Today’s post will be about an app I found on the app store called “Microsoft Remote Desktop”. A free app that allows you to access your Windows or Mac desktop from your iPad and works in a similar way to TeamViewer or Splashtop remote desktop software.
It is very simple to set up and you’ll be able to interact with the computer through touch – the way Microsoft somewhat imagined you would do with Windows 8/8.1 and then improved it in Windows 10.
The Microsoft Remote Desktop Assistant app for Windows lets you remote control your pc
On the iPad app, enter the username from the assistant screen and your Windows account password to gain access to your desktop
That’s all! You’ll be signed out of Windows on your desktop and a new session will be created on the iPad (picking up where you left off)
Windows 10 running on iPad – tablet mode
You can close the lid of your laptop too. To exit, sign back in on the PC or close the connection from the iPad.
The app is very stable and you notice very little lag when you’re using it. It’s best if you have a fast internet connection though.
It’s definitely not an excuse for you to forget about your desktop or laptop completely, but its a handy way of getting to it for some light content. Its also cool to show your friends that you can run Windows on an iPad – sort of.
In 2012, I used Splashtop to control my Windows 8 PC from my iPad. Here is the actual image from that time:
Download it for free from the app store today and tell me what you think.
As we reach the peak point of the semester, its time to once again look at how well iPads are performing in the classroom.
Honestly, its remained pretty much the same since my last post about it. I have noticed however that less and less students are bringing in the iPads to lectures/tutorials and bringing in their laptops instead.
I think this is due to the modules we are taking which includes making an Android app and another which asks for a series of complex diagrams. These are simply not possible on an iPad so many students prefer to bring in a laptop to take notes AND work on said course works. I have to admit, I have also been doing this. I haven’t brought in the iPad for the past couple of weeks, simply because I found no need for it when I need to work on my app anyway. I found it to be more convenient and lightweight to bring in a laptop instead (not that the iPad is heavy – just carrying both can be tiring!).
There are still many students who elect to bring in both, and thats great. I’ve seen a couple of students who have the iPad open displaying lecture slides, and they’re typing notes or working on their laptops.
Its difficult to say whether or not students will bring in the iPads after the deadlines for these CW’s pass because there will be a second app to create, and a C# implementation of the diagrams. Theres also a group project that requires a lot of Java programming right now.
Overall, iPad use has slowly reached a point where students would rather get productive on a laptop, than a tablet – because the iPad simply does not let you program, which is a big requirement in our faculty. But students are still embracing iPads wherever they can.
Siri is your built in virtual assistant and it can help you get so many things done, just by asking!
If you’ve never used Siri, you can summon Siri by holding down the home button – and I bet you’ve done that accidentally 10 times 😆
The next time you’re browsing a website, or found a good store near the University of Westminster, and want to be reminded about it later – ask siri to “remind me about this later”.
Siri will save what ever is on the screen as a reminder and remind you to get back to it later on in the day. You’ll see it in the Reminders app, and tapping on the Reminder will take you back to that screen.
Give it a go the next time you want to be reminded about something on your screen 🙂
When you’re giving a presentation, or in a quiet lecture room, you might wish your iPad didn’t keep annoying you with email or Calendar tones.
The solution is very simple! It’s a feature on the iPad called “Do Not Disturb” and it does exactly that.
You can turn it on via Settings, but the quickest and best way is via Control Centre. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the ‘Moon’ icon.
This will NOT stop notifications coming to your iPad – it will just not light up the screen or play a sound. It only works when your iPad is in sleep mode (locked).
But what if you want to always silence tones and notifications while you’re using the iPad? Maybe you’re doing something that requires full concentration – like understanding Java.
By default, this behaviour is off. To enable it, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and turn SILENCE to ‘Always’. Now you can take lecture notes and not get distracted by Candy Crush notifications. You can get back to your notifications from Notification Centre though.
