General Question

susanc's avatar

If you have an iPad, tell me what you use it for and why you like it so much, okay?

Asked by susanc (15771 points ) October 4th, 2012

I bought one AND an external keyboard AND a hard case for travel because I like to read a lot and I wanted to download some novels on the included Kindle. But the thing is so heavy I might as well just take the books???

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24 Answers

tedd's avatar

I sometimes use one at my part time job and I borrowed my brothers for a vacation several months ago. I personally wouldn’t recommend it for every day computer use, like typing something up or surfing the net. But it’s great for movies and travel, and I suspect it’s kindle would be great for reading.

I wouldn’t buy a new one on my own, maybe a used one if I had a couple hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket and a lot of travel ahead of me.

Kayak8's avatar

I also have one for work. I love how easily I can keep up with email (easier to read than a small phone screen) when I am away from my desk. I use it to grab maps of where I am going when I am on the road, I can check out articles online or from professional journals that I download. All of my managers and I use an application called Basecamp. It is a great way for all of us to stay organized, remain on top of long to-do lists, see what each other has accomplished, and catch up quickly after a day out of office.

When I meet with my boss, I take notes on the iPad and they are emailed to her before I have even left the room. I do the same with my staff, so it is a handy way to document goals, objectives, accomplishments, concerns, etc.

There is a new stylus in development that will get around the hand-smudging challenges that I have had with my current stylus in some programs (I also have a wireless keyboard). I have a very lightweight case, so I don’t find carrying it around to be problematic at all.

2davidc8's avatar

The iPad comes with an “included” Kindle??? How’s that? I thought they were two different products, one from Apple and one from Amazon.

ml3269's avatar

I use for all the thing almost I did usually with my MacBook… Watching TV (Podcasts), Internet, emailing, editing Photos, reading books and Magazines. Every day.

hearkat's avatar

@2davidc8: There is a Free Kindle app available for iOS. Similarly, B&N offers a free nook app. Apple includes its own iBooks app, as well. You pay for the books, not the e-reader apps.

Mine is a bridge between the smartphone and the laptop. I use my tablet primarily at home; but there will be use for it at the office, as many patient counseling tools are being developed. It is easier than the smaller phone screen for browsing and social sites, as well as reading e-books. My cable company has apps that allow me to watch TV on all 3 devices, so I use the tablet for that – such as watching the debate the other night. I have a few games, but I don’t play them much.

Seek's avatar

I don’t have one myself, but my friend has two – one for the grownups, one for the kids. The kids (ages 1½ and 4½) play shows on Netflix and play educational games.

The grownups use it for everything.

There’s a stand in her kitchen it sits on while she’s cooking so she can flip through recipes.
It spends time on the couch playing Who the Heck is That Guy, Anyway? through IMDB.
It’s a way to check email or Facebook without having to sit down at the desktop in the office. Good for a Stay at Home mom with two small kids.
It’s easier to read than the GPS in the car (bigger screen, bigger text, easier to manipulate or change routes).
It’s also been called in to settle debates on whether a certain record album had a white logo or a yellow logo on a certain release date.

If they had a keyboard attachment, she’d probably use it for blogging, too.

janbb's avatar

I would drop the hard case and the keyboard unless you plan to type a lot while traveling. Without those, you have a handy-dandy machine for reading, surfing the Web, keeping up with social sites and e-mail. I use mine primarily for travel and find it invaluable; I also use it at night when I done with the “computer room” for the day.

jerv's avatar

Now you know why I went for an Android. 7” is big enough to read comfortably, but can do something no iPad can; fit in my jacket pocket. With a hard case and keyboard, you really lose the biggest advantage tablets have over laptops.

I use mine for reading, games, and a way to surf the net when I am out and about but don’t feel like dragging my laptop along. I don’t use it for email, since my phone can do that more conveniently (unlike my tablet, it doesn’t rely on wifi), and anything involving serious typing is done on a real computer when/if possible.

Oh, I also use it (or my phone) to troubleshoot wifi; there are apps for that.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I use it to surf the internet and watch films and tv. I love it because it is more convenient than a lap top.

tom_g's avatar

I use my iPad 2 for internet, email, and the occasional movie.

Really want to ditch this thing for a Nexus 7.

2davidc8's avatar

@hearkat OIC. Thx.
Great suggestions from @hearkat, @janbb, @Seek_Kolinahr! Thx for sharing.

GracieT's avatar

@susanc, I also use it for everything. I bought it for all of the reading I do. After I got it I was suprised at how quickly it became my go-to machine for so much. I also have a Kindle, but it is SO much more difficult to use. I got it because it supposedly works in the sunlight, but it really isn’t worth the price I paid. It, to me, was a waste of money. But, I guess I learned my lesson. My friends kids got a free kindle. I love my iPad, and use it for everything.

jerv's avatar

One use I forgot about; setting up a VNC client to remotely control my desktop system. It’s kind of like a wireless keyboard/trackpad, but I can use it even from the other room or out on the porch since my PC’s display is echoed into my tablet. Sometimes I am watching a movie at home and don’t feel like walking across the room to hit Pause.

nikipedia's avatar

I only take it out when I can’t use my laptop for some reason. It sits on a shelf 99% of the time.

dabbler's avatar

From what I can tell the eReaders, with liquid paper displays, are quite a bit better for reading for the reason you noticed, they are lighter.
Tablets like the iPad do a lot more than a reader and have backlit displays that are heavier and more expensive.
I use my ASUS transformer for navigation (has GPS built in) and a few utility apps and some games (angry birds!)—and you can do all that on your iPad. I also use my tablet, with docking keyboard that has USB ports and SD card slot, as digital camera backup and display while traveling (can’t do that on the iPad).

