As with most Apple products, I swore off the iPad as being silly and useless before I actually used one. Once I tried one, I had to have one.
My current iPad is my third. I started with the original (WiFi only), then got a 3rd generation (WiFi only). This time I got an iPad Mini with Retina Display, 32 GB, equipped with cellular and purchased with a Verizon SIM. Shortly after buying it, I got a second, T-Mobile SIM which gives me 200 MB of data free every month. Generally speaking, it’s that SIM that’s in the device. In my normal usage, 200 MB is more than enough for a month.
This month, however, I’m fresh off a trip to the beach, where T-Mobile had no coverage. I paid for one month of service on Verizon, hence the “Verizon” in the upper left of the screen.
Not too dissimilar from my iPhone, my favorite apps tend to be the ones I use the most. That means Tweetbot for browsing Twitter, Reeder for reading RSS, as well as Check the Weather, 1Password, and Day One. I also use Status Board to keep up with ATPdownload numbers and Twitter feedback.
I’ve been using Day One casually for a while, but now that my wife is pregnant with our first child, I’ve been using Day One to chronicle her pregnancy and our preparation for the arrival of “Sprout”.
Finally, what with the iPad’s larger screen, I use it for watching video quite a bit more than the iPhone. That usually means Plex, SlingPlayer, or during college football season (Go Hokies!), Watch ESPN is open.
What App Is Missing
I’m not sure that there’s an app I’m missing, but there are definitely updates I’m missing.
A Tweetbot update for iOS 7 and a 1Password update for iOS 8, once that’s out.
I’m confident the Tapbots folks are working hard on the Tweetbot update, and I’m trying very hard to be very patient.
We’ve seen videos of 1Password using iOS 8 extensions for both third party apps and Safari. Further, since I have an iPhone 5S, I’m excited for TouchID integration. Genuinely, the thing I’m most excited about for iOS 8 is what it enables 1Password to do.
How Many Times
I use my iPad predominantly at night, at home. If my nose isn’t in a book, then my face is probably being illuminated by my iPad.
I also hate bringing my MacBook Pro to meetings at work, so I usually bring my iPad. I don’t usually need it, but it helps to have a larger interface than my phone for quickly looking things up, sceheduling meetings, etc.
Since I’m still grandfathered on the AT&T unlimited data plan, I can’t tether to my phone. As mentioned above, this iPad is my first with LTE, and I’m so glad I made that choice. While I don’t use the cellular features of my iPad that terribly often, it’s wonderful to have the ability to. I love not having to worry about whether or not I’ll be at a WiFi hotspot when I take my iPad somewhere.
Plus, the Mini is portable enough that I don’t mind taking it out with me, when the need arises. The combination of the small size and cellular connectivity makes me able to, for example, look up product reviews while we’re at the store registering for our baby shower.
It also makes being a passenger on car rides much more enjoyable.
What would I change?
Definitely a stronger magnet for the Smart Cover — on both sides. I feel like it slides just enough when closed for me to hear the unlock noise often, when I shouldn’t. Additionally, the magnet that keeps the smart cover held to the back is way too weak.
Additionally, I’d love to have TouchID on the iPad. I’m sure it’s coming this fall, but I do miss it every time I pick up my iPad.