When the iPad 2 was released in March, I wasn’t that excited. Yes, it’s a newer, better product, but was it worth shelling out another $600? No way.
But a few weeks later, everything changed. My parents came down to visit. I let my mom use my iPad to check a few things on the Internet. I didn’t think much of it, since she had used various laptops, netbooks, etc. before. But with this device, she had fallen in love. She immediately became an Angry Birds addict. She was on the iPad all day during that visit. After that, I decided to part ways with my iPad. It became a retirement gift for my mom.
My good deed for my mom created a void in my life. What to do? No little tablet thingy to play with on the couch, in bed, at the coffee shop, etc. Time to do some shopping. I had looked at some of the other tablets on the market. The Android-based Motorola Xoom looked like a strong candidate. Gearheads could probably argue for hours on which tablet is better in terms of hardware/OS/features. But iPad blows away the competition when it comes to apps. I could care less about the specs; I just want to be able to do cool things with my tablet. Hence, I decided to go with an iPad 2.
Getting an iPad 2 was a pain in the neck, however. It’s been over a month since they released it, but supply is still very low. You usually have to get in line at an Apple store around 8am or earlier, to hope to get one. No thanks, I’m not waking up for that. And although they advertise it at Target, Walmart, and Best Buy, these stores hardly carry any. You could order online, but it’ll take you 3-5 weeks to get one. Maybe I should have done that anyways. But just last Wednesday, I called up the Apple store on Michigan Ave. in Chicago a little before noon, hoping to find out about a shipment the next morning. Surprisingly enough, the dude on the line told me they had a few iPad 2’s currently in stock. I hopped on the bus and arrived there 15 minutes later. No line, no hassle – and I suddenly had my hands on a 32GB black wifi iPad 2! Praise the gods!
To celebrate this momentus achievement, here is my Flava Flav hip hop pose, with an iPad clock around my neck. This goes out to Dan S., who originally came up with the idea 🙂
If you are curious, here are some of my favorite apps:
- Angry Birds: Forget World of Warcraft or Call of Duty. This simple little app would be my vote for the game of the Decade!
- TD Ameritrade’s iStockManager: Powerful, fast, responsive app for stock trading. It puts a lot of info at your fingertips for trading, and it’s easy to use.
- Netflix: Netflix streaming movies + iPad app were a match made in heaven
- Air Video: Allows you to stream videos from another computer. This gets you around the 16/32/64GB limit of your iPad. I have many gigs of TV shows and movies on my main PC’s hard drive. I installed Air Video Server on that PC (works on Mac too). Then I run Air Video on the iPad to stream movies over wireless from the PC.
- Dropbox: Sync files between your iPad and other machines. Apple tries to force you to use iTunes for everything, even though it sucks at managing anything besides music. Ideally, iOS should have its own file manager like Windows Explorer or Apple Finder. But no…..
- Keynote: Great way to display Powerpoint presentations, even thru a video projector. Now I take my iPad to present at customer meetings, rather than my laptop 🙂
- Piano Accordio: The main app that sold me on the iPad originally. It may be the most playable music instrument app on the market today.
- Pro Keys: Piano/keyboard app. There are lots of these, but this one is pretty solid. I used this app the other day in my “New Wave Ensemble” class, in which we played some David Bowie, The Cars, and The Replacements.