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I don't actually own an iPad yet, but I know many colleagues do, and swear by them. So I was wondering which apps might be most useful as support in the booth. If there are enough of them, I might be convinced to buy an iPad! :)

asked 25 Oct '11, 16:13

Michelle's gravatar image


edited 01 Nov '11, 11:22

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦


Dear Michelle,

Apart from the most common apps (most of them would be installed by default in the iPad, apps for your mail, notes, calendar, contact management, safari, iBooks, videos, photos, iTunes, YouTube, Skype and so on), there is indeed a number of productivity apps like:


Dropbox, SugarSynch or Wuala. My favourite one is Dropbox. If you've never heard about it, take a look at Dropbox can also be installed as a normal programme on your PC. The trick is: the more synchronised your devices, the fewer headaches you'll have. Use also other services like Google Mail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, etc. to keep effortlessly the same content in tablet and PC (unfortunately, Google services are not seamlessly integrated in iPad for obvious reasons). Evernote keeps track of everything you would like to remember (notes, images, audio files, PDFs, websites...). You can install Evernote on your PC and keep these memos synchronised.


To explore or find files, including other features like annotation, synchronisation, file compression... I used GoodReader for a long time, but have recently changed to Documents because it has a cleaner interface and is much user-friendlier keeping the same functionality (and surprisingly is free).


You can use the GoodReader app mentioned in the section above or also iAnnotate for PDF files. If you would like to use annotation with linked audio recording, my favourite pops are AudioNote and Notability. You may also want to try Auditorium Notes. If you need easy-to-use voice recognition to dictate text or email messages, you should try Voice Assistant. For consecutive notes you could try Penultimate, although I still prefer the traditional notepad.


If you're subscribed to RSS feeds (for news, blogs, websites), I would recommend GoogleReader (only available web-based or in Android systems), but you can also take a look at Pulse, Feeddler and The Feed for iPad.


Of course, you need an app suite to open your Office files (like Word or Excel). There is a number of suites available at the App Store, for instance, Quickoffice HD, Documents To Go or Office2 HD.


Interplex for iPad has already been mentioned by Vincent. There is also an alternative app called GlossaryPro, developed by the EU interpreter Michael Thorelli. If you would like to learn all those fish names a week ahead of the conference, you could try Anki, a very powerful and intelligent flashcard program (watch an introductory video here).


You also have other apps to access your PC like TeamViewer or AlwaysOnPC (the latter very convenient to access the SCIC webpage, which cannot be accessed from Safari because the Java applet won't load). Much, much better than AlwaysOnPC is OnLive Desktop, because it can stream flash and java with full-motion and sound and you can even use native Microsoft® Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Unfortunately, OnLive Desktop is only available in the US (UK soon).

Anyway, and since you're still considering buying an iPad, let me convince you of not buying an iPad (at least, not yet):

1.- In iPad, Flash (still available in many websites) and Java elements won't load.

2.- I think an iPad is a nice-to-have gadget, but it cannot replace (yet) the PC or laptop (the iPad has no file system). On the one hand, you will only be able to install apps. Not all programmes you're used to work with on your PC are available as app, and even if they are available, most of their features are limited. On the other hand, iPad doesn't have a USB port, and even adapters won´t work for USB memory sticks (see this short Youtube video). This is a big "no-go" if you're working in the private market. Imagine you have to work on a conference and a client gives you some updated Powerpoint files in a USB stick some minutes before start, but you just have an iPad with you. Your client has the right to a suitably equipped interpreter, and this includes the USB standard!

3.- If you're still looking for something small enough to take to the booth and carry in your bag, I would recommend a laptop instead (see the question "Best notebooks for the booth"), which is as expensive as an iPad.

4.- If you still envy your colleagues exhibiting an iPad, then go for an Android tablet. There are plenty of them (and more Android apps have been downloaded than Apple apps, which means that Android is more likely to be set as the standard in the near future). But above all: you have the same or very similar apps, Android supports Java and Flash, and there are many Android tablets with a USB port. There is no Interplex for Android (yet), but you can use Panacea Database for free to open MDB files (a very good and professional alternative for your glossaries).

Hope you can make a decision!

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answered 01 Nov '11, 11:22

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

edited 11 Jun '13, 15:31


Thank you very much! As it happens, I am pretty happy with my current in-booth solution (netbook + BlackBerry), but at some point I will need to replace one or both, at which point I will come back to this very exhaustive reply of yours and give the iPad purchase a good think!

