iPads, iPhones, and Flash

I have an iPhone. I also have an iPad2. And apparently, I don’t have Flash.

I say “apparently” … because I haven’t really missed it. Sure, there’s been a couple of times that I’ve run into the “you need to install flash to view this” message – usually on a poorly-designed website that I tried to get to from a link in an article I was reading.

But have I missed Flash? No, not really. Most of my browsing activity comes from reading RSS feeds, which I get just fine. Most of my video viewing comes via Youtube, which I also get just fine.

If I need to test something from my library’s website, our library catalog, or our databases, I get those just fine too. No Flash required.

How about you? Do you find yourself missing Flash? Is it a problem? If so, how come? Please share!

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!

iPads in Libraries – Some Stories

There are quite a few uses for an iPad in a library setting, and some libraries have already started experimenting. Here are two examples:

#1: Omaha Public Library

From Amy Mather – “For the past few years, the Omaha Public Library’s Summer Reading Program kick-off party has been held in Elmwood Park in Omaha and has attracted up to 2500 kids for kick-off activities including live music, games,  pony rides, etc. Although always a success, we had one glaring “missed opportunity” at these events: signing up kids & teens for the Summer Reading program “online” at an outside venue.”

“Gary Wasdin, director of Omaha Public Library, applied for a local grant to obtain 6 iPads in which we could use to signup kids & adults for the Summer Reading Program. The iPads would allow us to connect to the AT&T’s 3G network and signup patrons on the spot for the Summer Reading Program. On June 9th, we signed up over 500 kids, teens, and adults using iPads. The iPad allowed us to take the mobile library to the next level and we looked really cool too!”

#2: Genesee Valley Educational Partnership

From Christopher Harris – “I am at a school library system, a regional support center funded by NY state to provide services and resources for 22 small, rural school districts in Western NY. Since we got the iPads so late in the year, right now we are just loaning them to teachers and librarians to build awareness in our districts. Over the summer, we will be working on developing some best practice guidelines and suggested uses for the devices. We hope to begin lending them for student use in the fall, though they may be for in-school use only the first year as they remain a very high-value theft target. We have 150 iPod shuffles we send home with students without any problems, so hopefully we will get to that point soon with the iPads as well.”

“Right now, we are loaning books from iBooks. My reading of the terms of use suggest that we can do this within our system. I am also working directly with publishers to secure additional content. We have a number of graphic novel biographies from Rosen, as well as a large collection (125 sci-fi/fantasy books) that I just got from another publisher. As for other apps, we purchased Pages/Keynote/Numbers and have 5 keyboard docks we can send out. We also have Dragon Dictation, Sundry Notes, Complete Shakespeare, Historical Maps, and a few others.”

What are these two libraries doing?

  • fixing a problem (signing up kids online … in a park)
  • experimenting … but also developing guidelines and strategy for use
  • breaking out of the “this is the way we’ve always done it” syndrome
  • applying new technology to traditional library services

Is your library experimenting with iPads? If so – how are you using them?

iPads in Libraries

See the Youtube version in HD

Going to ALA 2010 in Washington, D. C.? If so, please consider participating in the BIGWIG Showcase! What is the BIGWIG Showcase? It’s a fun, highly interactive way to learn about a lot of topics at once! Here’s a list of the topics for this year’s Showcase:

  • Libraries MUST Have A New Electronic Content Access and Distribution Infrastructure  (Michael Porter)
  • User Research on a Shoestring (Erin White and Susan Teague-Rector)
  • Information Overload & Personal Information Management (Bohyun Kim)
  • iPad and Tablet computers (David Lee King)
  • Teaching with Twitter (Ellen Filgo)
  • Qrcodes & Mobile Knowledge Networks (Bonnie Rosalen and Kelly Sattler)

And yes – I’m doing one … my presentation is on the Apple iPad and the new breed of tablet PCs that are coming out in the next couple of years. I show off the iPad and provide some examples of how to use one in a library setting.

What do YOU need to do? Two simple things:

  1. Watch the video, and leave a comment if you want to
  2. Attend the Showcase! I’ll talk briefly about the iPad, possibly even show one off … then we’ll chat – answer questions, debate the merits of the iPad, etc… and then you’ll be able to rotate off and talk to the other amazing presenters (listed above).

Simple stuff, huh? Make SURE to attend the BIGWIG ShowcaseMonday, June 28, 2010 from 10:30am to Noon at the Renaissance Washington Grand BR South/Central. See you there!

Playing with the iPad

Playing with the iPadOK – we bought two iPads at work, and I was greeted with one this morning!

So I’m seeing if I can create a blog post using it. And guess what? I can!

But not easily, mind you. Let’s see – the pic, I was able to log into flickr and copy/paste the embed code for the image pretty easily. I was obviously able to log into my blog too, to do this post. Interestingly enough, for those of you familiar without he back end of WordPress – I’m using the HTML simple editor to type this. The fancier visual editor wouldn’t let me type in the text box. Go figure.

Also, to scroll around in the text box window, I just discovered I have to hold one finger down, then scroll with another finger. Otherwise, the whole screen moves. And I’ll have to get into the post on a pc to add categories to theta oust – I can’t scroll down on that window.

Typing is interesting, too – but possibly because I’m not used to the keyboard yet. It feels clunky to me, and I would suggest getting the external keyboard for any serious typing.

That said … websites are beautiful on this thing. In the vertical position, it shows more screen real estate. And the touch/use your finger thing instead of using a mouse is amazing, as should be expected.

The next couple of years in computer technology should be amazing, revolutionary ones, if my first experience with this thing is any indication.