Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am an Apple junkie. I have slowly but surely converted my entire family into mac lovers. And after one too many hard drive crashes, Bossdad finally switched over all our work computers as well so my life is blissfully PC-free.

We are constantly out and about and our iPhones have proven to be quite handy in pulling up and playing mp3's of commercials or showing the latest logo designs to clients while sitting in meetings where wifi may, or may not, be available. So when Bossdad suggested that we go get iPads to "increase our productivity", I had to agree that it was a brilliant idea!

I am in love. With Christmas coming up, I thought I would share my take on this lovely little gadget just in case some of you might be considering adding one to your wishlist. I have to admit, when they first came out I brushed it off as an overgrown iPhone. After having one for a couple months, I would say that yes, it is like an overgrown iPhone but way better. And y'all know how much I love my iPhone.

My favorite features:
  1. The battery life is amazing. I can go days without charging it, and I use it a lot. When you compare this to the typical 4-hour battery life (tops) of a laptop, it makes it much more convenient than a laptop.
  2. The size. I knew I would use it a lot, but the size makes it so easy to carry that I almost always have it on me. Usually the only time I don't is when I'm carrying a clutch.
  3. With movies, music, games, email, etc. It is the perfect travel gadget. No more checking for wi-fi at hotels or worrying about your battery dying mid-flight before your movie is over. And there are tons of guidebook apps for touristy cities... so many handy uses.
  4. The apps in general. Even though it was a work purchase, I use it just as much in my personal life due to the ever expanding app store.
  5. Cooking! I love cookbooks but find myself most often cooking from my laptop. The iPad battery lasts so much longer that I don't have to plug it in mid-recipe, it takes up less counterspace and is less vulnerable to splatters.
I love app recommendations, so I thought I'd share a few of mine:

Yoga HD. This has been one of my favorite finds. I really want to love yoga, but every time I go to a class at my gym I feel so out of my element. I have the balance of a drunk baby giraffe so I always feel so silly. I have been using this app and it's preset "classes" to work on developing my core in private so maybe one day I can attend an actual class without feeling like an idiot.

Flipboard. This basically aggregates feeds from twitter and sorts and formats them to read like a magazine. I love it because when someone tweets a link, it will have the full story without having to click on anything (same with pictures). It's a much more enjoyable way to peruse twitter feeds.

Food Network. You saw this one coming, didn't you? After being less than impressed with the Food Network Nighttime app I almost passed by this one, but I'm so glad I didn't! It is very well thought out and has already proved to be quite helpful in the kitchen.

Some of my favorite features are the ability to search by chef, course, or recipe popularity; the conversion calculator; the timer; the recipe box that syncs automatically; and the shopping list. When you are looking through recipes and find one (or multiple) that you want to make, you can click the ingredients that you don't have...

... and it adds them to a shopping list for you! Since apps are compatible between iPad and iPhone this means that I also have an iPhone friendly version of the app on my phone and always have access to the shopping list! So I can menu plan on the iPad and shop with the iPhone.

Fantasy Football. Sadly, this might be my favorite use. Do you ever see those guys in the sports bar on Sundays with their laptops out and you trip over their power cord every time you get up to use the bathroom? I have found the iPad to be the ultimate fantasy football companion- portable, small, internet capable, and a battery that lasts for days. {Note: this is not an app, but the ESPN Fantasycast website.}

Calendar. Kind of a simple feature to love, but it syncs automatically with my work computer, home computer and my phone. So it doesn't matter where I update my calendar, it will always appear on all four. It also pulls in Bossdad's calendar from his computer so I always have access to his info wherever I am. And it also magically adds the birthdays of all of my facebook contacts as well.

Streaming Players. I have the Netflix and CBS streaming apps downloaded and both work great. It's so nice to have at airports or in waiting rooms. Now if I could only get a Food Network stream I would cancel my cable all together... {kidding roomie!}

Magazines. While the magazine industry definitely isn't hurting as much as the newspaper industry, they surely see the writing on the wall and would be smart to think of ways to reinvent themselves. I've read several magazines on the iPad, and I have to say that Food & Wine is doing the most amazing job (Travel + Leisure also).

Everything is interactive. Reading an article about Joe Bastianich's wines and want to buy a bottle? With one tap you can get over to his website and order some for yourself. The picture above was an article on great wines at every price point and under each wine you can tap and get a recipe to pair it with. Other things I loved: there was a section on Mario Batali and of course it had pictures of the food, but with one touch you could get the recipe or tap and watch Mario cook it himself. It truly is a platform that allows the pages of the magazine to come alive.

Games. I don't play a ton of games, but I love Words With Friends and Angry Birds and both are supersized on the iPad.

Pandora. The speaker on this is much better (if you can't plug it into a player) than the iPhone. The iPod part is great, but I've found myself listening to Pandora most of the time.

I know a lot of people are interested in the iPad for the reader, iBooks. I haven't had a chance to use it yet because I still have a few hard copy books that I haven't finished. However, even when I do finish I doubt I'll be using iBooks. I've found that Amazon offers a lot more ebook titles than iTunes and downloading the kindle app for the iPad does the same thing that iBooks does.

So there's my two cents. For all of you on the fence, I'd say go for it. I absolutely love mine and have been shocked at how much I use it. Be warned though- there are rumors of a new version coming out in the Spring so if you can wait, it might be worth it!


Laura said...

hahaha.. I have done the same thing with our family... everyone is slowly moving to MACs.. and WE ABSOLUTELY LOVEEEEE the Ipad.. I think i may have just about every app you mentioned :) Boggle is fun too (if you need a new game..) what's your words name?? Mine is Theresheis. Lets play! :)

melissa said...

So helpful - thank you!!! I'm going to hit the app store now!

LG said...

I saw your comment on for the love blog and had to check out your list! Thanks! I am too am an APPLE JUNKIE who has converted my entire family! Infact my blog name is iGriza! ha Thanks for the heads up! I review apps weekly if you are ever interested! also do you listen to the podcast "Today In Iphone" ? It is a FANTASTIC resource for all this osx!