The iPad - An Un-Techie, Clueless Review (and rationalization).
The first thing you need to know is I have no clue about technology, gadgets or how these things work. I never had an iPod because I couldn't fathom how to get the songs on there and if I talked someone into doing it for me, how would I find what I wanted? So, at this point, you are correctly thinking I know nothing about these things. True. So whats the point, you ask? I wanted an iPad. I'm almost 50 but that doesn't mean I have to be left out of all the fun.
When I first heard about the iPad, I did a lot of research into what it did and how well. An important aspect was if this was something I really could use or would it be an expensive toy sitting in a drawer?
Hopefully, this semi-review will tell you that an iPad is an easy to use, very handy tablet that really lets you do almost anything you could do on your computer. Tablets are designed for their portability but I needed to know just what it, and I, could do.
After reading everything I could find, it didn't take long to realize I was hooked. Then Apple announced it was coming out with the Ipad 2 in a few weeks. One of the updates would be that it was faster. I have dial-up, faster was all I needed to hear.
Apps, More Apps, Free Apps
I purchased the iPad 2 and was amazed at how easily I was able to work and play with it. There is iTunes where you get all the apps (applications) for it. Most are quite cheap and a lot are free. All you have to do is purchase the app, download it to your computer and sync it (plug it in) to the iPad.
There are apps for anything you can imagine. If you want to look like you are doing work, there are many various writing programs, this hub is being done on iA Writer. There is PenUltimate and many more. A very useful app if you like to cook is Epicurious, thousands of recipes, photos and more than you will ever get out of a library of cookbooks. There are weather apps, knitting apps, music, podcasts, movies, and games. All kinds of games, from Angry Birds to Carcasonne.
OK, I bought the iPad for the games. I love boardgames and my husband doesn't always want to play so I use the iPad and an app on it called FaceTime which is just like Skype except it works much better. I have a friend on the other side of the world and we play games just about every day. We call each other (for free) on FaceTime, talk a bit, keep FaceTime on and go to the game we want to play. We have managed to waste many hours laughing and playing.
This is the simplest computery thing I've ever owned and the most fun I have ever had on a machine.
So Simple to Use
FaceTime alone is worth getting an iPad. All you need on the other side is someone who has an iPad, an iPhone or an iMac. It works on all of them. If you have family living far away, you can see them, talk to them every day for no cost.
Download movies and watch on your TV (I have no idea how but it does it), watch podcasts on the iPad, the screen is about 7x10 and it's easy to see. Listen to your music, it has an iPod on it and you just sync the songs the same way you do apps. Once you go into the iPod app, all the music can be organized by album (with a picture of the album) or by singer.
Some people want to be able to read books and critics say a Kindle is much better for that than the iPad. That is true but only if you are reading outside in direct sunlight. Otherwise, there is iBooks, ireader, a PDF reader and more to keep your book collection going. When you download a book, it shows nicely on a page with a bookcase and you see the cover of the book. It also bookmarks your spot.
There are quite a few accessories available. Some useful, some weird. Apple does offer an extension cable which I think is a great idea. They also have a Smart cover, two magnets in it put the iPad into sleep mode when you aren't using it.
There are many other cases for the iPad and the most important information you need to know before choosing one is to make sure the case has the camera and home button holes in the correct place.
There are plastic sheets to protect the glass, Bluetooth keyboards instead of using the keyboard that appears on screen when you need it. Bluetooth speakers and docking stations.
None of this is necessary to get your iPad up and running. All you need is in the box. If any of the accessories could be called necessary, the case would be the best choice to protect the tablet.
What and How
iPads come in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB. I have over 200 apps on mine and haven't used a third of the 64GB. You can purchase a Wi-Fi or 3G which then comes with a monthly contract for the 3G service. I have had no problems with Wi-Fi.
There are two cameras and you can use them for still shots or movies. You can even take a photo of the person you are talking to on FaceTime.
If you are tempted but are worried you won't be able to use the iPad effectively, there are many good books out. iPad does have a decent and thorough manual you download but a very funny friend bought me iPad For Seniors For Dummies and it has all I need to know and how to do it. Easily.
Are you sold yet? Wait. Apple has just announced that iPad 3 will be out sometime in early 2012. There are many rumors as to what they will upgrade and the rumors seem to agree that the new one will have a higher resolution, 2048 x 1536 and a 9.7″ display compared to the current 1024 x 768.
As you can tell, I am hooked. This is a well made, fascinating tablet. It is amazing, especially when I think back to the days of DOS.