Jul 022010
 

I caved. I bought an iPad. For months, I resisted the hype, the excitement, the rush across the border with so many other Canadians who didn’t want to wait until it was released here in Canada. My computer-savvy Twitter friends told me about more open or open-source computer Tablets coming, about MeeGo and hp having bought Palm and other big names coming out with competitive products around about October. But as I waited and occasionally read articles or opinion pieces on Apple’s competitors, it became increasingly clear that no one was anywhere near ready to release a truly competitive product. It wasn’t just the stunning display (now eclipsed by Apple with its iPod 4 retina display, like why couldn’t they have given the iPad that?!) or the built-in app store or the long-existing iTunes store that would be hard to catch up to, but it was, for me, the battery life. Windows simply draws too much power to allow for such a long battery life. The Android versions are still in the development phase (like why?). And Palm has fallen so far off the map that even though hp has just closed the deal on acquiring Palm this past week, it’s going to be awhile before it can use Palm’s WebOS for its pending Tablet. These things take time. If rushed, the first iteration of the product will be crap. And that will doom it.

I just wasn’t ready to wait until 2011. (I know, I know, the competition says Q4, but…good work takes time.) I see possibilities, and I wanted to have the time to explore them now. Everything takes me so long to do, and I wanted not to feel rushed when exploring these possibilities, which I would’ve if I’d waited till the new year.

I see two areas that the iPad can benefit me. One is to help me compensate for my brain injury. And the other is to explore writing opportunities.

The most obvious advantage of the iPad over the iPod Touch is its bigger screen will allow me to see and comprehend the calendar better. I use Pocket Informant for the iPhone. (An iPad version has just been released to Apple for approval. Hopefully, Apple won’t sit on it too long.) PI is the only scheduling app for the iPod/iPhone, and now the iPad, that shows both tasks and events, that syncs with Google Calendar and with Exchange so that you can see your calendar no matter where you are or if you’ve forgotten your iPod yet need to check your schedule. With the iPad’s bigger screen, it’ll be easier for both me and my therapist to see my calendar and schedule my week together. I have been using my computer at the moment to do this, but it’s a bit awkward. I find the web versions of the calendar programs I use not as friendly — meaning too cluttered — as PI. I can’t wait until PI for the iPad is released.

The first thing I’d like to do as a writer is to see what my book Lifeliner looks like on the iPad. It is finally in the iBookstore. However, I don’t wish to pay for a copy of my own book, and so I have to figure out how to get my copy onto the iPad.

Which brings me to how much easier it was for me to get the iPad going than the iPod Touch. First off, it helps when you’ve gone through similar steps before. And it helps that one’s brain has had a year of healing time. I hardly ever sync my iPod Touch because I found it terribly confusing as to how to get iTunes to see it. Today, no sweat. (Run iTunes; plug it in to the computer; press the on button.) That’s known as the effect of spontaneous healing, and I’ve experienced that kind of change many times. I purchased the wireless keyboard as I found when I tried out the iPad that the surface was a bit hard on my fingers (I’m sensitive!) even though I found the on-screen keyboard a cinch to use. After wondering for awhile why the wireless keyboard wasn’t connecting to the iPad, it dawned on me to see if Bluetooth was enabled on the iPad. It took me a moment to “see” the Settings icon on the iPad but not long to find the Bluetooth option to turn it on. It then took me a moment to realize I needed to press Keyboard not just wait for it to find devices. After that, piece of cake.

I have typed this post using the wireless keyboard on my iPad. I used the Apple case, which is also a stand, to stand up the iPad. But I think I need to have it up higher; being on a table still means bending my neck. The keyboard is cute and sits nicely on my lap.

Well, that’s the beginning of my iPad adventure. I’d just like to end by saying that I reserved one through the Apple store, but I heard BestBuy was getting a new shipment in today. They came in at 10:30. I got there about 11:15. I bought the last 16GB WiFi. There were no 3G ones at all. I think Apple has already creamed the competition. Too bad.

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