Adventures With An iPad

iBooks on iPad

I got an iPad on Thursday, in case you didn’t already know.  I’ve Tweeted and Facebooked about it already several times.  I honestly haven’t used an Apple product probably since the old green screen computers in junior high, and even then it was just to play Oregon Trail.

Like everything else in the tech world, I was a bit hesitant at first because that’s just the way I am with new products.  I’ve been “on the grid” since the mid 90s when I got my first email account and spent hours on AOL every night so computers are an every day vice for me by now.  I write on them.  I work on them.  I play on them.  I’m still not a huge tech junkie and wouldn’t know what to do if the computer broke, but I do know my way around one.

I bring this up because I’ve only had a cell phone for about a year.  I never felt the need to have one and could probably still cope without it.  I just recently upgraded to a model that can connect to the web, and while I enjoy checking FB statuses from my phone from time to time, in the back of my head I keep saying, “Oh God, I’ve become one of those people!”  Those people are the wired ones that I’ve been making fun of up until now.  I totally feel like a lemming.

Oddly, I didn’t feel like that back in December when J gave me a Kindle for Christmas though.  Being a book junkie and an author, I already felt like I knew a lot about the Kindle.  After seeing coworkers with their Nook Color, I almost felt like my Kindle was “old school” since it wasn’t in color, had limited web capabilities, and wasn’t touch screen.  The iPad is definitely a step up, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

A friend on Twitter pointed me to a blog post from a man who actually preferred the Kindle over the iPad.  The post mentioned that you have to keep in mind what purpose each device serves and how it fits your needs, something I had obviously been blind to after seeing the iPad.  The Kindle is an Ereader, and although it may not be in color, it’s still a nifty and very affordable gadget.  While I can read on my iPad as well (and read better), I can also become easily distracted – checking Facebook, checking Twitter, running apps, checking email…  The Kindle almost forces you just to read, although I did download several games on mine as well to pass the time.

The iPad is more expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for.  And I almost feel like my Grandma trying to learn how to do that email thing.  (FYI, my Grandma has never touched a computer in her life and does not have that email thing.) The complete touch screen function definitely takes some getting used to, but it is quite impressive. You also seem to get more use out of your desktop than you probably do on a desktop computer.  For instance, at my computer I have to sign into the computer, sign into an internet connection, go to my email server, and then sign into my email.  On the iPad, I tap an Email icon on my desktop and I’m immediately in my inbox.  So all those in-between steps are eliminated. Though I’ve downloaded very few of them, let’s not forget all of the other apps that you download on the iPad.  Besides email, I’ve also got my Twitter account and Facebook just a tap away.

Kindle App for iPad

Now let’s talk about the Kindle app since it’s the first one I downloaded.  First, I love the set up much better.  Your bookshelf on the Kindle consists of just the titles of the books.  You have to move the cursor up and down to select the book you want to read.  On the iPad, you are actually looking at the book covers in color.  You tap on the cover and the book opens.  You can also view full screen snapshots of the cover in color.  On the iPad, you have a back light display.  No light with Kindle unless you buy a book light.

You use your finger to flip the pages on the iPad and can even turn it sideways to view two pages at once just like a real book.  Your Archived books are also just a tap away at the bottom of the screen where as on the Kindle you have to go back to your main menu and scroll through the titles to your Archived Listing.  This is not a time consuming effort, but the iPad function is definitely easier and quicker.

One of my books had web and blog addresses on the last page.  With just a tap, the iPad takes you right to the site.  Kindles does this too if you move the cursor to the link but we already know you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the site in color or on a full screen.

Kindle is definitely more compact and lighter in weight.  I feel safer carrying my Kindle around in its case, as I have yet to get a cover for the iPad.  And the iPad is bigger in size and definitely weighs more.

Kindle Home Page Showing Only Titles

Lastly, when reading Ebooks you aren’t really reading it page by page because you can increase or decrease the font to your sight preference. This function changes where an actual page might end or begin. To measure where you are in an Ebook (the number of pages you read), there is a percentage grid at the bottom of the page…showing you might have read 10% of a book and you have to get to 4562 before you reach the end.  This grid is always visible at the bottom of the screen on Kindle and I always found it to be a distraction.  On iPad, you can hide it.

There are also other Ebook apps available on iPad as well.  See the iBook shelf pictured at the top.  I’ve downloaded this app but have not made a purchase from them yet.

So there you have it.  Hopefully I’ll have more to share with you as I learn more about this new nifty lil device.  And hopefully I won’t get too distracted from my E-Reading while on the iPad.

What device are you reading on?  Are you considering an Ereading device if you don’t have one?  If so, which one and why?

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