I’ve been enjoying my iPad for a month now and it’s quickly becoming an indispensible tool in my research toolbox. I’ve found a newsreader (NewsRack) that very efficiently manages my newsfeeds, connects to my social networks and syncs with Google Reader. It’s a pleasure to use and very pleasing to the eye.
I’m looking forward to the Reunion app for the iPad. They did such a marvelous job on the iPhone version, I can’t imagine they won’t – especially now that Family Tree Maker has announced they are building a Mac version. They just don’t like to talk about future projects so right now I’m just hoping.
Yes, book-reading is a joy on this device – which is one reason it’s been so quiet here at the Creek lately. From books to magazines to newspapers, the iPad is a delight. Magazine platforms such as Zinio offer National Geographic, Smithsonian, Prologue and more with the ability to subscribe or just buy a single issue. Right now you see the exact print layout you’ll find in the paper version, but with the ability to easily zoom in and out of the page spread. I’m sure we’ll soon see more active hyperlinks and video included in the publications. As for newspapers, I’m delighted with USA Today, even if it is still a work in progress. I can open the app in the morning before I go to work and that day’s paper is downloaded to my device so I can enjoy it even when I’m not connected. It does have some interactive stuff – weather, stock prices and scores, for example – that only work when connected, and that’s fine. Right now, the newspaper is free. In July they will announce their subscription model. The Wall Street Journal is as fabulous as you would expect, but at a cost. The iPad subscription costs more than the combo print/online subscription. What’s up with that?
While reading books on the iPad is a delight, finding books can be frustrating. Both iBooks and the Kindle app only give you access to the books in their store. I’m looking forward to Barnes & Noble’s release of their iPad app to see if they will connect to any of the public domain libraries. The BookShelf app does have the best browsing/buying experience, but the reader is not as elegant as the others. Sure, you can download public domain books from your desktop and sync them to the iPad using iTunes, but that is so clunky.
Blogging on the iPad is possible, but not easy. For short updates, it’s fine, but most of my posts involve bouncing from web page to web page for information and links. That can be quite a chore on the iPad. This BlogPress app does make the writing process more bearable – including adding photos to the post as you see here.
The most surprising thing about my iPad is that it has brought me back to the living room. Instead of heading for the den to check email or catch up with Facebook or my news feeds, I’m sitting comfortably in the “lounge” (two chairs and an over-sized end table located between the living and dining areas). It’s similar to watching tv with a book in your lap, only this book does a whole lot more.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad