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I just got back from my annual migration to the other half of my family on the other side of the world.  Being computer and internet addicted, I was faced with making a choice of the best device to use for those five weeks.

My iPad won.

Beloved Toy

Normally, my iPad resides on my coffee table, posed to answer such pressing questions……as……What other films has the actor, in the film I’m currently viewing on TV, been in?  Or, tucked in bed with me, while I attend iTunes U with a series of lectures from UCLA on “Jerusalem:  The Holy City”.

(Want to know more about iTunes U. Move your mouse to the blue  iTunes U.   Right click and open in a new tab.)

Why did I choose an iPad instead of a laptop or a smart phone?

First of all, I may be old-fashioned, but I just don’t like using a laptop computer.  They are too heavy for me to tote around, especially while traveling.  When using one, I get a neck and back ache because my posture is all wrong for me.  Plus, even when using a mouse, I find that my laptop does all kinds of strange things.

Next confession.  When I’m out of the country, I use an old dumb phone….as opposed to a smart phone.  This means that I cannot use my phone to get my emails or surf the web.

Instead, I chose my iPad especially for emailing.

Gmail on the iPad

I use Gmail for PC.  However, I found that using the iPad original mail function, set for Gmail, is limited as compared to the Gmail program on my PC.

(If you use another email provider on both your PC and iPad and that provider has an iPad app, then the problem and the process for improving emailing on you iPad are the same as what I’m going to describe.)

Free Gmail App is Better

I discovered that Gmail has a free app for iPad that is more nearly complete.

Gmail for iPad app

To download Gmail for iPad, go to the App Store.

Tap on Featured at the left bottom of the screen.

Type in gmail in the search box at the upper right.

The Gmail app will be the first on the left.

Click on FREE, the INSTALL APP  and put in your password.

 After the app is installed (there is a moving bar at the bottom of the logo), click on OPEN.

I found that this version of Gmail is still not as complete as my PC version. For example, there are no calendar and contacts functions, but you can get into your “labels”. (I still call them folders.) Nevertheless, for general use, away from my PC, it is good enough.

Change Mail Setting on iPad

I discovered that email management was much easier if I changed my mail setting on my iPad. Instead of my Gmail account, I substituted my Yahoo account that I maintain as a secondary source for my email. This way all of the interconnected programs, like emailing a photo taken on my iPad, still function.

Click on this.

Click on Mail, Contacts, Calendar.

Now under Accounts….click on Mail. (under iCloud) Delete you Gmail account.

Next, add your alternative email account by tapping Add Account and selecting the appropriate email provider.

Opening an alternative account is really easy.  Just remember to use a different password for each account. 

Changing Countries in the App Store

I discovered that, in some cases, different countries have a different iPad (Apple) app store, which means that you must set your iPad  to that country.

Don’t worry Apple will be sure to let you know when you must to change stores.

Go to Settings and scroll down to iTunes & App Stores.

Tap on Apple ID. Tap on Country/Region.

Enter your new location.

Grand Travel Sanity Suggestion

Nothing, but nothing, can make me go nuts faster than, after all that packing and planning, arriving at my destination and finding that I cannot access my email addresses and telephone number and that I forgot my passwords.

I know there are ways of putting them in your SafeWallet, DropBox or even floating up there on an iCloud.  Personally, I  print out

          • All my contacts’ telephone numbers regardless of where they live
          • The email addresses of frequently visited sites.
          • My most important passwords.

I make two copies and put them in my carry-on and my suit case.

Low tech…..yes.  But, it always works…..as long as you remember where you put those copies.

And, don’t forget to pack the charger and an electrical plug adapter, if needed.

iPads Have Limitations.

I found the most apparent reality using an iPad is that it  is not a full size computer. It has its virtues, but I learned not to expect it to function the same way.

In many cases, apps are not as functional or as easy to understand how to use as the original internet site.  Remember you can get to the original site while you are still on your iPad by using a search engine.  I prefer to use Google, which I downloaded  as an iPad app.