After nearly 48 hours of playing with my new iPad, I feel it’s time to share my impressions. But first let me tell you a story of how I got my iPad. As you know, they aren’t available in Canada yet. A foursome of geeky boys from Winnipeg made a Fan Boys style pilgrimage to Minneapolis to pick up their reserved units. I thought I would follow their adventure on Twitter, last Saturday morning. Keep in mind that I was sitting by the cozy woodstove at the cottage while they were anxiously waiting in line.
Then a Tweet showed up from another Winnipegger, who was also making his whirlwind trip to get an iPad. He found out he could buy two units and asked if anyone wanted one. On a spur of the moment, I Tweeted back and claimed the second iPad. Glenn Tinley later told me that the Tweets came fast and furious from others who also wanted to claim it. But I was first.
Getting Set Up
Don’t try to take a shortcut like I did and not install the latest version of iTunes. The instructions, as brief as they are, tells you to do this. I didn’t, and ran into trouble. As soon as I installed the new version, my iPad icon popped up and I easily set up my unit. It’s exactly the same process as setting up an iTouch and iPhone (and yes, I have both, which is admittedly very strange because I am not a gadgety person.)
My Fave Apps
Since it’s only been a day and a half, I haven’t discovered a great number of apps. But I already have a few faves. For example, there’s Pocket Cocktails, a mixology app that give me recipes to a gazillion cocktails. The coolest part of this app is the ‘random’ bottom. Give the iPad a shake and a new cocktail appears on your screen. I also like Distant Suns, an app made just for the iPad. It’s all about astrology and I think it will be a load of fun at the cottage. I might actually learn a thing or two. I was chatting with my Dad last night about our upcoming trip to Ukraine. I need to learn a few words and yep, there’s an app for that, called Speak Easy Ukrainian. Keep in mind that lots of the apps are built for iPhones so they appear on the iPad screen as half sized. Simply touch the 2X bottom on the lower right to fill the screen. Sometimes, they can be a little fuzzy.
I downloaded Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It wasn’t cheap, almost $10, and it took an hour to download. But it looks fantastic on that magical screen. I can’t wait to be on an airplane and fire it up.
My excuse for buying an iPad was that I wanted to give e-reading a try. I could have bought a Kindle or a Sony Reader but the iPad is simply cooler. Lloyd Hanesson is another Twitter friend who is always kind enough to point me in the right technical direction. He suggested getting an app called Kobo. I did. And I love it. With Kobo, you buy your ebooks through their site. My first title is called Do Travel Writers Go To Hell? It’s easy to bookmark pages with a simple flick at the top. You can also adjust the font style and size as well as the brightness of the screen. This means two things for me: I don’t need a lamp to ready by and I don’t need my reading glasses.
The iPad is simply in a whole new category of cool. You can get your mail, surf the Net (with a WiFi) connection, use it as a digital photo frame, follow Twitter and Facebook and probably do 1,000 things that I don’t know about. Do I NEED an iPad? Of course not. But by that same rationale, I don’t need a telephone, electric washing machine or an automobile. Technology marches on, my friends.
$499 US for the 16 GB iPad