iPads: Fad or the Real Deal?
July 2, 2011. I didn’t know it at the time but my life would be forever changed and I’m not talking about the first time you realized that peanut butter and jam go hand in hand like Batman & Robin, this was monumental. My mom had just bought the family an iPad and I was overjoyed. Even more so than a 8 year old peering down the stairs on Christmas morning, only to see a shinny red bicycle resting underneath the tree. This was a big deal because the last time there was any family excitement surrounding a piece of technology was circa 1998 when my sister and I were introduced to a computer. That computer was so big and bulky, not like the iPad. No sir, this thing was built with one thing in mind; to make you say WOW. The sleek silver design, apple outdid themselves. I was instantly addicted because of everything you can do on them from playing Angry Birds to checking my email. Fast forward two years and Ive realized that everyone else had that exact same experience as I did because they are so common in todays society. Everyone from grandparents (yes grandparents) to young toddlers are using an iPad on a regular basis.
What to do on an iPad: Endless Possibilities
What can’t you do on an iPad, really? When first toying around with the iPad, I was astounded at how many things I could do on it. I would constantly be loading the latest tweets or checking if I’ve gotten any recent pokes on Facebook. I was pretty hesitant about the full
touch key board which is a common fear most people have when first using a full touch product. Once I was familiar with the key board, is was cool runnings from there on out. I even got the hang of Garageband which is part of Apple’s iLife applications. Garageband allows me to play the piano on my iPad and I must say it sounded amazing. No where near the sound a baby grand can produce but Apple did it justice.
iPhoto is another instalment in the iLife series and is one of the best photo sharing applications on the market. iPhoto allows you to edit and enhance all your photos with the simplicity of a tap on the screen. I actually used this the other week to crop some of the photos I took over reading week. As I mentioned earlier, toddlers and grandparents are using iPads, primarily because they are so user friendly. I don’t expect a toddler to be editing photos in iPhoto or creating a masterpiece in Garageband but you understand.
I also use my iPad to work on presentations and essays when I need a break from my computer. They cant have a series of apps for this can they? Come on, its Apple guys. The iWork line has an application called pages which is a word processing app.
As if you would expect anything else, it is very user friendly and simple. You can also create presentations using the Keynote application. It is Apple’s answer to powerpoint just as the whole iWork line is the biggest competition for Microsoft Office. Speaking from experience in both, I must say I love all of the iWork products more based on there overall simplicity and refinement.
If you’re not into creating music or working on new presentation’s you can always curl up with a nice book found in iBook. You basically have a Chapters bookstore at your finger tips which is absolutely astounding. You can download any book you can think of directly to your iPad, whether it be a romance or mystery novel. Another underrated feature of Apple based iPad applications is that all the trim within the app is inspired by there real life counter parts. iBook for example, displays all of your books on a wooden bookcase just as if the hard copy was sitting on your wooden bookcase in your living room.
Safe for Children?
Speaking of hard copies sitting in your living room, there are in increasing amount of people using the iPad to read their novels instead of actually reading the paper copy. This has drawn a significant amount of debate on whether iPads are a positive thing, mainly for children. The age at which a child starts using technology is has increased from when I was a child. I didn’t even know that I could text on my cell phone until grade 9 and I see kids bringing their iPads to elementary school, like my cousin for example. It boggles my mind the the reality is that the age is only to go down from here. Kids are now using their iPads to play games as opposed to drawing or playing road hockey outside. Although this criticism is not supported by all, the article “What Happens When Toddlers Zone Out With an iPad” explores parental views of their kids using iPads instead of TV. Most of the parents give direct support to the iPad because they claim it engages their child and stimulates their minds. I have to say, I don’t disagree with her because there are so many apps on the market aimed towards young kids, they could be amused for hours while learning at the same time.
All of the hype around the iPad when it first came out, in my opinion, has been warranted and if I were to take a guess I don’t think it is going anywhere in the near future. As long as people are still producing the reactions I gave when first using an iPad, they will continue to thrive. New applications are constantly being produced, allowing endless opportunities to change the idea of what an iPad can do.