I purchased an Apple iPad Air a few weeks after the initial availability and have used it daily with a Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover connected through bluetooth. Previously I’ve purchased WiFi only models but this particular one includes WiFi and 3G so that I may start blogging while away from home and WiFi. For example, as a simple test, this post was originally created on the iPad Air while sitting in a diner. The post was finalized on an HP notebook (downstairs) and an iMac (upstairs office).
Disclosure: The Apple iPad Air replaced my reliance on the Microsoft Surface Pro only because synchronizing notes kept in Evernote and keeping photos handy is very easy. The Surface Pro remains one of my favorite devices to scribble on during down times. After all, the crayon-like stylus and finger smearing on an Apple iPad Air can get annoying. In fact, this is why I prefer the Logitech keyboard attached at all times.
How have I used the Apple iPad Air?
The Apple iPad Air is lighter than the previous models, which lets me carry the model with me more often than prior attempts. In the past few weeks I’ve used the iPad Air during meetings, sitting in a diner after work, as a passenger in a car, in the comfortable chair in front of T.V. and for hours in bed.
Here is a short list of the different tasks done on the iPad Air (in no particular order):
- Heavy use of Evernote, even though the latest EN version appears to be a little too slow for quick notes.
- Controlling Sonos wireless speakers stationed throughout the house. This keeps the dogs calm throughout the day.
- Use as a supplemental device while using the iMac or the HP notebook; acting as extra screen to open up another browser.
- Reading: Safari Books Online, Kindle, and iBooks
- Netflix – except the sound quality is not that great and is better with speakers
- General browsing of the web
- Checking and replying to email
- Instant messages
- Useful for taking attendance during the school day. The school district uses Pearson PowerSchool.
And now I can add writing article drafts in the WordPress iPad application.
Special emphasis in my statements about the iPad should be placed on the life of the battery. My use of the Apple iPad Air has increased because the battery does not drain quickly when I am out of range of WiFi; It appears to be much stronger than previous Apple iPad releases. I try to keep the device plugged into a charger whenever I am near a wall outlet because I want to be able to use the device throughout a long 18 hour day.
To help with the life of the battery, I recommend shutting off WiFi when not connecting, as well as shutting off cellular if you are using WiFi.
Carrying the Apple iPad Air with the keyboard is actually better than the school supplied Apple iPad 2 with the huge ‘protective’ case. Enough said.
Hot Spot Fails
Call me stupid but I cannot get the hotspot to work properly. The settings show the hotspot is enabled and there is a code but the other devices see the iPad for only a moment. No connections have been made. I’ll keep playing with it but if you have any experience and the dang thing actually works then please let me know.
Despite being in a case, scratches are already noticeable on the back of the unit. Worse, fingerprints are annoying after a day of use. Maybe my hands are just dirty all the time but this screen seems to pick up the oils more than the Apple iPad 2.
It may not be unique to the Apple iPad but there remains a limited use of the device for web development. Digital Ocean has a simple application most applications appear to just be pieces and parts of desktop applications. This is a hindrance and a reason I still love my Microsoft Surface Pro; I prefer full applications to the younger siblings.
The sound quality is much to be desired. After being around loud high school students all day, my ears need clear, crisp sounds and not muffled noise.
Surfing the internet remains a sticking point. The lack of multitasking means a webpage in Safari must reload if I move from one tab to another. This slows down productivity and gets me talking back to the device when it happens at the worst time. Google Chrome is available, and I’ve used it. Sadly, it is limited.
Finally, and this is nit picky, but the browser based LastPass is worthless on the iPad Air. I use this add-on to automatically log me in and out of sites – and entering 15 string passwords which are different for each site is annoying if my finger slips.
Will I continue to use the Apple iPad Air? Yes. It has a place in my life as I move from location to location. However I am not an iPad only fan. I still need a desktop with a full large monitor. Actually I prefer two monitors. Now I need to get the nice adonit Jot Script Fine Point Style with a 1.9 mm tip stylus. The price is high but the current stylus models available in local stores are just too much like using a crayon.
What are your experiences with the Apple iPad Air? Are you enjoying it more than the previous Apple iPad models? Have you decided to move to a mini iPad?