I’m a big iPad user. Guilty as charged. I don’t use my iPad to take photos at events granted but I do like to trumpet praise for my shiny metal and glass device whenever the opportunity presents itself. To put it simply the iPad is the most useful piece of equipment that I have ever used. Big call, I know. Just because I love my iPad doesn’t mean that everyone else is convinced though. I’ve frequently been asked, ‘What’s the point? – what can you actually do with them” and “Aren’t they just giant iPhones?’
So I want to throw it out there from a totally not IT specialist opinion all the reasons why they’re so much more than ‘a giant iPhone.’ First and foremost, an iPad can be a great tool and so over the next couple of weeks I’m going to put together a technophobe friendly guide to why the iPad is worth it (here’s looking at you, students).
But first I thought that I should give some background. I’m what I’d like to describe as a bi-OS computer user. I’ve grown up with Apple at home but have used Microsoft at high school, then uni and work. Personally I prefer Apple as I find it a very clean operating system to work with.
I got my first lap top – a MacBook in year 12/ sixth form and over the past five or so years have managed to absolutely thrash it. I’m clumsy, I’ve done silly things like remove keys and switch them around, I’m not a very kind user. Despite this it’s been very resilient and easily repaired in moments like when my hard drive died and I needed a replacement and file recovery (Ubertec in Parnell are life savers.)
So when I started uni in 2010 I tried to cart my MacBook around with me. I bought a new battery and case, the works but soon found it to be a bit of a mission. Even at a small 13”, it was far too heavy to carry around all day and with wifi dependent Internet capabilities it could feel a bit redundant (Auckland uni has shocking wifi reception in some places/ hello Tamaki bus.)
I decided to buy an iPad at the beginning of 2011 for the following reasons:
It was lightweight.
I could easily do course readings on one and not worry about dropping my laptop/ having the screen bent (I always cringe when I see people with laptops on buses for this reason.)
It had mobile Internet capabilities allowing me to access the Internet wherever, whenever.
I could write my notes on it whether with a stylus or typed and have them stored on the cloud, meaning no lost notes ever.
And so I saved up and ordered an iPad 2 immediately after launch. It set me back $1,149 for an 32GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G plus Apple Care insurance. For 3G services I bought a Vodafone mini sim but soon realized that their prices are uneconomical and switched to 2Degrees. I currently pay $100 for 12GBs of data that is valid for 6 months. It’s definitely been worth it.
Today I take my iPad everywhere and use it for note taking, sketches, reading books, research, reading and annotating pdf’s, making wish list collages, blogging, managing my theatre company’s social media pages, watching YouTube videos, in meetings, for listening to the radio, playing games, organizing my calendar, pretty much everything.
Is it a bit sad to say that it’s one of my best friends?
My next post on iPads will be on apps that make uni easier – note taking, PDF readers, annotation etc. If there’s anything you’d like to know or if you have any questions then leave them below!