In an effort to keep you up to date with my iPad experiments, I’m now a few weeks in and feeling pretty good about the purchase. I take the iPad with me quite often, and have lots of business uses for it. There are still a few things that bother me (I just want simple transfer of files, and the ability to use something like Finder), but overall, I feel like the platform works well, and I can recommend it.
Reminder: I’m using the wifi version not the 3G version, and so far, that’s been going well, too. With the addition of my Novatel Mifi service, I have 3G from Verizon’s network, which I find pretty darned fast and powerful. I don’t have an opinion on the size. They only had the big drives when I bought it, but I’ve got tons and tons of room, even with seven movies and many video podcasts loaded onto the box.
So far, the apps that I use the most on the iPad are:
- Pages – for writing my next book with Julien Smith
- Evernote – for keeping notes (there’s a new update that I hope fixes a few earlier complaints).
- Mindnode – for mind mapping.
- iBooks – for reading books.
- Skype – for phone calls (quite a trip).
- ..and the rest, I’m still reviewing.
I’m going to say it once more: I’m annoyed that Keynote doesn’t “just work” with a sync between the desktop version and my iPad. This device would be the ULTIMATE presentation tool, if apple would just fix this one bit.
Battery Life and Hardware
The battery life on this device is ridiculously good. After owning an iPhone 3G back in the day, and currently owning a Macbook Pro 15″, once I made a few tweaks (like darkening the screen brightness just a little bit, and keeping wifi off until I needed it), I’m getting hours and hours of battery life out of the device. It lasts for an entire cross-country jaunt, like Boston to Oregon, for instance.
As for hardware, I have the docking keyboard. I will also try out the bluetooth keyboard soon (bought one for home, but might steal it for my testing). The reason I like the docking one is that I don’t have to remember batteries, and because it gives the iPad somewhere to sit.
No, the iPad can’t replace a laptop. I do a lot of video projects, so I need my laptop for that. The iPad helps me single-task, which is really useful, but sometimes, I need lots of apps open, and I have to work in between them. I need my laptop for that.
Yes. The iPad is something else. You can use it for status. You can use it for quick messages. You can use it for viewing entertainment. You can read and edit many office documents on it.
I’ve been to three business meetings in the last 7 days where someone other than me is using an iPad to keep notes, check for information, and search the web for more information. It just feels natural.
Do YOU Need One?
Absolutely not. You don’t need one. It’s not going to change your world. If you’ve got a smart phone, this is a bit different, but not so much so that you’ll change the world with one. If you’re a writer, it’s really easy to justify this thing as a powerful focusing tool (as I’m finding out from writing the new book). But need? Too big a word.
Instead, it’s interesting and worth considering. It’s definitely got some valid uses for accessibility, for working with seniors, for all kinds of other applications outside of nerd-minded technology. Will we see an iPad in every house? Now that’s possible.
One quick note: I’ve got iBooks and Kindle for iPad. I note a lack of Nook for iPad. If I’m B&N, I’m working fast to correct this (if Apple is allowing such), because otherwise, there’s a huge distribution gap. Amazon knew better than to hold people hostage to their device. I hope Barnes & Noble does the same.
What are you thinking about iPads? Do you have one? What else are you using it for?