So, it’s been 190 days since I bought an iPad.
I bought the magnetic cover and a bluetooth keyboard for it. At Charlie’s suggestion I also picked up the Origami case for the keyboard, bringing the price for the whole caboodle around the same as a cheap laptop. A couple of months later I also bought the new iPhone, and I’m already sizing up Airs against the fact I’m probably going to have to move house soon. So far, deposits are winning.
The iPad became part of my default carrying stack from the day I got it, and I haven’t touched either Laptop since I bought the keyboard for it. I can see that changing if I want to start doing dev work on it, but mostly if I’m getting out of the house to type it’s blog or story related. To and from work it’s a great video device. I’ve subscribed to a few series on iTunes (notably, the currently airing US series of Castle) and moved most of my physical magazine subscriptions to Newsstand, plus the Guardian iPad app is a wonderful thing. With the addition of the Kindle App and the Buzzplayer for non-apple formatted video, I use it a lot as a media consumption device more than most other things. It’s more comfortable to watch and read than a laptop (although for long-term book reading the Kindle beats it hands down, unless I’m going on a long journey it’s this I’ll take with me).
The larger size on-screen keyboard works for me, although I kind of miss the haptic feedback from android devices, and is good enough to keep notes on in meetings or jotting things down on the bus. My primary software for this is Evernote, primarily because its absolutely seamless syncing between slate, phone and desktop means I can start a shopping list at home on my desktop, update it on the bus when I think of something, and then check it on my phone when I’m in the shop.
One of the things I missed from the Apple
Ecosystem when I stopped having devices attached to it was Omnifocus, Omni’s Getting Things Done organisation tool. Omni are firmly a mac-focused company, which does very well for them, but I wish they’d open the API for their syncing server, or write a web client for it, or something (One of the things I like about Omnifocus is that you can chose to sync on their servers, or on your own if you have a WebDav server you could use. I could write something myself to parse the files, I suppose.) Stuff I need to remember to do goes in Omnifocus, and I tend to keep that open and propped up on my desk at work as a running to-do list.
It’s not a perfect device. The refusal of iTunes to automatically sync files to a non-apple App whilst simultaneously refusing to play non Quicktime files is irritating, even if I understand why the latter is necessary. It makes getting video files to the device harder than necessary.
Mostly, though, it Just Works. Almost all the actual problems I’ve had with the device have been due to iTunes rather than the iPad itself, and iOS5 has been a great upgrade that has improved the battery life and usability of the device. It just works, which is mostly what I want from it.
When I bought it, I wondered if I was making a mistake, getting a new device that I didn’t really have a model for using. It was one of those things that would either be a boost to my day, or an expensive digital camera frame. I know a few people who have found the latter more true than the former, but I’m not one of them.