(Well, other than because I live in Israel and we have other sites for that – not that I’ll do that with them as well)
I am pretty sure you cannot call me an Apple fanboy: I never really got along with Mac on whatever device it came with… I kept getting lost with whatever task I wanted to accomplish on a Macintosh, Mac book and the others. I don’t own an Apple TV, iPod never really appealed to me (although I have cool MediaCenter setup in my living room and like all humans I love music…). I was always a fan of Microsoft though… I’ve been using every product they came up with since Dos 4.01 around 1988 including all forms of windows and office suites, I’ve worked closely with most of the servers they provide including all versions of SharePoint to this date. Ok, I have an iPhone 3g and I can’t wait to get my hands on the new iPhone 4 so Apple did make its way into my heart in some way, but I would never consider listing my iPad on any site like Craigslist. Why? Because I can hardly get away from it and put it aside, I CAN’T stop using it!
When the iPad was first announced I was disappointed actually. No front facing camera or multitasking, seemed like it would be mostly used for media consumption and games and I really don’t have much time for that (check out the Xbox and Wii sitting side by side next to that MediaCenter I mentioned earlier.. mostly gathering dust these days…). I thought it didn’t really have much chance of catching with the masses, I mean we have computers, laptops and Netbooks, eReaders in various shapes and sizes and the price was not that cheap! Besides, who buys and apple product on the first version? It’s obvious there will be a big leap a year later..
But then I saw the actual thing, held it in my hand, the early adopter / passionate geek with low postponement of gratification skills in me just had to have it. I figured, I really should start reading and since I never get around to go to the book store – it’s time I get a proper eReader, plus it would be great to stream media to the bedroom (without SageTV and the laptop that are already providing that options). I also figured I deserve one and that if eventually it won’t be used much – I would always be able to resell it.
The reality turned out to be quite different. While I thought the iPad would never leave the house, I don’t think there was one day I left it there when I went to work… so I really think everyone should buy and iPad and I can’t see why someone would like to part with the one they have. Here’s why:
First, it changed what the “media consumption” means to me, if in the past it was movies, music and some news articles from the one local news site I’ve always followed, all the other things the internet has to offer suddenly make sense! RSS feeds, blogs and social networking always seemed like a waste of time and I couldn’t figure out how other people find the time to “obsess “ about them so much. With the iPad, keeping track and handling all that huge amounts of data is SO MUCH easier! It literally opened up new horizons for me and I salute all of you who were into those things before I got here I don’t know how you did it and I am still trying to make up for all the things I missed out on.
So, we have the RSS reader (I use NewsRack to keep track of blogs, news sites etc.), we have Twitter which is slowly catching on here in Israel (I use Echofon), we have Instapaper just in case we step away from an area with WiFi / 3G, we have the Youtube app for movies and Safari that does a good job with most sites I turn too. These are the main tools I use to stay updated with professional content, trends and other topics of interest.
Second, taking my laptop with me to all places suddenly feels like a drag… granted, Office2HD which I am using doesn’t have all the capabilities of the wonderful Office 2010 I have installed on my main computer, but it has most of what I need when I am mobile. If I need to catch a quick meeting summary its more than enough (plus people complain less that it seems like I am not paying attention to them when I type during the meeting, in fact they are intrigued and curious!). I keep the documents I need locally, some others I keep on Dropbox, and when I really want to do research I have the iPad on one side for searching the net and I have the laptop on the other side with access to all my past documents including access to the online document management system that’s in use in the company I work for. I feel perfectly fine using the right too for each task and I adapt and come up with new ways to be more efficient and effective using all the available tools.
Third, I am anxiously waiting for iOS4 to make its way to the iPad and it will be very helpful to be able to switch between applications as I use it. Until then, I have Backgrounder that works with some of the apps (that’s right, I jail broken the iPad as soon as I could, remember – I am not an apple fanboy and I don’t appreciate being denied access to the full potential of the products I buy). I may one day get another iPad (probably the ones that comes out next year) if I really want to have the dual screen experience, until such time, I have the laptop close by when I need it.
Forth, I never really liked flash, for some reason I often find it distracting from the actual content and most of the sites I relay on have come up with adequate alternatives. I also think that as HTML 5 becomes more common, it’s possible I won’t miss flash at all (HTML 5 is still official in draft mode and it’s expected to mature and spread in the next 2 years, so you may have to be patient).
Last, while I do miss the camera (both front for Facetime use and back for augmented reality users) the iPad is all I could expect from an eReader using the iBook / Kindle app / B&N – although I don’t have much time for it, reading is much more accessible and fun for me. Also, AirVideo is wonderful for streaming my media files from the living room MediaCenter to anywhere in the house, so all the uses I originally expected to have are actually useful this time!
I know many people still don’t get the iPad, they think conventional computers are more than enough for them and they can’t justify the purchase of an iPad that is still considered a luxury item by many. But from my experience, this is a life changing, professional tool that is worth every cent that I put into it.
I am definitely going to buy and iPhone 4, antenna issue and all because the iPhone 3G is almost exhausted at this point and I really think the bumpers look nice so I wouldn’t mind having one on. I am sure the second version of the iPad is going to awesome and I’ll probably buy one as well and find something to do with the one I have now. So Steve, with the iOS devices, you got me hocked I guess, but with the Mac OS you still have a lot of hard work ahead of you and for now Gates / Ballmer can be sure I’ll keep using all things MS when it comes to my standard computer / laptop. I really do believe you should use the right tool for the right job and the iPad is an excellent tool for me.
P.S #1 This post was written on an laptop using office 2010 Word, so what?!?
P.S #2 TechCranch, feel free to repost 🙂