Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oh M'iPad

My husband was nice enough to get me an iPad for my birthday in July.  Initially, I told him I did not want one because I had read about it not supporting Flash and I knew that many videos on the web are in Flash.  I also thought it was just a big touch iPod and I was not that fond of my touch iPod.

Once I got the iPad, I started to love it.  I downloaded many cool apps (e.g Flipboard) and use it for email, Facebook, twitter, Pandora, iTunes, books via Kindle and even a cookbook app!  I like its size and portability.  For example, I took it to a meeting last week and accessed my work email and the internet during the meeting, although my boss accused me of supporting the competition, Apple being a competitor of my company's parent.

But recently the romance has begun to sour.  As I expected, many of the videos that show up on websites will not play on iPad.  My beloved Restaurant City will not play on iPad because it requires Flash.    Many of the apps I use regularly, like Wells Fargo and Amex, are only available for iPhone and thus show up small on the iPad screen.  Enlarging them makes them blurry.  I do not have children so I have no use for the supposedly wonderful children's games apps. I only have one word game app that I play constantly and that will get old soon I am sure.  (Luckily I cannot play that addictive time suck, Bejewelled Blitz, on iPad).  I have trouble when the font is small getting my relatively small hands to "touch" the right place.  I also have not yet perfected the touch that brings up the 'select" and "select all" options for copying although when I don't want that option to come up I get it relatively easily, usually when I am trying to make the text larger. And when I do make the text on the screen larger, the text reverts to tiny again when I go to the next page,.

So what is the point of having an iPad if there are so many problems with it?  I still use it all the time despite its shortcomings.  And I read it has great promise for eventual use in the medical records field.  I personally would love to have my medical records on a flash drive to take to my various doctors so that I do not have to fill out again those papers every doctor's office requires -- name, address, social security number, all medications, all illnesses, all family illnesses etc.  I recognize there are certainly privacy concerns and if I were more paranoid, which you think I would be with all the spy novels I have been reading, I would be worried about insurance companies using the information against me, just like they are eliminating policies for children because the Obama health care law would otherwise require them to provide coverage.  But, I am enamored of the possible convenience of computerized and portable medical files.  Unfortunately right now, the only use my doctor has for an iPad, as he explained last week, is to stream a movie from iTunes while he was at jury duty.

Notwithstanding all these issues with the iPad, I continue to love it because it is the future.  After all, when I watch Star Trek--the Next Generation every night I see Captain Picard and his crew looking at their PADDs, which look suspiciously like the iPad, to get all their visual information needs satisfied.  Otherwise, they can ask the computer to answer questions, which, with my current arm problems, I also would love instead of using a keyboard.  "Computer, please tell me why I love my iPad despite its shortcomings?"  "Unable to answer that question as formulated."

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