Sticky Fingers on the Pad

Of course I had to jump on the technology train and get a few more Apple gadgets. So, getting my sweaty fingers on an iPAd was a top priority.  What would my wife think of me if I didn’t add to our collection and at the same time contribute to Steve Job’s wealth? Honestly, the guy has done wonders for a company that brands itself with an Apple in rainbow colours.

There were no doubt that I had to get an iPad after seeing the first adds of the iPad on the Interweb and when it was released in the US on April 3, 2010.  The only problem was that it was only available in the US.  Recession or not, I had to get one.

I’m fairly resourceful and I launched Facebook and looked for my American friends.  These are people I haven’t spoken to since I was a long-haired exchange student in the late 80s. Nevertheless, they were a source to feeding my hunger for an iPad.  The only challenge was how to persuade a friend, whom you haven’t spoken to in decades (other than a few status comments), to fork out $700-800 on an iPad and ship it to Ireland?  Well, you don’t!

I then heard of a friend going to the US.  So, through a friend of a friend of a friend, I managed to talk to my “friend”, who somewhat willingly accepted to buy me an iPad.  All it took was a harmless threat of posting some incriminating pictures of him on Facebook.  Bingo!

3 weeks ago the new Apple baby arrived, well before the Irish launch – which still hasn’t been finalised.  I quickly unpacked it and started a 10 hour session; setting up mail, browsing and downloading apps, syncing music, playing with all the cool new features and finally showing all of the above to my wife.  This was almost better than sex … eh, no. Yer dreamin’ mate!

It didn’t take long for my 6 year old daughter to claim the iPad as hers!  She flicked through the various apps. She played with the paint app and played the next 40 minutes with Angry Birds.  Our daughter is a Mac freak too, you see. But then again that runs in the family.  She even knows the various programs better than me and my wife. She knows how to navigate through the iTunes library to put Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance on repeat.

What really brought a tear to my eye was when my 5 year old son, who is born with Down syndrome, expressed an interest in the iPad.  I gave it to him and I was amazed how he managed to play with games and interact with some of the painting apps.  He really loved it.  It might not be easy to understand, but getting kids with Down syndrome the proper support and programs that motivates them to develop their motor skills is challenging.  When he pinched his fingers, flicked the bird across the screen, painted with his finger, then you can only get emotional.

The only problem of sharing an iPad, or an iPhone for that matter, with your kids is that the screen gets sticky after a few minutes.  See, they don’t care that there’s a bit of yoghurt, snot or marmalade on their fingers, as long as they can play the game.  I swear, you can actually cut your finger on a booger.  Just keep an eye on the kids, so they don’t start using a marker or coin on the screen.
Hey, Apple might want to consider developing a protective case for the iPad.

Is the iPad the future?

Yes, and yes it is.  It has so much potential, if these are used correctly.  Imagine having all your college books and notes on one device?  The amount of apps that could be developed for people with disabilities are endless.  It can be used as a sales tool.  You could connect it to a projector to show reports or slides.  You can use it to take notes during meetings or for entering data for the census.  They could be rented out to patients in hospitals. They could be used as new doctor journals.  I could go on.  If anybody takes any of my ideas listed above, then I want 10% of the sales after tax.

It might take a little while longer before we start seeing real productivity tools from a business perspective, but they are not far a way.

If I have to say something negative about the iPad then it has to be that the iPad sleeve is shite.  It’s almost impossible to get the iPad into the sleeve.  Once in, you can’t connect it to your dock because of the thick edges. This means that you can’t charge it in the dock.  It requires skills beyond any skilled thief to remove the iPad from the sleeve.  The sleeve is like welded around the iPad. So, basically when trying to remove the sleeve you are afraid that you’ll break it or that it might fly out of your hand and get smashed against the wall or a person. It’s just simply dreadful.

Steve Jobs, if you read this blog, then I hope you are sending me some more iPhone 4, a new iMac and an AppleTV … or just 1000 shares 🙂 … or if you want me to test or write about your cool gadgets and products, then leave me a comment.

Ok, while I’m at it.  Steve, you might want to start working with local business and provide some sort of bulk discounts on Apple products, so these become more interesting alternatives to implement within an organisation.  Paying full price is not an incentive for any business.  The interest is there but not the willingness to pay huge prices.

As for me.  I would happily buy a few more iPads for my kids, provided they were released in Ireland of course!


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