I am not sure why I waited so long to do this. Last fall I purchased two original iPads, one for my wife and one for my daughter. My intentions were to provide a platform for my daughter to do her school work on without having to borrow my wife’s laptop and to provide my wife with a portable address/datebook/todo platform and book reader.
I played games and browsed the web with their iPads but nothing more than that. It was a fun toy. Flash forward to today and I have now had my own iPad 2 for 3 weeks. I cannot believe how much it has changed my computing habits and my hardware outlook.
I have found that I now use my iPad for more of my everyday computing functions than I would have imagined. Reading and responding to email, browsing the web, reading RSS feeds, Twitter, interacting with clients, and remote desktop management are now primarily the function of my iPad. I am even writing this blog post on the iPad.
Up until this point, my primary tools were my 13″ Powerbook connected to a 23″ monitor while on my desk and my iPhone. If I went out of the office, typically my Powerbook was with me and my iPhone loaded with apps to make life easier.
I have since removed many iPhone apps and relegated their use to the larger screen of the iPad. So, these are the apps that I currently use to make my digital life a little easier:
Business / Productivity
Daylite – Daylite by Marketcircle is a great app for the solo entrepreneur and small enterprise for tracking projects and client interaction. It syncs with my desktop, so I am keep my projects, contacts and to do’s up to date.
Apple iWork Suite – Apple’s iWork suite which are available as individual apps are great tools for writing (Pages), working with spread sheets (Numbers) and presentations (Keynote).
1 Password – 1 Password is the best utility for keeping track of the many passwords and logins to the many client websites, FTP, cPanel and other information I need to have on both my desktop and remotely.
Social Media / News
Reeder for iPad – the Reeder app for iPad has become my primary tool for keeping track of my Google Reader RSS feeds.
Twitter for iPad – I have found Twitter’s own app for the iPad to be a great interface for keeping up with my Twitter feed.
TeamViewer – I use TeamViewer on my clients computers in order to remotely manage their machines when necessary. The iPad app is great for basic functions when you just have to look at an issue or change a small setting. For heavier tasks, the desktop app is truly the only way to go. I recently successfully removed some malware from a clients computer remotely. This task required several restarts and the uploading of software to the client from my own machine because the malware was blocking any attempt to download or install the software required to remove it.
Skyfire Browser – Skyfire brings Flash Video to your iPad. You can finally watch The Daily Show and other video sites that refuse to accommodate the millions of iPad users out here. The only issue is that you cannot pause the video. So make sure that you are ready to watch it in full with no interruptions.
There are many other apps on my iPad for entertainment and other news and information purposes. Many companies have gone through the process to deliver extremely high quality apps for their customer base. My favorite has been the NHL Game Center. During the regular season I was able to watch non blacked out games on the iPad live with my subscription. As a hockey nut, this is fantastic. They also provide tons of video highlights of games after the fact.
My iPad, paired with my Verizon MiFi make for a formidable duo with regard to remote productivity. Personally, I would recommend a MiFi type unit instead of getting a bundled 3G iPad. This provides a better platform for your multiple mobile devices that both you and your family members constantly have in tow. If you want one without a long term contract, check out Virgin Mobile’s offering.
So if you have been on the fence about the value of spending $500+ for an iPad, I highly recommend getting one and using it. It will surprise you with its versatility.