some critical, some more analytical, and some prophetic. Six months into using an iPad, and a couple years for the iPhone, I wanted to share how these devices have impacted my ministry and life. Just as I benefit from the ideas of others in these areas, perhaps these ideas will prove helpful to you. Here’s why the iPad and iPhone have been worth the investment:

1. Reading, Reading, and More Reading—if you buy books, an iPad (or a Kindle) would eventually pay for itself. Before iPad, I had no intention of turning to digital books. Since the iPad, my first thought is, “Can I purchase this book for Kindle software?” Most of the time the answer is “yes” and books cost a lot less digitally.

Reading on the iPad is a great experience, therefore I find myself doing a lot more of it. There’s a lot of great reading material for the Kindle, and a lot of it is free. One final thought—Amazon has made Kindle software for multiple devices which means your library is truly portable.

2. No More Leather Planner—for years my primary organizational tool was a leather binder—it had a tab for every area of ministry, major events, teaching outlines, prayer lists, and a calendar. Thanks to Evernote, everything in that binder has been moved into a digital format where it can be accessed from iPad, iPhone, and computer.

3. More Ubiquitous Information—the volume of information instantly accessible from these devices actually presents a new way of thinking. It involves some retraining for your brain. Actually working the possibilities into the flow of daily life requires practice, discovery, and idea-sharing with others.

For instance, two weeks ago I was at Matt Chappell’s wedding and the family needed a “Just Married” sign for his car. Rather than grope through a yellow pages or ask the front desk, iPhone provided a quick solution. I opened the map application, typed in “party supply” and a red pin popped up within walking distance of my location. Two seconds later I was on the phone with the clerk, and five minutes later I was checking out with a “Just Married” sign.

Here’s another use case—during family vacation we visited Gettysburg, York, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We repeatedly turned to the iPad or iPhone, looking up historical sites and cities in wikipedia. We also saved several hours by being able to view traffic. This type of instant access to information is truly a game-changer in the flow of life.

4. A Better Work Environment than a Phone—for years I’ve wished I could make iPhone bigger when trying to answer emails and text messages, or when trying to read something. I’ve longed for a bigger solution for portable work and reading, and the solution has exceeded my expectations.

5. A More Portable and Simple Work Environment than a Computer—it’s hard to describe or define exactly where the space is between your phone and your computer—but when you begin using the iPad, you find it. I think it’s different with every person, but it’s there. For me it’s turned out to be about ease of use and speed. The phone is about extreme portability. The iPad is about reading, interacting with information, and light work. The computer is about the heavy lifting and extended work.

6. A Huge Battery Life—this is one of the best features of the iPad—you just can’t kill the battery. (With iPhone I’m constantly aware of battery drain.) The only downside is that iPad makes every other device in your life seem to have ridiculously short battery life!

7. Connectivity Everywhere—with the development of cloud computing and services like MobileMe, Dropbox, Evernote, Gmail, Outlook, Google Docs, and a host of others; more and more of our digital lives are stored online and we expect to be able to access them from any device, anywhere, anytime. iPad just takes great advantage of these types of services and brings them to you in a very interactive and fluid way.

8. Presentations in Teaching and Preaching—I didn’t expect this one to be on the list, but doing a keynote presentation from iPad is really awesome. The ease and simplicity makes it irresistible.

9. A Bit of Entertainment as Well—It would be wrong not to admit that using these devices is just plain fun. Whether it’s reading Winnie the Pooh to Haylee, playing “Memory Cards” with our family, or teaching Dana how to play solitaire, we’ve had a good time.

Not long ago, I was being “poked at” by  a good friend for liking Apple products and having to “have the newest thing.” He said, “Look at your face, you just find a lot of pleasure in this stuff.” He was actually amused with me. In all seriousness, I said, “It’s really not about mere pleasure. I’m just very pleased with how profoundly these technologies have impacted my life on every level of personal productivity and information management.” That’s the simple truth.

To wrap up this post, here are the apps that I use the most. They are pretty much the same on iPad and iPhone (with a few exceptions):

Built In—Calendar, Email, Contacts, Safari, iPod,

Downloaded Apps—Amazon Kindle, Evernote, iDisk or DropBox, Things, Keynote, Olive Tree Bible Reader, Logos Bible Library, Early Edition or Feedler (RSS Readers), Quick Office, Twitter, USA Today, Fluent News, Wikipanion, Dragon Dictation

iPhone Only—VLingo, Banking, Flight Tracker, Dictionary, Amazon, Ebay, Yelp, Byline, HandiBible, Around Me

Now it’s your turn… comment below and share an idea, an app, or a perspective that might benefit others who are trying to implement good ideas for God’s glory.

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  • Fun post, Bro. Schmidt. I also use my iPhone for many facets of ministry and personal life. I have all our bus contacts organized in Address book by group which helps much.

    For Bible app, I love Olive Tree reader. It has wonderful preferences for fonts and personalizations. I also use often. It is text and AUDIO. I can pick a chapter and listen to it streaming, dramatized in KJV at any time. It’s free and fantastic. It’s a great alternative to the chatter on the radio during a long drive, just listening to a few chapters of scripture.

