Increasingly, technology is getting smaller and faster. And, it’s allowing creative firms to use such technology in ways that they never would have imagined just a few years ago. Take, for instance, the iPad. I purchased one in late November, and it is fast becoming my go-to device for not only all of my book reading but also word processing. In fact, I wrote all 12 stories from a newsletter we just completed on an iPad.
If you’re considering doing the same thing, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. The iPad is primarily built as a consumption device. That means it works great if you want to surf the web, check or send email, read books you download from Amazon or the iBooks store, listen to music and watch movies, etc. Creating documents is a little tricky yet. The touchscreen keyboard takes some getting used to. To get around that limitation, I’ve used a wireless bluetooth keyboard that syncs with the iPad, and makes heavy word processing a breeze.
2. Touchscreen is amazing, until it isn’t. One of the biggest drawbacks to doing work on the iPad is the touchscreen. I’d like to be able to wirelessly connect a mouse to navigate around the screen, especially when I’m trying to move around the Pages app during word processing functions, but Apple is set on having us use the touchscreen to navigate on the iPad. After all, the entire iPad user interface is built on touchscreen. I’d just like the option to override it if I want.
3. Trying to do much more than write an article is difficult at best. On Apple’s television ads, they show the Pages app being used to create brilliant newsletter designs and all manner of other graphic-intensive looking documents in that piece of software. The reality is, that the iPad uses Flash memory to store the documents you’re working on (no more hitting the save button again and again) and that limits how large a file can be and how feasible it is to build a larger file and get it to another device such as your laptop or desktop computer. If Apple decides to install USB ports on future devices, this could take care of that issue. But that’s a future fix, not one that’s currently available with first generation models.
All in all, the iPad is a revolutionary device. It is a piece of technology that continues to excite and thrill long after it’s out of the box. But remember: It’s not a laptop and isn’t likely to replace your desktop or laptop computer for all of your needs just yet.