5 Really Cool Ways to Use Your iPad’s Camera

Think about taking a photo. Does your iPad come to mind?

Probably not.

If you are like me, you most likely use your smartphone. It’s portable, convenient, and usually offers a better-quality camera than your iPad.

And after all, doesn’t it look a little goofy to set up a shot with a device the size of a mini tea tray?  Using an tablet for taking photos has caused a lot of controversy ever since the first iPad came on the scene . In fact, you can still find whole Web pages devoted to expressing negative opinions and ridicule about the subject.

But I’m here to tell you that in certain situations, it can be BETTER to use your iPad as a camera than your iPhone. And you won’t even look silly doing it!

Let’s look at 5 really cool ways to put your iPad’s camera to good use.

scannerpro1. Turn your iPad into your own portable document scanner.

As an iPad adventurer, like you, I am out and about on a regular basis. Every day, I receive paper in the form of receipts, brochures, class handouts,  and more. It can so easily become clutter and stack up over time, so I like to use a good scanning application. One highly-rated app is called Scanner Pro. With it, I scan paper documents immediately, whether I am at someone’s office, standing in the grocery line, sitting in my car, or relaxing on my couch back home.

Using a good scanning app and my iPad camera, I can do all of these things:

  • Scan a document and then send it to any computer on a local Wi-Fi network I am connected to.
  • Fax my just-scanned document to someone right away (for a .99 cent fee).
  • Print my just-scanned document on any Apple-supported printer.
  • Scan multiple pages, one after the other. I can save them as PDFs or JPGs.
  • Organize my scanned documents into folders so they are just a tap away when I need them.
  • Scan and upload my document to cloud storage apps like Evernote, DropBox, and Google Docs, no matter where I am.

2. Tobjectake home inventory photos and videos for insurance (or other) purposes.

Even though you can use your iPhone’s camera to take home inventory photos, you may prefer to use your iPad.  A tablet gives you a larger screen for setting up and previewing your photos. You may have great eyesight, but it still helps to view everything with a larger screen!
Once you take your photos, you can:

  • Upload them
  • Email them, or
  • Work with them using photo-editing apps to enhance the photos.

You can also use the iPad’s video camera to film a room-by-room inventory.

3. Use your iPad as a barcode scanner.

You can use apps like Redlaser or ShopSavvy to scan barcodes and compare prices of the same product offered in different local stores. In addtion, the health app My Fitness Pal has its own barcode scanner on the menu and it allows you to scan your purchased food items for fitness cataloging.  For most effective barcode scanning, you are better off using a newer iPad, because the camera has been updated to a better quality. All in all, your iPad can be ideal to do a barcode scan, because of its larger screen, which can be positioned “just right” to get that barcode interpreted in on the first try.

presensence5. Set your iPad up as an instant security camera

The Presence free app makes a great webcam, baby monitor, pet cam,  nanny cam, and surveillance cam. I use it all the time, especially during road trips with my dog Gertie. Sometimes after we arrive in our dog-friendly hotel, I need to run out and get supplies. I don’t like to leave her alone in a strange hotel room even for a short time, and she is not happy with it either!

But with the Presence app and my iPad plus iPhone, I can  check on her while I am at the store.

You just download the app on two Apple devices such as your iPad and iPhone . Next, you designate (using the Presence menu) that the iPad will be the surveillance device and that the iPhone will be the viewing device.

And it’s done! You can leave, and check your iPhone any time to see the room you left. You can also record video and still pictures. The app also detects motion and can be set up to alert you, so you can be notified if anyone comes in a hotel room or in a certain room of your home.

I would say it is a lot of bang for the buck, but it’s free!

6. Turn your iPad into an artistic tool

Artists over the ages used a small half-silvered mirror to allow them to see a transparent view of the model superimposed on the drawing surface.   Using the iPad’s camera, the Camera Lucida app superimposes a live view of your drawing surface with your image. Once you select an image source and place a piece of paper in front of the iPad, the tablet’s screen shows a detailed outline of your subject and a live-video view of the surface in front of it. You can “trace” a subject by watching the screen while you draw on the paper, which takes a few seconds to get used to but generally works like a charm.

If you’ve ever tried to draw a portrait, then you know the importance of getting the proportions of the face just right.

This app says it can make an artist out of anyone. You can purchase a clip-on mirror called the Osmo. This company offers a similar app called Masterpiece which does the same thing.

So there you have it – 5 really different ways of using your iPad’s camera.

Do you picture yourself using some of these apps and suggestions to get more out of your iPad’s camera? Have you used your iPad’s camera in ways that made your life easier?

Add any ideas and comments below!

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