I’ve been blessed. First Baptist has given me a great gift, one that I’ve been wanting for a while, on the occassoin of my 8th year in ministry as her pastor.

I’ve been given an iPad 2.

iPad

Actually, I was told that I could purchase any tablet, netbook, etc. that I wanted within reason. Some people knew of my desire for an iPad. Some actually knew that I have been waiting to pay off some debt before blowing the multiple hundreds of dollars on one. So, this was a wonderful, if not extravagant gift from the church.

Again, I am truly blessed.

I picked up a 32gig, black, wifi only iPad 2 about a week ago. I’ve really enjoyed having it!

To be honest, all I wanted to do was SQUEEE like a little school girl from the moment it hit my hot little hands.

I want to say that I’ve been very happy with it thus far, with only a couple of negative experiences. Here, let me tell you what I mean.

First off, I choose to be happy with what I get. Therefore, if given the choice, I choose that which I have an emotional attachment too. I looked at the Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, and even some netbooks that can double as a tablet. I looked for a little over two weeks, playing with the in-store display items for multiple days. Even though at least one of the negative experiences could have been a non-issue if I would have bought a window based tablet, I choose the future negative experience because what I really wanted was an iPad. I could have gotten something “technically” better (by someone’s standards); but I knew that I would always wonder “what if” I had gotten an iPad. I’ve done similar things, not quite getting what I wanted based upon some type of cost/benefit ratio; and always ended up wondering “what if.” So, I choose to be happy with what I get by getting what I knew I was going to be happy with.

Secondly, I choose to use it. I’ve always been an early adapter in this manner. If I have a new piece of technology, I use it, plain and simple. I’ve read to my children with it using both the iBooks and Kindle apps. I’ve read/written copious amounts of email with it. I’ve made video calls (using the Skype iPhone app which happens to work on iPad) to family. I’ve started reading personal and vocational books on it. I’ve even posted to a blog on it, both using the WordPress app, and using the preloaded web-browser. I’m almost using it exclusively for my daily bible reading (Youversion bible app). I’ve also used it to create and edit word.doc files.

Now, what about these negative experiences?

I don’t think that an iPad of any sort will replace your computer of choice any time soon. The main reason is that the apps are too limited. I use the Quickoffice app for my document creation and editing. It is a very basic version of Microsoft Word. When I say very basic, I mean it is one step up from a manual typewriter. I’m convinced that there isn’t a way to set up columns in it; which is a shame. I actually use that function in my regular word documents. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that while it is great for editing documents, I’m still going to write most of my main documents (sermons, studies, etc.) on my regular computer.

I’ve found similar limitations with the Tweetdeck app, Twitter app, and WordPress app. They all get the job done, but just barely. I can use it in a pinch, but I will always prefer to use a regular web-browser. When it comes to blog posting, I’ll most likely stick to using my regular computer.

The two biggest limitations I’ve found is the inability to directly play Flash apps from my web-browser, and my choice to not have a 3G version. There have been multiple times that I wanted to connect, but just didn’t have a wifi signal. If this becomes to unbearable, I can always request to upgrade my cell phone plan, which includes the ability to tether my iPhone to my iPad, so that it can use the iPhone signal to connect to the internet.

The inability to play Flash web applications was the chosen negative experience. I knew going in that Apple didn’t allow this on the iPad. Again, I knew this was coming. In some cases I’ve missed it. For instance, I didn’t realize that the web app on WordPress to play audiofiles was Flash based. Therefore, I can’t listen to any of my sermons, from my blog, on my iPad. I’ve found some work-arounds; but the iPad can’t inherently play them.

I don’t know how long this is going to last, but I’ve chosen to deal with it. While this is one of the largest of the downsides to owning an iPad, the many upsides I’ve experienced far outweigh it.

I’m so glad that I have been blessed in this way. I highly recommend iPads to other people thinking of purchasing a tablet computer as well. If you are going to purchase some sort of tablet computer, please go with whatever makes you happy. Don’t take my word for it. Go out, take a look around, play with the in-store display models. Then, choose that which you won’t regret in the long run.

Tim

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