Post-PC and the new iPad: I get it now

I’m typing this entry from my new iPad using the WordPress app. I use a PC laptop for work. My casual-use MacBook is just shy of 3 years old and won’t be replaced. I have an iMac too that I used to use for my work at FightCRC that is about two years old. Like many, I set this iPad up without ever connecting it to a computer. Is the iPad at the point that it can completely replace a laptop that is primarily used for communication, light work and entertainment? I’m going to find out.

Work email/calendar/tasks is on an Exchange server, personal email is on Gmail. I switched to iCloud for personal calendar/tasks when I got the iPhone 4S last fall to make it easier to stay in sync with my family. I backup data to iCloud. I long gave up on iTunes for podcasts and now love Instacast. When I got the iPad yesterday I subscribed to iTunes Match to sync up music that was on my computer, and PhotoSync dealt with the images. No reason to hitch to a computer. Yes, if I have to restore it will take much longer, but I can live with that.

I’m considering going to NTC next month without schlepping the heavy-ish Lenovo ThinkPad Convio gave me. Thanks to a Zendesk app and a couple of Salesforce apps I can probably deal if a work issue pops up while I’m away. I’m looking forward to going to a conference and not living power outlet to power outlet. My MacBook battery now gets about 90 minutes at best on a full charge and I didn’t want to buy a new battery if I could help it.

I’m beginning to get why Apple is all about the unification of the user interface.

I don’t think I spent more than 2 hours total on an iPad before yesterday. Yet because of my years of iPhone experience, I was able to use muscle memory to know exactly what I was doing right away. Feels natural. Special to the iPad, I am already loving using 4 fingers instead of the home button to move around and switch between apps. I caught myself doing it on the iPhone this morning. I’m also surprising myself how fast I can type on the virtual keyboard.

I have to admit, I was disappointed when I saw how iOS the next version of Mac OS will be. That was a big reason why I thought it was time to go all-in on the iPad. If the future of the Mac experience is going to be iOS across the board, I might as well use the device that uses the operating system best. I still think Apple is doing a huge disservice to the Mac by not taking advantage of what makes it worth using a device that can multitask in multiple windows and has a separate input device, but I guess that won’t be something I have to worry about. I guess I believe Apple now when they say that’s all my desktop or laptop computer is…a device. I can take it away, and it doesn’t make that much difference. I didn’t appreciate just how easy and seamless it can be until I had both an iPad and an iPhone. I hope it always works as reliably as it has the past 24 hours.

We gave both our daughters iPads as Bat Mitzvah presents. Kid #1 got her 1st generation iPad in 2009 (still going strong). Kid #2 got her 2nd generation model last year. I’ve written before how helpful I think it’s been for them. Mom and Dad both got 3rd generation iPads yesterday. I said to kid #1 (who has high-functioning autism), “Four iPads in one house, three different models. How many families can say that?” Her response: “Only the really geeky ones, Mom.”

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