It boils down to what you can use the gadget for. I don’t use my tablet daily but it fills a niche in the pantheon of computing gadgets here.

Buttonstc's avatar

Obviously you’re unhappy about it’s weight, but I think you should narrow that down more specifically to decide whether it’s worth keeping or to sell it and get something more convenient.

If it’s just kind of heavy to lug around then getting a case which includes a handle or strap would likely solve that for you.

However, if you mean too heavy to hold comfortably for reading, then that’s a different matter.

When I was contemplating getting a tablet, I tried out a 10 inch one from a friend of mine (same size as ipad). I found it very cumbersome and heavy to handle. Trying to hold it with one hand to read (as you would with a typical book) was just out of the question for any more than a few minutes. It was just way too heavy AND BULKY.

If that’s the same for you, you should seriously consider a 7 inch tablet. @jerv mentioned one brand in his post above. It makes such a difference and there are several other good ones on the market as well.

Just don’t get a cheapo no-name Chinese ripoff as they usually have major shortcomings and frustrations.

I have an Acer Iconia A100 but if I had it to do over again I would get a Samsung Galaxy Tab, the 7 inch one NOT the larger ones. It’s very highly rated by many tech mags and blogs.

You can also check out the Kindle Fire as well as the Google Nexus (made by Asus). These are also both 7 inches, light and comfy. Just be aware that storage space and options are more limited on these two. You can’t use a 32G storage card as you can on the Samsung and Acer.

Reading on a 7 incher is so much more convenient than the larger tabs like ipad. All the rumors that keep circulating about a smaller ipad are apparently unrelated to reality so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting.

Why not go to Best Buy or one of the Warehouse cubs where they have several different 7 inch tabs on display which you can hold to see how much lighter and more comfy they are than the ipad. You might decide that it’s worth it to switch. You really shouldn’t have any problem selling your ipad since Apple products really hold their value well.

jerv's avatar

@Buttonstc For the purpose of full disclosure, my tablet is a Nook Color…. which I had less than fifteen minutes before I rooted it, wiped the ROM, and installed CyanogenMod7, thus converting it from a limited e-reader to a full-fledged tablet. I chose it partly based on price, partly as the hardware itself had decent reviews, and partly because it is the easiest e-reader to convert.
As for the 7” iPad, last I heard was that Steve Jobs said, “Over my dead body!”, so while it was impossible a year ago, there is actually a chance now.

dabbler's avatar

@jerv I was tempted to do the same thing, the Nook is a great piece of hardware.

I’m curious what do you think of the Google Nexus 7 ? &/or the new Kindle fire tablets?
The Kindles seem too tied to the Amazon ecosystem for my taste, but the Google is a pretty capable gadget.

jerv's avatar

@dabbler The Kindle is harder to alter the way i did mine, but otherwise equivalent. You do realize that my NC was just as tied to the Barnes & Noble ecosystem before I modded it, right? Still, for aesthetics, I prefer the NC anyways. I would like the newer Nook Tablet too, if not for the fact that they are in an arms race with modders; every time they get something like CM7 running, B&N changes the firmware. But the NC is deprecated, so they “allow” it.

I haven’t taken a close look at the Nexus 7, but what I have seen/heard has been between good and impressive. If it had been out a year ago, I probably would have spent the extra for the Nexus.

dabbler's avatar

@jerv Good analysis, thanks.
I didn’t think the B&N ecosystem was as encumbering (do they force you through their own app store the way Amazon does?) but you certainly added a lot of functionality putting your own Android system on your Nook, and made it all more ‘open’ without B&N advertising stuffed into a lot of the stock experience.

I find the ‘arms race’ fascinating from a technical perspective. The sorts of things the manufacturers try get more and more sophisticated, and the solutions of the ‘root’ enthusiasts keep getting around them.

I lean strongly toward open hardware and applaud the efforts folks have put into root kits for machines like these (and your effort to use them!).
But I understand why Amazon and B&N make them the way they do… they can make money on you through their advertising and sales channels and they can sell the machines for less as a result. They’re counting on most folks not being as resourceful as you are. Carry on, hacker ! (<= hacker meant in the most admiring way here)

jerv's avatar

@dabbler Yes, B&N has their own app store and locks you out of the Android Market—(I refuse to call it “Google Play”!) but the box on mine barely hit the floor before my e-reader became a tablet, so it really didn’t affect me.

I find it annoying at best. After all the trouble they have gone through to prevent Linux from being put on the PS3, I seriously doubt I will ever buy anything from Sony ever again.

I am aware of the true definition of “hacker” as opposed to the derogatory uses that are better covered by the term “cracker”, and take that in the spirit intended. For my next project, I may make myself a massively parallel computer out of a few of the $35 Raspberry Pi mini-computers… unless this gets funded.

susanc's avatar

Yikes. Thanks, guys!~!!!
Well, I’m keeping it for now, because the trip is coming up too fast for me to start over. But I ditched the keyboard/case and can’t imagine why anyone would want them. The keyboard’s little and squinchy, and learning to use the internal one only took six minutes. I bought a little fakey case at a discount store for $12 for a little protection. That made a big weight difference. Also found out you can download library books. Though of course (as with every other source) not all the books you’d prefer…...

Mazil's avatar

To play games

zensky's avatar

Of course the iPad mini has since appeared.

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