Sunday, 19 September 2010

iPad at The Apple Harvest - Well Worth the Wait

This posting of the Apple Harvest is brought to you as autumn hits the forests of New England, where I'm currently on vacation, and the maple trees lap up their final intake of water before winter sets in. The colours aren't quite like they are in the picture books and postcards, but the reds and yellows are beginning to take over from the greenery of the summer foliage.

Last week I finally succumbed to the little voices in my head which have been nagging at me since April and the official launch of the iPad. The 64Gb WiFi model that I'm writing this piece on was nearly £150 cheaper in Boston than in the UK. In fact, it would have been cheaper to buy one in Zurich than in the UK. With the prospect of 20% VAT in the new year, the decision to buy one was pretty much made for me.

No doubt Apple will be announcing the 2nd generation iPads before too long, but I really couldn't wait any longer, and even though the idea of the Retinal display and addition of camera are enticing, they weren't enough to dissuade me from this purchase. You see, the iPad is everything I hoped it would be, and more. In my posting early this year I outlined my ideas of what the iPad could realistically be used for. That view has already been confirmed in just a few days. And so much more.

There is no question that the iPad is a beautiful piece of kit. It looks good, it feels good, and it is great to use. The worst thing about it is that my iPhone 4 now feels so small in comparison, although I really wouldn't want to have to lug the iPad around for use as a phone. (Actually it's really not fair to use the word lug in the same sentence as iPad. I have to lug my 15 inch MBP around, whereas I can slip the iPad into my bag and not really notice it.)

I would never have realistically considered writing a blog entry of any substance on my iPhone (despite having the BlogPress software installed), but on the iPad, even just with the on-screen keyboard, and with no case or stand, it seems perfectly natural.

Having free WiFi in the hotel (Woodward's Resort in Lincoln) is a real bonus as I'm not constantly checking on my usage - something I'll need to consider carefully when I get back to Zurich in a few days time. But being connected permanently is not a necessity as the extra screen space simply allows you to be able to do more than on an iPhone.

I've taken over 500 photos over the last few days and getting them transferred from camera to MBP to iPad has been a doodle. The iPad is a much better vehicle for showing them off than the MBP, and I love the Origami slideshow theme.

Initial syncing of the iPad to the MBP did take a while, but I think trying to install my entire iTunes library was not the most sensible approach. Just because I could physically fit the whole 47Gb on the iPad was not the best justification for actually doing so!

I was also pleased that a number of my favourite iPhone apps also scaled up immediately to the iPad. There are still a few that I'm hoping will get the necessary makeover, but plenty of alternatives are available in the meantime. It's good that in the main, prices have been kept down or upgraded versions are available at no extra cost. I particularly like the implementation of the PressReader app which I have used on the Mac and iPhone to read my offline copies of UK papers for some years. Finally the iPad provides the perfect vehicle for this activity, and the app performs faultlessly - which has not always been the case with its counterparts on the other devices.

Specific purchases (including free apps) in the first 24 hours of ownership included all three elements of the iWork suite, Battery HD Pro, Accu Weather, Clock Pro HD, Friendly - Facebook Browser, Things for iPad, and Plants vs. Zombies. That should be enough to keep me occupied at Boston Logan for three hours followed by a six hour flight back to the UK!

I'll be back in Boston in a few days and intend to buy the Apple Case and Camera connection kit (also considerably cheaper than in the UK!). In the next entry, I'll provide an update on using the iPad back in my Swiss base - a slightly more hostile environment than the one I'm in currently - at least for gadgets!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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