The iPad Chronicles
On the Road
I’m attending an off-site conference for work and brought along my iPad as an all-in-one productivity solution.
For the first time since purchase, I activated the 3G service. The process was almost uncomfortably easy. I need to remind myself to cancel the service before it automatically renews 30 days from today. The 3G service is fast and responsive.
Equipped with the iPad keyboard dock, I’m able to quickly respond to e-mails, and I’m using the keyboard to type this. I’ve also been using the iPad and keyboard dock at work for the past few weeks. At first, I thought moving between the touch screen and the keyboard in the absence of a mouse would be awkward. Quite the contrary. Pinch and zoom is a decided benefit in reading correspondence and in composing responses. If I have a lament, it’s that the keyboard dock cannot be used while the iPad is enclosed in the Apple case; portrait positioning is the only option.
Just for sport, I want to see how far I can stretch the 250 MB 3G data quota for $14.99. No media-rich Web sites or apps until I’m back on Wi-Fi.
A Road Warrior’s Toolkit
I don’t know if it’s one of Murphy’s Laws, but work crises tend to rise in degrees of severity proportional to one’s distance from the office. The phone calls started yesterday about 8 PM. By 9 PM today, there was a second problem that needed immediate attention.
I had desired to relegate checking office e-mail correspondence to the late evenings in order to focus on the content of the multi-day conference at which I’m in attendance. Circumstances denied me that choice.
This morning I was sitting in the front row of a conference workshop session while configuring my iPad to send and receive office e-mails rather than use the Web interface for correspondence. In less than five minutes, about 50 e-mail messages came streaming into my inbox. It was the 24 messages about a singular issue that captured my attention. Within 15 minutes, while listening to the workshop speaker, I had dispatched responses.
Following this early morning session, I learned that the iPad is a wonderfully stingy device. I set myself up in an open area by the conference exhibits and the free Wi-Fi service kicked in. The iPad is programmed to switch to Wi-Fi from 3G whenever it’s available. It saved on the data quota on the monthly AT&T 3G plan while I kept working without interruption.
By early afternoon, it was beyond doubt that the best road warrior toolkits include an iPhone and an iPad. I was talking on one of the devices while reading and sending e-mails on the other. The PDF files that were sent my way were read and forwarded to the office for immediate follow-up.
I’m now used to having my iPad at the office all day. Today proved that the iPad can amply assist with crisis management from remote locations as well.
I’m seeing fewer notebook PCs at meetings and conferences these days, but smartphones are in abundance. Smartphones are good for quick notes and e-mail replies. I’m preparing this entry using the Pages application for the iPad. For the things I want to do, and for those things that just have to get done while away from the office, a smartphone is good. But an iPhone and an iPad in combination is simply better. Enclosed in the Apple iPad case and stowed in my bag, the iPad is lighter than any laptop I’ve ever carried and can be used to get at least as much done.
iPad Travel Essentials
In my travels with the iPad, there are three items I now consider to be essentials. The first item is iKlear. It’s no secret that the iPad’s screen becomes quickly smudged. Don’t even think of using a hotel towel to clean the face of your favorite Apple device. It’s a safe and effective cleaner for your digital gear. The cloths that come in the package pick up anything that’s been left on the screen.
The second item is the Apple iPad Case. Both my backpack and my business carry bag have laptop compartments that shield the contents from jostling and shock. The case is an extra layer of protection and assists in setting the iPad in a number of different positions for work or display throughout the day.
The third item is AppleCare. The 90 days of initial phone support pass quickly. I rely on the iPad at work, at home, and when away from both work and home. If an issue comes up, I want answers quickly. I consider AppleCare a necessary investment for Macs, iPhones, and iPads.
Over the next few weeks, I will be using the iPad VGA Adapter for Keynote presentations. I’ll provide feedback on the uses of the iPad as presentation device in a future issue.
Also in This Series
- Apple’s Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come · January 2012
- A Hometown Apple Store · September 2011
- Why Time Machine Is a Mac Essential · June 2011
- Wonders Never Cease · May 2011
- Two iPhones and a Rice Bowl · May 2011
- My Work PC Has Become a Fork · April 2011
- The iPad’s Versatility · December 2010
- Why I’m Glad I Purchased the 3G Model · November 2010
- The iPhone as an iPad Companion · November 2010
- Complete Archive