I was at my physician’s yesterday. When he walked into the room his first words were… “So how’s the iPad?” (Yes even my doctors know what a tech geek I am.) I told him I love it… and I pulled it out of my bag. Then he asked me the question that has been asked over and over again, “What’s the point of it? What’s the purpose of this device? I don’t get it.”
Unlike the radio DJs with whom I spoke last week (here and here) his questions weren’t statements. He actually was asking a question and wanted an answer. So I explained to him that I find I’m able to be 70 to 80% of the things that I would of done on a notebook on this device and in the process I’m carrying 3 1/2 pounds less than I was a week and a half ago. That alone is worth the change for me. Mix in the great apps and the utility of Dragon Dictation and this has proven to be the device I have long wanted. No, it is not perfect, but it is awesome none-the-less.
As I left the office I got to thinking — most people still don’t “get” the iPad. Yes, Apple has sold a ton already but much of that is to the “Apple faithful”. Much of the rest of the world is still scratching their heads and wondering what it is for. And my suspicion is that a not insignificant of those who have already bought If the device is still unsure of exactly why they bought it. If this device is going to be accepted as deeply into the larger community as the iPhone has the “case” for this device needs to be made. What is that case? That case is that the iPad is a blank slate. (pun intended.) It has the flexibility to become the device you want it to be. It can be a work device if you so desire but it can also be a play device when you want. You see, having now use the device for two weeks I’m convinced that the true power of this device is that it has the potential to be a jack of all trades and a master of many. It can be the device you want it to be depending upon the applications you load and how you use them.
As Larry put it during one conversation, “It is what you want it to be. it can be what you want. If someone wants it to be a big iPod touch so be it. If someone wants to use it to replace their notebook so be it. That’s the beauty of it. Don’t try to define what it is. People will do they for themselves when they start using it.”
So I thought might be interesting to put a shout out to three of my favorite new iPad owners and ask them the following question,
“Quick, give me five example of things you did with your iPad today and what it was like using it.”
Here are their answers.
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Found that I could supremely multitask with my iPhone in hand for email and my iPad in lap for editing. It was perfect!
Can’t really come up with anything glamorous.
I used it like it’s intended to be used…….
1. On the sofa, multitasking (watching Tuesday night TV while browsing the internet, checking Twitter etc.)
2. Left my book at my in-laws. Downloaded it via the Kindle app and finished reading it at home.
3. Played games.
4. Demoed some apps for review.
5. Read the new Alice in Wonderland book to one of the kids.
As for the the experience and what I thought about it?
Web browsing with Google Reader, Gmail, Twitter, Yammer. Not even really using apps – mainly using web apps since the screen is nice and
Read some ePub technical book sections via iBooks. Had to tether to my MacBook Pro to upload new ePub books.
Took some screenshots of web browser and app content for reviews
Researched new iPad apps in the App Store, including upgrading on the ipad itself
5 minutes of Plants vs. Zombies to take a break
I have been using for most of my email management. And much of the time I use the email app in conjunction with Dragon Dictation since it means less typing on my part.
I have been using it to read a lot. Mostly I’m using Zinio and the Kindle app and I am enjoying it tremendously.
I use it for RSS feeds. I find that the iPad in landscape is the best way to catch up on my RSS feeds.
I have been moving all the material I use with my Bar Mitzvah into Bento. That means when I see a student their Torah portion is just a few taps away.
I’m in the Evernote for iPad app numerous times each day
And I’m making my way through Plants vs Zombie for the second time
In all, I’m using it in place of my notebook 80-90% of the time. And thanks to the growing selection of apps I can make the device what I want it to be. And that’s the hidden power of the device– flexibility.
The iPad is, in many respects, the Rorschach ink blot of the electronics world. It is powerful, well-designed, has a gorgeous screen and superb battery life. But it is unfinished. It is a blank slate and one that each iPad owner will see, and use, in his or her own way.