By Kathy | April 19, 2010
Last week’s big news, at least where technology is concerned, was the first day of sales of the iPad. Did I run right out and get one? No.
Aside from the unfortunate name and the fact that I have no money after paying various kinds of taxes this month, I’m just not convinced that anyone really needs an iPad.
Getting the latest gadget has become such a rat race, and frankly, I really can’t imagine trying to master yet another device. My brain is just not up to it.
I am not a technophobe at all, and I can definitely acknowledge the joy of playing with new gadgets. It’s fun, no doubt about it. But even though I don’t have a lot of fear about technology, I also don’t have a burning desire to figure it all out.
I got a new laptop last year, and although I have no problem with it most of the time, occasionally I am forced to call my son and ask him how to do something, or why some function or other doesn’t seem to work.
This, however, can be fraught with potential conflict. His typical answer is that I should download something that he insists I need, and I insist I don’t.
Mainly because that would be yet another new thing to learn.
Even my cell phone — which is not particularly fancy or complicated — baffles me at times. And I’m embarrassed to say that it takes me forever to figure things out. I’ve had it about a year, and only recently discovered that if I want to send a new text message, I don’t have to look up the person’s phone number — I can merely type in their name if it’s already in my contacts.
That really made me feel stupid, after all the time I’d spent looking up those numbers.
I actually looked into getting an iPad, mainly because I was intrigued with being able to download and read books on it. The major features of the iPad include music and video (like an iPod Touch or iPhone), wireless internet access, photos, those incredible apps that have gotten such a lot of press, maps, contacts and calendar functions.
So it’s kind of like a big iPhone with a few more things thrown in.
I like the fact that it’s small enough to slip into a purse or a big pocket, and I have no quarrel with what it can do. But it all seems a bit redundant when you consider that its functions are similar to what a lot of our devices already do. I’m sure it does them better, but still … do I really need one? And if not me, then who?
A friend told me it’s hard to type on, since it doesn’t have a regular keyboard, but a touch-screen one. Strike one.
I was further dismayed (at least for myself) to find that the book function isn’t all that great compared to other e-readers, such as the Kindle. Only a limited number of book titles are available to download, and the reviewers say it’s hard to read in bright sunlight — again, falling short of what the Kindle delivers.
So … I’m probably going to get a Kindle. Eventually. Because I love to read and I like the convenience of the thing. I don’t care if it doesn’t run 40-million other kinds of apps — I just want to get books on it, and the occasional newspaper or magazine.
But I’m not in a huge rush to get one. First, I must figure out what else my cell phone can do.