Saturday, May 3, 2014

iPad Review

An iPad does not work the same way that my laptop works. Web pages have different choices, programs do different things, and I interact differently. These differences were often the source of frustration during our trip.

Just to remind my readers, a good friend let me borrow her family's iPad for my Italian vacation. That meant that I didn't have to carry my heavy laptop. Honestly, if I hadn't made a commitment to write a daily blog, I might not have taken any electronics at all.

To prepare, I went to the Apple store and took a few classes to help me figure out how to use it. The genius showed me how to download some apps and documents. Also, she sold me a gadget that would enable me to upload my photos.

The apps were to make my blogging and traveling life easier and the documents were to provide me with reading material if I read the book and magazines that I was taking along. Actually, my favorite app is the ebook app of my local library.

So, the question is, after having used the iPad for almost two weeks, what did I think of it? Would I buy one for myself?

Currently the answer to the second question is no. I do not plan on buying an iPad of my own. As far as the answer to the first question, sometimes I liked it and sometimes I didn't.

iPads are obviously lighter than my laptop, and I appreciated that as I was often responsible for a walker, 2-3 roller bags and one or two backpacks. However, as my niece pointed out, you give up some functionality when you get rid of the weight.

I seemed to give up the most functionality when it came to trying to write this blog. The blogger app was quite different. It allowed me to upload photos, but it really didn't like dealing with more than two photos on any given post. And there was no way to size or manipulate the photos in any way. Also, the app had no way for me to schedule the posts at a certain time.

Actually, it was almost impossible to schedule the posts on the regular website on the iPad as well, I don't know why. Sometimes it worked, but more often it didn't. Finally in Rome, I wrote, uploaded and formatted at least two posts, then went to an internet point to schedule them.

Still, the iPad had its uses. Maps, screenshots of hotel and airbnb reservations, and a silly game my friend's kids played all saw lots of action. I also uploaded all my photos, so that I would still have them if my camera got stolen. Plus, the ebook library app did come in handy, especially after I figured out how to use it with no wifi, which we didn't have in our Roman apartment.

All good things come to an end, though, so I do need to return the iPad to my friend and her family. I just have to figure out how to remove all the apps, documents and photos I put on it. And I need to thank her for letting me pretend that I was up-to-date technology-wise. I can't imagine it will happen any other way.

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