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iPad update

I am still listening to music on an iPod. I am still reading books on a Sony PRS-505. It is pretty clear to me that those habits are not going to change, as my preferences outlined here were not swayed by the capabilities of an iPad.

However, I quickly found my iPad to be useful in many situations – and nearly indispensable on occasion. How I managed in the past without it is a mystery to me.

I now read books less while on the bus in favor of catching up with online stuff that I otherwise would catch up with after coming back home in the evening. As a direct consequence, I now spend less time in front of a computer at home, and more time doing something with the family. The net effect is I gave up on some reading in favor of being with the family. If you discard the somewhat embarrassing connotation that I could not simply give up on online stuff in favor of that, it sounds like a positive outcome.

Ok, maybe, “reading less” is not a positive achievement when considered on its own merits. I still need to figure the proper balance.

3G connectivity causes the only buggy behavior that I have noticed so far. Occasionally, after having suggested a nearby wi-fi network to connect to, 3G conks out completely even if I declined connecting to wi-fi. The device shows full bars on the signal strength gauge, but refuses to even attempt restoring 3G connection. On most occasions, I am told of a “problem” via an error message “Unable to initialize cellular data network”. So far, it happened to me a handful of times, and every time I had to go to Settings and flip the Cellular Data switch off and then back on. Every time the problem was resolved after that. Annoying, but apparently a fact of life.

Otherwise, 3G connection works reasonable well while I am on a bus. There is some latency in loading pages, but nothing that can’t be tolerated. I resumed following blogs of a number of people whom I liked to read in the past. I go through my personal emails and write an occasional reply. I started visiting a number of social networking sites again, which I only sporadically graced with my presence in the past.

Hey, I even downloaded a few free versions of popular games, such as Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja, in case I find myself with a few spare minutes at the end of the ride, when I don’t feel that picking up a book to read a few pages would be practical. Yup, I can see how playing something of that kind can help killing a few minutes. Can’t imagine investing more than that in the activity.

I also put a few videos on the iPad, but after a single viewing concluded that I’d rather spend time reading. Maybe, under different conditions and with something that I can’t wait to watch at home, I’ll be more inclined for that.

As various people told me it would, the iPad handiness as a by-my-side reference device has already become apparent. Starting with using Shazam to identify songs from the 80’s that I could not otherwise name from memory, checking tomorrow’s weather without flipping TV channels, or simply looking up something cursorily related to what I just heard on TV or in a conversation, I can now satisfy my need for information the moment I need it.

I must say, I am pretty happy with my decision to get an iPad.