Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Living with an iPad

I now have had the iPad here in New Zealand for nearly 6weeks now, They are not officially released here yet, the release is slotted for sometime in July.

So am I still happy that I got one early.... hell yes, But there is one caveat, I wished I had got a 3G model.

I have found that without connectivity its can be a little less useful. This isn't due to the iPad, well it is really ... as I cant be my fault. But the iPad has changed the limited way I had envisioned using it. I now pretty much carry it with me everywhere I go.

So what changed ? I though I would only use it at home and consume media... yes I do that a lot and it has proven to do that very well, in fact I am now reading more and consuming audio books and written media more than before.  And browsing is fun and simple.

However the usefulness of the iPad at work I have found very surprising, I didn't think it would add anything to my daily work routine. But in fact it has. Going to meetings, taking notes, reading and checking email, been able to move freely with this lite weight device has change how I perform my work.

Does it replace my laptop, no of course not, But with the way I work going in and out of meeting rooms, on and off site its much easier to grab the iPad than the laptop. The laptop is docked and I have a dual screen setup and un-docking and re-docking causes all sorts of screen resolution issues that generally require a restart. Some project meetings can be long and are back to back So the battery life of 2-3hr isn't enough. So I have to carry laptop, power pack, coffee, pen & pad (to doodle on) this usually requires two trips.

But with the iPad I only need it and the coffee ... (I can doodle in the sketchbook app) I can access 90% of the information I require. Sure some meetings I need my laptop but I always also take my iPad. I have found that I check email on the iPad as the laptop usually used for screen sharing or used as my soft-phone most calls.

It has been very interesting observing how its changing my behavior and how it is allowing me to change my work habits.

So here is a list of APPS that I have found to be very useful

GoodReader : Read Office Documents and PDFs and sync to multiple online services
Office2HD : Create and read Word / Excel documents
iDialog : IM for Microsoft OCS
iThoughtsHD : Great mind mapping app, exports to all major mind mapping tool formats
SketchBook Pro : Very capable drawing APP
Pulse : Very cool RSS news reader
DropBox : Online document sync service
Box : Online document service

Over the next couple of weeks I want to investigate the printing side of using an iPad... it is not a simple task in an enterprise environment.