iPad 2: Should iBuy?

ipad 2It was obvious from the beginning that the iPad should have at least one camera.

There were a lot of reasons I wanted one from when they were first announced. There were a lot of reasons I didn’t need one, also.

So I let the camera be the deciding factor. It’s obvious it should have one. It seemed just as obvious to me that the next model would have one. I knew if I got one without a camera I would regret it when the ones with cameras were released. So I waited.

And now there are iPads with cameras.

So the factor I used to avoid having to make a decision last year no longer applies. Meaning I’ve got to make a decision based on other factors.

My short review of the iPad 2 is as follows:

• It eliminates every shortcoming that kept me from buying the first iPad.

• It adds no new killer app that makes me feel like I have to have one.

I’ve heard rumors about features that might be in the iPad 3, but none of them are anything that I feel like I just have to have, the same way I felt about the camera the first time around, so this seems like a device I could be satisfied with.

That second bullet is where I’m hung up, though, and it occurred to me this morning that I may be thinking about it all wrong.

Right now, my thought process is this — if I had an iPad, I would use it, without question. But I really don’t know much I would use it for that I couldn’t do right now with either my iPhone or my MacBook. It’s not really adding functionality, just making existing functionality more convenient.

BUT — when I bought my first iPhone, I could have said the same thing. I had a phone with internet and camera, and I had a computer. The iPhone did, theoretically, little that either of those didn’t do, it just make them more convenient.

The reality, however, is that the iPhone is so much more than the sum of its parts, and lets me do things that a regular cell phone and computer wouldn’t; things I didn’t fully understand until I had one.

And many of those things have nothing to do with the features listed on the Apple website, a lot of them are capabilities added by apps; I use third-party apps on my iPhone at least as much as the Apple on-board software.

So, I put the question out there for current or prospective iPad users — what am I missing? What features or capabilities does the iPad provide that you really don’t get until you experience one?

3 Responses

  1. I’m fairly certain that I’m going to get an iPad2 at some point in the relatively near future. I’ve been without a laptop for several months now and I find that even though it’s not my primary computer, I still miss it. But, in all honesty, I don’t really need to get a new laptop just for the stuff I used the old one for, namely surfing the Internet from the couch and playing games. For me, GarageBand for iPad was pretty much a killer app. I might not use it much, but I was used to having GB on my laptop and there were a few times on trips or at work that I’d get an idea and I wouldn’t have to chance remembering it until I got home to my computer. I could just sketch it out in GB and then flesh it out once I go home with Logic.

    Plus, as you pointed out to me earlier, there’s a version of Civilization for iPad. I just found my old Civ III CD and started playing again. Forgot how addictive it is.

    The camera was also a must for me. Even if I don’t use FaceTime or shoot any HD video with it, I still wouldn’t want an iPad with no cameras.

  2. I’ve never regretted buying the first iPad. For me, there were a couple of astronomy apps that revolutionized my study of the night sky. For example, I’ve seen things through a telescope that I wouldn’t have been able to find if it weren’t for the on-the-spot charts the ipad enabled. But that aside, I think you are underestimating the pleasure of the routine, casual user experience. Even while deployed, I use it every day. Come to think about it, it’s one of the better morale boosters I have (think quick email and family photos). I remember years ago how quickly you embraced the iphone once you got it. You’ll do the same with the iPad. Don’t rationalize this decision too much. Just buy it and enjoy it.

  3. Jordan — Which one did you get? This is part of my issue — the line between affordability and functionality. I don’t want to spend too much on an iPad, but I also don’t want to spend that much on an iPad I’m not completely happy with.

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