impressions

Make sure to check out my previous posts on iPad features and network connections with a Wi-Fi iPad.

I use my iPad for content consumption. I create an occasional email and have been playing around with dictation. But for the most part, I’m using it to get, not create, information.

That might be because I’m a  news junkie. Not only does it keep me up to date, but I can share interesting items with clients and friends.  Obviously, my favorites start with news:

My favorite iPad Apps.

iPad ApplicationsBloomberg – it’s like having an mini Bloomberg Terminal at your fingertips (not really, but at least I feel like a wizard of finance…). Great layout, and good information.

Wall Street Journal – A good app that’s gotten better with a recent upgrade. Timely news and events in a very useful layout. (requires a subscription)

Kindle – Amazon’s e-reader is great on the iPad. Solid, stable and very easy to use.  I wish all my books were e-books.

Weather Channel – OK, I’m a weather junkie too. This app is very well thought out and organized. Response times are super quick. Better experience than on weather.com!

NewsRack – Like I said, I love my news. I tried several RSS/newsreaders that would integrate with my Google Reader account, and this was the best by far. Still not caught up with my feeds, but I’m getting there.

Instapaper – hit and run consumption makes this app a must. I can send items from by news reader over to Instapaper to read later on the iPad, my Android Phone, or on my laptop.

ReadItLater – I’ve just discovered this app that functions similarly to Instapaper. I’ll be running them alongside each other and let you know which one wins.

Flipboard – this app or something like it will be a game changer. It takes my Twitter and Facebook feeds and morphs them into a magazine format. Really changes the experience. When I have a couple of minutes to catch up with my social networks, this app is my first choice.

Yes, Virginia, I still use and like email. The iPad Exchange setup is great – allows me browse and clean up my inbox with very little effort. The plain POP accounts don’t let me (or I can’t figure out how to) delete emails immediately. It holds them for several days. Not very good for inbox management.

This list is getting pretty long – check out my next post on work essential apps and some ones that are fun to play with.

What do you like?

What’s your favorite iPad app? Leave a comment and let me know.

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This is part two of three of my “second” impression of the iPad. Read the first of my series – my review of the device.

I couldn’t justify the 3G version for normal use, so I opted for Wi-Fi only (I did spring for 32GB). At home and at my online marketing agency Wi-Fi access is great. Since that’s where I spend most of my time with the iPad, my experience before the trip had been excellent.

Lesson Learned – Network Connections are Important

Once you hit the road, you realize the iPad experience hinges on access to the Internet. No ‘net and many things won’t work, or aren’t nearly as useful. Some apps work OK w/o Wi-Fi (like feed readers) but they need to be synced or updated when you are back in range – sometimes a major hassle.

At the Airport

I was lucky – everywhere I stopped, I had free WiFi. The connections were consistently fast and reliable. I was able to check my email, browse the internet, and review all my news sources (check out my third installment on Friday). I didn’t mind waiting for my connections at all.

On the plane

I split my time between reading on the Kindle; checking out some PDFs on iBook (I used DropBox to load to them to the iPad). I downloaded movies using iTunes, they were great to watch, but I had trouble with one of the rentals starting up again after I had paused it. Apple was quick with a refund, but still a bummer.

At the hotel

At the hotel it was a different story. The network was free, but password protected and managed by room number. My iPad and laptop couldn’t be on WiFi at the same time. Moving around the hotel worked OK, but when the signal was weak or network overloaded – the login wouldn’t work or would drop out – very frustrating. The iPad isn’t optimized to deal with a shaky network and frequent manual reacquisition of signal and logins can drive you to distraction. It traveled with me to the hotel beach – some apps were hard to read in the bright sun, but if I could keep the signal, the iPad worked great.

Out of the country

My trip was outside the US. Certain apps and sites don’t like that. I had trouble with loading a new book directly from the iPad Kindle application. I had to go back to my laptop, log in to Amazon.com, and purchase via the web, and have it delivered to my iPad.  It pays to plan ahead and check what works before you leave.

What do you think?

Have you traveled with your iPad? What did you think?

Don’t forget to stop back on Friday and read about my favorite apps.

Full Disclosure: Expect some links in this post to go to one or more affiliate programs and know that I get paid a nominal fee for referring you to those resources if you make a purchase.

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iPad Second Impression – The Device

August 16, 2010
Thumbnail image for iPad Second Impression – The Device

What, no First Impression? A few days after my iPad arrived, I started a blog post on my first impressions – but I was like a kid with a new bike – it was all shiny perfect – hard to find fault with anything. Any review would have been glowing, and ultimately useless. So I […]

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Droid Incredible First Impressions

May 11, 2010
Droid Incredible Smart Phone

Frustrated by my aging Blackberry and wanting to experience some of the new tools liked Google Goggles (see below), I was drawn in by the early positive reviews. And they were right – In general, I’m blown away by features and performance of the phone.

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