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article imageOp-Ed: iPad 2 is my favorite gadget of 2011 Special

By Jacki Viles     Dec 19, 2011 in Technology
I’ll be honest with you. I got an iPad 2 because I thought I should probably have one. In for a penny, in for a pound. I have an iPhone. I have a MacBook Pro. I have the SDK. I’m in technology.
I need to justify expensive toys. And yes, I thought that this would be a toy. For the life of me I couldn’t really fit this purchase into my lifestyle. I have a laptop within arm’s reach every waking hour of my day. But it turns out that this purchase was by far the best of the gadgets for the money I spent this year.
Compared to the first iPad released, this one is lighter, thinner and has more battery life. It is also much faster with its dual core A5 chip. I didn’t jump to buy the first version so I don’t have much to compare. Some of my friends are early adopters of everything. I played with those first. They are a little put out that they now own the old version and I have the latest build. But in my business, we fight obsolescence every day. We get over it. iPad3 will be released some time in early 2012.
I had several moments this year where my iPad 2 saved my life. I’m always on call. It’s part of the job. Being on call 7 days a week will keep you from committing to certain family functions where you know you will inconvenience others. My family lives with it. I’ve bailed out of weddings and funerals and school plays and graduations most of my life. I’ve ‘stepped out’ to take a call during kid’s christenings, bar mitzvah’s, basketball games…it happens.
I ventured to take a five-year-old to the ballet this year. We were just settled in to our seats and I was pointing out the orchestra and the curtains and the chandeliers to my favorite, wide eyed niece. And the dreaded call came in. Without the iPad 2 I would have had to collect that poor child out of her seat and shlep her to the parking lot, in the rain. Then I would have cranked up my laptop in the car and got busy. It would have been a 5 minute issue. But it would have been a 45 minute disruption. The thought of having to explain to a small child what we were doing and why and dealing with my job would have been more than enough to put me over the edge.
This time, things were different. I reached into my purse and pulled out the iPad 2 and within minutes I was logged on to my secured servers and doing what I do. All from the comfort of my seat and without the ‘child upheaval scenario’. I was done before the show started. It made my fancy laptop that was out in the car look like an old clunky door stop.
Speaking of children, I am now an anxiously awaited guest at my nieces and nephews house. When I show up in the driveway, I’m a rock star. Kids come pouring out the door! “Aunt Jacki’s here! Fabulous Aunt Jacki is here!” I can learn to live with this. They know I have cool stuff. The other adults just sit and wonder how I became such a big deal. It’s the games. I made sure to load up on all the educational games. They will take turns and play their favorites. No more putting your kids in front of the boob tube to keep them out of your hair! They’re sitting around learning algebra, biology and physics. All without adult intervention. And they like it! They actually take turns and respect each other’s time. Because if they don’t, the fun will be over.
FaceTime is also a nice addition. I can video conference on the fly. I don’t need that type of technology for my job. I need it to shop. If there is something I think my daughter would like, I’ll FaceTime her using the two on-board cameras and show her what I’m thinking about. In the ‘old days’, I would have to email or text her a picture and see if she likes it. Now I can take her with me, virtually!
What I’m getting at here is a concept which pushes the world into a new phase of mobility. While the iPhone was a next generation concept for the smart phone, the iPad2 is the predecessor for the next generation of mobility products. Tablet PCs are enjoying new life because the user ability requirements have been uniquely defined by Apple.
Applications and hardware are now enjoying dual functionality in the work environment and in your daily living experience. The two worlds are getting closer and closer. That isn’t to say that soon everyone will be working every minute of every day. What it says is the quality of the hardware and the user experience has evolved to a point where the public expects a standard technology to be available in every facet of their lives. People who generally shun computers embrace the iPads.
You can be sure to sift through a ton of garbage mobility apps to find the ones that are appropriate for your lifestyle. But they’re out there! And more quality applications are coming.
The iPad 2 is finally a platform to launch the real start of the mobility revolution.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Apple, ipad 2, mobile app, Gadget, Tablet pc
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