Enjoying my iPad 2!

A month or so ago, I finally succumbed and bought an iPad 2. For me, it was the combination of convenience, the camera (that my kids have used more than me, honestly), and having some of those newer apps like Garageband and iMovie.

And so far, I’m enjoying it!

The main reason I decided to get an iPad was writing. In the next year or so, I have a couple of large writing projects (working on my second book right now!), and I’m often in places where whipping out my laptop isn’t so easy to do.

For example, right now I’m on a plane (well, I was on a plane when I wrote this, anyway). I hate whipping my laptop out on a plane. I’m not terribly fond of watching my laptop screen bounce back and forth in the turbulence (which we’re having now). I’m also not fond of scrunching up in weird laptop-y angles when the dude in front of me decides he needs a nap, and thrusts his stupid seat into my lap (which he’s doing now).

But this iPad thing. It works really, really well in these types of situations. It turns on fast, there are a multitude of easy-to-use word processing apps (I’m using Plaintext right now), and no scrunching required. It works on my lap or on the tray table just fine.

I’m still getting used to typing on it. Honestly, for the most part, the virtual keyboard works great, and is easy to use. What I do miss is easy access to a couple of my favorite keys – namely, that dash ( – ) I just used. I have to hit a shift key to access it, and that interrupts my flow.

The iPad also corrects funny sometimes, and it does this silly “auto correct” thing where it decides I have finished a sentence, so it adds a period and capitalizes the next word for me … which works great, had I actually finished that sentence. I think it’s something I’m hitting, or holding down too long … I haven’t figured it out yet.

Otherwise, I’m loving it. Besides boring typing stuff, there are some really fun music creation apps that I’ll be playing with a lot. Here’s a video I made of me trying out Morphwiz (a cool synthesizer app).

And my kids wish I downloaded many many more games.

So, a question. Who has an iPad, and how/why do you use it? What are your favorite apps? For those of you. Experimenting with other tablets (see? It did that weird ending the sentence thing again…) like the Nook (which now comes with Android tablet functionality) – are you liking it? Why? I’d love to hear more!

  • Robin Hastings

    The period and space is because you’ve hit the space bar twice in a row. Happens to me all the time… Also – picking up the camera connection kit and a cheap rollup USB keyboard may make typing a bit easier for you. I have both that and a bluetooth keyboard for long-form writing on my iPad and they are lifesavers…

  • Rosanne

    Hey David – iPad is great for meetings at work – easy to pass around when you want to share a web site or a concept with staff!  But at home, we’ve used it with our older child who has autism.  The combination of visuals, ease of access (for those with fine motor challenges) and instant rewardreinforcement is amazing.  Makes me wonder how we as librarians can do more to use technology to service those with disabilities in our communities?

  • Jesse Saunders

    For me the most important app, after Mail and Twitter, is Evernote. I’ve been using the Mac application to organize meeting notes for a couple of years, but having it on my iPad and iPhone take it to a whole new level. Now, I take brief notes while in meetings/webinars/etc., and fill in details (and fix auto-correct errors) when I’m back at the office.

  • Marylyn Wright Eubank

    I have an original iPad, the 16GB Wifi + 3G model, and it is my favorite gadget of all time. I use it mostly for reading, quick email checks, and light Web surfing. I bought it just a couple of months before the iPad 2 came out, but I’m not much of a camera/video person, so I haven’t had too much jealousy over the new ones.

    I agree with Rosanne about the utility of the iPad in meetings. It is so easy to share just by passing it around.

    I don’t do a lot of writing on it because the virtual keyboard is hard for me, but my next investment will be a keyboard for it, so that I can use it more as a laptop. I’ve done quite a bit of editing on it, but not much composition.

    I’ve really enjoyed the maps and GPS functionality, and I’ve used the Netflix app on occasion.

    I have an Android phone, and I just don’t care for it very much. I don’t like the combination of four hard keys and touch screen. I think Apple got it right with the single “home” button.  That’s my main reason for not considering an Android tablet.

  • http://www.joeyanne.co.uk Jo Alcock

    I *love* the automatic new sentence feature (hitting space twice). I have an iPad through work and it is excellent for mobile working; I spend a lot of time travelling and in meetings. I can type notes unobtrusively during the meeting (much nicer than a laptop I find) and upload to our internal Sharepoint straight away (the SharePlus app works really well for this). 

    I also use it to blog – in fact any kind of focused writing where I don’t want to be distracted. A few months ago I used it to write up over 20,000 words of interview transcripts for my Masters dissertation, and that new sentence shortcut was a great time saver. I know some people don’t like the touchscreen for typing but I have to be honest, I think I prefer it (I also seem to hit keyboards very hard which isn’t great for anyone near me!). 

    I do also use it for social networking, and it’s really useful at events where I can easily check out links, follow presentations if they’re available online, and tweet about the event for those who want to follow from afar. I also use it for reading and marking up PDFs – I use GoodReader for that.

  • Marie

    I have the 1st gen wifi ipad and I love it. Sometimes I hate it too, but mostly love. :) Lack of flash drives me crazy. I use it at home as an easy surfing/social media device, read Netgalley ARC ebooks on it and recently signed up for Simon &Schuster’s Galleycat. Reall don’t use Overdrive, ironically – would rather read wait in line for the print books from my lib. than wait for the ebook. Love its portability, I read my ebooks at lunch at work, cart it around with me lots of places, like nonwork meetings I’m involved in, and conferences.

