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ATPM 16.12
December 2010


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The iPad Chronicles

by Robert Paul Leitao,

The iPad’s Versatility

The iPad is the most versatile digital device I’ve ever owned. Lighter and easier to carry than a laptop, the array of comparatively inexpensive application solutions makes the device a winner at both work and at home. Although I purchased the iPad primarily for use at home, its versatility has made the device a work day essential.

iPad and iPhone Integration

One of the delightful aspects of owning and using an iPad is the easy integration of work processes with the iPhone. I use OmniFocus on both the iPad and the iPhone to manage work projects. Syncing calendars among my iPad, iPhone, and my Mac at home is a feature available through Apple’s MobileMe service.

iWork Apps and iCal

I’m now using Numbers, Pages, and Keynote on the iPad, and documents from the Mac and iPad versions of the apps can be transferred easily among devices. Being able to integrate project management, sync calendars, and share documents among devices is creating a decidedly lesser role for my office PC in day-to-day workflow and accomplishments.

The iPad Transcends the PC

I have my iPad with me at all business meetings for taking notes and entering new contact information. Because my iPad, iPhone, and Mac at home all sync through Apple’s MobileMe service, I no longer bother to enter business contact information into my work PC. All of my business contact information is readily available on my mobile devices when needed, and stored on my Mac at home.

Ironically, my iPad has become my general-use device, while my work PC has become a limited and specific-use utensil. At home, my Mac is used primarily for content creation, Web site updates, and moderating discussions in the Apple Finance Board. All other tasks, from following Twitter activity, reading news, reading books, and monitoring my e-mail activity, are performed more conveniently on my iPad.

It’s not that the iPad “replaces” a netbook or notebook PC. The iPad represents a product paradigm that transcends the netbook and notebook PC. The iPad’s touchscreen and application environment are rendering the netbook obsolete.

The iPad and the Era of the iOS App

I have well over 125 iOS apps installed on my iPad and over 100 apps installed on my iPhone. Including the iWork application suite, iPad and iPhone versions of OmniFocus, and a few assorted and inexpensive apps for home and work, my collective application investment remains under $125. Matched with pre-installed apps on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad such as iCal, Address Book, and iTunes, additional app purchases provide for specific desired functionality at attractive prices. Integration of information across devices extends and enhances functionality among all of the devices.

I’m intrigued by the concept of a Macintosh App Store and what developers will bring to market for use on the Mac and iOS-based devices. I see opportunities for continued integration and sharing of content among multiple devices.

There’s more to the iPad and its versatility than I expected when I first purchased the device. The integrated uses of the iPad and the iPhone are among the pleasant surprises.

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