Last week, I asked you to decide whether I should buy an iPad or not, and you helped me decide -- YES. The only question left in my mind late Friday night was whether to buy on iPad release day, wait until it arrived at the NEX (where it would be cheaper and I could avoid the horrendous Cook County, IL sales tax), or wait even longer for the 3G versions to ship. I woke up Saturday morning ready to buy, thanks in part to a Twitter discussion I eavesdropped on with ShiploadofWilco and ElisaC.
It wasn't until I sat down to think about the 3G question that I decided that I did want an iPad, and I didn't want it to have 3G. I don't really need another device that keeps me connected 24 hours a day. I want to use it to help me disengage a little bit more often. I will admit to about 10 seconds of angst this morning when I took the iPad on the school run and didn't have wifi while I waited for the pet store to open. But I shook that off, and played with it without wifi -- gasp! (OK, so it wasn't a super problem; I still had my trusty iPhone to check mail, Yammer, Tweetdeck, Facebook and BlogHer.)
So, where was I? Oh yes, I own an iPad and it's beautiful. I love it. My 11-year-old really loves it. I unboxed it late Saturday night. It only took about 15 minutes to sync, once I updated iTunes. (Why do I never have the most recent version of iTunes? Do they update daily or something?) Elisa reported that it took a really long time to sync hers (looking at her timestamps -- maybe an hour?), but she was pulling in about 10x the number of photos that I did and probably twice as much music. Karoli reported a massive download before sync -- I don't know what that was, but I didn't see anything like that.
After I synced I went immediately to the app store and looked for the apps I use every day on my iPhone -- the ones that are must-haves for me. I ended up with Tweetdeck, Evernote and Kindle. I also grabbed iBooks, Netflix, Feedler and NPR, though they aren't must-haves for me. I knew I wouldn't find a Yammer iPad app, but downloaded the iPhone version (and it works just fine -- it's not pretty, but who needs pretty when you're just trying to get the job done?). I think the only app I really expected to see in the store that was missing was the Facebook iPad app. What's up with that? There's a paid app for Facebook, not developed by Facebook, and the reviews are horrendous. I downloaded the iPhone version and it's not worth it. The iPad browser is beautiful, and I'll just use Safari when I need my Facebook fix.
Once I made those initial downloads and got them set up, I played around with the half dozen photos I'd synced and I watched the "Telephone" video with TW and the kids -- video is beautiful on the iPad. I set up my gmail. The display for mail ROCKS.
And then I went to bed. And I didn't touch the iPad again for almost 24 hours, except to type my iTunes password into the app store so the small child could install some apps. She played with it off and on all day; I watched her a bit and asked her to show me some stuff, but I just let her run with it -- and boy, did she.
Doodle Buddy is so much fun. She drew some great pictures, and it's fun to play with the stamps (they make sounds!) I bought her Sketchbook Pro and she loves me better than any of her parents. She tried out all of the free animation and drawing apps, and we're keeping Draw It and Granimator, for sure.
Late last night, I evicted the kid from the iPad and started to really use it. I installed a bunch more apps and used them all. Blogging on my Wordpress blog from the app is a piece of cake. Skygrid is kind of interesting for breaking news, but I wish it was blog-centric. I'll probably let it go before the end of the week. Elisa found NPR's app to be buggy, crashing and freezing. I didn't have that problem with NPR, but did have the same thing with another free app I tried called DailyTravel.
For three hours, I put it through the paces, and with each app I installed and each new piece of content I created with the iPad... I feel further in love. I have absolutely no regrets.
I was pretty disappointed that the keyboard dock wasn't ready on release day. I've ordered it (as has Elisa), and I'm looking forward to it. It's fun and easy to create content on the iPad and the keyboard dock is only going to improve that.
Now about the complaints regarding the lack of camera -- of all of the complaints, this is the one I didn't understand. It's too big to hold up and use as a snap and shoot or a snap and record. And I'm just not a sit-in-front-of-your-machine-and-talk kind of videoblogger. So no camera = no big deal. What's interesting is that in the middle of the day yesterday, Wilma the Prairie Dog did something funny and Liz wanted to take her photo -- she ran to the iPad and screamed "Does this thing have a camera?" She was sorely disappointed when I told her it did not. I can't imagine that I will ever feel that way.
Which brings me to why I don't regret spending $500 on the iPad: I love my iPhone, but it isn't something I've ever wanted to work on -- create content on. If it's more than 140 characters, it's just no fun to work with. If I've got to delete spam or clean up code, I can do it on my iPhone, but it's painful. The iPad changes all of that. It's actually FUN to create content with this little gadget.
Have you seen anyone who bought one on release day say they regret it? I haven't:
If you've got an iPad and are looking at apps, may I recommend you take a peek at these two?
Do you have any iPad apps to recommend? A review of your own to post? Any questions about the iPad that I can answer?
~Denise BlogHer Community Manager
Flamingo House Happenings
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