And All Was Right With the World

I have a new device.  It is fun, but I’m not calling it a toy.  It’s useful, but I’m not calling it a tool.  It just…is.


It has a pink case.

(I bet you know now what it is)

Oh, yes.  I have an iPad.

It has a highly reflective screen, which is great for all my on-the-go hairstyling needs.  It’s a very expensive mirror.

When I turn it on, this is what I see:

It is a lovely photo of a polite and well-mannered dog.

Once I tap in my passcode…

…then this is what I see:

It is a much more accurate representation of a not-at-all mild-mannered dog.

It is so useful, in so many ways.  I can manage my calendar:

(I use Google Calendar at home, synced with iCal at work)

I can monitor my emails – both my Gmail account, and my work account:

Which is great for those times when I *should* be checking up on stuff – like at home, at night – but I don’t really want to “work”.  Logging into my webmail from my laptop seems like “work”; two taps on my iPad doesn’t.

Let me step away for a moment here and say: I mostly got this thing – and use this thing – for work.  I have Pages and Numbers and GoodReader and am currently trying to sort out what other productivity apps I will be using.  Together with my more computer-y co-workers, we’re developing a secure file storage system – possibly on the cloud – which will allow me to easily store, review, and revise files from various locations.  The iPad’s not a computer replacement, but it is an incredible and powerful productivity tool which I’m finding incredibly useful for the particulars of my job.  I spend a lot of time running around, needing to access budgets or files at a moment’s notice.  Rather than hauling my big portfolio stuffed to the gills, I just have this one device.  It’s amazing.

BUT that’s not what I’m going to address here.  I honestly don’t know how I could even begin to show you my work-y experiences here without disclosing who I work for, or what I do, or a bunch of other stuff that I’m not comfortable having associated with my bloglife.  So I’m going to avoid the topic entirely, and focus on the iPad’s funprettyshiny stuff.

Resume tour!

One of the iPad’s “main” features, arguably, is iBooks – an ereader with highlighting, annotating, and bookmarking functions:

It’s a poor substitute for a real, honest-to-goodness BOOK, I will confess.  This is a “desperate times call for desperate measures” (and then, only when I am knitting-less) reading device, for me.  Not a go-to preference.

Well, maybe if I ever read Twilight.  But just so people wouldn’t know. 😛

There’s been a lot of discussion about typing on the iPad – how practical it is, etc.

Typing isn’t really awkward for me, but it does take a bit of getting used to.  Some people prefer to type in vertical orientation, with their thumbs – like on a Blackberry.  I find that it’s easiest for me to type in horizontal, with my left hand only.  I’m pretty quick at it – probably faster this way than some people are on a normal keyboard.  I won’t be writing a novel this way, though 😉

I have flash-less YouTube, so I can watch Ron Livingston as Keyboard Cat wherever I go:

and even prop him up, leaving my hands free for knitting:

I’m pretty sure this is the whole reason they invented the device.

Oh, and speaking of knitting?

PDF viewer, baby! 🙂

I’ve since learned that there are other PDF viewers/editors which work better than the one included with iBooks (such as GoodReader, mentioned above).  I’m still trying to decide which alternative I like the best.  There’s some good info over in the Ravelry iPad group, too.

Oh yeah – and then there’s the real fun stuff!

Like Fluid:

which is completely pointless, but really fun.  You just make the water ripple around.

And Jumbline 2, which is just like Text Twist (play online), only free and not sucky:

Oh! And Pinball!

Best $0.99 I ever spent.  You may not know this about me, but when I was a kid/early teenager I used to *rock* the pinball.  We had this game for Windows 95, and I spent the entire summer racking up high scores and drinking generic diet soda.

Clearly, not much has changed.  (Well, I do buy real Diet Coke now)

The NPR app is amazing:

Most educational time-waster ever 🙂

Or maybe that title goes to the Google Earth app…

It’s almost as good as being there!

OK not really.  Not even close.

Some other great apps I’m using:

WikiHood (maps your location and brings up a list of relevant Wikipedia entries for nearby sites – for example, if you’re in the Loop it will bring up Wikipedia posts for the Loop, Blueberry Hill, Chuck Berry, WashU, Forest Park, and others.  I can’t wait to use this on vacation!)

AroundMe (iPhone app; shows local businesses in your close proximity)

WunderMap (visual weather app)

Netflix (if you already subscribe, you can watch streaming video and edit your queue)

U-verse (remotely manage your DVR.  Seems to work better than U-verse’s crappy normal website.)

EverNote (store bookmarks, notes, photos, etc in the cloud, and access from any computer or device.)

WordSlam (It’s like Scrabble Slam)

Cat Piano Jr and Dog Piano Jr (great for annoying the animals and husbands in your life)

I’ve only had this in my hot little hands for a bout a week, so there’s still much to learn. But – like all Apple products – it’s exceedingly intuitive and user-friendly.  The only limitation, if anything, seems to be the number of apps available and the ability of multiple apps to communicate with each other.  I’m hoping that the latter issue will be addressed in the November software upgrade, though.

Anybody else have an iPad?  How do you use it?  What apps would you recommend?

(or if you don’t have one now – would you ever want one?)


10 responses to “And All Was Right With the World

  1. I have one, although I got it free (work) and fell out of love with it almost immediately – it’s neat, definitely very neat, but I’ve never found it as useful as I expected it to be. I’m very glad I have it, but I wouldn’t have paid full price for it because it doesn’t do as much for me as I’d like.

    That said, I’m in love with your case! Which one is it?

    • That’s how I got mine, too 😉 but I didn’t want to mention that in my post b/c of stupid work politics, and keeping up the university’s image, etc. I don’t know yet if I would have actually paid for one myself – it’s cool, but is it $600 cool?

      My case is a RooCase that I ordered through Amazon. I think there’s a link in the post…


      ________ Kate M. Hoops Washington University in St. Louis (314) 935-3387 (work) (314) 766-2545 (cell)

      Sent from my iPad

  2. I want one of those sooooo bad. (along with upgrading my camera, a new couch, wood floors, new clothes and a new cell)

  3. Eeek! So fun!

    I just got a Kindle and bought a hot pink case. Pink cases just make it a million times more fun.

  4. Feedler is a great app for reading blogs (much nicer than google reader mobile) and we use Weather HD for our morning weather fix over breakfast. I just downloaded Flipboard, going to play with it this weekend and Friendsheep is really fun to challenge and annoy hubbies with. Going to check out Wikihood and Evernote now!

  5. Ooo, I want one. They look like so much fun.

    • I love it! But i’ve gotta be honest – I’m not sure if I love it worth $600. If my work hadn’t paid, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. We’ll see if I feel any differently after I’ve been using it for more than two weeks… 🙂


      ________ Kate M. Hoops Washington University in St. Louis (314) 935-3387 (work) (314) 766-2545 (cell)

      Sent from my iPad

  6. I didn’t want one until this post. :p

  7. LOVE my iPad! Best $1.99 I spent was on skee-ball! Makes me feel like a kid again!

  8. Pingback: Purple yarn makes it all good. | KateOhKatie blogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s