Putting iPad to work

Because my various posts about iPad use have received a modicum of interest, I thought I’d make a few other observations and recommendations. I’m sure that there are people out there who can’t decide whether they need one or not.

No one ‘needs’ one. That’s the first thing. Everything an iPad does can be done, often better and quicker with another tool. First of all it’s too big to fit in your pocket – so it’s less ‘mobile’ than a mobile phone. To prevent damage and to make it easier to use, it will need some sort of cover; I’ve already discarded a rubber ‘condom’ cover and now use a faux leather one: each adds to the bulk, if only slightly. So why not use a laptop? Even Steve Jobs says that the iPad is not a laptop replacement (although in his heart of hearts, I’ll bet he wished it was). Most modern phones knock it into a cocked hat for multi-functionality (e.g. they can take photographs and videos) and portability.

So would I give mine away? Not on your life ! There’s no way on earth would I give it up without a fight. WHY if it’s so apparently useless, why would I fight to keep it?

Well first of all it’s not meant to be a mobile phone or a laptop. Maybe not anything that has gone before? It’s NOT a tablet PC, it’s NOT a Netbook, it’s NOT an iPod Touch even (although it does lack that same feature that would make the iPod Touch a must have mobile tool – a camera). What it is – is a perfect device for just doing ‘stuff’ on. As I’ve said before, I can quite easily make notes, write essays, and type emails on it. I can access most parts of the Internet (just not those parts that need ‘Flash’) and I can use many of the Apps that are essential parts of the ‘i’ family. And the experience is excellent. The way sites represent themselves on the iPad (and the way some Apps are designed specially for the iPad) is pleasurable and easy on the eye.

My favourite App this week is that from IMDB (http://www.imdb.com), the movie site. It’s a far better experience than the normal site and much easier to find information. And, because the iPad is able to just lie around the living room and because it has a long battery life – it’s also convenient to settle those little arguments you often have (b.t.w. that WAS Juliette Lewis I saw in the Ad for The Switch).

Another, put to the test today by Sis-inLaw, and only available for the iPad is called SoundPaper. This is a powerful notepad special developed for the iPad. Not only can you make notes but you can record the speaker (teacher, keynote, etc.) at the same time. Then, when you want to access your notes and can’t remember exactly what the speaker was talking about, click on the note you’ve made and the audio track will jump to 7 seconds before you made you note and allow you to re-listen to the talk. If you like you can email the notes (plus audio) to ‘whoever’, save as a .pdf or share with a Mac or Laptop. 1 hour of audio = 20meg. How cool is that for $4.99? App Store.

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3 Responses to “Putting iPad to work”

  1. whalleyj Says:

    I saw an article today from Reuters on how e-texts are expected to grow with iPads being on campus ( http://is.gd/fdoOE ). hadn’t time to read it as I was heading into town – downloaded it to my Dropbox as a PDF and installed it in the PDF section of my iBooks Library. That means I can read and re-read it wherever I want and show it to other folks almost like a paper article – no need for a web connection (useful in our part of the world).

    Like Dave says, I use it all the time just for ‘stuff’, what more can you want from a mobile device? My eyesight is getting beyond using handhelds easily and the screen display is excellent. I can even bore my relatives with my photos using it! iPad? – Brilliant!

  2. Frieda Says:

    This app is very similar to the Livescribe Notebook and pen….an excellent tool !!

  3. Alistair Says:

    The iPad has gone down very well with blind students at the ICC event in Athens – they particularly liked being able to use voiceover to read a book – but I have been immensely frustrated by the limitations, most notably
    1) lack of flash
    2) lack of camera
    3) lack of SD card support
    4) ridiculous contorted process for getting images onto the iPad. This must be the best digital photo frame display in the world with the least user-friendly way of uploading photos. iTunes is complex and an intuitive (to me at any rate)

    Although I have the privilege of being able to explore the functionality of an iPad purchased by work, there’s no way I would buy one for myself. I would be much more likely to wait the very short time it will take for something similar to be released on the android platform. Android supports accessibility, Flash, SD cards and all the normal sensible stuff that users expect to have and I suspect it won’t be long until iPad’s are a quaint white elephant.
    But for the moment they have the well deserved accolade of being the first mainstream technology that blind people can use from the box, so even if they don’t change their policy on flash and improve iTunes or add SD card slot they still deserve enormous praise in the lull before the android tidal wave.


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