The iPad had been selling like hotcakes in the US. With the majority of
the online reviews being positive, since its US launch by Apple. As soon as I could, early in May 2010, I placed an order through the Australian Apple online store for a 32 GB iPad WiFi+3G (including some of the accessories).
I wanted to see what this devices was like to use myself. Would the tablet form factor be sufficient for a virtual worker who has no fixed desk in any one day. In particular I was interested to see if I could work with the iPad by its self without necessarily having to use my Mac Book Pro notebook or other desktops. I realised that some tasks would still need a desktop, for example programming, but if I was just reading, emailing, reviewing material, tweeting or interacting through social media that I did not need the full desktop real-estate experience.
The main advantage for me of the iPad, was going to be the larger display size then the iPhone and the convenience factor of having to carry less. I am also very interested to see, if I can use it as an eBook reader. Not so much for novels but for reference material that I need. I have a lot of books, gathering dust for the most part. Will the iPad help alleviate that issue? What happens in five years? Can I still access those books that I have purchased electronically? Only time will tell.
When I awoke last Friday the 28th May, it was with the expectation that the iPad would be delivered. I’d been hoping for the day before, but it didn’t happen. I was working in the city that day, so I purchased a new micro-SIM from Three. I was their first iPad customer and they were just as excited and happy for me about the iPad. That is one thing that Apple does extremely well, building up expectation about their new devices.
A number of us, that morning, through twitter were trying to see if the iPads had stated to arrive or not. Someone tweeted that a friend had walked into JB Hi-Fi and just purchased one (I was thinking why had I ordered it through the Apple store?). Needless to say, that morning, with the immediate anticipation of the iPad, I was not very productive.
My iPad finally arrived in the early afternoon.
I unpacked it, inserted my new micro-SIM, performed the first sync (which took some time) and then started to explore my new device. It felt firm in the hand and was responsive. It immediately got the attention of a lot of people walking by. The majority of whom were interested to find out if I would still be using it in a week or so. As the 3G reception was not the best on Level 30 and the serviced offices I was using did not have WiFi (I know, have already started to address this), I thought, as I’d already written the day off, I would travel home and connect it up through WiFi.
On the way home, I had Google Maps open and the GPS was tracking my progression nicely on the map. This is one of the features I use a lot on the iPhone when I visit other cities, but it drains the battery. It will be interesting to see what happens on the iPad when I use Google Maps for extended periods.
I played with the iPad for the rest of the day, exploring everything that I could and getting things connected – email, calenders, twitter (tweetdeck), book readers (iBook, Amazon Kindle) etc. I found a number of ten must have iPad apps and loaded all the free ones. There is one, theguardian eyewitness iPad app, I particularly like, as it is mainly thought provoking photos (It really did also show off the quality of the iPad display). The paid apps I purchased were the iPad versions of the Apple iWorks applications – Pages (word processing) and Keynote (presentations).
So far, I have enjoyed the iPad and can see some interesting uses for it and will continue to experiment with its use. The big question for me is, will my current or potential clients use this device in a work context? (Some have already placed moratoriums on purchase of the iPads)