This week Tablet Insight is singing a bit of a different tune. I want to take time out to review the massive, extensive, exhaustive work done by iLounge in their newest effort: a comprehensive buyer’s guide to everything Apple iPad related. At over 180 pages, I will take you through a whistle stop highlight tour of the guide—new info, new ideas, new numbers, and the Apple new iPad. Certainly no time for looking to the past!
What is This Thing?
Let me orientate you first: iLounge covers many things related to mobile technology—headphones, speaker stands, tablet reviews. While I cannot say they are your one-stop shop for cases as is tablet2cases.com, iLounge is nevertheless a nice resource for info.
These guys have consolidated their writing team and put together a downloadable pdf (for your desktop, smartphone or tablet) that covers just about everything you would want to know about owning an iPad. The New iPad Buyers Guide (from here on out, let’s just call it “The Guide”) is a great read, one that you’ll come back to more than once.
First Stop: The Haters
Although it doesn’t come until near the end of “The Guide”, a very interesting section is titled “So Said The Haters”. The section serves to embarrass those who in the past doubted Apple’s foresight into how technology would become ever increasingly mobile, but just a bit bigger than a smartphone. It makes one remember that 1) the iPad is still so young, and 2) how much Apple transformed (again) the way we interact with technology. It is stunning to think about the future of this tablet in the world.
The most memorable quotation: “iPad? Sounds like a feminine hygiene product”. Ouch. The bitterness of a PC user is so palpable sometimes.
Second Stop: Apps
Of course, one of the best things that iPads have brought with them are the utility, ubiquity, and useful force of Apps. These self-contained programs allow nearly any user to personalize their iPad. “The Guide” wonderfully highlights 100 of the most interesting and must-have apps out there. What I like about “The Guide” is how they divide up their App selection, from games to productivity, food and drink to communicative Apps—very simple just as you find in Top Ten lists in iTunes.
So, what are just a few of the coolest apps out there according to iLounge?
- For musicians out there, the mixing and vinyl-scratch simulating app ‘djay’ is sure to fill your time with creative energy.
(Although I was disappointed not to see Brian Eno’s ‘Bloom’ App amongst the top 100—for me this is definitely one of the most creative, interesting, and all-age inclusive creative Apps out there)
- For those who are into the potential of the iPad for learning, iTunes U is a free App for anyone who wishes to organize and build a course, for studying students, or for life-long learners who want to explore the newest lectures from Stanford, Harvard, MIT or the numerous other universities who give open access to their elite classrooms.
- Lastly, “The Guide” highlights the App ‘Find my iPhone’, a great feature. Basically, the App lets you locate lost or stolen iPhones, iPads or iPod Touches. Such an essential App if you’ve ever had the unfortunate situation of finding your pocket picked on the subway.
Third Stop: Accessories
Apps, however, can be an easy task to pinpoint what is cool or interesting. More difficult is to sort through the endless amount of accessorizing that comes with any tablet, not just the iPad. This is where “The Guide” shines and really shows off iLounge’s talent for knowing the industry.
“The Guide” let’s you know what’s what for iPad accessories inside the car , for headphones, mounted speakers, accessories related to charging and batteries, fun kids cases , stylus variations…really, an exhaustive run down of anything else you can sink money into after buying the iPad!
Something I’m going to pick up as a result: ‘Power2U’ from NewerTech is a wall mount with USB inputs—a great way to avoid wall warts. I’m still waiting for the wireless office though…soon!
In the End
“The Guide” by iLounge is a good break down of the industry that surrounds Apple’s iPads. At times, it is an overwhelming amount of information twisted up in advertisements and intense graphic design. In the end though, there is something for everyone, from free Apps to $130 headphones, look for the nuggets of priceless tips.
Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.