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So you got an iPad for Christmas, Now What?!

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Let’s get one thing very straight: You are never too old for toys.

When my mom and dad would confer over what to get my sister and I every year for Christmas, my dad would always stop to ask, “But what toy will we be giving them?” That question is posed each and every year and has instilled my love of all manner of gadgets and techno gizmos. I still love to find clothing, perfume, kitchen items under our Christmas tree, but Handyman Tim knows the fastest way to my ¬†heart is to give me a toy.

It was with great glee that I accepted an iPad a few weeks ago. Tim had been the owner of it for over a year but just didn’t enjoy using it. Often it sat quietly in his hotel room untouched. He finally decided to put it in more eager hands. While I stared in disbelief as he passed it over, he said, “I thought it would be a great replacement for my laptop and I just haven’t enjoyed using it like I thought I would.”

And then the angels wept.

I hope Handyman Tim never reads this post. He may regret handing me this awesome toy. But for your sake, I knew I had to share this. Did you get an iPad for Christmas? It seems most ladies in my Facebook feed seem to have unwrapped one of their very own in the last few weeks. Some were greeted with glee like me, but I did see a few, “What do I do with this thing now?!” exclamations.

I’ll be sharing different iPad tips over the coming weeks but today I wanted to start you off with the number one thing you absolutely need to put on your iPad right this very second:

Stop what you’re doing and download Flipboard to your iPad right now. They have a version for iPhone too but the display size of the iPad is what makes this truly magnificent.

If you’re an avid blog reader like I am, you’re probably used to the list-style display of most feed readers. Hook up your Google Reader account to Flipboard and it turns your blog reader into a print-style magazine:

Flipboard1

You can display your blogs by folder, by feed, or all of them mixed together:

Flipboard2

My blog feed is extremely photo based. I buy my cookbooks based on the photography included, I make my decisions on what to cook based on the photo. Why wouldn’t I want to see my blog feeds by photo?! I LOVE this easily scannable format. You swipe the screen and it turns like pages of a magazine.

No internet browser works this way. This kind of interaction with your blog feed can only  happen in a unique app such as Flipboard. Why would you want to go to the Safari browser window to read via a traditional web site when you can have them fed to you in this gorgeous display??

And Flipboard doesn’t just hook up with Google Reader. I set my account to grab my Facebook, Twitter feed, LinkedIn account, Instagram feed and Flickr photostream. Instead of seeing all the text based links and hashtag mess of a normal Twitter feed, look at how it pulls the images right out of the links themselves:

Flipboard4

When I discovered how much more fun it was to read my social media outlets via Flipboard, I sat quietly squealing in our living room. Handyman Tim noticed and just shook his head and groaned.

Stay tuned for more iPad tips and suggestions in the weeks to come. For now, Flipboard should keep you plenty busy. But are you interested in having that super cute Valentine’s wallpaper for your very own iPad or iPhone? Check out Zina’s post over at Let’s Lasso the Moon and download yours there!

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