There are 87 bazillion iPad reviews. This makes it 87 bazillion-and-one.
Earlier this summer, our good friend Whitney Hoffman dropped by to spend a night as part of a road trip. It’s always awesome to see Whit, and the conversations with her always entertain, enlighten and inform me.
On this trip, Whitney brought her iPad. While I knew about the device and what it’s features and shortcomings were, I’d never actually used one.
I’d recently been considering picking up an ebook reader, or some kind of tablet. Well, after about 10 minutes, I knew I wanted one. (Note I didn’t say NEED, I think that’s a word we use too easily… this was a purely consumeristic shiny-new-object WANT).
So after some phone calls and pointless drives – Did you know that one Apple store won’t tell you if another has stock of an item? (You assholes. You’re a technology company, stop being so douchy about everything.)
Anyway, a few days later I’ve got my grubby paws on a Wifi iPad. To say this has changed the way I consume media (and fling birds across a screen) is an understatement. I honestly felt I’d play with it a bit, and it would become a toy when I need a diversion… It’s instead become my main media consumption device.
It’s changed the way I interact with media and technology. I no longer read the morning paper at all, choosing to read the Globe and Mail, BBC or other trusted sources. I’ve also noticed that my laptop’s daily trip from the office to the living room has pretty much stopped. It now stays in the office unless I’m actively creating something..
I’ve yet to install and of the “Big 3” productivity apps (Keynote,Pages,Numbers), and I don’t miss them yet. If I were doing more public speaking, I’d probably splurge for Keynote, but for now, I’m still having fun using 3rd party apps.
For blogging, the wordpress app is great for quickie things, but the web interface is still the best way to go.. The same can be said for facebook – why have an app at all..?
Perhaps the most useful surprise was the calendar integration. I’ve got multiple google calendars, Cat’s calendars, and my work Lotus Notes calendar all showing up and synced perfectly. Ok, so that’s mostly a function of Google Sync, but the iPad’s portability is what brings it home.
Even though I knew I was buying into the walled-garden that is Apple’s eco-system, I’m still really happy with it. I sure wish it supported Flash (more Apple douchiness) and that’s probably the worst thing about it. There’s a lot of flash out there, to be cut off from it is just silly.
Could I live without it? Sure, I could also live without a nice glass of wine once in a while, but I’d rather have it around. I can’t imagine not taking this with me on my next business trip, so I guess that’s the point.