Monday, January 23, 2012

Kindle Fire meet iPad

My Kindle Fire meets the Gummy Bear video playing iPad
Our family grew in recent weeks. An iPad arrived on our doorstep courtesy of my Mom and Dad. It's really not for me or Hubby as the inscription on the back says:
Let's Facetime! Love Grandma and Grandpa
With no warranty available for damages, I've been hesitant to let Enzo "go crazy" with it.

I wrote about the Kindle Fire here. I continue to enjoy the ereader, especially the ability to highlight and type notes as I'm reading books. A key reason for getting the Fire is it offered iPad like options without the price.

We like our Apple products in this house, so iPad was welcomed with open arms. I've had to fight off Hubby and Enzo for time to test its capabilities. Enzo thinks the iPad should be playing the Barkside Ad  or the Gummy Bear videos. He gives a belly laugh no matter what language we choose from the You Tube app.

I've found several ways to use the iPad, while away from the Apple desktop.
  • Plaintext is an app that offers a clean writing environment. No bells or whistles. It's free. I can create different folders of files. I can get the word count of a current document. I can email it to myself. I can also put it in an off-site storage site and then open it on my iPhone or my desktop computer. It doesn't create a Word document, but with a few keystrokes on the desktop I have the material in a Word document.
  • As I wrote this post, I discovered I could put my iPhone apps on the iPad during the sync process. I use an app called BlogPress from my iPhone to draft blog posts. I'll have to see how it works with the iPad.
  •  Children's books are interactive on the iPad. I saw the review and interview with Bella Goes Bump in the Night authors Derek and Gina Roché on Children's Books Heal. What a fun experience with Enzo! We have the option to listen to the book, read the book or auto play. Plus, Enzo can color pages from the book on the screen. 
  • I organized the iPad with folders for different categories of apps. Apps are the software programs available from businesses, software developers, authors, etc. I have folders for writing reference apps, Social Media apps, Enzo/educational apps, Hubby apps, book apps, news apps, etc. 
The majority of apps I have on the iPad are either free or were downloaded from my iPhone. I've never paid more than $2.99 for an app. I studied reviews of several word processing apps for writers to use on the iPad. I seriously considered one for $9.99. 

After a little analysis of how I am able to use the iPad around Enzo, I decided to go with the basic writing environment of the free Plaintext app. It's sufficient at drafting longer notes and thoughts while Enzo is awake. If it's naptime, I'll go to the desktop to work on a software program I already own for more detailed work. If I begin using the iPad as more of a laptop, I might reconsider. 

Another great gift from my parents was the iPad Camera Connection Kit. This allows me to download photos from my SD card to the iPad. 
The SD card fits into the little connection device in the iPad
I can send photos via email to the grandparents more quickly with this device. Smart thinking grandparents! I typically use the iPhone camera for blog photos, because it eliminates a download step to the computer. This connector may make me rethink how I take my photos.

The kit also includes a connector to use with a camera cable. 
I could envision the iPad might make it easier to blog on the run. You would just need a WiFi connection. For those using WordPress, there are several WordPress apps too. 

Here's the iPad in use in the kitchen by Hubby to display a new recipe he tried on Saturday night. 
I think 2012 will be filled with lots of technology exploration at our house. We are grateful my parents gave us such a fun gift. 

If you have an iPad, how do use it? If you don't, do have a vision of how you would use it?

For the record, I haven't used the iPad to read a book yet. 




55 comments:

  1. Hi Stacy,

    Hope all is well, and just wanted to let you know I left you an award over at my blog:)

    Stop by to pick it up when you get the chance :)

    Cheers and Aloha!

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  2. Whew. I don't have any of these devices, so it's all sort of jumbled up in my head. I have seen my d-in-law's new Kindle thingie and it's cool. I kept pressing the wrong buttons and managed to freeze the screen! The 6 year old and 4 year old have no problems with it. Hmm. I finally got a Kindle (plain ole Kindle) in November, and I'm still learning that! I depend on the expertise of others when discussing new devices and apps.

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    1. Had I known we were getting an iPad, I would have purchased the regular Kindle with no whitstles or bells.

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  3. I have neither Kindle nor iPad and they aren't a priority right now, but are sure on a wish list!! I have been wondering, if I couldn't purchase both, which I would choose.

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    1. I intentionally asked for the Fire thinking it was my only option. If you want a mini laptop, the iPad has more features. If you want a reader, go with the Kindle. I keep hearing reports that the Fire will drop in price soon.

