Back in my day, Notepads didn’t have LCD displays!

iPadding in the Park

I purchased an iPad on its opening day.

If you’re like the 20 people or so who have seen me using the iPad in the last week, your reaction to the statement above probably started with “early adopters are stupid” and ended with “the iPad is just a giant iPod touch!” Truth is, I shared the same opinions as you last week, but then I saw the light…the beautiful, shiny, brilliant light that revealed itself in the form of an iPad!

When the world went nuts by offering to trade their birthright for an iPad, I sat as an observer and concluded that the device was foolish. “What would a guy like me need with something like that…I’ve already got an iPhone!” But when I used it for a few minutes on the launch day I saw lots of possibilities, including:

  • Generate rent receipts on-the-fly to appease detail-oriented tenants
  • Mount as a digital picture frame above my fireplace mantle
  • Digital portfolio for my video and graphic projects
  • Digital drawing pad for drawing graphics like melted G’s and stars
  • View financial spreadsheets on the large screen
  • Quickly type journal entries, like this one, using the quick iphone-like keyboard
  • Review digital camera photos without needing a computer
  • Read a book without actually reading a book
  • Jot down quick thoughts on a large virtual notepad (which is a lot more inspiring and motivating)
  • Access essential Phone applications on a larger screen
  • A nice, shiny $500 coaster for up to six soda cans
  • A very short game of truly ultimate frisbee
  • …and that’s not even the half of it!

For those of you who are not convinced of its usefulness, let me give you an example of how the iPad worked well for me last Sunday:

Morning: In church, following along with my bible app and taking notes on my note taking app. While taking notes, I used the built-in microphone to record the audio just in case I needed to play it back to remember something or for potential comedy relief. Immediately as the service ended, I synchronized my notes to a “cloud” that keeps all of my documents synchronized with my computer, iPhone and iPad.
Noon: Reviewed the final product of a graphic to send over to a client. The large touchscreen worked great because I could zoom in on details that might’ve otherwise been missed on my computer. Also, I was able to lift the iPad inches away from my face so I could see every single pixel. The last time I tried that was with a 200lb Apple Cinema Display and I slightly strained my obturator foramen.
Afternoon: Went to hangout with my friends and snapped a lot of pictures. My camera uploads all pictures to the internet as soon as they are taken, so I was able to use my iPad and my instant portable wifi connection to view the pictures on the large screen.
Early Evening: Picked up rent from tenants and used a receipt app to generate a receipt immediately as rent is received. The receipt is automatically synchronized with an online server where all of the receipts are compiled, tagged by location, and exported to an excel spreadsheet for analysis. Later in the day, I merged the excel spreadsheet with a larger spreadsheet and used a data visualizing app to analyze financial information for my rental property. Nerdy– I know.
Night: As I head to bed, I used the books app to find a book worth reading before falling asleep.
Later in the night: Can’t sleep. No iPad app to fix this. Geremy is sad.

With the amount of time that an iPad saves by organizing data, making information more accessible and putting important business and personal tools at my fingertips, it was well worth the $500 and should be thought of as a “life improver” for people like me rather than a novelty item. I was once an unbeliever but now I’m a missionary, preaching the iPad gospel!