Last week I wrote a blog post about my upcoming trip to Warsaw with the band Hedningarna and the fact that I would use my iPad as my main digital entertainment during the trip, and as my only computer-like work device. The trip ended on Saturday last week but didn’t really turn out the way I thought. (I will likely write a separate post about the music-related part of the trip.)
The plane ride was over a lot faster than I thought, which meant I really didn’t get to use the iPad as much as I thought I would on the way there or on the way home. This in turn meant I didn’t spend as much time watching movies and video clips as I thought. However in Warsaw I used the iPad a lot, both for entertainment/infotainment and for business.
For the entertainment part I mainly used Instapaper. I always have a fairly long list of unread articles in it that I never seem to get around to in my everyday life. However on a trip abroad I’m usually unable to update the list (due to horrible data roaming fees) which in turn gives me the time to read ”old” news. The work-related stuff was mostly done with Evernote because of it’s great offline-functionality.
At the time of this writing (Tuesday around 7 pm) I’m once again traveling. This time I’m on a train from Falun to Gothenburg. Al though a much shorter distance then from Falun to Warsaw, the fact that the trip is made by train means a whole lot of time to use the iPad. So far I’ve used it for everyday stuff like checking twitter (Twitteriffic), checking my RSS-subscriptions (Reeder) and checking mail. I’ve also watched a movie (Vanilla Sky), looked at some video clips (from Webstock ’11), composed and sent an invoice (with Numbers) and now I’m blogging, so it’s safe to say that the iPad enables me to do a whole lot of things.
What’s really great is mainly the fact that I can use it for most of the stuff that I would normally use a laptop for, but with a whole lot less weight to carry around and a whole lot longer battery life. It’s super easy to simply pick it out of the bag, do one or two quick things and then put it away. The on screen keyboard is probably not something I would write a novel on, but it’s a lot easier to use than I imagined before buying the unit.
When I bought it I decided to go for the 32GB WiFi-only version, a decision that I’m now happy that I made. The 32GB was chosen to be able to store my entire iPhoto library on it (which is somewhere around 20-20GB in size) but that proved to be a real overkill since iTunes optimizes image sizes to match the resolution of the iPad. But the extra headroom proved very useful once I started to want to put multiple movies on it. Since syncing can be a pain in the ass, I’d prefer to do it as seldom as possible. (I can’t wait for iCloud!) The fact that it’s WiFi-only hasn’t been a problem at all since I always keep my iPhone with me and sharing Internet from it is really easy.
What’s less great is the highly reflective glass screen. Sure, glass I pretty and it does make it look really expensive, but the high reflectiveness of it makes watching movies in any sort of daylight really hard. Seeing my own reflection in everything can be quite distracting. (In contrast, when I watched a movie in a pitch black room last night the iPad was perfect.) The fact that glass is quite heavy is another thing that’s not so great. The iPad is not really heavy per se, but if it were even less heavy it would be even more great, especially for long form reading when I’m sitting with it in my hand.
And speaking of long form reading, that’s one thing that is really, really awesome on the iPad. Instapaper is such a great app and the fact that I can sit in much couch or chair (or airplane seat or train seat etc.) and read articles like I would read a magazine is simply amazing. For this train ride I’ve also bought my first Kindle book (Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy) for the Kindle for iPad app. So far I have not had time to read anything in it so I guess I will revisit this topic with yet another blog post.
To be concluded…