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  4. Me neither but I'm typing this on hubby's Blackberry playbook. No one has knocked a giant cardboard rocket over on it yet, so going good!

    I think I'd only get an i-pad if I wrote novels. Looks a great time saver.

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    1. I never thought we were getting an iPad, but Santa Parents/Grandparents surprised us. I see writers at workshops all the time on their iPads. A conference I'll attend in the spring, sends all of the conference hand outs as a PDF prior to the event. This way you can download them on your Kindle/iPad or print them out.

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  5. I got my husband an ipad for Christmas/his birthday (it was a big present!) and he loves it. He commutes, so it's really great for the train. Our kids are teenagers already, but I really can't imagine what it's like to have little kids around an ipad or iphone. It's absolutely incredible how fast they seem to take to the technology. A friend of mine has a baby 12 months old who can already turn on his iphone and pick the app he likes. He can't do anything with it yet, but geez! I can't even figure out how to turn things on half the time :) And I frequently see people in the grocery store shopping while they're kids sit in the cart playing with their iphones!

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  6. Technology around kids is interesting. Enzo loves to play and does well creating things, so I don't want to take that time away from him. He zonks out at the sight of TV/iPad videos. He loves the grocery store (as long as he's in the shopping cart where he can see everything), so I've never given him the iPhone to keep him busy.

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  7. Hello! I found you through The Golden Eagle's blog:) I love your blog!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Emily. I hope you find something here useful.

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  8. Stopping by on the Comment Challenge. I love your new ipad! Congrats! Keep us updated with all the new things your discover.Santa gave me a color nook for Christmas and it's been so much fun!

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    1. Enjoy the Nook. I heard they're great. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. I have the Fire, and I really like it. I know my husband would like an ipad and after reading your review I think I'm going to need to find a way to get him one! From the sound of it, he would love it.

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    1. Hubby fell in love with Angry Birds on the Fire while on our Christmas trip. He easily adjusted to the iPad. Of course, I like that he wants to use the iPad to try out new recipes.

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  10. WE have an iPad, but not the Fire. Wow! Glad you enjoyed Bella Goes Bump in the Night. Saw your comments on Susanna's blog. Michael Garland's apps are really excellent. I left you a note, but can do it here. Enzo would love his interactive apps. Icarus Swinebuckle is particularly good.

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    1. That's the one I wanted to download this morning, but discovered I had zapped the iPad battery. So, this afternoon I should be reading Icarus Swinebuckle....

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  11. I have a nook, the simple version that does nothing but shows books. I thought about getting an iPad, but, like you said, they're expensive. And really I just needed something for reading.

    Thanks for explaining it all here though!

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    1. I think the regular readers are great. I like the portability of the ebooks now. The iPad has lots of fun features, but it does duplicate a lot of other technologies (computer etc.)

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  12. I love my IPad, & am still exploring all the possibilities, Stacey. Thanks for the plaintext rec. I have been using Penultimate as a notetaker. I also use Evernote on it & my laptop, & on & on. I like an app called Flipboard because you can load lots of reading things there-kind of like a bookshelf for magazines, twitter, etc. Have fun!

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    1. Linda, Thanks for mentioning the Flipboard. I downloaded that, but haven't fully explored it yet.

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  13. What a lovely gift! I hope you enjoy exploring the pros and cons of each device and keep us posted. I'm not sure which one I might prefer, but I can't imagine living without my HP laptop!

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    1. We were happy about our surprise gift. Laptops are the original!

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  14. Ain't technology great? I don't have an iPad, but I got a new cell phone and an iPod for Christmas. I can actually send tweets on the run now. Getting good!

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    1. It's fun to be able to Tweet on the run. I do a lot of that while Hubby is driving around town.

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  15. Hi Stacy, This is really interesting and helpful. I've been debating about both the iPad and a reader, but have put off the reader because I love holding a book in my hands. The iPad just looks like so much fun and so multi-functional it is calling my name. Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts about it. Oh, and good luck with Facetime!

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    1. Grandparents love the Facetime! I hestitated about a reader. I do like being able to highlight book passages and typing in notes in the Kindle. Especially with a writing craft book. It's easy to return to that part of the book.

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  16. How fun to try both! Sounds like you're getting some good use out of it.

