My iPad experience … so far!

iPadIt’s no secret that I’m an Apple guy! I don’t want to be labelled as a fanboi but I love my iPhone, iMac and my MacBook Pro.

The big question for me was did I need an iPad with this much Mac in my life?
The answer was NO!

The next question was did I WANT an iPad with this much Mac in my life?
The answer was maybe.

I think I did extremely well resisting a US import of the iPad. This was partly due to the cost but also due to the fact that it wouldn’t be long until it was launched in the UK (until Apple moved the goalposts … grrrrrrrr!) By the time it launched in the UK I had almost talked myself out of getting it with phrases like “it’s just a toy”, “it doesn’t do evereything a computer does” and “it’s expensive for a leisure device”.

These were the arguments my wife used back at me when I was thinking about buying one.

The little dance

When it comes to tech purchases my wife and I have a procedure that must be adhered to. It’s not written down anywhere; it’s just known!

The steps to tech purchase are …

  1. I express interest
  2. She says that she is not interested and comes up with a counter argument (even though I know she is interested!
  3. I leave it for a bit. This is important as if I try to force the issue the dance is over.
  4. She decides that it’s ‘ok’ but still too pricey/we don’t need it/the one we have works fine/we should be saving* (* delete as appropriate)
  5. We go into town to ‘have a look’ – (at this stage we both know it’s a done deal) 
  6. She becomes much more interested and decides that we should buy it 
  7. End of little dance. 

The beauty of the system is that she gets to do the ‘responsible wife’ thing whilst indulging her ‘inner geek’!  She also gets to feel like she made the decision … and I let her think that!  Everyone’s a winner!

The iPad dance

The iPad was an extreme situation. This went beyond the protocol above and included extra steps. We were in the car and driving home before she decided that we should buy it. We turned around and parked up and headed straight for the Apple Store.

The purchase

We headed back to the Apple Store for the second time and there was a queuing system outside for people who wanted to actually purchase an iPad rather than just play on one.

We joined the queue and were shortly introduced to Jonny who would be taking us through the purchase. We were then ushered into a special area for purchasers where you could ask any questions before purchase. We when then escorted upstairs to wait by the accessories section whilst Jonny brought the device up to us. Here you could contemplate which of the cases you wanted to buy.

After a few minutes we were walking out of the store with a shiny iPad.

Set up

This was pretty much the same as an iPhone or iPod Touch. Connect to iTunes, sync, bam! We bought a 3G iPad so we had to set up an account for 3G data. We chose O2 and I think the rates are quite reasonable and you’re not tied into a contract.

Play time

Then it’s time to play. The device is gorgeous and it’s a joy to browse the web on it. Web pages seem richer than they do on a desktop or laptop. I suppose it’s because you don’t have all the other clutter on screen e.g. dock, Start menu, other windows.

YouTube is great and it becomes more social as it’s easier to turn it round and show it to someone or browse with a partner as it’s large enough that you can both see clearly.

I’ve purchased iWork but haven’t done anything with it yet as I’m too busy having fun to work!

The onscreen keyboard takes some getting used to as the backspace key is in a different place to the iPhone and I seem to be hitting the i key instead of the o key. That’s probably just something which will be fine once you’re used to it.

In summary, everything seems richer on the device. Email is beautiful and the web seems to ‘flow’ more seamlessly.

I’ve utilised RSS feeds a lot more with apps like The Early Edition which bring all your favourite blogs and sites into a newspaper style format. I haven’t seen a single Flash Lego brick yet but I don’t suppose I visit that many Flash sites.

My final question is would I return it and get my money back? No way!

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