Things move a little slower in our house, but I’m very happy to say we have finally entered the Apple era. Thanks to my wife sacrificing one of her two mobile phones, we have used the monthly payment to ‘invest’ in an iPad on a 3-year T-mobile contract. The deal provided us with the 64GB, 3G version which works impressively quickly. With a 9.7-inch screen and a pixel resolution of 1536 x 2048, the graphics and crispness of the display are easily the best I have seen.
As this was my birthday present, and I still very much enjoy unwrapping my presents, I was a little surprised (verging on disappointment) at the general lack of anything else in the box. There was an iPad, it’s charger, a small T-mobile SIM card and a couple of Apple stickers for the back of your car…and well, that was it. No nice thick instruction booklet, case or any other accessories. I assume this is what they mean when they call it ‘intuitive’.
Within 30 minutes of switching it on, it was set up and the internet was connected, so I suppose that proves that it really is. The programs on the start-up page are self-explanatory and before you know it, you are downloading apps, spending euros (usually no more than €1.99 at a time) and connecting to your facebook, email and blog account. I once asked a friend of mine what the best apps were to download for an iPad and he told me that it depended what I wanted to do. I now understand what he meant and given that they claim there are now over 500,000 apps to download, you really can get one to do pretty much whatever you need. I spent a little time browsing the web for some recommendations and these are now our most used:
- Cut The Rope
- Angry Birds Rio
- Fruit Ninja (Puss In Boots HD)
- Air Mail
- Where’s My Water?
- FlightControl HD
- Einstein HD
- Multiplication (maths testing)
- Flight Control Rocket
- Coco Loco
- Epicurious (over 100,00o recipes categories)
- StumbleUpon (general web browsing by favourite categories)
- Shazam (just for pure fun)
- Runner’s Log (to record my run times and routes with a handy Google distance planner – it compares times and keeps a calendar for comparison purposes)
- Sudoku2 (for the wife)
- Disney Comics (for the kids to download disney comics at EUR 1.99 per time in full colour)
- Weather+ (nice display and multiple locations can be entered)
Not bad for just over 2 days ownership. And the Settings tell me I still have 55GB to fill! I can really see why Apple devices are so popular – in today’s hectic life, the quick start-up time is really very practical. Compared to our Dell laptop (which is only 2 years old), the iPad makes it feel outdated and slow. When you want to check something on the internet, the weather or the bank account, it’s just so much quicker on the iPad. It’s also much more social having the kids playing games on the sofa, rather than upstairs on the desk. The Disney Comics and Einstein Brain Trainer are still favourites, and as much as we need to ensure time spent on the iPad is monitored, let’s be honest – this is the future and the kids need to understand their way around the technology. Anything that makes them think and improves coordination can’t be all bad.
On a side note, my wife has always said that the bedroom is for two things. And I don’t think one of these was her husband playing Air Mail until midnight on an iPad…