My iPad: A Personal Report

June 28, 2010 / Updated: June 28, 2010 / Lena Shore

I wanted an iPad. I don’t think I could honestly say I needed one. I made up my mind to get one the same day my neighbor did. We decided it would be fun to get up before dawn and camp out at the Apple Store on the release day. (Yes. I’m one of those people.) So it was one clear April morning we found ourselves standing in line and having fun chatting with other early adopters. A few hours later I was lucky 13 — the 13th person in my town to get an iPad.

Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my iPad and what I do with it and why would someone need one.

Did you get the 3G?

Nope. I decided I would be using it mostly at home on the wireless and didn’t want to pay for a plan.

Can you work on it?

Well, it depends on what kind of work you want to do. For $9.99 each, you can get the components to iWork (Pages (layout program), Numbers (Spreadsheet program), and Keynote (Slideshow Presentations). Those seem to have people pretty much covered.

Is it easy to type on?

It has an onscreen keyboard that when used horizontally is very similar to a laptop keyboard. So it isn’t bad. I like it. No, it’s not the full size keyboard with the tactile response you may be used to, but it works very well. I do know people who prefer the “glass keyboard” to their normal computer keyboards.

What do you use it for?

I use mine to separate my work from my play.

Social Activities: I get my personal email and check my Facebook account. I tweet. I keep up on Linkedin.

Movies and Music: I watch movies. I can stream Netflix movies with it and manage my account. I can rent or purchase movies through iTunes as well as music. I can listen to music, but find myself doing other things.

Games: Lots of games. My favorite right now is Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap. Super fun!

Internet: I surf to all my favorite sites like I would on my computer.

Planning: I keep track of projects using Things by Cultured Code.

Reading: I keep up with all of my news and RSS feeds. I can also read electronic books, PDFs, etc.

Voice Recognition: I have a Google app that you can talk to and say “What was the movie that John Travola was in with Olivia Newton John” instead of typing it. I can also use a dictation program to write an email, note, recipe, etc. instead of typing if I want.

Do you have a case for it?

I got the official Apple iPad Case that Apple sells (pictured in this article). I love it. It does everything I want and washes off easily.

What apps does it come with?

  • iPod (listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts)
  • Mail (send and receive email from all your accounts)
  • iBooks (Read and purchase books and soon you’ll be able to read PDFs as well)
  • App Store (Browse the entire store and find free and really inexpensive apps)
  • Safari (Surf the internet)
  • Photos (Browse all of your photo albums in a very natural way)
  • Calendar (Keep appointments)
  • Contacts (All of your contacts at your finger tips)
  • Notes (Keep notes)
  • Maps (Look up addresses and businesses and have it give you a route)
  • Videos (Watch videos and movies)
  • YouTube (Browse and watch Youtube videos)
  • iTunes (Browse and download music, movies, TV shows, Podcasts, Audiobooks, iTunes U)

What are your favorite 3rd party iPad apps?

  • Google Analytics (check out your website hits)
  • Plants Vs. Zombies (Fun, addictive game!)
  • Dragon Dictation (Talk to your iPad and make it type for you)
  • Pandora (Create and listen to your own radio station with the music YOU like)
  • Things (Project and t0-do list)
  • 1Password (Keeps all your passwords handy and safe at the same time!)
  • Early Edition (Put all of your RSS feeds in this and read it like a newspaper)
  • U-verse TV (If you have AT&T U-verse for your cable/internet/phone you can use this free app to browse your television schedule and program your DVR)
  • Netflix (Watch streaming movies from Netflix)
  • TweetDeck (Follow your tweeps!)

What size did you get?

The iPad comes in a 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. I got the 32GB thinking that I was going to  be sharing with my husband. Apparently, I’m no good at sharing iPads. I ended up getting him his own because I couldn’t be without mine long enough for him to share it. Hindsight being 20/20 I would have gotten the 16MB. But, if you like to keep a ton of movies on your iPad, a larger one might be better.

How much room do you have left on yours?

I have about 1/2 of mine filled up. Right now I have 6 movies, 3 pages of apps, 10 podcasts, a few books, and 5 days worth of music. Maybe I really did need the 32GB. The music and the video is what takes up the most space. I’d say 90% of my used space is music and movies.

What do you like the most about your iPad?

Probably the lock on the screen. When you rotate your iPad, it rotates the screen. But, you can lock the screen so it won’t do that. Why would I want to do that you ask? I can lay on my side on the bed or sofa and watch a movie or surf the internet. What could be more decadent?

Posted in

Lena Shore

Lena is a full-time freelancer and nerd that specializes in web development, graphic design, and illustration. She enjoys building things, learning new things, pursuing creative endeavors, and giving free advice.


  1. Chris Topher on July 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I like my iPad. I used it almost daily. Checking emails, Facebooking and other web surfing, playing Words with Friends, watching streaming movies from Netflix.

    I didn’t get a case, or a stand, or a keyboard. I don’t think I want / need any of that.

    I don’t like that it doesn’t have (and will probably never have) flash. I frequently come across a web page where I can’t see the video because it is in flash and I go “Crap, now I have to get up and go to my PC.”

    I installed the FarmVille app, but it is missing alot of functionality from the web version.

