Mr Mac Byron Bay

... a legend in his own lunchtime

Living with the iPad

Having lived with an iPad had now for two weeks I have to say that I'm very happy with it. Although it's not an essential purchase it is certainly very nice to have around. The main use I find is sitting on the lounge surfing the web and doing e-mails. It's a lot easier and nicer than using a laptop (something that I don't possess). And there are also some very pleasant apps for browsing newspapers, looking at photographs and reading blogs. Quite a few media institutions have created their own apps specially for the iPad. These are optimised for the device and make their content look very good. A whole industry has sprung up creating these apps; anyone with coding experience has a whole new area to work in. Not only apps for the general market but apps for a particular business or company who need something for their sales reps for example, or to show off their products. Businesses will eventually have a free app available to let customers purchase products direct from their iPhone or iPad the way iTunes has got us all used to already. We will see a lot of this in the near future.

When you connect it to iTunes you can choose to transfer photos onto the iPad from iPhoto in the same way that you do with the iPhone for browsing on the iPad. Then when you switch it off there is a little button that turns it into a digital photo display. You can stand it somewhere prominent and it will scroll through your photos endlessly, a very nice feature.

With a display like a very large iPhone the iPad is easy to use and get used to — it stimulates a tactile interaction with whatever you're doing. Photos can be pinched, scrolled and moved about all with your fingers. Webpages expanded, clicked and rotated in the same way. Somehow you have a more intimate connection with things when you're touching them! Presumably these touch-screen displays will get bigger and bigger until in a few years we will have a choice between keyboards and touch-screens for all our computer input.

It is early days for the iPad and we can expect to a built in camera, more memory and of course lots more applications. The game's brigade love it, like a much bigger iPhone. I am not a gamer but my kids take it over whenever they can. And of course it has an iPod built-in so you can listen to music or connect it to your stereo. There is even a $10 app that lets you connect it to your computer where it becomes a second monitor.

This is just the beginning. People are inventing applications for the iPad and the iPhone that we haven't even dream't about yet. It's all very exciting to watch the development of this area. Computing devices are becoming easier to use and touchscreen looks like being the way of near future, the initial success of the first iPad and the ongoing popularity of the iPhone points to a new world of computing interaction. Goodbye keyboard...hello touch-screen.
Apple iPad page

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