Using the iPad today

In Technology on July 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

By Michael Campbell

I’m writing this note on my MacBook Pro… One of the increasingly rare times I’m doing that as the communal iPad has really become our internet device of choice in our household.

That iPad has access to our business and personal emails, to all varieties of e-books, has an application that allows us to download reference documents to read them offline, to quickly sketch out new ideas and notes as well as read the latest news. And of course, we can us it to access all of the key social networks.

I’m finding that I’m turning to the iPad more often, to look up a quick reference in Wiki, to win a family debate on any topic, to look at a photographic portfolio… We use it to find recipes, to watch YouTube videos, and to browse the web. The screen is clear and bright…

The battery life is pretty darn good as well. We can use our iPods for a week at a time or more, depending on usage, before having to plug it in. Try to do that with your laptop.

When Apple says “there’s an app for that”, they mean it… As a family, we’re pretty tame when it comes to our iPad. Last time I checked, there are over 90,000 apps available for the iPad. As I write, the top apps in the App Store include apps to make movies, generate and mix music, write a book, and battle angry birds into submission. You can do your family budget, write the next best selling novel and manage your family photo album. You can trade stocks, create art, and pull together a presentation for the next big thing. And all this is on one slim machine that is mostly a thin display.

We have two of the first generation devices; they have been reliable and real workhorses. The second generation is sleeker and faster. I’ve been eyeing them in the Apple retail stores and will certainly be looking to upgrade. I’ve heard of individuals who are selling their first generation and using the proceeds towards the purchase of the iPad2.

I’m using the Wifi version of the iPad. That one runs very well on our home Wifi network. Even though there are versions that run on the same wireless networks as cell phones, we’ve found that there is Wifi access in a surprising number of places and the 3G version is really only needed if you have to be connected all the time.

Businesses are rushing to adopt the iPad as well. Apple continues to enhance the security features of the iPad, and the US is moving to certify the use in government and military use.  With these enhancements, along with the integration of business productivity suites, including email and calendaring using the iPad is getting easier and easier.  Businesses are using it for mobile computing, and I’ve heard stories of managers and professionals taking their iPad home to access their business data rather than haul their laptops around.

Is it the perfect? No. Not yet at least, as we still have to figure out a better way to print and managing documents it still uses third party software. But, it’s getting close.

Apple and third parties developers continue to add new capability. They’ve got Pages for the iPad and I’m only a click or two away from the download. My next blog might be written on the iPad. If I was a laptop, I’d be worried. My days are very likely numbered.

Email me with comments or questions – mac@ckmmconsulting.ca


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