During the past couple of weeks I have been using an iPad and trying to figure out where it fits in my digital hierarchy. For the record my technical stack includes an iMac , a MacBook, a netbook and, an HTC Droid Incredible and a Kindle. While at home the iPad was a toy. It was something to use while watching television. Thus it was slightly more convenient than having a macbook or net book for light browsing and email. As a book reader it was much nicer than my Kindle (which I still like). I installed the Kindle app on the iPad and read a couple of books on it. It was aggravating that movies that I can watch online easily with my Droid phone cannot be watched on the iPad due to the lack of Flash support. When will we have an Android Pad?
The interesting part of my iPad experience came when I had a business trip last week. Instead of taking my laptop I went cold turkey and just took the iPad as my second device, in addition to my Droid phone. This decision shocked my colleagues, including the one who lent me the iPad to try out!
The iPad did well on the plane as I read the New York Times. This was especially interesting since the person next to me had the paper version and lusted after my alternative format. After finishing the Times, I read USA Today, played a couple of games and started to read one of the books I had downloaded via the Kindle app.
I could also imagine that the iPad would make a great personal Video device for longer flights.
At the business meeting I was the cool kid at the table. After all, what do you really do with a laptop at a meeting? You browse the web, check email and possibly access a presentation. Since I did not have a presentation to show, the later two were just fine. For the record if you want to display a power point presentation on your iPad the easiest way is to upload it to Google Docs and then access it directly from the Web. The iPad is really shines as a net connected device and thus using cloud services is the way to go. If you don’t have Web access then converting the presentation to JPG images or video also works. I also installed dropbox on the iPad and it worked great giving me access to my Cloud virtual drive.
The funny part of my day occurred as I was leaving to fly home. My meeting was in Montreal and that day was also the first day of iPad sales in Canada. At an airport sports bar I was killing about an hour why reading on my iPad. I attracted a crowd of very interested on lookers. The waitress even brought her boss out to have a gander (Canadian Goose reference…) Again, I was the cool kid. This was similar to elementary kids who have their school lunch sandwiches cut on the diagonal, instead of squares. (Or at least that is what I was told by my kids)
When I passed through Canadian security I was asked if I had a laptop and I of course proudly proclaimed, no – I have an iPad. At that point Ihad no less than 4 inspectors handling my device. They made me turn it on for “security” reasons. Once I had it on I demonstrated some apps and the book reader. I was decl
ared safe. It was a slow day in Montreal for air travel. This had the makings of a real live Apple commercial.
Note to Steve Jobs: Get that security tape and air it – great publicity.
When convinced that I no longer was a threat to Canadian airspace with my iPad, I proceeded to the gate. The flight was an hour late and I began to read my book on the iPad. Again I drew a crowd when a little kid pointed and yelled – Look DAD, that’s an iPad , cool! I was then obligated to give another demonstration and let some of my fellow passengers check it out. Just when I was feeling my coolest someone asked me – “hey it looks cool, what does it do?” All I could thing of was – “It will do whatever you want, once someone figures out what you want”
Understand ? Ehh?