I may have indulged in a bit of false advertising there, I’m afraid.
Really, I’m just going to list a few quick points, and frankly, that’s probably all that matters.
It’s been a month or so since I was issued an iPad for work (an old model – it doesn’t even have a camera). I’ve long been a tablet holdout and am vehemently personally opposed to e-readers. I don’t care what you say; you’ll never convert me to e-books. I do see the appeal of the iPad for media consumption, but not for anything beyond that.
I’m still of that opinion, though I’ve warmed to the iPad somewhat. I took it on my work trip to Sydney, which was a good choice. It’s a less obtrusive way to keep up with emails and it was easy to check in on my Google Reader while waiting for presentations to start and whatnot. I can even get close to touch typing on it now, though it’s still a pain to comment on blogs this way, which I would much rather do on a proper computer. Nonetheless, it’s handy for pre-bed online tinkering (compared to my laptop) and T uses it just as much as I do, albeit for playing games and watching Naruto. Obviously the gaming monitor back home is the king of video games, every other screen just seems tired.
Big is beautiful when it comes to the screen, which renders content beautifully and responds instantly to gestures. My early-gen model is probably about twice the size of the current version, but I’m not opposed to a bit of comfortably solid heft – while reviewing the super lightweight Samsung Galaxy S3 a while back, I couldn’t get over the flimsy feeling.
But in order to squeeze more out of it, accessories are where it’s at. Special stands to place the iPad at the right angle, so it’s not sitting awkwardly in your lap, on a table, or being propped up either by your hands or something else close to hand. Keyboards enabling you to type out lengthy emails and documents without your hands cramping up. Or, my favourite to date, a combination keyboard/cover – the former works over Bluetooth, the latter through a combination of a physical slot combined with magnetic wizardry. Get that going and you have a pretty neat setup to take anywhere – it’s just as easy as sliding out and unfolding a laptop.
I do feel that a tablet could eventually make up my entire workstation, and sooner rather than later. When I’m at the office, I hook up my laptop to a larger keyboard and extra-large second monitor; it’s not a huge leap to think the laptop could be replaced by a tablet as technology improves. I firmly believe that it’s all about going for what’s closest at hand, mixed in with choosing the right device for the job (I am a guilty second-screener as charged), but maybe when it comes time to buy my next laptop, perhaps I won’t be replacing it with a laptop at all.
- Well, it all comes down to one thing, really, doesn’t it? The iPad is all about reading and viewing content, be it through a browser or via an app. And it does that brilliantly (I love the Twitter app, for one). Beats browsing on your phone any day. Of course the toss-up is that the best gaming monitors are ridiculously more powerful and enjoyable but you can’t bring them to bed, can you?
- A lot of sites (cough *Flash* cough) don’t play nicely with the iPad. For example, I can’t watch iSky content on it, and when I tried to pay our Northern Gateway toll online on the iPad, the fields for inputting my Visa details weren’t working.
- I can almost touchtype on it … but not quite.
- I can’t plug my phone into it to charge like I can with my laptop.
While I’m on this topic, is anyone else out there totally drowning in digital overload? I know a lot of you take online sabbatical from time to time, and occasionally I’ll more or less unplug for a weekend.
Flipboard helps, of course, as does following good curators who filter content for you. For example, there’s Jason Hirschorn’s media/tech/digital roundup, the new Evening Edition, and new attempts at delivering stringently curated and targeted stories popping up frequently, like Launchticket. I was gutted when Summify was sold, though Twitter now uses that technology to send out its own daily summaries.
Yet I often feel that reading news and blogs and keeping up with industry happenings is itself a fulltime job. While I do that for fun sometimes, more often than not I actually can’t be bothered. Heck, the majority of the time I just skim over or delete the Hirschorn roundups because I’m short on time, though it’s a valuable digest. Attention and time is finite, which as a content creator, I am also well aware of, treading both sides of the line.
Keeping on top of the digital world is tough. It takes so much time and effort, and increasingly I’m torn by my love for the web and my desire to unplug from it all.