Last year at this time I said… “I really don't need or want an IPad”. Now that I have one I cannot say enough good stuff about it!
I decided last year to save all the tips from our Dough! gigs for a year to save up the $499 for the WiFi only 16 gig model (the lowest end). The $20 here, $5 there added up over time. If the new one seemed like something i could use I would shell out the cash… otherwise, a trip to Guitar Center for some gear would have been fine also.
Shout out to my Neighbors the Gorders. Shelly asked me if I was going to stand in line and I said no. I figured I would go to my local Verizon store and not have to deal with the long lines. I did so, only to find out they would not get them for weeks. I called Shelly to see how long the line was at the Naperville Main Place Apple Store, and she said “Around the Block”… I said “Oh Well… I could wait”. Then Shelly offered to pick one up for me… So I had the cash waiting at the front door : ).
The next day I went back to the Apple Store to pick up some accessories. I was greeted by some Storm Troopers and Marching Bands. I thought they were there to welcome me, and celebrate my new toy, but alas… It was just the Naperville St. Patricks Day Parade. I bought the magnetic cover (it turns it on and off when opened and closed) and I looked for a case for it. I was disappointed when the sales person told me they had no cases yet for the thinner IPad2, so I settled on a zippered “Merse” (man purse or European shoulder bag) that has worked just fine (I am comfortable enough with my manhood most of the time : ).
The IPad has been called a “Big IPhone” that does not make calls, and for all practical purposes that's true. The biggest difference is the size of the screen and the Apps that are designed to make use of the IPads enhanced power. The battery life is reported to be 10 hours and I have used it all day and never gotten near 50% battery usage. Now after having it for a couple of weeks and putting it through some real life situations… I thought I would share my experiences and thoughts…
Meetings & Presentations
It's much easier to pass and share than a laptop at a Starbucks or Panera meeting, and the folding cover acts like a stand making it easy to show websites and such. I bought some apps just for meetings. Keynote (Powerpoint) lets me import all of my Social Networking presentations for one-on-one mini presentations. With the VGA adapter, I will be able to show them on a projector as well (but it does not work with a remote so it requires more interaction than a laptop). The Google Analytics App lets me show clients how their websites are performing! The WiFi works great for showing YouTube videos, working with websites and more. The only negative is no Flash (true with the IPhone also) so not all websites work. That turned into a positive (new project) when I showed a potential client that their current website did not work on these devices.
The IPad has an App for GoToMeeting as well so you can use it to participate in meetings and webinars (although you can't share the IPad screen like you can do with a laptop or desktop).
The IPad2 has a camera on the front and back. The Facing Camera is for Facetime or Skype meetings. The quality of the rear camera with pictures is just OK (I was hoping for better like the IPhone 4 but it's closer to the 3GS). The Folding Cover helps it to stand up, making pictures a little less blurry. You can do Screen Shots just like the IPhone by holding the front button and the power button at the top at the same time…
As for video, the camera functions a bit better. Last week at our Dough! show, I decided to stand the IPad in front of us on a table and record 3 songs. Then, I imported into IMovie and edited and added titles. It imports and compresses right into YouTube with fairly decent results.
The other thing I have yet to try is the Swing At ‘Em app. It allows me to record my golf swing and analyze it with some amazing tools and instructions. More to come on that : ).
I've also used the IPad to convert music for our Church Worship team to a PDF that can be imported into the IBooks App. It allows me to change pages with a swipe of the finger (easier than turning pages). The Magnetic Cover also sticks to the metal music stand, making it more secure and stable. The 9″ IPad screen is smaller than the 11″ paper, but the back-lit screen makes the music easier to read on a dimly lit stage. Some of my friends said my performance was ‘Glowing' that day : )
We tried the same test at last weeks Dough! show… with excellent readability results. Now I have to convert nearly 200 songs to PDF and prep them for our next gig for a real test (still taking the big book with paper).
I found having the IPad on my desk acts like a 4th screen. I can search the news while I work. I can use it to attend webinars or do a quick web surf. There are some very cool and useful apps. The March Madness app let me watch the games live (while having others on TV). The Nightstand app is a big and readable alarm clock. My 1Password app makes it easy to have all the over 1000 passwords for websites, blogs, servers, and more at my fingertips at all times. And Boing (Sound Effects app) has garnered some timely laughs at meetings and networking events.
It doesn't replace my IPhone (hard to take on the golf course as a GPS)… but I find the IPad2 a welcomed addition to my geek arsenal! Plus it's like a puppy or a baby at a meeting… everyone want to play and ogle with it : )
Bonus Video Of the Week.
Some people called for an intervention and wanted to send me to “Tech-ahaulics Anonymous” for wanting to get the new IPad. Now I love my technology… but I am not alone… This video shows the line from New York's Apple Store the Day of release of the IPad2… Waring PG-13 but Enjoy!