What's on Rene's iPad right now!

The wallpaper and apps on my iPad Air and why they're there, as of January 2014

Since there aren't a ton of iOS devices — like there are Android or smartwatches — the staff at iMore has traditionally shared our favorite apps instead. We didn't get to it at the end of last year, what with the best app awards and CES and all, so we decided to do it now, as a way to ring in the new year. Last week I shared what's on my iPhone for The Sweet Setup, so I'm going to focus on the iPad now. Here's my current iPad Air Home screen, and a few words on why I have it just exactly that way...

Okay. So... Yes, boring. My iPad Home screen is pretty much stock as the day it was unboxed. That's because I'm Captain Default. I keep all my stuff as close to stock as possible. It makes things simple when I reinstall, it makes things familiar for people when I do screen or hero shots, and, frankly, this way I'm never more than a new device or a reset away from knowing exactly where everything is. I have gotten in the habit of swapping the wallpaper occasionally, and filling the extra slots on the Home screen. Currently those include:

  • Wallpaper: Recreation of Apple's 2013 iPad and Mac event invitation design by our own Derek Kessler.
  • Entertainment folder: I watch a lot of video on my iPad. Netflix gives me all the catalog content, Global Go, the Bell-ruined-and-now-almost-unwatchable-CTV Go, and City Video give me the local broadcast stuff, and Air Video HD lets me stream just about anything from my Mac. With the exception of CTV Go, they're all easily beam-able to my Apple TV as well, thanks to AirPlay.
  • Reading folder: My eyes weren't made for viewing alone! iBooks, Kindle, Comics, and Marvel Unlimited are where I read my —surprise — comic books. (Thanks to pricing and regional restrictions, they're spread all over.) Flipboard lets me read social, and Storehouse is new and interesting.
  • iMore: Yes, it's not iPad optimized (yet!), but it's iMore!
  • Tweetbot: Yes, it's not iOS 7 optimized (yet!), and I try not to Tweet from iPad, but it's still the fastest way I've found to triage Twitter.

To make up for the lack of excitement on the main Home page, I'll swipe on over to the right and share what's on screen two as well.

  • Extras folder: An ode to the default Extras folder on iPhone, I throw the Apple utilities into here. Airport Utility to configure my router, Remote to control my Apple TV, Find my iPhone in case of emergency, and WWDC for the session videos. (Since Apple doesn't make Calculator for iPad, and Apple Store for iPad isn't available in Canada (yet!), it's a little under-filled for now...)
  • iApps folder: I vastly prefer my MacBook for productivity but if I ever have to edit a file on my iPad, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, GarageBand, iPhoto, and iMovie are there for me.
  • Social folder: I like Twitterrific as a reading experience, I have to use Google+ and Google Hangouts for work, and I keep Facebook around for friends and family.
  • Podcasts: I mostly listen to podcasts on my iPhone when I'm driving between malls and coffee shops, but since it syncs, and just in case I want some late night listening material, it's here for me.
  • Instagram: There's no iPad version (yet!) so I'm stuck with the iPhone version.
  • Hue: Phillips Hue app lets me control the lights in my podcast studio, kitchen, living room, and hall, bulb by bulb, color by color.
  • Sonos: My home theater, at my finger tips. (And in desperate need of an iOS 7 make-over!)
  • TV Remote 2: Panasonic makes the app, and while it's not great, it's there in case I'm desperate to control my TV.
  • Google Drive: Whether its for Mobile Nations's day-to-day management, or TWiT's podcast prep, or the stuff we partner with Geek Beat for, it all lives in Google Docs, which means I need the Google Drive app.
  • Dropbox: My Document folder is in Dropbox. Mobile Nations' shared folders are in Dropbox. My synced files and databases are in Dropbox. Which... kinda makes it feel like, for better or for worse, a whole chunk of my life is in Dropbox... After logging into iCloud, it's the first thing I install on any new device.
  • 1Password: All my web logins and licenses, all in one place. Security, meet convenience!
  • Screens: For whenever I can't — or simply don't want to — get to my Mac, this is the VNC client that best takes me back. I've said it before, I'll say it again, you haven't lived until you've administered your servers from poolside!
  • Editorial: Again, I prefer writing on my MacBook, but when I'm ultra-mobile, and I'm working in Text and Markdown, I'm working in Editorial.
  • Flint: We use Campfire for our virtual office and Flint is the best client for it on iOS.
  • Procreate: I like to pretend I still have time to draw, and Procreate has the most granular, deep drawing tools on the iPad.
  • Paper: Goofy rewind control and a palette that pops up whenever I draw up not withstanding, the pencil tool in Paper by 53 is incredible.

And... that's it! At least for the first two pages! Is there more? Is my Retina iPad mini setup any different? What's on my Mac dock? If you're interested, let me know, and I'll address all of that, and more, in the future. In the meantime, do check out my Sweet iPhone Setup, and let me know in the comments — are your go-to iPad apps very similar or incredibly different?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.