Late last week you would remember how I put together a blog post where I started collecting a number of the Daily #iPad Apps that I keep sharing across over in Twitter, for those folks who may be potentially interested. Also as a good reference for myself, i.e. as part of my own personal knowledge sharing experience, so that I can keep going back and forth over time and see what I may have shared and what not, just in case I may need it for a future reference. Then, my good friend Barry Leiba mentioned, in the comments, how he would be “interested in reading more about specifically HOW the iPad fundamentally changes your online interactions and experience“. Thus I thought I would go ahead today and put together a blog entry where I could share with folks my top 10 reasons why the iPad has changed my computing habits and overall Internet experience for good with no looking back!
It’s going to be a rather interesting experiment, where I am sure I’m going to fall short on words on what it actually means for me, specially when not paying much attention to the tools and applications themselves, but more how I interact with the device. I know that some of those reasons will also surprise a bunch of folks out there who may have a perceived different persona of me than who I actually am, but I think that overall, it will help set the stage as to why I have finally fallen for the iPad as perhaps one of my last mobile devices I will own for a good while. A long one, actually.
Thus without much ado, here are My Top 10 Reasons Why I Bought a 3G 64GB iPad, back while I was in Boston, in June, attending the Enterprise 2.0 conference event (Yes, I couldn’t buy one over here in Spain after having visited 18 shops!). You could see how desperate I was starting to become, right? hehe Here we go then:
- My wrists are more grateful than ever before: Yes, that’s right! I spend a whole lot less time in front of my Mac, which means that I can still have access to all of the tools I need directly from my iPad as well; that way I’m no longer restricted to be sitting in front of the computer to get the job done. The iPad enables me to incorporate a mobility aspect I didn’t have before: speed! Speed to “boot up” the device and get a response right away!; and, instead of punching keystrokes I’m now touching and flipping the screen! And both of my wrists have noticed the improvements over time in the last few weeks…
- I have become a much more patient person: Specially, while waiting on queues to get other stuff done! There is nothing out there that would freak me out more than having to wait for a long while queueing up to get stuff done! Going to the doctor, the dentist, doing the shopping, getting some other paperwork done, waiting for friends to show up (They usually turn up late! hehe), etc. etc. are interesting activities I am now enjoying again by opening my iPad and spending those idle moments being connected with the world or whatever else. Then when ready, I close it and move on. Time that it takes me to do that? One gentle push of my forefinger. Done! Gone!
- I have started to enjoy travelling once again: Whether it’s travelling on public transport or by car; whether it is for business or pleasure, I’m starting to enjoy it again quite a bit! Waiting in queues to check in, picking up my luggage, going the hotel back and forth, and all of those lengthier periods of waiting time while on business trips are now a thing of the past. They disappear as soon as I turn on the iPad. It also helps me travel light, very very light! To the point where future conferences I may be attending it’ll be the only device I’ll take with me, while the Mac stays at home. This time around my back will also be grateful, since I don’t have to carry the Mac, the extra batteries, the cabling, the rucksack, the multiple devices to keep me connected and charged, etc. etc.
But here is the most important reason why I starting to enjoy travelling again with the iPad: having that constant feeling that I’m consistently connected (Through wi-fi or 3G); that I can get a grasp of things around me happening on the Web, both external AND internal (Since I’m also hooked up with a VPN connection to the IBM network, even to access my calendar and my mail! Ha! Remember? I still get a few of those! hehe), without having to suffer from being constantly disconnected. And, above all, the superb extended battery life it gives me. With the Mac I get 2.5 hours, if I am lucky. With the iPad over 13 hours! So imagine that on a transatlantic flight to the US and what it will mean altogether! Now, I have got my own personal entertainment device to keep me distracted while I am on a business or personal trip without that urging need to find power or a network connection. It’s just all there in a single device!
- My brain has now got an extended memory: Available at my fingerprints. At all times! I am sure that most folks who have got iPads may have noticed this as well. Imagine the scenario, you are at a conference event, or having a coffee with your colleagues, or your family, or friends, and all of a sudden there is a conversation going on on a topic you read about just recently, but can’t remember where, that you would want to reference and bring up! You know it’s there, in your iPad. So what do you do? You naturally open it up, search for what you were looking for, you find it, you display it and everyone goes WOW! There it is! Don’t have to kill my eyesight to eventually see it, they all say! It’s nicely available on a large screen I can enjoy without going crazy.
And from there you realise how helpful such an-initially-thought-out-clunky device, becomes an essential part of you AND the conversations you are having. That was one of my key ah-ha! moments while I was at the #e2conf conference in Boston, having drinks at the pub with my good friends Rick Ladd, Greg Lloyd and Mary Abraham making use of a couple of iPads to enrich the conversation into amazing levels that otherwise our brains would have probably fallen a bit short altogether! Why neglect it, when it is there, right? Oh, and, boy, when playing games on such device with your friends, or just exchanging recommendations on what games to play, do you get to realise what you have been missing all along about bonding with friends and colleagues, while lazing around on a couch, or the terrace, at the bar, while out and about? That’s what happened on the Friday afternoon after the conference was done. Goodness! Idle time? No, thanks! Not anymore!
