Ok, so I must admit – I really do love my iPad 2 that I got for Christmas! I have been against the whole iPad thing for – well since the start, when the first gen came out! I looked at the product, like so many others, on the Apple site and went wow – that is the top of consumerism right there. It certainly looks nice, but it’s just another little entertainment device that you can’t do anything on – Apple’s iOS is notorious for limiting the functionality of their machines and the way you can (or should I say can’t) save and edit your data on. BUT 2 – 3 years on, after the production of thousands of apps, the refinement of iPad 2 (slimmer/thinner, dual core, better graphics or whatever else they have upgraded in their system), and the million of accessories available for the iPad (which I think all those people out there must be making a killing!!), it certainly starts to hold an appeal…
I am not one of those Apple lovers who would go out and buy everything that is Apple – no. I have an iPhone and an iPad. I am pretty tech savvy, have also a laptop and a desktop – so when the iPad came out, I immediately thought, the iPad can never replace the laptop, or the tablet pcs – functionality is so limited. You are restricted to running the only approved programs from the app store. You can’t transfer data unless through iTunes, and hell once you have set up all music/books/ whatever else you have autosynced to one laptop (like I do), you can’t sync apps/music/books etc from another machine (like my desktop) without deleting your whole library first! How frustrating!
Nevertheless, my mind has been, well you can say brainwashed if you will, into being pro-Apple and pro-iPad. As I mentioned earlier, all the major sharks in the market out there have embraced the electronic world – I mean how could you not? It’s the next step in our technological evolution – you have social media, social networking, the appearance of cloud/sky drives, evolution of seamless, wireless internet, smartphones etc – all the information you could ever need to get ahead is at your fingertips. And so we are going a little off track here but as I was saying, every major market leader out there has got their hands in the pie – the iPad has revolutionised technology, making pretty much everything else obsolete. Let me give you a few examples.
TV. I don’t watch TV at all – my TV is lucky if it gets turned on once a week. And no, I don’t watch TV shows from the iTunes store as well – waste of money and time. I watch the news whenever I catch it on TV and the occasional movie that I haven’t seen in ages and don’t mind tuning out. And really I don’t have to – I’m not missing out. I get bombarded with advertisements, news stories, hot topics/most read topics, best movies etc etc every minute when I’m online – there are ads everywhere. I remember someone saying we get hit by 4000 ads on a daily basis – 4000 ads – some we don’t even realise that it’s there. That is a lot of ads! So how does all this relate to the iPad?
I keep up to date with the world via reading the news on the iPad. I have a couple of apps that do this job – I have the Australian app (which I love and have been reading daily from when I’m on my break or having breakfast), the 360 News app and the BBC news app. All these apps are brilliant but what I love most about the Australian App is that its updated daily, it’s NOT the Courier Mail, it offers offline reading when I’m in a non wireless area, and you can scan headlines in each section that interests you. It has made newspapers obsolete – sure if you don’t buy their subscription, then you don’t get all the news you are entitled to. Fair enough. At the end of the day, they’re a business and they need to pay journalists’ wages and make a living too. I get the occasional ad that pops up every now and then, and the constant ad on the side when you’re reading the news and as I said, fair enough – its a free product – and it’s brilliant! I love it.
So how does this app compare to others you might ask? I am sure there are thousands of news apps out there that work just as brilliant as this one, but I’m from Australia – I like reading news about what is happening in my own country. I prefer to read news that has been written well and with substance. I prefer to read the news offline when I don’t have access to the internet without having to manually select the ones I want to download to read (like 360 news) and it doing it automatically for me. Does it have limitations? Of course it does – it’s a free product, it’s an Australian news app but it delivers what it’s suppose to. And I think it can only get better.
The second app I use most often is iAnnotate. I have purchased several apps actually for word processing an pdf editing – I have both versions of the famous pdf editors iAnnotate and PDF Expert and I must say, I prefer iAnnotate over the other. Whilst PDF Expert functionality is on par with iAnnotate, with the addition of signature signing add-on (which I find can be dangerous if someone has access to your signature without authorisation), I find iAnnotate a lot more user friendly – all your buttons that you need are on your right hand side – highlights, underlining, typing, writing etc. Page preview to your left – if you’re looking for something in particular in a large pdf document. I’ve never tried it but theres global search as well (although who would use it?!). I do also like the functionality of syncing to my DropBox – I can sync edited/to be edited documents/lectures etc to and from DropBox with ease. Emailing, exporting etc etc is also no problems. I took my iPad to uni yesterday and using the Blackboard app, pulled up my lecture notes for that class (which I am loving, since others do not have access to the lecture notes due to some technical difficulty on Blackboard for windows and macs… who would have figured?) and exported the PDF file to iAnnotate and away I went – I didn’t need papers or pens – just an iPad thats connected to the internet.
The other two apps that I use frequently are iBooks and Kindle – more on this later!
Better get some Study done!