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My Life with an iPad, Day 4

by brandonminiman | April 28, 2010April 28, 2010 1:40 pm PST

It has been a bit over three weeks since I’ve owned an iPad, and it seems that with each passing week, I feel differently about it. If you’ve been following this series, you remember that I began to feel the novelty of the iPad wearing off. I think that with any exciting new piece of tech, there is a period of time where you ignore its practicality or shortcomings and just enjoy the newness of it.

So now, newness aside, I want to define the iPad by several killer applications, meaning, functions of the device that almost make it worth buying. Before that, I should also mention that I now have a case for my iPad, and having one has changed the way I use the device. No longer do I have to prop up the tablet for a good reading angle. If you get a case that also acts as a stand, the vertical-most position is fantastic for watching videos or reading content.

Reading Newspapers

nyt

There are a handful of newspapers currently available on the iPad (I see NYT, WSJ, and USA Today), all of which have different navigation methods. Most of them employ the swipe-to-turn-page function, which makes it effortless to read through an article. Also, most of the newspaper apps have built-in multimedia. They have interactive photo galleries and sometimes videos that makes reading the newspaper feel more like a webpage. Why is this important? It’s a very interesting combination of old-school (high quality) journalism with modern electronic browsing. If you like to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world, using the iPad as a newspaper reader is a killer app. It makes the device worth buying.

Sharing Content

The iPad is quite possibly the best content sharing device on the planet. If you want to show someone a webpage, photo, or video, how awkward is it to drop your laptop onto their lap, or to have to have them follow you into the den where you keep your computer? The iPad is natural – it’s a slate, like a thick piece of paper, that is easily moveable if you want share. You can effortlessly hand it off to someone next with you without the struggle of moving around a bottom-heavy laptop. And, thanks to the IPS screen on the iPad, which has a fantastic viewing angle, you don’t need to be directly in front of the device to see the content on the screen.

This also applies to the professional world. For artists, web designers, or even YouTube video extraordinaries, the iPad is a great tool to show off your work.

If you like to share digital content with friends, family, or collegues, using the iPad as a content sharing device is a killer app. It makes the device worth buying.

Killing Boredom

drums

I really dislike being bored. I’m sure you do too. The iPad is the ultimate boredom killer. There’s ALWAYS something to do on it, and if you’re bored of your apps, can you hit the app store, download a new game or the latest issue of Popular Science, and keep yourself busy.

street

Ever use Google Street View? How about on an iPhone or an Android device? It’s simply amazing and it’s very helpful in figuring out where a given destination is located (e.g. “Oh, the pizza place is in that shopping center with the orange roof!”). On the iPad, Google Street View is GLORIOUS. It’s full screen, it’s fast, and it’s extremely responsive. I’m planning a summer vacation to the Northeast, and I’ll be using Google Street View to travel the streets near my hotel and plan the day. Using Street View is also very entertaining…you can visit old places, see new ones, and keep yourself busy.

When I’m bored, here’s an example of my workflow on the iPad:

1. Check email

2. Check tech sites

3. Read the WSJ for today

4. Check my stock prices (with iStockManager: $0)

5. Check the weather (with The Weather Channel: $0)

6. Play a racing game (with RealRacingHD: $10)

7. Play drums (with Drum Meister: $2)

If you’re the kind of person that gets bored easily, or perhaps you just have a lot of down time (the commute to school/work, vacations, late nights when insomnia comes to visit), using the iPad as a boredom killer is a killer app. It makes the device worth buying.

Wrap Up

So as you can see, there are some things that the iPad does so fantasically well, that they may justify the purchase. But of course, that depends on whether any of the above so-called “killer applications” matter to you.

I’ll keep an eye out for more of these killer-apps. See you on Day 5.