It’s an age- old debate. Do electronic devices— and iPads in particular— actually increase your quality of life, or are they a distraction? The trick is how they’re used. An iPad, even in a fancy 10.2 inch iPad case, can push you further into an internet addiction and away from the real world, decreasing your quality of life with each passing day. That said, if you’re intentional you can also improve your lifestyle with your iPad. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.
Siri is Apple’s personal assistant, and when she’s enabled on your iPad you’ll be able to get your iPad to do your bidding without any finagling with your screen. A few examples of what you can get done with Siri:
Setting boundaries is especially hard when we get tired, and most of us have found ourselves mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram long after we are meant to be in bed. You don’t care about what you’re doing, and you’d be much more comfortable if you just put the iPad away, but when you’re on autopilot you can’t do much other than just continue whatever you’re doing.
Apple’s Screentime and Downtime are invaluable for times like that. Not only do they help you keep track of what you’re spending time on— you get to see a breakdown, every day, of how you’ve used your iPad—- you also get to choose an interval of Downtime and tell the iPad to just shut everything up and stop distracting you. A password can help make this feel like a permanent solution, although you’ll want to write down the passcode and stick it somewhere you can find it should you ever actually want to use your iPad at night!
A more fine-tuned solution to the problem of distracting iPads is Apple’s Focus settings, first introduced in iPadOS 15. Here you can set multiple focus modes for different times of day. For instance, someone might choose to setup morning, work, home and sleep modes, and another person might choose to have Work, Gym and Relaxation. For each focus mode, you get to set a custom lock screen and decide which notifications go through.
A focus mode can be set up to activate on schedule, or you can use a GPS fence to automatically switch it on when you get to a certain location. This enables you to turn on work mode as soon as you walk into work, for instance, or relaxation mode as soon as you walk into your house.
Once you’ve learned how to use Siri and customized your home screens and notifications with Downtime and Focus your iPad is well on the way to being a positive influence on your lifestyle rather than something that brings you down. But much of what your iPad is depends on the apps you download and use. A well-curated collection of quality lifestyle apps is a great way to ensure your iPad actually improves your quality of life rather than the reverse.
Here are some recommendations.
Calm and Headspace are both quality mindfulness apps that can help you take a moment in your busy day and get into a good frame of mind. Headspace is about spoken word exercises, Calm is guided meditation; and both come in short five or ten minute segments you can easily fit into your day.
Both Calm and Headspace have free packages so you can try them out and see if what they offer is for you. Afterward, you can choose between a monthly or yearly subscription.
Todolist is a task manager and to-do-list application that can go a long way toward organizing your life. The app uses AI to take simple statements you might make “Read work emails everyday at 10 am”, for instance, and automatically fill your calendar with appropriate recurring entries on the to-do list. Your lists will also automatically sort themselves into Today, Upcoming and custom views, and you’ll get reminders when it’s almost time to do a task you set for yourself.
DayOne is a journaling app that takes all the work out of producing a high-quality journal of your days. You have the freedom to log your days the way you want, but the app also provides prompts for when you’re out of ideas. You can attach pictures, videos or voice memos, and the app will add location and weather info to every info if you give it access to that in your iPad settings.
Epicurious and Yummly are both great cooking apps that can help you put together delicious meals in the kitchen. When you’re using your iPad around food you really need a good case, but the Zugu 10.2 iPad case has strong enough magnets you can actually stick that iPad up on your refrigerator while you work. Out of the way of spill, drops and splashes, it’ll still be close enough you can follow the recipe and watch any videos even as you follow along with your own ingredients.
That’s only the start, of course, but with thoughtful app choices it won’t be long before your new iPad pro 12.9 case will soon be a capable lifestyle improvement machine!