iPad Pros and Cons

April 11, 2010

If you ask anyone how they feel about the iPad there are usually two very different responses. The first is similar to a little kids reaction to being brought into a candy shop; overjoyed, excited and ready to make an investment. However, there is also the perspective that this new digital device is just a glorified iPod Touch or iPhone. This has been the feeling for many people in my graduate class and even outside of Elon University’s campus.

So does this device has a

iPad 2

valued purpose or is it worthless due to its repetition of previous creations only in a larger format?

Arguments:

People who are pro iPad have said that there are several positive aspects of the device that make them want to purchase it. They have stated that it is:

-portable

-easy to use/ intuitive

-when compared to other portable Internet available devices like the iPhone, its larger size is a benefit (especially for those with larger fingers), and unlike the Kindle, can handle many different file outputs.

-10 hours of battery life

-it has a digital compass and GPS

-quality, high resolution images (which makes for better video watching)

– and, found within a CNET article, “Productivity versus consumption: “My home computer will suffice for the number crunching, code compiling and media encoding needs. The iPad will be my encyclopedia, mailbox, newspaper, library, music jukebox, video player for the home and on the go.”

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People who question the iPad’s purpose have arguments which state:

– we already have devices that do the same things and are less expensive, the device may offer even more options

-iPads are not really generative electronic pieces

-it’s a novelty product that people are purchasing because of brand loyalty

-can’t handle Flash

-no multitasking; you can only do one thing at a time, meaning you can’t be streaming music while performing another task on the iPad

-no 3G coverage automatically, which forces you to make an additional purchase

-the battery is built in, meaning if it dies so does the entire product

-no camera, no Skype

As you can see, this has many ups and downs, and even I am still on the fence when it comes to the iPad. I don’t think it’s completely pointless though, if anything it has shown us how advanced technology is getting. We’ll find more efficient ways to implement and integrate it into our lives…even if this way isn’t it.

For example, the healthcare industry is finding more benefits in adopting the iPad (or some tablet like it) then most of us. From a recent article within http://www.mobihealthnews.com, they found that the high resolution images displayed from the iPad actually help them do specific tasks at work (and with more tweaking, could provide medical applications that will benefit doctors, nurses and other medical professionals even more).

“SoftwareAdvice surveyed 178 care providers, health IT professionals,  and medical students to gauge their interest in the iPad and tablets in general. Here are the features this group listed as “must haves” for any tablet (not the iPad is lacking many of these)”:

Medical Tablet Feature Must Haves

According to Rob Campbell, the CEO of Voalté, “The form factor is ideal for patient education, medical image viewing and interacting with the EMR (electronic medical records). However, point of care workers need a smaller footprint, that can go into the pocket of their scrubs. Everyone needs more effective communication, so you can expect Voalté on both platforms!”

Maybe, with the improvement of the device (smaller in size and the addition of medical applications), it will better serve the public in the healthcare field.

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As digital interactivity has changed many aspects of how we do things in our daily lives, I have found one creation that I wish I had come up with first.

The touch screen has changed the way we use computers, phones, are exposed to advertisements and even how we teach our children. It has become considered the epitome of convenience as well as technological advancement.

Take, for instance, the phone as an example. Our cellular phones were great portable means of communicating but now they are much more. They are basically a computer that keeps our schedules, communicates beyond the normal voice to voice by utilizing e-mail or texting, and supplies us with Internet access, games, music or even GPS navigation.

What’s the most popular phone today that have these capabilities? The Apple iPhone that comes complete with…you guessed it, a touch screen.

iphone's touch screen

One of the most exciting TED conferences of 2006 was actually the reveal of Jeff Han’s high-resolution multi-touch sensing touch screen and his statement of “there is no reason in this day in age where we should be conforming to a physical device…we have so much technology now a days that these interfaces should be conforming to us.”

To view the conference, go to: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jeff_han_demos_his_breakthrough_touchscreen.html

Why was this such a good idea? The touch screen is considered convenient because, as Jeff Han states, it conforms to us and allows us to accomplish what we want with the swipe or movement of a finger…and what is simpler then that?

Taxi Magic

October 2, 2009

“TAXI!”

It always felt like a feat to hail a cab (especially in a busy city). “You have to be aggressive. Loud. Wave your hand out there.” That was my first set of tips or advice from a friend when I was attempting to get a ride from the renowned yellow car while in Washington, D.C. one fall.

It might as well have been right out of the movies. I failed several times, taxi’s flying by in a blur of color ignoring me. When I finally succeeded, my friends and I realized we had no cash on us.

Plan B. We decided to call and find out the availability of the cab drivers only to discover that we would be waiting for several hours before one could reach us. Ok, on to plan C. Walk back.

Now there is an invention that makes this challenge a bit easier to handle. Taxi Magic is an online and iPhone application, which allows a person to send a message to a taxi company informing them of your need to be picked up along your current location. Once the company receives the message, they will immediately text you back with the drivers name and time that they will pick you up.

Don’t have any cash on you? Well that’s alright, cause you created an account with the application that has a certain balance the company can charge to. No need to visit an ATM for the cash.

Pretty convenient huh? This innovative invention is taking the stress out of hailing or booking a cab, and adding a little more organization. Taxi Magic is currently being utilize in larger cities such as San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Washington, D.C.

For more information, check out their website at http://taximagic.com/ or search through the applications you can apply to your iPhone.