I don’t like to rush into things, especially new technology. I’d much rather let others suffer the wounds of the bleeding edge, and it’s simply more resourceful to learn tips and tricks from the early adopters, who just last week were running into the Apple store to buy the new iPad Mini. Because I take this utilitarian view of technology, I don’t get a thrill out of being the first to have the newest, greatest thing. Consequently, I only recently journeyed into the Apple store and plunked down what still seems like a lot of money for something that fits in my purse and, by all accounts, was practically outdated by the time I got home. However, since taking the plunge I quickly warmed to my new iPad 3 and have discovered unexpected efficiencies that have, indeed, made me a believer.
Email access. Amazing! There is no comparison between logging onto my hefty laptop and “slide-password-tap” to get into my iPad! The serendipity of easy access is efficiency. Several years ago I wrote a blog on voicemail purgatory and resolved to attack my email inbox next. Little did I know the iPad would be the best solution to viewing and responding to several hundred emails a day. With 10 free minutes here and there, I can respond to a handful of emails and go to bed at night without the haunting feeling that something critical is buried in my inbox.
Web connection. Whether from an email link or via the Safari app, connecting to webpages is seamless and speedy. Unlike from my laptop, all of the web images pop up immediately, in full color, without me having to “allow” anything. And having clear Maps means the NeverLost lady can get lost.
Social media. The multitude of social media apps must have been designed with the iPad in mind. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Pinterest, YouTube. Whether for personal or business purposes, the iPad simply makes it a breeze to pop in and out of these sites to scan notifications and news feeds or share photos and links, or just check in. Now I’m never too busy to stay connected, even if I only have time to “like.”
Flipboard and exercise. Finding time to read the news and stay current on business and world events has always been a battle. Likewise with exercise. Now, instead of juggling papers and periodicals on the elliptical trainer, my iPad fits nicely on the tray and the pages “flip” easily without sticking together.
In case of emergency. Recently my mobile phone service provider’s cell towers went down for several hours. While this is inconvenient at any time, it was particularly perplexing since I needed to make a call, was alone, and in a location where no land lines were available. iPad and Skype to the rescue. I purchased $10 of Skype credits and voila! It’s a phone, too!
Multitasking at its best. The iPad makes multitasking a breeze, especially when working remotely. With my laptop, iPad, and Blackberry all at hand, the ability to toggle between tasks and, quite literally, do more than one thing at a time is maximized. If only I had more hands! Plus, all my contacts, calendars, and task reminders are consolidated in one place and meeting notes can easily be forwarded back to the office for further handling, never to be lost again.
Virtual keyboard. Content development on the virtual keypad is difficult without any physical keys to press. I know there are attachable keyboards, but that negates the whole point of having less equipment to juggle. For now, I’ll remain loyal to my Blackberry and its keyboard, although my colleague John Mann divorced RIM in favor of the iPhone. True believers say I will get used to going keyless in no time.
Server connection. Not being able to get to our protected company server, which holds our CRM and shared files, is a bummer. It means that certain things really do have to wait until I boot up the laptop or get to the office. Apple, your mission is incomplete!
Social etiquette. Our society had to learn a new set of manners as handheld technology permeated our lives and most professionals suffered addiction to their “Crackberries.” Similarly, iPads do not yet belong or have acceptance in every business or personal interaction and we are all trying to define the social etiquette as we go. I recall the first time a candidate pulled their iPad out during an interview and began tapping away. “Look at me,” I wanted to say. “Engage in this conversation with me.” Because I take copious notes when conducting interviews, I know that it can be difficult to concentrate on two things at once. iPad users should at least make sure they have adequate multitasking skills…and look up once in a while.
As evidenced by my adoption of the iPad, it is possible for a skeptic to come full circle and truly develop a new lifestyle simply by embracing new technology. That said, while I love my iPad, there are limits to our affair. I’ve been accused of hiding it under the covers, but for now that’s simply not true. Until I’m head-over-heels, my iPad will stay safely nestled on the bedside table so the occasional pings can find some sweet place in my dreams.