ipad1[1] Wayne MacPhail, a Canadian online media professor, has written a piece for the Globe and Mail about how much of a part of his life his iPad remains five months on from its introduction. He talks about all aspects of its use, how when he takes it out at coffee shops people inevitably notice.

In fact, he goes into all sorts of uses he’s made of it—gaming, writing, and naturally e-books and comics.

To my wife’s astonishment and amusement, I’m half way through a book about the history of the battery. “A book?” she asks. “A whole book? About batteries? Really?” and have been through a half dozen other Kindle titles in bed, on the beach (not the best experience), and lounging in the living room. On the subject of batteries, five months in, my iPad lasts long days without going below 25% capacity.

Of course, e-books are far from the only thing to read with the iPad—feed and other readers such as Reeder and Flipboard abound.

I have personally found the iPad I have gets a lot of attention whenever I bring it out. A few weeks ago, an elderly couple saw me using it at my favorite bar and asked me about it, and I was able to bring up Google and find where a pub near where they would soon be staying in Chicago—then locate it and show them a satellite image in Google Maps.

I have actually seen two of them in use in the breakroom where I work—a bit surprising given that the Human Capital interviewer told me not to bring mine to work when she noticed I had it on me during the interview because it would be considered a “laptop”.

And the other day a fellow iPad user at a coffeehouse demonstrated Apple’s standard iPad case to me and suggested I should go ahead and get one as it entirely changed the way he used his device. I’ll have to look into that.

And naturally, I’ve been e-reading a lot myself. I find that iBooks is a great reader for loading my entire Baen library into and keeping it with me at all times. I could do that in Stanza, of course, but it didn’t have ease of loading from iTunes or the appealing visual device of the bookshelf.


  1. You don’t need an iPad to bring up Google maps and do a pub search. I can do the same thing on my 4 year old laptop…and on a bigger screen.

    iPads are nice for what they are, but in the end they are still just small computers with less capabilities than many older computer models.

    Evolutionary…not revolutionary.

  2. Sorry, January: your opinions are at least 8 months behind the times.

    … small computers with less capabilities than many older computer models.

    You’ve neglected to mention that the iPad brings us *new* capabilities.

    Take a look at the hundreds of news stories about how people are using the iPad, to not only consume but to create.

    Here are ten news items, but it’s possible to quote hundreds or even thousands:

    –Walt Mossberg, in his review, says that he is now reading on the iPad only
    –An entire new world of multi-media ebooks being developed for the iPad
    –A new world of textbooks being developed for the iPad
    –The touch-screen tablet revolution that will bring us, in a few months, dozens of iPad imitators. (And by that time, Apple will have leaped ahead.)
    –When stuck in an airport, a head of state (Denmark? Sweden?) used the iPad to run his entire country
    –The iPad is being tested in many universities (reported in TeleRead)
    –An artist created a cover that he sold to the New Yorker, with a $ 7.99 drawing app on the iPad: drawing with his fingertips
    –Soldiers using the iPad in Afghanistan
    –Young children are easily able to use the iPad; and senior citizens in their 90s
    –More than 4 million iPads sold already, and it’s predicted that 100 million may be sold by 2012 (according to a comment by author Michael Pastore).

    Just read the news to discover additional creative uses. Get some facts — and try the device — before blessing the world with your opinions.

    The iPad has been great for creating enthusiasm about ebooks, and for promoting ebooks.

    It’s not just the great reviews from the experts: just about everyone who owns an iPad loves the iPad.

    With one notable exception: Paul Biba, who gave his iPad to his wife, and should update us with his wife’s opinion of the device.

    The shortcomings of the current iPad will be fixed in January 2011, when Apple brings out “iPad 2”.

  3. January, it really depends on what you plan to use it for. For me, it really *was* revolutionary, but that’s for a whole bunch of reasons that might not apply to other people. I wish we could get away from this whole one size fits all ‘winner’ mentality and understand that different people have different needs. For me, a laptop or netbook has not been as convenient for what I need to do as an iPad has been. But. I had very specific needs.

  4. Betsy, I agree with you — the iPad is revolutionary — and it will be even more revolutionary when the next gen iPad brings us a sharper reading screen, more features, and a lower price.

    I love mine; I am using it to write, to research and to make presentations. And touching the screen compared to mousing around (or keyboarding around) means that I can work as much as I like, with no pain at all in my hands and arms.

    But Betsy, when I read your post I said “Ouch!” … and I recalled Clint Eastwood’s classic comment about “Opinions.”

    Maybe (Betsy) you could edit your posts from the standpoint of literary style, and be a bit more gentle in your replies. Socrates and Plato were masters of the art of refutation, but they worked together with their “opponents”, in a mutual search for truth.

    Isaac Newton was possibly the first to say:
    “Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”

    Academia is a harsh cruel labyrinth — but those of us on the outside of those icy Ivory Towers are trying to make the Internet a better place than that. And TeleRead is a friendly community for all levels of users, beginners to experts. … OK ?
    [contact me “off list” if you want to yell at me or discuss this]

    Michael Pastore
    50 Benefits of Ebooks
    (new edition coming in September 2010)

  5. I have the standard Apple iPad case and I strongly suggest not getting it, if you have a problem with it getting countless smudges every time you put it down. I have to clean it nearly everyday. Now, I will admit, I like how thin it is—not adding a lot weight to the device itself. But it’s not attractive when it comes to all the dust. I would shop around for something better.

  6. I have the apple cover for the iPad and I would much rather have more pockets to stash things like screen cleaner and such.

    Oh and the apple keyboard stand is rather useless really.

    Other than that the iPad has been totally a game changer for magazine reading and news and eBooks. I think I have read more magazines than I have in ages and well I love being able to read ebooks in any format and price I want unlike the numerous dedicated eBook readers out there.

  7. “I could do that in Stanza, of course, but it didn’t have ease of loading from iTunes or the appealing visual device of the bookshelf.”

    Stanza works better for me because it’s integrated in Dropbox so I don’t need cable to import a book.

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