As I use the iPad more and more, I find myself using the internet less and lass and using apps instead. In other words, instead of going to Google Reader to read my RS feeds or to Facebook to keep up with stuff, I am using the programs Reeder and Facely to access those things. The apps seem more natural and better integrated than the web experience.
I have also found myself getting sucked into whatever I am doing on the iPad more than I did on the computer. The iPad does an amazing job of isolating the current task and eliminating distractions. I’ve already mentioned how much nicer it is to read on the iPad, RSS feeds and email are a pleasure. Now I find myself doing other things like listening to music in a much more intensive way.
OK, I know that I tend to listen more intently than most anyway, but this is taking it to another level. When I use the iPod app on the iPad, my music will stream wirelessly from my computer to the iPad. I have headphones on (currently using a pair of VModa crossfade LPs), the album artwork for the song I’m listening to pops up, and with a tap, I get the lyrics as well. Listening to the music while reading the lyrics is a very different experience, the more obscure or opaque the lyrics the more clarity is gained. Even with straightforward lyrics (Red Football by SInead O’Connor for example), there is more impact. Yes, this can be done looking at the web while itunes is playing on the computer, but the way it is presented on the iPad is totally different. There are no banner ads, google ads, or various other distractions, just the album artwork and the lyrics.
The same goes for all of the other apps as well. The Economist magazine, Omaha Steaks, the games, etc, are all a more focused experience on the ipad. I think this is great, it is a way of working that I haven’t really done since college. Of course back then I tended to single task on the computer because there wasn’t anything else to do. Or to see, come to think of it… it was all command line interface back then.
I’m still using my computer. There are times I want to have everything going on at the same time. Plus, I’m still looking for a good blogging program. I am looking forward to a new computer sooner than later. Part of it is for using it as a computer of course (Can’t wait to do the real work on my website on a real screen) but part of it is for the iPad as well. The streaming capabilities will be much better on the new computer… Plus, I’ll be able to use the iPad as an input device as well. As cool as the Magic trackpad is, I gotta think the iPad is going to take multi gestures to the next level.
There’ll be more apps and thoughts about the iPad from me soon…