- I’m a better gamer: Remember that TED Talk I have blogged about a couple of times from Jane McGonigal on the power of games to solve today’s problems? Well, the iPad has helped me, tremendously!, enjoy a new gaming experience. Before I wasn’t very keen, at all, to sit in front of the computer or the TV, for that matter, and play games after the good amount of hours I use to spend in front of the computer. The first thing I always think about is to relax, move away from the home office and unwind. Well, such device as the iPad is perfect for that! And that’s basically why I’m hooked up to a number of games I play on a regular basis, with work colleagues and friends, as it helps me build stronger and trustworthier personal (business) relationships.
And, for instance, when you are stuck on a plane for 5 to 9 hours, like it happens some times to me, while I am travelling, there is nothing better than playing a game or two, after watching a movie, reading some e-books, listening to some music while doing some feed reading, etc. etc. and still have battery power to last the entire trip and be able to tell it!
- Work / Life are finally much more integrated: Similar to what I have mentioned above already, with this device I feel I’m no longer constrained to be sitting in front of the computer at all times. Having access to both work and personally related applications allows you to experience that sense of freedom you usually don’t get from a computer itself, because you feel you are attached to it, when it should be rather the opposite altogether. That’s what the iPad does to you.
Work does no longer happen alone while you are in front of your computer. It happens wherever you go and whenever you may want, which basically frees you up to decide how you would want to integrate both parts of your life: work and personal. In-distinctively and purposely. The iPad re-introduces the concept of having fun, while at work, which, if you would recall from a recent blog post I put together, is a rather interesting aspect, considering how we get to spend more than one third of our lives working alone, don’t you think?
- After all, I am not a techie!: In fact, this may well surprise you quite a bit!, I have always hated computers, no matter what! I just basically want a device that allows me to stay connected (with people) and get the job done! Forget the fuss about fixing technical issues because the computer decided to stop! Or whatever else. I just basically want to have a mobile device I can start with a single punch of a button and off we go! I can’t care less whether it does or it doesn’t do all of the stuff it promises to do. For my basic computing and interconnected needs and wants I just want to have something that works. And the iPad does it beautifully!
Now, time it took me to learn how to operate it? The 5 minutes before I eventually bought it, while I was in the US. I didn’t need much more training, education on getting the most out of that computing device. Now, can you imagine that for the day to day computer applications we use on a regular basis? Don’t you think that’s what computers should be like altogether in the first place? I think they should! We shouldn’t have to worry about technical issues we just can’t even understand in the first place. They are all alien to us. Always will be.
- Yes, eventually, it’s all about the apps!: Now, the fact that I’m not a techie does not necessarily mean that I won’t enjoy the full capabilities of exploring what I can do with such mobile device. Yes, to me, it’s also all about the apps! About extending that computing experience with additional plugins, i.e. extensions, to several of the tasks I would want to do: share pictures, participate in social networks, read my favourite books, find out more about delicious recipes I can use, check the weather forecast, find places I should check out and visit, read more books, see the stars, look up quickly that word / concept you just learned about, record audio memos so you don’t forget, etc. etc. They are all there! Readily available to be found and used to just fit whatever purpose, any purpose. You decide… And this matters, you may be asking? Well, I think it does, because when was the last time you decided your own working computing environment with no limits?
- I feel like the Internet is now in my own hands!: Yes, indeed, that’s what most of the applications available out there would do, including the opportunity to surf the Web at your leisure. It’s that kind of power that I find unparalleled. When I first started reading some iPad reviews one of the interesting comments that stuck around with me was that sense of owning the Web while you were holding the device and navigating through your favourite Web sites. Well, today, after I have done that for a few weeks, I can surely vouch it will give you, eventually, that kind of feeling, to the point where you sense your Web experience has become so unique and personal that no-one else would be able to relate to it. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but you have to sit on your couch, hold your iPad in your arms, start surfing the Web and you will see what I mean … Pretty amazing!
- And, last, but not least, and funny enough, I’m now capable of producing more content than ever before!: Who would have thought about that, right? Yes, I know, I know, you may be wondering about how is that possible, when for most folks it feels quite the opposite, right? Well, thanks to the iPad I get exposed to so much more content and, therefore, I read more! Which means I get plenty more ideas to then sit down myself and produce some more new content, trying to add my two cents into those conversations that otherwise would have passed by un-noticed, because I didn’t read them in the first place!
It’s pretty amazing! 30 minutes in the morning using the iPad to consume content you didn’t get exposed to just yet, and, before you know it, you are already working on that draft blog post from that idea that just came to you, while reading that interesting piece! That’s how most of my blogging is coming about nowadays. And, best part of it all is that I can do that whenever I would want to, and wherever I would want to, whether I’m in front of the computer, or, in this case, rather not!
And, that, to me, folks, are the main reasons why I enjoy the overall magic behind the iPad experience. The reasons why I still consider it one of my best investments to improve my overall computing experience. Now, I bet you may be wondering whether it would replace my Mac altogether over time. Well, the answer is going to be a big “No!”; I will still spend a large chunk of time sitting in front of it. What I can certainly tell you though is that if I didn’t have to work with computers as a knowledge Web worker it would probably replace it altogether. Yet, that’s not going to happen any time soon, I guess. I still need to have the power of my Mac to allow me to do those tasks that rely on rather heavy computing resources; however, for those other idle activities I get exposed to on a daily basis that I would want to do, the Pad will do.
Yes, the iPad will do just fine!
So, what are your top reasons why you got your hands on an iPad and can’t get rid of it? While you think about them and share them perhaps in your own blog, or over here as a comment, check out this beautiful and delightfully touching true story shared by my good friend Rick on something that perhaps would not have happened without an iPad getting involved altogether along the way …
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