I love my iPad.

In fact, I love it so much, I replaced it.

Shocking…I got handed a nice pay packet from John Lewis, and blew it on another unnecessary Apple gadget for myself, to further develop my ever growing farm of Apple love. Raise your hand if you didn’t see that one coming? (In all honesty, my hand is raised right now.)

I’ll admit, when I first bought it two years ago, I figured it was going to be a waste. A bit of frivolous expenditure, whilst working my first full-time office job at Acergy.

At first, I didn’t get the iPad. Many still don’t. I want to change that.

Yes, it has the same form factor as a smartphone. Yes, it uses the same software, and runs the same apps, and requires acceptance that Apple will sit and control what you can do with the advice, to an extent, through their app screening process. But you have to look past the cynics, who sit behind their home built PC’s spending hours playing World of Warcraft, to what the iPad really means as a device.

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…I actually know a few people who look like that, as a result of spending too much time on quests for…something…rather than socialising in the real world!

I figured, after a few weeks, that my iPad would become an oversized paperweight on my desk at work. I’d never surrendered myself to the App culture, being a devoted BlackBerry fan and therefor stuck with a platform no one wanted to develop for. If I’m honest, it didn’t bother me. I wanted a Smartphone for email and Internet on the go. I was blissfully unaware of BBM when I first purchased my Curve 8900 (the most indestructible phone I’ve ever owned) but was delighted by it when first shown, at a flat party at uni. In fact, the growing app culture frustrated me with the iPhone. Sure, it’s a smartphone, so why can’t people create their own software for the device? That doesn’t mean that Apps should become the main selling point of the device, over hardware and operating software developments. The release of the 3GS iPhone was primarily about the App store, not the fact that you could FINALLY copy a phone number from an email and paste it into a fucking text message!

I’m sorry. It just really annoys me. Still.

…and breathe…

So really, I had everything I wanted from my BlackBerry/iPod Touch combo. I wasn’t even accustomed to using my iPod for email or apps, because it wasn’t connected to the net all the time and far too thin for me to type on. It also irritated me that I couldn’t get my Gmail pushed to it because of Apple; their MobileMe service was too similar to Gmail to allow both to work, a “this device Eco-system ain’t big enough for the two of us” kind of scenario, if you will.

Something drew me to the iPad though. Initially, I was the same as everyone else: “What’s it for?” if you bought the WiFi only model for on the go, certainly in the UK anyway, as soon as you step out of your house, you’re basically left with an iPod that won’t fit in your pocket. So what about the 3G one? Well I have a smartphone, so I’m basically paying for the same thing twice.

I got my hands on one, finally, a few weeks after the UK launch, in the Apple Store. I still didn’t get where it would fit in my life, but I knew I wanted one. It was so much fun; responsive. I wanted to begin some form of digital life, writing or photography, simply so I could own one of these.

A few repeat visits to the Apple shop and I was sold, ordering a 16GB 3G model. I figured I’d go for connectivity, rather than the storage capacity, because if I really started to enjoy using it, I was going to be irked by it being bricked as soon as you took it outside… That and the fact that, I didn’t see the need for the storage thanks to my iPod, which promptly died shortly after I bought this…

After I bought it, the uses it had began to reveal themselves. At first, I used it at work to write a report I was working on, just to play with it. Folk from the office were flocking round it to see it working. The word processing App Apple had engineered was pretty good, all be it not as feature filled as what you would have on a desktop machine. Little things that I would use to write reports, such as auto-contents pages or footnotes, aren’t available on it, and this irritated me as I’d bought it to use as a substitute for my laptop to save me carting it to uni with me every day – risking the possibility of slipping in the snow and murdering it (again). Yes, that’s a true story, of how my previous MacBook met its untimely demise. A life event I am still yet to get over…

Make no mistake: the iPad (or any tablet PC for that matter) is not a replacement for a desktop machine. What it gives you is your digital life in a device you want to take with you. The best thing about it: airport security don’t need to scan separately for a bomb threat. Although that will no doubt change sometime in the unfortunately near future…

As I’ve said before, the iPad marks is a change, in the way we live. They’re not there yet, but tablets are taking over. People prefer to use them in meetings because they’re discreet when note taking; there’s no display to segregate you from the rest of the group.

I hate to say it, but there’s more likely a reliable ‘app for that’ for most things now, and one day developers are simply going to stop making software for desktop machines.

Although that day, will come sometime around the day where we as humans begin to move ourselves around like this:
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I love my iPad, and my new one lays testament to that fact. Owed to the fact it works properly, allowing me to write this on it. My vintage example would have crashed several times by now, and would have probably consumed about 45% of its battery too. I don’t trust the voice dictation though…Siri based, but it did translate my friends name into “Christmas Dinner.” True story folks!

Lewis
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