Project 2012: Day 73
How to create your own Post-PC world – Tablets
The second device, and of course the catalyst for the whole “Post-PC” world, that you’ll want to get, is a tablet. Actually not a tablet, an iPad. An iPad 3.
Here’s how the iPad will rock your world…
1. Tools for travel
With 10 hours of battery life, 3G and (in some countries) 4G coverage, this is perfect device to leave the heavy lump that is your laptop at the office.
Before leaving on the trip, ensure you’ve downloaded the latest episodes of your favourite TV shows, movies, music, and podcasts. TEDTalks are great to keep you inspired. This is for the flight.
At the airport, download the updated copy of your local rag. Most of them (SMH, London Times, NYT, WPost) have apps. Also, if you spot a book or a mag that you want to catch whilst away, you can download that via iBooks or Kindle at the gate.
Now it’s time to triage and respond to your email. I do recommed getting a Bluetooth keyboard, which will ratchet up your typing speed. I have a Zagmate case, but recommend the Zagg Folio. If you don’t have one, it’s still better to take your iPad than the laptop.
Once you’re away from home, you have the perfect Skype (or Facetime) device. Whether in Melbourne or Shanghai, video conferencing on the iPad is great.
You do know that there is a built-in VPN client, so you can connect securely to your work network, and access the intranet as well.
Apps & Tools:
- Mail, Calendar, Reminders
- FlightTrack Pro
- Skype / Facetime
- SMH, NYT, Washington Post, BBC, ABC
- Kindle & iBooks
- iTunes for Podcasts, iTunesU, TV Shows, Movies, & Music
- Built in VPN Client to tunnel to work
2. Tools for Family Time
There was that school concert that you shot on your smartphone, the pictures of your trip, and that funny video you found on YouTube.
Back in the day we used to develop films, print photos and then buy albums to share them with our friends and family. We used to lug around a shoulder mounted 8mm or VHS Camcorder. We used to bore the pants off of family and close (enough) friends with holiday slides (remember them?)
Today you can take out the iPad and in great detail show the latest photos of your new puppy, or getting wasted at the company party.
Also, remember when you used to play games with your family and friends? Problem is it’s a bit ungainly to unpack Scrabble, or even Chess, at your local Cafe. Enter the iPad. If your friends have got iPhones or iPod Touches, you can even use these as letter racks for Scrabble. But if not, just pass the iPad around.
Apps & Tools:
- Photos + Flickr & SmugMug
- Videos + YouTube & Vimeo
- Sharing games like Scrabble, Chess, BackGammon, Monopoly
- Camera Connection kit to import photos (note iPAd3 allows you to beam photos)
- Apple TV to stream movies & photos straight to HD TV
3. Tools for Creating
It turns out that having the iPad to hand is great for all of the “on the road” type creating I want and need to do.
If you need to deliver a presentation, then at $12 Keynote is your friend. This app is easy to use, and quick to put a powerful (visual) presentation together, as well as deliver it.
GarageBand will allow you to record those riffs and tunes you have in your head, and put together really compelling tracks. No, not as good as the Mac version, but good enough to remember those riffs when you’re inspired away from home. Now with iOS 5.1 and the new GarageBand update, you can actually jam with a number of people and record simultaneously.
You’ll find that more and more videos will fall into the “throw together on iPad” genre. School concerts, birthdays, prize-givings, holidays.
Planning a speech, or article. There are great mind mapping tools, and the big screen touch interface is ideal. Unlike the laptop, this isn’t intrusive, so you can easily use it at church, in an interview, at a cafe.
Taking notes to share on all your devices. And putting together a Story Board. Even explaining something to someone in lieu of a whiteboard.
Then of course there’s blogging and more serious writing.
Apps & Tools
- Keynote (& Pages & Numbers)
- GarageBand + VocalLive Recorder, Avid Scorch, Recorder HD
- iRig Guitar, iRig Mic, iKlip Mic Stand Holder
- iMovie + Vimeo
- WordPress + BlogPress
4. Tools for Connecting and Collaborating
We can’t get away from SocialMedia, and the iPad is much better than even your lightest laptop for connecting with people online. It’s lighter, easier to keep with you, the apps are better than online tools, and the big screen gives more context than the Smartphone versions of the same apps.
Also this is a great device to share any type of file with others:
Apps & Tools
- Facebook, Hootsuite, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Dropbox, Box.Net
Speak to all of the big game development houses, and you’ll see a shift of investment into Tablets. Oh, this is still a small part of the budget, but the growth is easily double that for console and PC games.
It’s no surprise either. iPads outsold PC’s last quarter. Now with 1 million more pixels than an HD TV, at a fraction of the price, with true mobility, many, many more people will be playing games, at many more times, than on PC’s and consoles. Not tomorrow maybe, but soon.
So developers will go where the money is.
There’s everything from retro games, through arcade games, to board games (as mentioned above) to strategy and first person action games. Then of course there are the iPad (Tablet) specific touch based (and jolly annoying) games like Angry Birds and Flight Control HD
I won’t list these. Suffice to say, your gaming preference is different to mine.
As you can see, the tablet really is the device that frees us from the constraints of PC’s, even laptops. Contraints such as:
- Poor battery life
- Tether to desk (desktop PC’s)
It isn’t a replacement. Many people are opting for Ultrabooks today, and that’s great. For me the iPad won’t be a PC replacement for some time. Editing 1080p video really is better on a 24” monitor with a quad core processor. But as you can see, this is the ideal device for travelling, for incidental use around the home, and for sharing with friends and family.
Of course, I’ve only scratched the surface here. The iPad is great for story time, for X-rays, for stargazing. Great for navigation, recipes, and homework.
It’s not for everyone. Actually, I think it could be. If you want to be empowered and free’d from your desk. I couldn’t recommend the iPad highly enough.