Friday, July 23, 2010

My New iPad - Final Decision

Was there ever any doubt?

While I've been fiddling around and playing with my new toy I've been wondering about this fascination so many of us have with small electronic gadgets. We stay "connected"  to so much without ever having to leave our chairs.  And we've become somewhat addicted; worried that something might happen that we might miss.  Like little kids who refuse to take a nap for that very same reason.  I can sit down to simply check email, end up at Facebook, play a few words at Wordscaper and Lexulous and the next thing I know, hours have flown by.  I'm not saying this is a good thing, nor am I saying it's a bad thing.  It is, however, oddly different than how I used to spend my free time not too many years ago.  Very different, and at times a little disconcerting, and a bit befuddling.  And . . .  let's not forget   -   it's fun.

And that's the thing about the iPad.  It's fun.

My comments and observations about it will be old hat to those of you who are already using Mac products, particularly the iPad, but to those of us who aren't familiar with the Mac - it's a strange new world.  Some of you who are unfamiliar with Mac have written and asked some specific questions.  Well, novice to novice - I have to admit that I still don't know the answers to a lot of them, but maybe some of what I've learned so far will be helpful. 

I jumped into the iPad with no recent Mac experience.  No iPhone, no iTouch, not even an iPod of my own.  Donald has an iPod and I've contributed my share of music, but I don't have one of my own (or didn't, until now) and have never been real sure how it works.  And that's been O.K. with me - we're both fans of the same music so what we listen to while on car trips, etc. is never a problem.  I have not downloaded any music onto my iPad yet - but I expect that'll be happening pretty soon.

I never wanted an iPhone 'cause I am not a telephone person.  We have a cell phone, but never seem to know where it is until we have to find it when we're going out of town.

I did try an iTouch, but it just didn't speak to me.  I don't know why, and maybe I just didn't give it enough time.  Or maybe it was just smaller than what I wanted.

I was quite happy with my laptop, thank you very much.  

Then I saw the iPad and felt a little stirring.

The size of the iPad is just right.

And the design is sleek and classy.

I like it. 

As I said, I'm still learning and I still have a long way to go, but - there are a couple of friends around who are Mac lovers and they're helping me a lot.  And, of course, as things go - the more you fiddle and play with something, the more you learn.   AND - a huge plus is Apple Technical Support.  Apple has that nailed.  Those folks are what Customer Service is supposed to be all about.  And what it was - once upon a time. 

One thing I think is really pretty terrific is the battery life.  You can work on an iPad for about 10 hours.  The last time I tried working on my laptop using the battery only, the life was only about 2 hours.  I had to be very sparing with my internet usage while we were without power for several days this past winter.

The iPad will not, however, replace my laptop in my day-in, day-out computer use.  I'm in love with my Dell and it's what I'll continue to use for most things.  It has served me well.  For one thing, it's pretty hard to even  imagine trying to post my blogs on my iPad.  I just don't think those are the kinds of things Steve Jobs had in mind when he hatched this latest brainchild of his.

But traveling?  It'll be my iPad all the way.

And, I think it'll even replace my Palm Pilot.

That's a biggie for me.

I know I'm one of the few left with a Palm, and one of the even fewer who loves it.  As I told you in an earlier post, it's been my "back-up brain" for a number of years.  If the iPad does as good a job keeping my calendar and my contacts in good shape, I don't see any reason to maintain it and the Palm.  But before I send my Palm sailing, let's give it some time to see how well I adapt.

Here's some of the things I can do with my new little buddy - - -

I can browse the web, of course.  I can also save web pages to an app called "Offline Pages."  This means if I'm reading a lengthy article and know I'm going to want to continue reading it in an area where I won't be picking up WiFi, I can "save" it to "Offline Pages" and easily continue reading it.  VERY cool.

I can visit with my Facebook friends.  I love that I can change the font size for any reading apps, including Facebook; that's a big plus in my opinion.

I can play games

I can put books in my library (including a copy of The iPad User Guide - Yay!!).  Don't worry, those shelves may look a little bare right now, but I'm sure that'll be changing.  Again, there's the plus of being able to change the font size in books.  AND the font itself.  There were some questions in my mind about how I'd like the reader on the iPad due to the lack of eInk that other eReaders are using.  Honestly?  It hasn't been a problem.  The lighting and the brightness can be adjusted in a wide range.  I'm finding reading to be quite comfortable.   I've been waffling about wanting an eReader, but frankly - with all the other cool things included in the iPad - this one was the one for me.  I've become a lover of these electronic gadgets, but why have several when you can find one that combines so many?  I'm very curious as to what we'll be playing with and using in 10 years - what will replace the iPad?

I love Maps.  It can map directions between locations, of course, and it will show me landmarks along the way.  It will pinpoint a location and show it to me in classic map format, hybrid or terrain format, or a satellite picture (some spots even from a ground location).  I can use it and visit cool places like The Smithsonian. 

All my contacts are here, as are all my calendar events.  I like the crisp look of both of these apps.

And, of course, I can listen to my music, watch movies and videos.  Read newspapers and magazines.  Check the weather.  Receive, read and send email.  Save my pictures here (which look so gorgeous they will just blow you away).  And there are about a million beezillion apps that I haven't even begun to explore.

So, even though I'm still not sure exactly what I'm doing . . . .

I'm having fun learning,



Sam said...

I love your're really tempting me to take another look at iPad. Can you attach an external hard drvie to the iPad? That would be a huge selling point for me, if so.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Sam, I don't think so. BUT - don't take my word on that 'cause I'm probably the last person to ask. If you find out, will you let me know, please?

Unknown said...

When people ask if I like my iPad I say, "Sometimes a little too much." :)

Did you buy the wireless keyboard? I don't know what I'd do without it. I absolutely love it. I had my iPad for about two weeks before I got the keyboard and it's made my iPad experience so much more pleasurable.

Vicki Lane said...

Sounds fun! But i think I'd have to have the keyboard.

Unknown said...

You're heading down a slippery slope to Mac-dom! I started with the iPhone (which replaced my beloved Palm Pilot AND my cell phone). Then I made the jump to a MacBook, since it worked seamlessly with my iPhone. And, of course, I had to get the iPad because I've become such an Apple fangirl!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Lynne & Vicki - the wireless keyboard does sound great! I'm getting better at the little on-screen keyboard faster than I thought I would though.

I don't have wireless here at home, so there are some things I'm not able to use my iPad for. But I can read books I've put in my iBook library, and I can use some of the Apps AND I've just learned to save webpages and articles I'm interested in reading later to "Offline Pages," which is very cool.

Tammy - I think you're right! I'm already seeing a MacBook Pro in my future (not my near future though).