March 10, 2011
By Erna Mahyuni from Goreng.my
iPads, iPads everywhere. You see them in cafes, the news and as a very popular contest giveaway. Besides being the cool “in” gadget of the moment, why are people using it? Is it more than a pretty paperweight? Goreng had a chat with three iPad users to find out why the device rocks (or doesn’t).
Lucas Lau, (Twitter handle @luc_sohow) a freelance photographer and tech writer for Lowyat.net, is somewhat ambivalent about the iPad. “There is no exceptional feature for me.” He does find the size and form factor suitable for when he needs to be out and about. “It does comics and magazines really well,” Lau concedes.
Fashion editor Elfie Jane, who blogs at http://monstahblog.tumblr.com, says using Twitter and Facebook is much better on the iPad thanks to its bigger screen. She finds it handy to have around to stave off boredom when she’s out and about.
Social entrepreneur Christopher Tock (Twitter handle @spinzer) initially found the device “useless.” That is, until he acquired a portable Wi-Fi dongle and now even takes it along to the bathroom! “In the end, it has to be connected online to really serve its purpose,” says Tock.
When asked what they used the iPad for, the three were quite diverse. Lau uses his iPad to read graphic novels as well as magazines as the online versions are much cheaper than the print equivalent. “It’s also a way to show potential clients my photography portfolio without having to lug my laptop around.” He does not game on the iPad and says the device is mostly a companion on long commutes. “(For me) it is pretty much a travel device,” says Lau.
Elfie on the other hand says she mostly games on the iPad with her favourite games being Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and The Sims. She reckons she only uses it for a couple of hours or so a week.
Contrast that with Tock who estimates he spends at least an hour a day on the iPad, checking news and his social media feeds as well as the odd iOS game.
On apps, Lau considers purchasing them a given. “I don’t think anyone who owns an iPad doesn’t buy apps to go with it.” Apps of note for him include the comic reader Comic Zeal and Wired Magazine’s iPad version. He also bought a hard shell case from Mastermind Japan. “But that’s just for the looks,” he says, not being particular about scratching his gadgets.
What could the iPad improve on? Lau says, “I don’t like the fact that the iPad is just essentially an overgrown iPod Touch.” He feels Apple should emulate Google and introduce a true tablet OS instead of using the iPhone’s iOS. Elfie says she still has trouble typing on it and thinks the iPad would be much improved with the addition of a camera.
Tock finds the iPad bulky and finds the
resolution disappointing. “I am just waiting till it has the Retina screen display before I get my next iPad.”
What’s obvious is the iPad does have its uses. Want to share what you use your iPad for? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.