iPad review: What’s it good for?

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Three weeks after the release of the iPad WiFi and today's release of the iPad 3G, it’s time to take another look at Apple’s ‘magical’ device.

What exactly is this thing being used for, and what do people want from it?

Early data from web analytics service Clicky tells us that thus far iPad’ing is a weekend function. People just don't seem to be taking it with them. This is likely do to two factors; the iPads ongoing WiFi woes, and spotty WiFi coverage. Once the 3G iPad drops we’re likely to see usage increase overall.

Still, the device accounts for 4.62 percent of all mobile browsing, versus the iPhone, which dipped two points to 46.5 percent. The iPad’s online usage already rivals Android and Blackberry.

Not bad for a product just out, whose internet connectivity is sometimes spotty at best.

But what are they using it for?

Right now it does look to be creating it’s own niche, a device combining the functions of a netbook and portable DVD player* and a Kindle.

Essentially, this is the device for people who don’t need to carry the firepower of a laptop with them.

Many of us fall into this category, and generally have been getting by with our iPhones. Very few of us need to burn DVDs or CDs on the run and fewer still are editing video in Starbucks (though an app to do that would be awesome, thanks!)

We are using it to tweet, catching up to Twitter after a long day at work, we browse Facebook and LiveJournal and even use it to write. Despite what you’ve heard the onscreen keyboard works just great. It does take some getting used to, and the keyboard could stand some fine tuning (no tab??) but writing even a long treatise is more than workable even without a bluetooth keyboard.

Using the streaming apps, we are able to the iPad as a media player; streaming those pesky non-Apple video formats right onto the iPad near our bed.

Oh, yes, there is that. We‚Äôve taken into the bedroom. I know some of you sleep with your iPhones, but we‚Äôve resisted …up until now. It is damn convenient to email and tweet right from bed on that big touchscreen.

Aye, there’s the rub. You have to try it. If you are holding out, give in, do not let the principle of ‘contempt prior to investigation’ rob you of trying one out. Go for it. Go down to the Apple store and play with one and then make the decision on the experience.

I’m one of Apple’s best salesmen and I don’t do anything, I’ve just let friends get their hands on it, now they all want one.

They are waiting on the 3G, which I will be getting, as well. Solely for *cough* testing purposes, of course.

Some future buyers are getting the ‘magical’ device for themselves, to replace their laptops. Others intend the iPad for their kids, as it is an e-book reader, gaming device and media player all-in-one. And of course some are getting it, just because it’s cool.

Once the 3G hits, you will no doubt see many more out in the wild.

 The iPad does everything the iPhone does, or eventually will do, especially when VOIP comes to the iPad with 4.0 OS. For many of us the iPhone will go back to being just a phone, and that‚Äôs not a bad thing.

So, what is it good for? We’re still making that up as we go along. As of today it is steadily replacing our desktop computer for day to day functions. It is already the go-to device, first thing in the morning over the iPhone.

It is something in-between.

*Yes, we know it doesn’t play DVDs, but it plays entertainment media, easily downloaded via iTunes.


iPad Accessories Now Shipping for the 3G Version

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