iPad – almost a computer?

I refer to my iPhone as a “sometimes phone” and now my iPad as “almost a computer”.

There’s been plenty written about the iPad so i will keep this brief.  I picked mine up just over a week ago on the trip to San Francisco.  The guys will vouch for my daily pilgrimages to the Apple Store – not for the iPad, i picked that up on the first day…ughmm first hour in San Fran, in fact – but for the case.  The case is crucial to the usability of the iPad, without it it’s really hard to use and it is the case that is now on 3 week back-order on the Apple Store not the iPad…go figure.

I think the iPad is another game changer and here’s why:

  1. Social – the iPad is very social.  My kids play multi-player games on it.  It’s so easy to share, physically, with others in meetings or social gatherings.  It brings the internet into the lounge and out of the study.
  2. Simple – kids get it in seconds.  I can see one eventually in our kitchen area holding recipes…maybe my partner might even use it.
  3. Awesome for sales – as a sales tool the iPad will become indispensable, because it is way more social, shareable than a laptop.  Sales material including multi-media will look awesome on the iPad.
  4. Games – games will be big on the iPad.  I’ve heard reference to a multi-player racing game on the iPad where two participant steer their cars around a track using their iPhones…cool.  Now imagine extending the track with multiple iPads…social

But, in the opening I said it’s almost a computer.  For me I will probably still need to travel with a laptop.  I can do basic note taking on the iPad and simple spreadsheeting.  I also need to be able to sign documents on the go and my tablet PC was great for this.  I can sign with my finger on the iPad but it’s pretty naff.  Things will get better, with app upgrades.  Getting docs on and off the iPad is also a bit of mission – email seems to be the simplest route.   The iPad also seems to have ignored the concept of a file system so each app is its own “walled garden” i.e. you can’t share docs between apps – this is a pain.

My current favourite app is MindNode.  This app allows you to make Mind Maps – I use it for taking notes in meetings.  The other must haves for me are GoodReader, Pages and iAnnotate – check them out.

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