The iPad 3 Is Here: Should You Care?

By the time you read this, Apple will have announced their iPad 3 (or their iPad 2s. Or their iPad 84 if you’re reading this blog 81 years in the future). Should you care?

When Apple released the original iPad, I thought it would fail. It seemed like a device that didn’t fill a need–it was just a bigger iPhone that you couldn’t use as an everyday phone. I read a statistic after about a year that said that about the primary use of the iPad was emailing, even though it’s an inferior emailing device to laptops.

However, the iPad didn’t fail, at least in terms of sales. I think it failed as a platform for a while, but then I started hearing about apps that took full advantage of the bigger screen–apps that wouldn’t work on an iPhone.

My creative juices started flowing. I started to see an iPad as a new way to tell a story or create a conversation or play a game, or even a way to save precious time.

Just the other day I experienced a prime example of this. I was out at lunch with two members of my church community, one who had purchased a week in an Italian villa at our annual auction, and the other an Italian woman who had donated it.

The Italian woman was describing must-see coastal towns, sites, and restaurants near the villa, and the auction winner was taking notes on her iPad in an e-mail to herself. As she talked, the Italian woman positioned salt and pepper shakers on the table to spatially represent the areas she was describing.

A few minutes passed before it dawned on me that this whole process would be so much smoother on the iPad’s Google Map app. So we loaded the app, searched for Italy, zoomed in on the boot, and viola! Suddenly we had a much better image tool to use than email. We even pinned the map based on the Italian woman’s recommendations.

It was a light bulb moment to see this unfold in front of me. We went from arranging salt shakers on the table to tagging the exact map that the auction winner would use when she’s driving around Italy. In just a few minutes, the iPad went from a flashy toy to an extremely useful toy.

I’m excited to see if Apple adds anything to the iPad 3 beyond a better screen, faster processor, more memory, and Siri. Hopefully there will be at least one unknown gadget that makes us feel like we’re in the future. I can’t wait to get one.

Do you have an iPad? What’s the most brilliant thing you’ve ever seen an iPad or tablet used for?

11 thoughts on “The iPad 3 Is Here: Should You Care?”

  1. Crazy how fun these ‘apps’ are and helpful too.
    I think the question is: not if you have an ipad, but what app can you totally not live without?

  2. I do not have an iPad, apparently I’m one of the few people who don’t, but I do see their appeal. If I decide to buy one, I think I would only use it as an e-reader. I can do just about anything on my phone with ease; and I don’t even mind typing emails from my iPhone, but reading a book on a 3.5 inch screen is absurd. And I’m pretty sure I’d get a headache almost immediately.

    • Chelly–If you’re just looking for an eReader, I’d highly recommend a Kindle. They’re inexpensive, light, and the screen is very easy on your eyes (almost as easy as words on paper).

      • I’ve thought about getting a kindle or kindle fire, but I like the bigger screen on the iPad (for reading and possibly for movie watching) and it takes the same charger as my iPhone, which is super handy. Like Katy, I’d most likely buy an ipad or kindle and rarely use it. Or not use it enough to justify the cost of either.

  3. As a little bit of a technology/gadget junkie, I may be guilty of drinking the “apple juice,” and have an iPad I rarely use. The most useful thing I’ve probably done with it distract my nieces and nephews during family vacation/holiday get togethers with the apps and movies I have on mine.

    The most brilliant use I’ve seen of an iPad is this lady who runs an entire salon from hers. With the use of a clever scheduling app, she can keep all of her clients and their preferences, as well as her employees clients organized and the appointments show up color coded by stylist on her calendar. There was also a way to run credit cards involved, but I think that was a different program. Still, it was pretty amazing to see pretty much an entire business run from a little tablet.

    • Katy–So would you say that you’re glad you have an iPad, or do you wish you had avoided the expense? That is very cool that the lady runs a salon from hers.

      • Sometimes, I’m glad that I have it, especially since I didn’t pay full
        retail for it. It’s nice to have when I am going places, like the last time I flew somewhere I just brought the iPad instead of my usual iPod, laptop, and kindle.

  4. I am SO intrigued by iPads! Although I would’ve never spent the money for one, I actually got one as a wedding present (my co-workers are awesome). I like mine for two main reasons:

    a) I ride public transportation a LOT. Being able to access Google Maps and plan my route FROM anywhere at any time is amazing. Plus, being able to get work done in transit if needed is also great. (As is people watching, which I often opt for instead.)

    b) I had NO desire for a smartphone, and I am thoroughly annoyed with their prevalence in our culture and the way people are using them in place of interacting with people two feet in front of them. However, being in social media/marketing as a profession, I do like having quick access to internet/email without lugging a laptop and being near wifi. The iPad is easy for me to tote around (especially traveling) to check in for work when needed, but I am more likely to excuse myself and go check something or only get it out when absolutely necessary, as opposed to a phone that is more ever-present in social situations. I have kept my dumbphone and paid Verizon’s $20/month to have 3G everywhere on my iPad.

    For those keeping track at home, Unstuck is a fantastic app. Also, this surprised/impressed me: when I am running low on my internet data plan on the iPad, Verizon emails me to warns me, but simply starts my next month’s plan whenever I run out, allowing me to use every last bit but not charge any overages. To my knowledge, that is the opposite of the way phone plans work, they try very hard to “get you” when you hit your limit.

    Again, I probably wouldn’t have dropped the cash on one, but I am finding that it was a really great solution for me!

  5. Emma–So it sounds like you’d highly recommend the versions with 3G (or 4G with the new one)? I spend 90% of my time at the office or at home, and I have wi-fi in both of those places. My current reasoning is that I have an iPhone with constant data connectivity, so I don’t necessarily need an iPad for that.

    Unstuck does look very cool. Any other app recommendations? One thing I’m looking forward to is getting magazines on the iPad. I subscribe to several different magazines that I’d rather consolidate in one place, and clipping articles from them will be much easier digitally (at least, searching them later will be easier) than from the paper versions.

    • I actually don’t think I’d recommend anything necessarily, it just works really well for my lifestyle (more than I would have thought). If you are thinking you’ll only use it at work or home, then no need to get any Gs 🙂

      I barely use any apps, but I do like that there’s an app for our time entry system at work so I use that. (Harvest) I also occasionally get sucked into Words With Friends, but who doesn’t?

      • If you like Words with Friends, I just heard of an app called Draw Something that is just as good, if not better. Thanks for your thoughts, Emma!


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