Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The world of iPad

I've used my brand new iPad for only a couple of hours, so I've only scratched the surface (figuratively speaking, of course). But already I can tell you, it's quite something. Very impressive, indeed. (And this is from someone whose Apple computing has been limited to "paginating" Freeman pages on my office Mac. Otherwise, I'm PC-centric.)

I do have an iPod, so since the first step out of the box with the iPad is to register at the iTunes Store, it was liking hooking up with an old friend when my iPod ID put me on a first-name basis with the iPad.

If you're interested in the iPad, which went on sale last weekend to much acclaim and countless media stories, you already know the basics: It's lightweight, offers brilliant screen resolution and the ability to get on the Internet and handle e-mail (via Wi-Fi), video, audio, e-books and what's promised to be an increasing number of "apps".

For a test run, I downloaded a free e-book, title unknown. My granddaughter will be pleased to find out it was "Winnie the Pooh". I'd have preferred something more substantial, but hey, it was free. I also loaded free apps from The Weather Channel, Tweet Deck and Pandora (Internet radio). I had accounts for the latter two on my PC and they worked like a charm on the iPad. So far I've stumbled on the weather app, which did nothing after I entered my ZIP code. Maybe a bug, maybe I screwed it up; we'll see.

What I'm primarily interested in is how publications like the Freeman and others will fit into the iPad world. Some in our industry believe computer tablets like iPad and those to come will be the salvation of newspapers, particularly when consumers start buying their apps. Perhaps. For now I can tell you that reading the Freeman and New York Times Website on the iPad is a pleasant experience.

I'm leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning and I'm bringing my new best friend the iPad (and my wife). The airline offers free Wi-Fi, so I'll have plenty of time to fiddle around. We'll see if even at my age, an old dog can learn new tricks. (I mean me, not my wife.)
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