Sunday, May 30, 2010

What can I do with my iPad?

Sydney finally got the iPad on Friday May 28th. I will omit here any description of media beat ups, long queues of people standing in the rain, etc. Suffice it to say that I am surprised that neither Apple's website nor their chosen courier company's website melted down under the onslaught of frenzied geeks repeatedly refreshing their screens in an effort to work out when they would receive their iPads. I got mine just on 10AM, and after a check to see that it was OK, and a chance for my co-workers to have a look at it too, I stuck in my brief case and got on with my work.

I've spent most of my free time on the weekend installing apps, setting things up to suit my proposed work flow and syncing data. Apps that I have installed are:

  • CSV Touch
  • Do androids dream of electric sheep: Dust to Dust #1
  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Goodreader for iPad
  • iBooks
  • Instapaper Pro
  • 1Password Pro
  • Numbers
  • OmniFocus
  • OmniGraffle
  • Pages
  • Penultimate
  • Sudoku HD for iPad
  • The elements for iPad
  • Weatherzone
  • WIRED Magazine
And I have configured Contacts, Mail and Maps, loaded some music and photos and arranged things to suit myself.

From the iPad I can now access my email and contacts (built in apps) and my to do list (OmniFocus). I can use Pages for word processing, and OmniGraffle for diagrams, so:

Which is perfectly satisfactory for capturing something that a customer is describing to me, and will be even better when I take the time to read the OmniGraffle manual.

Penultimate looks OK, but I think I am going to need to investigate a stylus to get good results with it. And it will never compensate for the simple fact that I can't draw (sigh). I think I am likely to use Pages for taking meeting notes - I don't find the on-screen keyboard a problem, probably because (a) I'm a girl, my hands are a bit smaller; and (b) I've spent years typing on various portable Palm Pilot keyboards, until my last Palm (LifeDrive) refused to hold a charge any longer.

Dropbox, Evernote and 1Password Pro I use constantly, and I'm pleased to see that they work well on the iPad. Goodreader promises to be a real boon: I've already synced half a dozen large manuals in PDF format.

iBooks will probably be more useful when the local iBooks store launches properly. Instapaper Pro is even nicer on the iPad than it is on the iPhone (if you haven't tried this app, I do recommend it).

"The Elements" is just amazing, and I'm sure I shall read all of it, which may fill some gaps in my rather patchy education.

Sudoku HD works well, but could use an option to clear a game and start over.

"Do androids dream" and WIRED are exactly what I hoped to see: the future of publishing, slick, attractive and clever. Other publications, please take note.

CSV Touch is a little flaky, and the dev is looking into the problem.

So tomorrow the iPad goes to work with me, and I find out if if can replace a paper notebook. I rather think it can, and it is going to save me many hours (and the world many trees). The iPad is lighter than my Eee PC, and does more.

Verdict: A++


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