    ~Debbie

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  17. I'm too much of a word processing geek for ipad, although it would be a fun, if luxurious, addition to the mix! My hubby has one and loves it. The star gazer app is amazing... You can see the star formations above you, no matter where you are.

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    1. We'll have to try that one out August. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  18. I bought my iPad late 2011. So far, I've used it for reading, blogging, email, cruising the net, and games (because my other computer doesn't have games). I found an iBookWriter app that I'm going to test out. There's a free version, so that's what I downloaded.

    Still exploring, figuring out what I really want to use it for. :)

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  19. Sheila, There is a new software to format books: There's a lot of buzz abou the user agreement on the new apple software: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2012/01/fine-print-of-ibooks-author.html

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  20. I have both the iPad I and II - and I'm looking forward to version III. Everything about it rocks. I read on it all the time and I've never had a problem with eyestrain or the backlit screen. I'm a total eBook convert now.

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    1. Alex, I really love the highlight and note function on ebooks.

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  21. I have just a regular kindle but I would like a kindle fire or an ipad, but I don't think that will happen soon :( Thanks for telling us what you think about yours!

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    1. I think the regular Kindle is great! Enjoy it.

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  22. Wow, Stacy ... what a wonderful gift. And you're so nice to share all the fun with us. But I do admit a bit of iPad envy. I'm PC gal, but I had the fun of seeing a friend play with his iPad while we were all on vacation together ... wow. Loads and loads of fun!

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    1. Our son really likes it. I'm sure we'll find more educational uses as he grows.

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  23. You are amazing! I couldn't even begin to figure out how to do all that stuff - or even know I could do all that stuff with an iPad. I wish I was more technologically versed, but I don't even know where to go to become so! It sounds like a great device to have in the house.

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    1. Lara, These gadgets are addictive in a little way. So, I have found myself trying to figure out how to use them by trial-error, asking others for help and reading/googling.

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  24. I don't have a strong desire to get an ipad. I have no idea what I'd use it for since my kindle takes care of my ebook needs :)

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    1. Yes, a Kindle is sufficient to handle all the ebook needs. I think.

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  25. Waaaahaaaa! I want an ipad. I covet one. *sob* *blubber*

    But I'z do not like eReaders. I would do all the other lovely stuff one can do with the ipad though. *sniff*

    (((hugs)))

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    1. Robyn, Have you tried an ereader? I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

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  26. I wanna an ipad! I want cool grandparents to give my kids one (and then I will use it).

    Thanks for sharing your experience with it. Helps me make a better decision on which way I go.

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    1. Yes. Cool grandparents for the gift. Wacky parents, who take it away. :) If people want an iPad, I think they might be disappointed with the Fire. The devices at this stage are very different.

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  27. Curious how all this technology will continue to evolve - thanks for sharing where you are with it right now - and I'll check out Blog Press. Thanks as well for participating in the 2012 Comment Challenge!
    Keep on commenting,
    Lee

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Lee.I heard a report about the original Kindles. I had forgotten how expensive they were.

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  28. Hi Stacy! So interesting to hear about how someone is using the ipad. We don't have one . . . I'm sure I would love it and will probably get one eventually. I'm usually slow on this stuff. I still have a Blackberry, for example. Honestly, I feel so overwhelmed by how much is possible with these devices. I think I'm slow to get them because I'm scared I won't know what to do once it's in my house.

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  29. Nina, Some of these devices are a mixed blessing. Sometimes Hubby will mention this as I'm staring at the iPhone. :)

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  30. What a great surprise! And what hip folks you have to jump into Facetime. This is the year I think I'll be getting some sort of tablet, so your post was very helpful. It's a big ol' technology world out there! a.

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  31. Amy, My parents will figure out the technology to be able to see Enzo in action. My father also dissed the Fire when he saw it at Christmas. "That's heavy," he said. He likes his iPad. :) Good luck with your tablet decision.

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  32. I love Ipad, it can not replace a laptop, but it's great for quick trips. I can take with you easily transfer it to a working meeting, and pass quickly through the photos of products. Although the right to keep a lower screen features and show that the video product is great. The home and I can do some things to get better on IPad. I use PrintingApps to engage myself with work. You can easily Synchronize all devices, including documents, my computer.

    I'd like a USB port and a slot for memory, but there are programs to help alleviate it. GoodReader also good business plans, if it were perfect, I need a laptop, but I am getting closer to that goal, and it has great application for travel and hotel accommodation.

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