With the international iPad arriving soon, here are some things I’ve learned about the iPad over the last few weeks:
The battery life is great. It will last all day and maybe two days.
It needs a 2.1 amp charger as opposed to the 1 amp of the iPhone so your iPhone chargers won’t work. New iPad/iPhone chargers are now available which pump out the higher amperage. Most USB hubs don’t produce 2.1 amps so you’ll need to connect the iPad dock to a USB port on your computer or plug it into the wall.
iPhone apps look horrible. The good news is most apps have already been updated.
You can leave your laptop at home. Unless you’re editing video or doing some other heavy-duty project everything you need is on the iPad.
iBooks are great and are in epub format, but if you buy your ebooks from Apple they will have Apple’s Fairplay DRM (digital rights management) embedded. So if you want to future-proof your ebooks buy them in Adobe Digital Editions epub format and remove the DRM so you can read the ebook on any device. Once the ebook is DRM-free, Calibre is a great program for converting ebooks from one format to another.
- You’ll soon discover that you need a few stands around the house to prop up the iPad. Griffin Technology make a great stand (see above), the A-Frame, but at $50 you won’t want more than one. Cheaper solution are (a) a business card holder like this one from Office Depot, only $0.69 so buy half a dozen and spread them around and (b) plate holders like this one.
- You’ll also need a case. I’ve got a Belkin Vue Sleeve at the moment but I’m planning to get the Marware Eco-Vue when I can get my hands on one.
- The 3G version also has a GPS.
The UK data plans aren’t great. Consider buying a MiFi which creates a WiFi bubble wherever you are. I use a Huawei E5830 from three.co.uk and I pay £15 a month for 5 GB of data. There’s also this one which I believe comes already unlocked.
Not essential, but great apps: PCalc, WeatherBug Elite, NYT Editor’s Choice, The Guardian Eyewitness, NetNewsWire, Instapaper Pro, National Geographic World Atlas, OffMaps, London Tube, Star Walk, Urban Spoon, Epicurious, WunderRadio, Air Sharing HD, Print Central, AppAdvice, Kayak Flights.
Enjoy your new iPad!