    I got the app Virtuoso. It’s a piano keyboard program. I don’t really play piano, but I like to peck around on it. I figured out that I could start a song in iPod(which is built into iPad), then flip over to Virtuoso and peck out a song while it is playing. Kind of kewl.

    I also downloaded Atomic Lite, a free browser. I REALLY like that it has tabs. I use it instead of Safari.

    I visited my parents and showed them a word game, Jumbline Lite, on the iPad. Every time I set it down, mom would pick it up and play Jumbline. But when she was asked later how she liked the iPad, she said she didn’t like it very much. Too funny.

  2. David Gano on July 6, 2010 at 8:49 am

    As of last weekend, I’ve purchased 4 iPads — including gifts for others 🙂

    When asked, I start by telling people that “it’s really just a big huge iPod touch” — but that larger size is exactly what was needed to make its purpose malleable, for just about anyone who picks it up. As a network admin and photographer, I do at least half of my “geek” work on it, while having my photography portfolio always “in-hand”; my 80-year-old grandmother is addicted to hers as well, but for completely different reasons; my partner: web design and testing on it — all day.

    As for cases/stands, etc — I splurged and bout the ArcStand, and a bluetooth keyboard… just to spoil myself a little.

    • Lena on July 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

      You are so right about the larger platform making a huge difference. At first, it makes it sound like “so what” and “nothing special”, but it makes an incredible difference.

      I’m craving an ArcStand now. I hadn’t seen them before. Do you also have a case? I assume that if you did the iPad wouldn’t stand in the ArcStand well. I am interested in a keyboard as well, but haven’t taken the plunge.

      And, aren’t your friends lucky? I think it is so great that your grandmother loves it. Before my dad got his I said “you already know how to use it”. The interface is brilliant.

  3. Sheryl Roach on July 6, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Great info, Lena+others. I have been on the fence, haven’t gotten an iPad yet, didn’t know how I’d use it. But I love the your idea of dividing work/play… I would like to leave my “work laptop” in my office, and have the iPad in the house for play – esp. in the in eve when I tend to keep working when my computer is with me. One question- someone mentioned linking computer to iPad- if I add an item to my iCalendar on iPad, how does it get to my iCal on my computer?

    • Lena on July 6, 2010 at 7:55 am

      You can sync your iPad to your computer by just plugging it into your computer. I usually charge mine this way and sync my calendars, music, address book, add movies, etc. this way. Of course, you have the option to not sync all of these things, but you certainly can. I sync my non-work stuff and don’t sync the work stuff.

    • Eli Ruggles on July 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

      Just some other thoughts on syncing…

      I subscribe to Apple’s MobileMe service and have it tied to my MacPro tower, MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, and MacMini. The end result of this is that anything I enter into iCal, Address Book, Notes on any computer or iDevice I happen to be on is automatically added to the calendars on all of my other computers/devices within a few minutes of me making the addition or change. Also with MobileMe all of my calendars, address book, etc are available quickly and easily via the web in the rare event that I don’t have any of my devices or computers near me.

      Although I’ve not tested it thoroughly, I’ve read that Google’s free calendar and contact syncing can be setup in a very similar way (to auto-sync contacts, calendars, etc all over the air). This of course would make the annual fee for MobileMe moot.

      • Lena on July 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

        Thanks Eli. I can’t believe I didn’t mention the MobileMe account. Duh.

  4. jAnIaM on June 29, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I got a 64gb 3G, but only because there were no others to be found in town and I was ready to buy. I haven’t engaged the 3G and don’t plan to anytime soon. Kind of bugs me that I get constant alerts to do so. It’s not often that I am NOT in wifi areas so I’m cool with that. I love reading books on it and rented a movie on a recent trip. It took a lifetime to load the movie so it’s best to plan ahead. But the movie was awesome to watch (although it’s only available for 24 hours from the time you start it).

  5. Eli Ruggles on June 29, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Great review Lena!

    Hope it’s ok to chime in with comments. I got the 64gb WiFi only iPad with the Apple case. I find the case to be very functional, but that’s about all I can give it… It does what I need it to do, but I think I’d ditch it if I found a better one…

    I use my iPad for both work and play. I’m a linux/unix/cisco admin in real life, and with readily available apps from the app store I’m able to manage and monitor routers, servers, networks from anywhere I can grab a WiFi connection… with VNC and VPN, I’m able to connect back to the mac on my desk at work and troubleshoot anything from there that proves too much trouble to do from the iPad itself.

    My most used, non-work apps are Words with Friends, We Rule, iBooks, the Kindle App, and Mail. I love the device for reading, and have read a few small-ish novels on it already and am currently plowing through The Brothers Karamazov in iBooks. I personally love the on-screen keyboard, especially in landscape mode. For normal web browsing, facebooking, blog reading, etc the iPad has completely replaced my laptop.

    Now that I have iOS 4 on my iPhone I’m very much looking forward to Folders and “Multi-tasking” on my iPad this fall… I’m a happy camper though. Great device!

    I should probably buy my wife one.


    • Lena on June 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm

      Are you kidding? I’m thrilled you chimed in! Anytime. Great comments too. I like to know how others use theres. Now you have me thinking in new directions! (:

      Thank you.

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