    Lastly, the iCal app built into the iPhone is great. It’s my memory and personal assistant all wrapped up in one. And if I ever lose my device or misplace it, I can remote lock it or wipe the phone with MobileMe. That’s just cool.

    Praying for your recovery soon, sir.

  • Check out “Blue Letter Bible” for iPad and iPhone. Great Bible study tool.

  • Love my new iPad. Evernote is perfect. Try Calengoo to sync calendars. Read It Later is great when you want to read a webpage article later. Star Walk is pretty cool and good tool to show kids (and adults) God’s amazing universe.

    Praying for you and your family.

  • How much of the effects from Keynote’s full version are compatible on iPad? I have a MacBook that I use for Keynote presentations and I use a slide advancer/laser pointer for message series. I hear that the iPad has no remote capabilities. Is this true? Does Olive Tree make an app for iPad?

    Our family has been praying for your health.

    • I don’t use any effects really with keynote… I prefer for my next slide or point to just appear… usually I find effects to be distracting. Point being, I don’t really know what effects transfer and which ones don’t. And no, you can’t use remote yet. You just tap the ipad, which for me, is sitting on the podium in front of me.

      Yes, Olive Tree makes a great iPad app.

  • I love using Pandora. It has really shown me good songs and good godly songs that are out there. And if I don’t like the song I just click dislike and it will change the song.
    If there is an app you want to get but don’t want to pay full price for it, then I suggest AppMiner. It will list all of the apps that are new and on sale. You can “watch” an app for sales and receive notifications when an app goes on sale.
    I like using iFitness to. There are alot of apps out there that will make you much more productive than you think.
    IPhones and iPads really are great tools to use.

  • A few favorites:

    iPad: iBooks, wikipanion, web surfing, YouTube.

    iPhone: hipstamatic (best photography app ever), keynote remote, twitter for iPhone.

    These devices offer such limitless info and open so many new doors. I have yet to try evernote. I’ll probably do the free trial soon.

  • What tipped the scale for me on upgrading to the iPhone 4 (besides everything else about it) was the HD video and the improved camera! Last night we hung about 35 8x10s around the youth room, and while the pictures aren’t great, they’re impressive for having been taken from a phone! It’s SO nice to always have a camera with you.

    I also use the built-in Voice Memos app to record some meetings and such, and we lay all our piano tracks for ensemble practice CDs with it as well.

    For now I’ve been using the simple, syncable ZenBe Lists app. It works pretty well but has a few double-syncing issues.

    Doing yard work one day a week I listen to my iPod app all day. Audiobooks, podcasts, conference downloads, preaching…

    My wife has pretty much commandeered my iPad for her recipes, but I get to use it every now and then. I’ve used it to display youth pictures with the slideshow or as a big timer, etc. Any chance I can get it’s out there!

    Oh yeah, and I use the Phone app every now and then too…

  • As a student, I love iHomework for both my iPhone and iPad. Chase Mobile is very convenient as well.

    For in between studying for classes, Angry Birds is there to help fill the gap. 🙂

  • Pingback: A pastor shares the impact of technology in his ministry « Gadget Pastor

  • In the smart phone / app market I prefer Android because of my use of google applications. In addition to the apps mentioned I also like Mint (personal finance), google listen (podcast), Audible (audio books), Awesome drop (file transfer)

  • What I use every week on my ipad is the PDF reader for ibooks. I have my roll sheets for my bus and SS class stored right on it. It’s easy because you can just drag and drop them into the itunes library. You can then look at them any time to get an address or phone number of a person on your roll sheet.

    I also find that “to-do” is probably the best list of things that I have ever had. You can make to-do items from checklists or projects with multiple stages. You can also do quick entries as easy as “tap, type, enter.”

    “Max Journal” is also a great journaling app if you are into journaling at all. I just it multiple times each week.

  • Along with e-mail, calendar, and the simple calculator, I use the Weather Channel app, the music app to listen to audio books and sermons as I run errands. As a music director and piano teacher, I’ve found the metronome helpful, and the “Virtuoso” Piano has been helpful when I’ve needed a starting note for a rehearsal and no real piano was around.

    Have you used or come across reviews of people who have used Nozbe? It’s a productivity app based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done which organizes to-do’s into next actions organized by projects and contexts.. Haven’t used it myself, but I’m curious what your thoughts are on it. 

    Have you used or come across reviews of people who have used Nozbe? It’s a productivity app based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done which organizes to-do’s into next actions. Haven’t used it myself, buy I’m curious what your thoughts are on it.

  • I was telling someone recently that using the iPad is a lot like delegating tasks. It won’t automatically happen, but if you aree committed to making it work for you, the iPad can revolutionize your work or ministry.

    I almost never preach with paper notes anymore. I simply save my message as a PDF, and open it in iBook. It works perfectly! The app from Twitter looks and functions great on the iPad.

    As the music director, I often have the need to quickly play a few notes of a song, but with no keyboard in my office, I use the Virtuoso piano app. Great on both devices. TeamViewer allows you to remotely control a PC or Mac which is great if you are dealing with a lot of computers at work.

  • I am an Android user (HTC EVO) and Evernote is a great app for Android as well!

  • If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.


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