Me and My iPad
My boss saw my reluctance to purchase an iPad as easy material. The sub-text was clear. I would – without fail – submit eventually despite my protestations to the contrary. He was right. But just over a month since I capitulated, what has life with my iPad been like?
Reunited my RSS reader
The most striking change has been the extent to which I’ve been reunited with my RSS reader. The large touch screen functionality makes wading through an unkempt RSS feed bundle a joy. Currently, I’ve got into the habit of using my 20 minute train journey into London Bridge to scan through via MobileRSS, saving interesting stuff to ReadItLater. If there’s anything I like at that moment in time, I’ll tweet it. The only slight drawback is not being able to tweet to multiple accounts, although I suspect that will come in time. Interestingly I’ve only subscribed to two news outlets both for domestic and international news, keeping the rest of my RSS reader dedicated to blogs and google alerts.
Being able to dip in and out with relative ease at any time during the day (yes, I even committed to the 3G access as well) makes me feel more in touch, providing fodder for thoughts on the move which might turn into blog stuff.
The real boon has been the opportunity to read stuff on the Tube. I know the iPhone provided that functionality already. I had already used iBooks on the iPhone before purchasing the iPad, but the screen was way too small. The larger iPad screen makes the likes of ReadItLater an ideal tool. The 20 minutes I spend assigning RSS stuff to ReadItLater. There’s usually enough time between train and tube station to get everything downloaded into the offline app. The remaining half hour tube journey can then be spent reading over the offline pages with the possibility of firing something off in the last ten minutes as I approach White City. Theoretically meaning a blog post could be written by 9.30am, although it has to be said that I need to get into the practice just a bit.
Good for blogging
The iPad’s real strength is undoubtedly the ease with which I can type on it. It needs only the lightest of touches (the shift key can be a pain in the arse if you’re in a hurry) and could be used to write lengthy blog posts if needed. It works as a blogging tool in short because it sits comfortably on the lap and because the keyboard isn’t the cramped affair it is on the iPhone. Sure it doesn’t offer the ultimate ease of a proper keyboard – my writing preference is still the MacBook Pro – and it’s perhaps because of that I’ve found its changing the way in which I write when I use it. In other words, if you see a long post on this blog, it’s almost certainly going to have been written on the MacBook Pro.
WordPress’s iPad app is better than using the browser interface for publishing posts. I like the way I can write local drafts (good for the Tube) and then publish later. Having grappled with the finer features of the Inuit theme just recently however, I wouldn’t mind more of the functions (like setting the featured image) but this is a minor point.
The real fag about the device is the way it handles multimedia. At its simplest level photos and video have to go through the iPhoto on the iPad. Thus far I haven’t found a way of importing my lovely HD .mov files from my Panasonic Lumix (it will handle video but you need to drop the quality of the video recorded at source before the iPad will play or allow you to upload it to say YouTube which is a pain). Photos too are uploaded at a reduced quality than that they were photographed at. This in itself isn’t a dealbreaker. It just means I have to make a decision about what quality video I want to shoot (which in itself is about deciding whether it later be used in a high quality edit or not) and make a point of transferring the higher quality photographs I want to keep when I get home.
All of this is academic however until you’ve got the photo connection kit from Apple which at £25 reminds me about the Apple Ethos. I hope to God neither the photo connection kit nor the iPad go wrong and I have to go back to the store.
Where audio is concerned I can see how its onboard microphone combined with the likes of AudioBoo make it good for interviews. And whilst Audioboo’s app isn’t native at the moment, it will only be a matter of time I’m sure.
Making commuters feel sick
Undoubtedly the most brilliant aspect of owning an iPad and using it in public. I make a point of sitting next to iPhone4 users on the platform or on the tube and looking to see whether they glance across with a sickening look on their face. I’m rarely disappointed.