iPad Apps – Choose Wisely Grasshopper

In order not to create a drain on productivity by requiring multiple points of maintenance, the best iPad apps shift all of your specific tasks to the iPad, or allow synchronization across multiple platforms through the cloud. I’ll use a news aggregator or feed reader as an example for this discussion.
Given that one good use of the iPad form factor is to read and digest news articles, an app which could be at the top of everyone’s productivity list is a newsreader or feed reader. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a news reader takes input from RSS feeds from favorite web sites and presents them uniformly in an aggregated way. Usually, if a person were interested in this capability, they would already be using it on a PC. Here’s the salient point. If you are going to move your news reading 100% to the iPad, you just need to port your settings once and maintain them there moving forward. If you will be doing news reading on at least two platforms, let’s say a PC and the iPad, the issue of maintaining a list of news feeds in two places raises it’s ugly head. Is this a significant issue? Yes! I have about 60 feeds I maintain and change on a routine basis (add 3, drop 3 weekly as my needs evolve) and maintaining these two or more times (iPad, work, and home) would be a show stopper. So, the iPad app must allow for maintenance and synching with the cloud. In the case of the reader I use, it can synchronize it’s list with a Google Reader list I maintain once, and then duplicate as needed. This paradigm must be examined for every app choice you make to insure the iPad increases rather than decreases your productivity.

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