July 25, 2011, 9:00 AM —
You would think that the author of Take Your iPad to Work and the new iPad for Kids book wouldn't have a problem switching over his entire work and personal computing life over to an actual iPad, right? So when my editor approached me with the challenge to use the iPad exclusively for a week, there was no way I was going to turn that down.
For a week I would shut down my Linux and Windows virtual machines and even my Android smartphone and use my iPad exclusively for all of my work and personal computing needs. There would be one caveat: I would still use the phone for the telephony functions alone, since it's the only cell phone I have. But I turned off all auto-updates on my mail and Twitter accounts to reduce the temptation to check those accounts on the phone.
Why choose an inefficient platform when you need to do "real" work? It seems like a lot of people are trying to adjust their work to the device instead of the other way around.
With these restrictions in place, would I be able to manage the workload of a free-wheeling professional writer on my iPad -- and do efficiently enough to also juggle the summer schedules of three active daughters?
Sunday: Getting settled
First, here's the run down of the equipment I would be using. Naturally, there would be the iPad unit itself, an iPad 2 with 3G and 32 GB of onboard storage that I actually managed to snag the first day it was out to get the aforementioned iPad for Kids book started. Before the start of my week, I made sure the its operating system was completely updated, which brought the device up to iOS 4.3.3. (After I finished writing this story, it was subsequently updated to 4.3.4.)
My iPad also has a Smart Cover, which I bought a couple of days after I acquired the tablet, after learning that the thinner device was just too loose in the iPad cover I had for the older model I also own.
The only other peripheral I had for my iPad was Apple's little wireless BlueTooth keyboard, which I knew I would need for writing. Say what you will about the iPad's onscreen keyboard, but here's my bottom line: for brief emails and outlines, it's perfectly fine. But any writing more than that and I need real keys, the little clicky-click kind. I realize that there are way better Bluetooth keyboards out there, but the Apple model has the advantage of being small enough to fit into the satchel that carries my iPad, and does a decent job for what it needs to do. Plus, I got it second hand, so it was cheap.