The one reader of my blog knows that Iâ€™m a big fan of Apple products. Iâ€™m usually not an early adopter but I knew that I was not going to back in the States for a little while after this trip and I was jonesing for a iPad. Although the exchange rate is improving, it is still more economical to buy the unit is the US. So I did. I wanted to buy the 32GB model with WiFi only, but they only had the 64GB model in the Apple Store. So I got the MaxiPad (a worn out joke of course).
So what do I think? In the long run, I think this thing could have serious educational and industrial applications. I know immediately how I could use it at work. With the right Apps it could be a great tool for our team. Enough said about my work. I also see immediate medical applications as well. Can you imagine pulling up X-rays or lab results on the screen and sharing it with a patient? It would be like a typical chart, only much more versatile (with the right App).
I havenâ€™t really gone all in yet, as my main computer is in Nagoya and I didnâ€™t want to get a bunch of Apps that I had to buy on my laptop while traveling. I had the patience to wait until I got back to Japan. So I donâ€™t know the full extent of the iPad yet. I found it very convenient though for some things. I wanted to review some lab work that my Doctor emailed to me without any explanation. I was sitting in an airport waiting to board, so I accessed my email, pulled up the PDF of my lab work, then went to a couple different internet sites to do a little research. Very convenient. I could have used my iPhone as well, but the screen area just doesnâ€™t compare.
I checked out the iBookstore as well and I give it a so-so, or as Aunt Linda would say, â€œI give it a, â€œAre you kidding me?â€ and three, â€œMy DOG could design a better site.â€ Sheesh.â€ I think Apple needs to make browsing the bookstore and movie store as easy as it is to find a book or DVD on amazon.com. For some reason I have trouble browsing the iBookstore for books and iTunes for movies. They just are not well organized. And the genres are too narrow.
I downloaded a couple of sample books. I think it will take a while to get accustomed to the backlit screen. Nothing will ever be able to replace a physical book, or so I say now, but it does show promise as a reader. I have never used a Kindle, so I canâ€™t make a direct comparison. Turning a page is easy, highlighting text is a breeze as is bookmarking.
One thing that articles (sorry, canâ€™t recall my source) have stated and I discussed with others is that the iPad is more like TV than a computer. In other words, it is not a device where you do a lot of creative work. I think it is more than a TV because you can actively seek information, but it is primary a one direction flow of data and content. The iPad brings content to you. You will still, in general, need to give content back through a computer. I am NOT writing this on my iPad, Iâ€™m using my computer. It is much easier.
I found I could not find a comfortable position initially to hold the iPad. I wanted to buy the Apple iPad Case when I originally got the iPad but of course they were sold out. I was chatting with a friend of mine who works at Apple and has been using an iPad a LOT longer than any of us regular consumers and he said the case really helps. I finally bought a case and agree. It made it easier to handle. The profile is thin enough that it doesnâ€™t seem obtrusive. However, a word of caution, with the case on the iPad, it is hard to fit into a protective sleeve (in my case, the Incase sleeve). Also, it will not fit on the docking station with the Apple iPad Case. There are a lot of disgruntled notes about this on the review page for the dock.
I rented a movie in HD to watch on the airplane flying back from the States. Interestingly, I rented, â€œUp in the Air.â€ I was, gasp, flying coach on Delta, so my entertainment choices were limited. As a matter of fact, very limited since some Delta Executiveâ€™s tweener kid got to pick two-thirds of the movies and chose â€œTwilight â€“ New Moonâ€ and â€œ17 Again.â€ Lots of eye candy but I didnâ€™t listen. Anyway, on the way to the US I watched a movie on my iPhone. It was definitely small. Watching a movie on a plane on the iPad was great. I rented in HD and the colors and resolution were fantastic. Really clear image, and quite appropriately sized. And best of all, no moving parts like a DVD drive in a computer, and no bulky keyboard to get in the way. The case converted into a stand was very useful.
I havenâ€™t been to the App Store in a few days, so I would imagine the number of iPad Apps are increasing every day. Some of the Apps that I love on my iPhone that would benefit from the additional real estate of the iPad are not available yet. Iâ€™m sure they will be soon. If there are any students of Japanese reading this deep into my blog, I strongly recommend the App called, â€œJapanese.â€ It is a great reference.
Finally, like the iPhone, the interface is intuitive. This really became obvious as my 3 year 8 month old niece picked it up and was able to use it immediately. Of course, she uses her Momâ€™s iPhone â€“ so much so in fact that her Mom had to password lock her out!
I think I will like it in the long run. All my Apple Geek friends love theirs, of course. And yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I do own Apple stock.