    Thevtyping is irritating – i will leave that v in there as an example! But i mostly have it on my lap in its Dodocase (which i love for its old school notebook feel and look), so haven’t gotten a keyboard.
    Apps: Pages app, Catchnotes (like the ability to stick photos in with my notes), Paprika recipe notebook app, Twitter, Flipboard (so visually appealing), Blogshelf. Plenty more apps on my ipad, but those come to mind. Downloaded Iswifter browser for when I really want to watch flash videos; it works but is kind of sucky.

  • Marie

    Oh p.s. I ended up turning off autocorrect because I was correcting autocorrect more than it was correcting me.

  • Anonymous

    I use my iPad 1 all the time, but mostly for consuming content.  My next step wil be to use the iPad to present.  I use Reeder to consume my RSS feeds and enjoy Zite for the magazine look and feel.

  • http://twitter.com/LibWithAttitude LibWithAttitude

    I love my iPad 2! Have numerous apps but the ones I use most often would probably be:
    Kindle, Dropbox, Pica, Twitbird Pro, FlickrStackr, 100 Cameras, Sorted, Smart Office,  Skyfire, Lino, Haikyu, StoryCubes, Spotify, iplayer
    So many others that I love too though. Not a major gamer but enjoy Chuzzle, Fruit Ninja, Lineup,Scrabble & Bookworm

  • Annania

    i love my ipad but there is no camera in it ??? why can any 1 tell me this please 
    or is there ipads which do not have a camera …………pls pls reply

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    Yep – the first generation iPads don’t have cameras. The iPad2 does (though it’s a poor quality one).


  • Anonymous

    I haven’t bought an ipad for myself yet. Bought one for my mother earlier this month and have been testing it out as part of getting her “trained” on it.

    On my iphone, I ended up turning off the autocorrect. I am much happier since I did that.

    I believe that laer this year I am going to sucumb to the lure of an ipad2, for the same reason as you. Laptops are not as versatile and portable.

  • http://twitter.com/godaisies Amanda Goodman

    I got to unbox a 1st generation iPad for work and then spent 30 minutes trying to figure it out since Apple decided that an instruction manual would be too easy. Note: I’ve never owned any Apple products so there might be just a thing that you know to do thanks to prior exposure to Apple, but I did not. I found it to be a highly overpriced toy when my half-as-much 2 yr old netbook can do practically everything my desktop can do except edit videos. 

    I also rooted my Nook Color and have been inseparable from it. I think of it is as my “computer on the go” which I can just toss in my bag. I don’t have to be separated from things that I still needed to get done like watching a show, reading, writing, keeping tabs on social media, etc. Also it is half the cost of an iPad. 

    The main drawbacks of a Nook Color are 1) The headphone jack cannot be used to attach a microphone since the hardware does not support 2 way signal. 2) No camera. 

    On the other hand, you can root it and gain access to Bluetooth so you can attach other devices to it. 

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  • http://about.me/colleengreene Colleen Greene

    Enjoy, David! And I look forward to following your iPad-related posts.  

    I’m pretty fortunate — as a faculty member at an academic library, my campus provides me with an iPad.  Being the techie Systems Librarian (who helps campus IT test technologies), IT gave me an iPad1 back in October as part of a pilot group charged with testing iPad use and apps for the campus.  The pilot tests went well enough that about one month ago, campus started rolling out iPad2s to all full-time faculty…so I’ve been playing with my new iPad2 for a few weeks now.  

    I’ve been very pleased with both iPad versions — except for that whole Flash thing. While I can’t yet go iPad-only to conferences (Flash, and needing to download software to learn and use at some conferences), I do find myself doing better at documenting meeting notes and keeping up with Bible studies.

  • http://about.me/colleengreene Colleen Greene

    Oh, and, like you…I LOVE my iPad for flying. So much more convenient than a laptop.  I left the laptop at home and did the iPad + Mifi for our vacation in the Smokies last Fall, and did just fine — even uploading photos each night.

  • Kbart128

    I am curious about your experience not being able to view web items that require the flash. I am also curious if you have found a work around.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    You know, I’ve not had much of a problem with not viewing flash… as in, I haven’t missed anything. Most of the sites I frequent either have an RSS feed that I subscribe to, or an app that I use instead. Other websites, for the most part, aren’t using flash or have a non-flash link.

    So it’s not been an issue for me.

  • Kbart128

    What app do you use? We do love our Ipad, but we participate in a chatroom discussion that has a video/audio componet – all done through UStream. That is something we can’t do using our Ipad and it like is totally a drag. That said – there are so many other things that make it great.

  • Elcee

    I purchased my iPad 2 just yesterday, and so far, I’m loving it. Just like you, my work requires writing (a lot of it) and traveling at the same time. It’s really awkward to bring out my lappy in a bus, or while in a plane, and I totally agree with you that an iPad 2 makes everything easier for me. As of the moment, am using Pages as my word processing app, and I’m loving it as we speak.

    Additionally, the automatic new sentence feature is very convenient! :) Although I’ve turned off the auto completion of sentences since English is my second language, and whenever I’m sending an email to some of my friends (non in English), it makes these weird words that make me really laugh :)) So for now, that feature is turned off.

    Oh, Dragon Dictation is also something that I’ve been using and saves a lot of time. Whenever my hands are tied and I need to write a quick e-mail, this app does it all for me.

    I haven’t explored some of the apps, or at least found some that could be helpful. Will get back as soon as I see some amazing apps that you might like too! 

    All the best.