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Using iPads and Other Tablets for Study

October 2, 2012

I have a weakness for the latest and greatest tech products. With my 4.7-inch phone screen, and iPad, I find it quite easy to access my uni readings and work wherever I am. But having used my iPad in classes for over a year, I have come to the conclusion that tablets are best used for reading and research rather than note taking.

 

Although you can get Bluetooth keyboards for tablets, many of these are rather touchy when it comes to linking with the device and are generally fairly low quality (on the basis of the several faulty Bluetooth keyboards that I bought for my tablet). This issue is alleviated by some of the newer Android devices, such as the ASUS Transformer tablet, which comes with a keyboard dock, but the fact remains that for taking notes and writing assignments, you’re probably better off with a cheap netbook.

 

But that doesn't mean that there isn’t room for a tablet in your legal study strategy. Here are some apps that you may find useful for getting through your university readings…

 

 

AustLII

 

Yes, that’s right, the legal database has its own iOS application. Not only that, it’s a BRILLIANT application. It’s free, works flawlessly, and is amazingly easy to navigate. Has the new corporations legislation got your back aching? Download it to your 100g iPad and you’re good to go. There’s an iOS version and an Android version available.

 

 

Documents To Go

 

This handy little app is unfortunately considerably more expensive than our free friend above, coming in at $10.50. But considering the use that I’ve gotten out of it and the fact that its appeal has been far more lasting than the three pieces of Sushi I could have afforded for the same price, I think that purchasing it was wise. This app provides you with a full Office suite, and allows you to drag-and-drop files through iTunes. This is actually surprisingly useful, when you consider that you can use it through any computer with iTunes, without having to sync your device. Also, it allows synchronization with Google Docs, Dropbox and several other cloud storage services, letting you easily store your documents virtually. The app is available in iOS and Android friendly versions.

 

 

Dropbox

 

This has only been a recent find for me, since I got a new phone and it came with bonus data. Since I started using it, I’ve found it invaluable. Dropbox is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, so if you’re like me, and dabble in everything, you can keep your documents synced in the cloud, and available for all of your devices wirelessly. If you use the service on a computer, you can also simply edit your files in the Dropbox folder, and it will automatically synchronize them with the cloud.

 

 

Thomson Reuters' ProView

 

I was intrigued by this app when I first discovered it. This app is from legal textbook publisher Thomson Reuters. ProView is an eReader app for both Android and iOS devices, which allows you to annotate and highlight your legal texts easily, which saves carrying hefty textbooks around. But there’s a caveat: you need to purchase the digital version of the text from their site to be able to read it within the app. Considering I already have all of my legal texts, it made the app somewhat redundant for me. The app is probably considerably better for those in the earlier years of their degree than final and penultimate year students. The app can be found in the Apple Store, and there’s an Android version too.

 

 

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