I finally broke down and bought an iPad. Naturally, about 3 hours after I bought it, I wondered why the heck I’d waited so long.
I bought the iPad 2. The features of the newest version weren’t compelling enough for me, so I decided to save the money. I also lucked into an open box special at Best Buy, so I really got a good deal.
I’d been borrowing Devan’s iPad for a couple of weeks before I finally got my own, so I’ve been using it to work on the go for a while now, and I’ve discovered some things.
iPads are way better than netbooks. I’d become frustrated with my netbook because it was unbelievably slow. Waiting for it to find a connection at Panera so I could start working took so long that I had stopped working away from my home office. But I do my best writing with a bit of background noise, so I knew I needed to find an option. My Nook Color didn’t cut it either. The screen is just too small for writing, and its performance was lagging. I run Android off an SD card, and I think the card is starting to degrade. I’ve almost completely retired my (formerly) beloved Nook Color.
I bought a Bluetooth keyboard, and a case that doubles as a stand and the combination works very well. It’s almost like working on a laptop. Devan’s case didn’t sit the iPad at the right angle, but this one is perfect for typing. The keyboard is small, but the keys are plenty large enough for my fingers. If you have big hands, you might need a bigger keyboard.
In case you were wondering, I’m writing this post on the iPad, using WordPress for iPad. It’s got all the features I need, including easily making links. One of the problems with the Nook Color was that Cut-and-paste didn’t work across applications, so there was no way to copy a link from my browser and insert it into another app. It works just fine in iOS, though.
Hootsuite is almost nicer on the iPad than on the desktop. I’ve been checking Twitter and updating on the iPad, even when I’m sitting at my desk. It probably looks kind of odd.
Gmail for iPad is great. I like it better than the native app. I’m still trying to find the perfect RSS feed reader, but that’s just a matter of time.
What about writing? I recently discovered Markdown, which is a lightweight markup language that converts easily to HTML. There’s a good Markdown app for iOS, Writeup, which I’ve been using for fiction writing. I love writing in Markdown because it’s easy to code basic formatting. I’ve found a desktop editor as well, MarkdownPad, so I can write and edit on both platforms. Sure, I could use Word and one of the various iPad apps that allow reading and editing of Word documents, but writing in text makes future Kindle conversion much easier. And I saved several bucks by not needing to buy an expensive app.
About a month ago, we bought a MiFi device, so I can be productive literally anywhere now. There’s no excuse for me to be “wasting” time if I’m not at home.
I’m sure I’ll be writing more on this topic after I’ve had my iPad longer. But right now I am still wondering why I didn’t do this earlier.