I love my laptop, a gaming Asus, and it does just about everything a full size desktop can in less than half the space and power usage. I couldn’t see what practical use I had for a tablet. Within a month I was so attached to my iPad it literally went everywhere with me.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that an iPad is more than something to entertain you while you wait in line. Now it’s my alarm clock, camera, phone, digital recorder, calendar, notepad, library, news, maps, radio, calculator, banking, ability to accept credit cards and yes, some games.
According to Gigaom it takes $1.36 a year to run this miracle machine. I wind up leaving my laptop off much more often, saving electricity. Since it replaces so many electric and battery operated gizmos I can truthfully say it’s saving me money while making me more efficient.
So why is an iPad so awesome? Let me count the ways…
My iPad keeps me organized. With the calendar hooked up with my Google+ account I can add events online and they are automatically synced to my iPad and vice versa. I have a running To Do list that divides my tasks between Do Today, Do Soon and Do Later. These can also be synced up to the calendar and have reminders added. With the Notepad app I can keep ongoing lists I never lose (like my shopping list). Updating is easy.
My iPad tells me where to go, and when. With the map app I can preload large areas so I have access to roadmaps when traveling. Apps like Trulia make house and apartment hunting much better with less effort. You can see all available properties in a given area and check for crime, median house prices and more. Google Earth lets me peek at anywhere in the world. The Nightstand app wakes me up and tells me the weather better than my traditional alarm ever did. I love it as a clock so much I’m considering purchasing the full version.
My iPad keeps me balanced. Most banks offer free apps so you can mobile bank. I can deposit paper checks from it, balance my accounts and transfer funds. By using the free Square Card Reader I can now accept credit cards to fill up my accounts. Whether I’m having a garage sale, accepting money a friend owes me or selling books at an author event I can now boast that I accept all major charge cards. My PCalc Lite app is just fun to use – who wouldn’t love pushing buttons the size of your eyeball? If the numbers are bigger maybe the money they represent will be too.
My iPad helps me work. I once paid $120 for a digital recorder for interviews. When that finally died I replaced it with an $80 model. Recently I found I needed to get a new one but I had to look no farther than the App Store. I found AudioMemos, an app that lets me record interviews with no time limit. The audio is surprisingly clear and the iPad mic has a good range allowing me to set it down to capture rather than hold it in someone’s face. iPad also has a built-in camera that takes video insuring I can always get a decent photo of my subject matter. I also use it for memos… if I want to remember information written somewhere I simply snap a photo of it.
My iPad makes things fun. When I’m not working there is always something entertaining to keep me occupied. From catching up on the news with USA Today, learning Magic Piano or playing Draw Free with my favorite people I can relax and have down time any time. If I was a television watcher I could keep up on shows with PBS, NBC and Fox. I have two full libraries with iBooks and Kindle. I listen to my favorite music on Pandora. I play karaoke with my kids with StarMaker (it even autotunes me so I sound decent!)
My iPad keeps me connected. Shortly after I got the iPad I let my cell phone go to see if I could just use Skype. For $5 a month I have a phone number and I can call anywhere in the world for free. I can also video chat with any computer. I keep up with my friends and contacts thru Facebook and Twitter. I can check my email, surf the internet and with Pocket Metaverse I can even keep up with my Second Life contacts.
All that for less electricity than it takes to run a lightbulb. When I think of all the paper I’m not wasting and all the gadgets I’m not purchasing I’m amazed I was so slow to catch on. Technology and ecology are merging.
Someday iPads might just save the planet. I’m sure there’s an app for that.