And why I’m not.
Vivek Wadhwa at TechCrunch sets forth the best argument I’ve ever read for dumping your iPad. He sets forth various reasons, but it really comes down to three. No useful way to use Microsoft Office, reliance on the outdated, ugly and unnecessary iTunes, and the lack of a camera.
As it turns out, I just returned from vacation. 10 days in God’s country (that would be South Carolina for you geographic heathens). My job requires that I be generally accessible and have the capability to review and approve Word documents (for those who haven’t read Newsome.Org in a few days, no one in corporate America uses or in my lifetime will use any of the so-called Office alternatives, and any argument to the contrary is naive).
All of this left me with a packing dilemma. I love my iPad and use it all the time. I haven’t carried a laptop since I bought my iPad, and I haven’t needed one. But I also hadn’t been away from home and the office for 10 straight days.
So I got nervous, pussed out and, along with my iPad, toted a laptop and all the related gear all the way to Pawley’s Island. I felt more comfortable knowing that I could review and revise Word documents from the beach.
The thing is, I never used it.
Sure, I was in contact with my office and clients every day. But I did it all via email, on my iPad. While the lack of Office is a big issue for iPads, there’s no denying that you can easily read Word documents. It’s only when you want to revise or create one that the frustration level skyrockets.
And the fact is that at this point in my career, I’m much more likely to be reading, commenting on and approving Word documents than writing them from whole cloth. And I found it to be easy enough (enough being the operative word) to copy and past portions of a document into an email, then paste such portion again below and revise it the way I wanted.
At the end of the day, many of my vacation emails read something like this:
“Change this part:
‘The problem with the iPhone 4 antenna is massive and should be the subject of a massive recall.’
“‘The problem with the iPhone 4 antenna is a partially a common cell phone issue exacerbated by an Apple design choice and largely bad editorial choices by lazy media.’
It’s not perfect, but it worked well enough for me.
So while the iPad most certainly needs a better way to work with Office documents (Microsoft being the only solution), and a camera or two and while iTunes is perhaps the worst application ever, I’m keeping my iPad.
But you’ll probably see my laptops on Craigslist before long.