My Malibu iPad

by Ouida on December 19, 2010

Well, I blogged about a month ago that I finally got my iPad. I am so loving this thing that it is a bit sick, really. I realized the gimmick of the thing. The accessories. I never really understood Malibu Barbie, but I understand Malibu iPad. First of all, I haven’t turned my MacBook on for anything other than the need to retrieve a file in over a month. Poor thing, kicked to the curb.

Since I bought the iPad, I have spent over $100 dollars on accessories. My compass iPad stand arrived the other night just before a small dinner party I was hosting got started. I can’t really use the word that one my friends used when it arrived. But I can say my friends think Ive gone a bit overboard. I am typing this post using a bluetooth QWERTY keyboard. Now in my defense, I happen to have two of these things lying around the house. One for the iMac and the other for the MacMini. Okay that doesn’t even sound right but I will persevere and turn this into a what works and what doesn’t for the iPad. First the case. I got a beautiful red Case Crown leather case for my iPad. As far as cases go I should have stopped there. When I was traveling in November, I thought I could use a hard shell, so I bought the speck, black hard candy case. The thing is a royal pain to use and does not protect the front the way I would like. So it is back to the Case Crown as my primary case, but because I paid for the speck, I feel the need to carry it around…and use it when I feel my iPad needs an outfit change. In April a reviewer wrote that the dock was a waste of money. It is. I found that out only after buying it! It is a good idea in that it allows the iPad to charge while vertical so you can still type on it while it is charging. But here is the rub: most iPad users, and I am no exception, like to keep their investment in its case. You cannot park the iPad on a dock and leave it in its case. You have to take it out of its case to use the dock…what a waste! While I was traveling,I decided to use my laptop case to lug the iPad, keyboard and leather case around. Way too much luggage to carry such a small item around. I now have a case crown iPad bag. I carries the keyboard, compass, both cases and charger. Apple asks that we iPad uses don’t use cleaning cloths containing solvent on our screens so I got a lens cloth. Okay soooooo total accessories:
CC red leather case
Speck black hard candy case
iPad bag
Compass iPad stand
iPad dock
lens cloth
Bluetooth keyboard which I don’t count because I already had some.

The hard candy case, sexy though it is,is a waste of money as is the dock. If Apple redesigned it so that it could be used while the iPad is still in a protective case, the dock would be more useful. Total moolah wasted???? $60 dollars.

Now what about apps? The NY Times just ran an article: 10 Magical iPad apps. Through that article I found Flipboard. This great app turns my Facebook and Twitter updates into a magazine. I can literally flip through updates in a manner of minutes. Awesome app. I have Kindle. OMG! iBook is a great way to handle PDF files, but for books, the Kindle app rocks and it’s free. I have the ABC news and NY Times apps (they are just okay). I also have pages and numbers on my iPad. Those items are the word-processing and spreadsheet applications. The cost is 9.95 each and they are worth every penny. I have a mobile me account so I can save documents as Microsoft word files and upload them to my idisk (in the techno cloud) download the same file onto another computer and keep working even while traveling and even if I choose to leave my hardware behind. For printing, I use Printopia, another app costing 9.95 and worth every penny. Apple chose NOT to turn AirPrint on with the update to 4.2. It was a functionality they pulled at the last minute. There were 3 options to deal with this: 1) download just a few lines of code off the Internet that turned the functionality on and then download another program that allows you to print or 2) buy a new printer (you’ve seen them advertised on TV) or 3) buy a program that will allow you to print to a network printer. I bought Printopia. It got better reviews than Printcentral.
Cost? 9.95 for either program. Notice a pricing theme here? Downside to Printopia? Your computer won’t go to sleep. Printopia and Printcentral download to a computer on your home network and they are always on in the background and they constantly wake your computer up and tell it to check for network activity. There is a work around that is pretty easy. Through the system preferences pane, click energy saver, then uncheck the “wake for network access” box. Your network computer will remain asleep when you put it down for the night.

Finally I downloaded Handbrake, a free app that allows you to store your DVDs in a format that iTunes can read. That means that you can load your videos into your iPhone, iPad through iTunes. I was able to travel with the LOTR trilogy, Blade 2, HP 3 and Finding Nemo.

Well that’s it. Share your iPad stories.

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