I showed this to one of my classmates that was turning on Do Not Disturb and he was quite surprised at the fact he wasn’t fully enabling the feature for the times he wanted to use the iPad in peace. He was glad to know about the setting and said he would use it interchangeably between the normal setting and this hidden one.
The iPad Air has many specific features that take advantage of the device’s large display.
A great feature on the iPad is the ‘split keyboard’ which allows you to separate the onscreen keyboard into two halves, allowing for easier typing with your thumbs.
This feature is on by default in Settings, General, Keyboard, Split Keyboard.
When you’re using the keyboard, in the lower right hand corner you will notice a keyboard icon – officially called the “Keyboard Key”. If you tap it once, it will hide the keyboard. If you tap and hold on ithowever, you will see the following menu pop-up:
Slide your finger up to ‘split’, and your keyboard will raise up and split in half – for easy thumb typing in portrait (can also be done in landscape)!
To get back to normal, simply tap and hold that key and tap ‘dock and merge’.
You can also drag the keyboard up and down the screen by holding the key down and sliding your finger up and down.
During the week, I came across a very interesting app on the App Store called “Swifty“. It’s a great app for computer science students wanting to making apps for iOS.
It trains you in the Swift 2 programming language, which was first released by Apple in 2014. Its a language you can use to make apps – instead of Objective C that was previously favoured.
If you are familiar with Java, C++, C# and the rest, you’ll be able to pick up Swift VERY easily. It covers everything – from basics to closures. I will able to download it and grasp it within minutes. Each section has a tutorial, that you can interact with, and then after each section there is a short quiz.
You can learn through the 3 free chapters, and then unlock the rest with a single in app purchase. It costs only £2.29 to unlock them all, and I recommend you do it because its really easy to zip through the tutorials! £2.29 is nothing compared to how much you can make when you start selling your apps! 🙂
Search for Swifty on the App Store, give it a download, and check it out!
If you’ve ever started to type an email on you iPad and then suddenly remember that there is a message in your inbox that you want to take a look at, to get some more information, you can do that using the following tip and you won’t lose sight of your email in progress.
To get started, tap and hold on the top of the new mail message (or email reply) where the email subject sits, then drag it all the way down to the bottom of the iPad screen. As you do this you’ll notice the Mail app Inbox becomes visible
The email has been minimised to the bottom of the screen
While the message has been minimised, you can get at your other emails, copy some text and paste it in to your new email.
When you wish to open and return to the minimized email message, simply tap on the minimized email subject header at the bottom of the Mail app to maximize and re-open the email
This is very useful when you want to email a lecturer and need to quote some text from a previous email!
What do you do if you want to change that random letter in the middle of that work you’re typing on the iPad?
You’d usually tap and hold and then correct it.
If you update your iPad to iOS 9, you can suddenly forget all about that and select and edit text like a pro.
You can control the cursor on your iPad by simply moving two fingers anywhere on the keyboard to select, edit and move text.
Since I started using this feature, I found it really hard to go back to the old method. My friend caught me using the touch keyboard and has also been using it. He thought that it could only be used to reposition the cursor, but I explained and demonstrated that he can also select text and move it around.
The first tip I’m going to share with you is something you won’t be able to live without when you start using it.
If you update to the latest version of iOS on the iPad (Settings > General > Software Update), you’ll be able to use one of the most useful features on iPad.
“Slide over” is a way of using another app, on top of your current one without losing your place. I’ve used this feature countless times in lectures and tutorials to quickly get to my Twitter feed while viewing the lecture slides.
Above: Twitter open on top of Safari
When you’re using an app, such as Safari, simply swipe in from the right edge of the screen to access apps that are compatible with slide over. Not all apps are, but the main ones will be.
You can view the apps that you can use in slide over by sliding it open, then swiping down from the top.
To get out of slide over, just tap the background app. If an app you want to use is not listed, then that means it’s not supported just yet.
Like I mentioned before, this feature is really useful for checking your email or calendar while you’re watching a video or browsing the web. It’s great for taking notes in a lecture where you can have the slides open and Word or Pages on top