(01 Nov '11, 16:51) Michelle

+1 for researching this. Sorry I can't upvote more than once for the warnings about the iPad, which indeed is a rip-off. Beware of any filesharing system, including Dropbox, though. Never use them for really confidential documents.

(01 Nov '11, 17:18) Vincent Buck

You forgot to mention Google Apps and the web-based suite (docs, sites, calendar). AIIC Members may wish to remember that it's part of the email address offer. Shared Google Docs (in spreadsheet format) are a great resource to get all booths to contribute to a live glossary during a difficult or technical meeting!

(01 Nov '11, 17:20) Vincent Buck

Nacho, your answer is excellent. I was wondering myself if I should buy an iPad for the booth, as my laptop is getting a bit too old and slow, but the USB port is a very important factor. I work as a freelancer and most of the time I do receive some (if not all) PDFs 5 minutes before the conference starts. Without the USB port I will still need a laptop and then the iPad. Funny enough, the main reason I wanted an iPad was because my laptop is a bit heavy to carry around and the iPad seems to weight much less. Well, the iPad is a wonderful gadget but a new netbook seems to be more useful right now

(29 Mar '12, 06:49) aidagda

I put together a little manual about this, if you want to read a bit more on how to use the iPad for interpreting:

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answered 02 Jan '13, 15:27

Alexander's gravatar image


edited 21 Feb '19, 10:56

Hi, Alexander: it seems great and I will dig further. Thanks. :)

(02 Jan '13, 21:37) Paris Si de ...

+1: Great leaflet! Thanks!

(06 Jan '13, 11:08) Delete ♦

Hi Alex. Your link doesn't seem to work and nor does it on your blog. Could you update your download link? Thanks!

(01 Jun '13, 03:15) Delete ♦

Hello Michelle,

I love gadgets and I have them all. Yes, I do have an iPad, too. I use it a lot at home and I have use it at some conferences. I have my iPad with Dropbox, PDF Annotate, an Office Programme, and sereval dictionaries that you can buy as App from the iTunes Store. You can access IATE with your iPad, provided there is an internet connection. My experience so far: You can use your iPad at some conferences (not very specialized, no last minute surprises=presentations because of lack of USB port, you can not upload your technical dictionaries, if you do translations you cannot take care of these when travelling for days on an assignment, etc...). A (sub)netbook will be more useful in the booth.

As for Androids: Android tablets are great. The problem is that the Apps Market for Android is too small compared to the Apple Apps for iPad. Personally, content is my key driver.

I am sure you'll love your iPad if you finally buy one:-) Conrado

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answered 02 Nov '11, 06:33

Conrado's gravatar image


Colleagues using Interplex for glossary management will be interested to know that there's now an iPad version.

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answered 25 Oct '11, 23:00

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck


You can read more about that in this AIIC webzine article "Lightweight Glossary Solution":

(23 Mar '12, 15:18) Luigi

Dear all,

I never had a gadget before, but I love the Ipad I just bought. First because I simply adore Interplex. I never used it before and now I feel silly I didn't! It's dead easy, intuitive and super quick in finding terminology. Also its developer answers your e-mails in just a couple of days if you have questions...

The second obvious advantage of the Ipad (or any other tablet) is its size and weight. I seem to have simply halved the weight I carry around every day! If you work in EU buildings in Brussels, where there are fully-fledged computers around for interpreters' use, the Ipad limitations are a lesser concern. The weight is also of importance if you travel around a lot.

In a nutshell: I wouldn't necessarily write off tablets to be used in the booth, especially if, like me, you use basic tools and apps. I've had my Ipad for a month and never noticed what the java and flash problem was supposed to be. Then again, I'm more than willing to admit that I'm no geek!

Thank you Nacho and others for the info and the thread!

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answered 17 Jul '12, 04:22

Fiona's gravatar image



interplex does run on the iPad and the only reason why it might take a day to get an answer from the programmer is that he's busy developing a Mac version, it's normally much less than that (which is not much anyway)

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answered 19 Jul '12, 11:46

aprimondo's gravatar image


Hi Claudia! I think nobody in this thread said that Interplex would not run on iPad... :-$

(19 Jul '12, 11:53) Delete ♦

somebody asked, a couple of posts ago (Vincent, Luigi, somebody else?). even though the question was old, nobody had answered and I thought it was still valid. apologies if I misunderstood

(19 Jul '12, 12:05) aprimondo
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question asked: 25 Oct '11, 16:13

question was seen: 37,391 times

last updated: 21 Feb '19, 10:56

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