iPad update

Jul 24

In my last review of the iPad I covered how I was unable to use the iPad to replace a notebook, my book reader, to teach from, and many other tasks. After 30 days of trying to use the iPad in my daily life, my feeling was that eventually Apple would get the iPad Operating System to the point that it was an effective replacement for a notebook, but until then it was just an interesting device.

As I have continued using the iPad , I’ve had a change of heart and found three arenas that it truly excels in, including:

  • 1. family trips
    2. as a PDF device
    3. as a 2nd screen for my laptop using MaxiVista
  • For these three uses, the iPad has become an invaluable tool.
    1. Family Trips – our family took a whirlwind, 6,400 mile, 28 day vacation across the western United States hitting most of the National and State parks in 14 states. The iPads always on 3G, mapping and ability to extract information on the internet as well as WikiHood and Wikipanion made for an amazing tool to use on the road. The 10.5 hour battery life was ideal as we were often in the car driving anywhere from 2 to 8 hours a day. Being able to view our photos from that days outing was also very cool – particularly using the “places” feature.

    Our kids were also responsible for providing reports on the people, places, and events that we would see, and they used Keynote to make their presentations on (we also hooked the iPad up to the headrest monitors for presentations in our Toyota LandCruiser).

    2. Using the iPad as a PDF reader. Before I head out for a days meetings – I will load the iPad with PDF documents and files that I might need into the GoodReader App which allows me to pull up any document on short notice and then I can hand it to a client and walk them through it. Just in case I forgot to load a document, I’ve been using the PogpPlug and its related iPad/iPhone App to gain access to all of my date. I know good friends who use Dropboxes App the same way.

    3. One of my biggest frustrations on the road is the lack of a large monitor to manipulate all of my data (our office is entirely paperless). If I am out of town for more than a week, I often end up carrying a 21″ screen (stored in the original box with a handle on it), which also isn’t ideal is this era of only taking carry on bags.

    The iPad now has a $9.95 app called MaxiVista that allows me to use the iPad as a second screen for my Windows machine. Although the app requires an open Wi-Fi router (open in the ports it has open), I travel with one and thats not an issue. After you install the driver on the Windows machine and run the App on the iPad, viola! a second screen that looks like this:

    All in all, the iPad is moving up in its usefulness to our business and our family.

    As an additional note, I can’t be the only one feeling this way, as a revised estimate indicates that over 12 million iPads will be sold htis year.