When you think of tablets (Apple iPad, Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon Fire, etc) you probably think of e-readers and gaming. I know that’s what I think of. I mostly use MINE for watching TV shows and movies when I’m traveling (like I’m actually doing right now as I work!)
A March 2011 survey polled 1,430 people and found that…
- 84% play games
- 78% search for information
- 74% use it for email
- 61% read the news
- 42% shopping
- 46% reading e-books
What you may not realize is that there are plenty of other things a tablet can do. Thanks to their portability, your tablet can be an incredibly verstaile tool.
Here are 20 creative uses we came up with:
- Attach a Bluetooth keyboard to your tablet and use it in place of a regular laptop or computer. You could even use an old tablet as a dedicated word processor. Delete all of the other apps and games for distraction-free writing! Microsoft Office is actually free for iOS and Android devices.
- Use the Teleprompter app to turn your tablet into a teleprompter! It’s a great way to improve your public speaking skills.
- If you have a small business, use your tablet as a cash register. We use the free Paypal card reader so that any payments go right into our Paypal account. I’ve also heard great things about Square.
- Use a retired tablet as a digital picture frame. Check out the Dayframe app for Android and Picmatic for iOS.
- Use your tablet as a remote control. Logitech has an app that allows you to control multiple devices from your phone. Apple has a Remote app that let’s you control your computer or Apple TV from you iPad or iPhone. If you use Chromecast be sure to download the Chromecast app to use your tablet as a remote.
- Hook your tablet up to your computer and use it as a second monitor when you need more room to work. Apple Support has the simple instructions for Mac and iPad, while TechWiser tells you how to use your Android tablet with a PC.
- Use your tablet in the kitchen for recipes. A couple of weeks ago I posted a clever idea for attaching a tablet to kitchen cabinets with Command Strips.
- I also love to use my tablet to keep me entertained while I cook! I pull-up Netflix or a Podcast since I don’t have a television in my kitchen.
- Make music on your tablet with apps like GarageBand and Audiotool Sketch.
- Nowadays, most electronics (and even cars) have digital manuals. Download manuals to your tablet and keep them all in one a folder for easy access.
- Ditch heavy and expensive textbooks for e-books! Apple even has the dedicated app for textbooks – iBooks Textbooks.
- This might sound crazy, but you can use your tablet with your 4-legged friends! School for the Dogs in Manhattan uses apps like YesNo, and Doodle Buddy when training dogs. You can learn more about their methods here. There are even special apps made specifically for cats! Cat Fishing, Games For Cats, JitterBug, Cat Alone 2 are all great ones to try. I read a couple of different sources that said they haven’t ever had a problem with cat claws scratching their tablet screens.
- Use your tablet as a digital sketchpad. Here is an article from Digital Arts about the best apps for artists.
- Access special features for your Xbox One or PlayStation 4 through your tablet. CNET has instructions for getting both gaming consoles hooked up to your tablet.
- Potty training driving you crazy? How about an iPotty! I initially thought this product looked a bit ridiculous, but after more thought I realized it’s kind of genius. Potty training is hard work, and if having a tablet to look at helps kids stay on the toilet long enough to do their business, then why not?
- Use an app like DSLR Dashboard and a USB OTG cable to control your DSLR camera from your tablet.
- Use an old tablet as a home surveillance tool or baby monitor. Attach a tablet to a wall with some Command Strips and download a surveillance app. iCamSpy, Presence, Manything, and IP Cam View Lite are all great options. If you have a professional security system be sure to find out if you can watch camera feeds on your tablet.
- Measure your vital signs without an expensive monitoring device. The Vital Signs Camera app uses the camera on your tablet to measure breathing and heart rate.
- Instead of fumbling with (and having to store) bulky sheet music, use your tablet as a sheet music reader. Here is a great list of apps used for this purpose.
- Attach your tablet to the back of a car headrest for kids to watch movies and television shows. You can find lots of different mounting systems on Amazon.
What is your favorite way to use your tablet?