Stop wasting time closing all apps in the multitasking bar – it’s a myth

Many people on the web, including some “Geniuses” working in Apple stores, claim that you should regularly clear out all the apps from the multitasking bar in order to speed app your iPad and to preserve battery. I will tell you a secret: it’s a myth – so save yourself the time and don’t do it. There are a few exceptions in that sometimes it makes sense to close a few certain apps – this post tells you what these are.

Copernicus wasn't a great fan of superstitious beliefs - what would he have said to the "clear-the-multitasking-bar" myth?

Copernicus wasn’t a great fan of superstitious beliefs – what would he have said to the “clear-the-multitasking-bar” myth?

Manually closing all apps in the multitasking bar won’t increase the performance of your iPad or iPhone. It is a superstitious belief, like lets say, that the sun revolves around the earth. And like every good myth, believing in it makes total sense. Isn’t it obvious that the sun revolves around the Earth? We are standing here still, but the sun rises in the East and sets in the West! And isn’t it obvious that apps that are running in the multitasking bar take up resources? Its called a multitasking bar, after all, they must be doing something!

But it is a myth, and if Copernicus was still around, he would squish the regularly-close-apps-from-the-multitasking-bar myth as much as he squished the other one. [Read more…]

Two-Day Discount on Productivity Apps (Scanner Pro, PDF Expert, and more)

Just a quick heads up that you can get some good deals on productivity apps by Readdle over the next two days (its their birthday). Readdle apps receive consistently high ratings in the Appstore, so you can get quality apps for bargain prices here.

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Three steps for fighting the chaos in your email inbox

If there is one thing I am genuinely afraid of it is my email inbox. Every time I am getting too busy to keep my inbox in check, my Unread Emails counter immediately grows three digits big. And I am not even important! How can we deal with the flood of emails from advisors, colleagues, professors, students, administrators, listservs, and RSS feeds? Here are three steps for taking control over your inbox. [Read more…]

Bluetooth Manager: Another great tool that wasn’t around for very long [update: pulled]

Do you remember Bluetooth On/Off academiPad wrote about two weeks ago? The app that lets you switch your BT status on the iPhone and iPad on or off with only one click, instead of digging three levels deep into the setting menu? Yeah, that app is gone. Apple pulled it finally, as everybody expected it due to its use of private APIs and the violation of Apple’s rule that no app shall switch off bluetooth. But you must not worry: Bluetooth On/Off still works, and there is already a new app out for those who missed it: Bluetooth Manager [Read more…]

Shortcut to turn bluetooth on/off on iPad and iPhone [update: pulled]

Bluetooth OnOffIf you are using an external keyboard, a bluetooth loudspeaker, or any other BT device with your iPad or iPhone, you might be familiar with the routine of frequently switching bluetooth on and off (e.g., to preserve battery). Unfortunately, the settings for doing this are a little bit tucked away under “General Settings”, which makes the whole routine more complicated than it should be. If you think there should be an easier way, Bluetooth OnOff ($1, universal app, iTunes link) might be a good app for you. [Read more…]

Inbox Zero: A better way to manage email

At all levels of academia email is a used and often abused form of communication.  Whether you use a Mac, iPad, or iPhone to view and write email, you can use the principles of Inbox Zero.  With evolving technology continuing to lower the barriers to communication, the number of inputs we receive in a given day continues to increase.    Unfortunately, we often don’t take the necessary steps to train ourselves on how to best deal with these inputs.  Well, that will change by reading this article. [Read more…]

15 tricks to get the most out of your iPad

iOS 5Joel Bankhead over at app sat down earlier this month to write down 42 features of iOS 5 you might have missed. Well, some of those are pretty obvious, but here are 13 features of this list plus 2 features I came up with that are especially relevant for academics. [Read more…]

How to type faster on your iPad or Mac

Today, academiPad welcomes its first guest author post! I know Bryan Sippel from my first year at Queen’s, and he was a productivity ninja already back then. Nowadays he sharpens his skills as a consultant, working with higher education institutions implementing, upgrading, and supporting the Oracle Campus Solutions software product. Thanks Bryan for bringing our typing up to speed!

Do you like to save time?  If you spend a lot of time typing on a Mac or iOS device, TextExpander is an application guaranteed to save you time.  TextExpander allows you to configure “snippets” of text that will expand to additional text when you type them in any application. Think of a long word, phrase, or paragraph that you often find yourself typing.  If you can think of a short snippet for it, TextExpander is something to consider.  For example, I have configured a snippet  “ddate” which expands to the date written in full (e.g. Thursday, February 2, 2012).  Another snippet is  “ttime” which expands to a time stamp (e.g. 1:30 PM).

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Task management for academics

Task management is a tricky topic in academia: Faculty members and students alike juggle a lot of different tasks while pursuing many different projects; often in collaboration with others. Yet, our projects often don’t require the same level of organization as in the corporate world in which tasks are delegated, have fixed start and end times, and are populated with resources and attendees. At least as a graduate student right now, I therefore don’t need a task manager with all bells and whistles. On the other hand, a simple to-do list is not powerful enough to juggle various research projects with teaching and other commitments. That’s why I am using the free Wunderlist task management apps.


Manage your tasks on all your devices

Wunderlist is an elegant task management solution that blends a small feature set with a wonderful design. It avoids the complexity of other task managers without compromising on the most important features. Of course you can have multiple lists to sort your tasks, you can add notes, due dates, and reminders to your tasks, you can make some tasks your favorites, and you can sort your tasks using various filters. You can also share certain lists with other users. [Read more…]