Well, after much dithering, I got an iPad. Top of the line, pots of memory, 3G.
Yes, yes, as a matter of fact, I love it. For a lot of reasons, but this is a knitting blog, so I’m just going to talk (mainly) about the knitting stuff. However, let me start off by saying that when they first announced this device, I, like many others, thought, “yeah right, it’s just an iPhone with a glandular problem and no actual phone.”
I was wrong.
The main reason for this is that the added real estate really, truly changes the game. It’s not going to replace a laptop or desktop unless someone does very little on their laptop or desktop, but for me, it’s perfect as both a traveling device and a daily tether to the Net. The battery life is fabulous (I get between 10 and 12 hours on it every day). It makes going on a road trip (my current state) so much easier. And the graphics are gorgeous — clean, clear, sharp, bright. (For the oooh-aaah demo, I open up the BBC news reader — the opening graphic is perfect for the iPad.)
As people scramble to get apps out for the iPad, we’ll see more apps specifically for the giant screen. In the meantime, all the iPhone apps work on the iPad. iPad apps tend to use the added screen fully, whereas iPhone apps pretty much appear as a small iPhone shape in the middle of your screen (although you can upsize it, it’ll be pretty jaggedy and obviously not the original size).
I use GoodReader on the iPad. The ability to read charts and patterns at such a huge size is, frankly, somewhat mind-boggling. I now rarely carry paper knitting patterns, and when I do, I spend the whole time waiting to get to a scanner so I can scan it in and have it on the iPad and iPhone.
Do I recommend you get an iPad just for knitting? No. If you’re considering getting one because you need everything it can do, because you want to have something bigger than a smartphone, you need to check your email, you like reading books in e-format, you need to plot a course using GPS maps, carry pictures around to show off, you want to get on Rav while out and about, stay abreast of current news, do all of the myriad of things you can do on a device that’s really portable and also very sturdy, AND you want something that will help you knit by letting you read patterns, magazines, and web sources, count your rows and stitches, measure your gauge swatches, help you size your needles, etc., then yeah, I highly recommend the iPad.
You can do it all from the iPad, or, if you have a smartphone or iPod Touch as well (I have a first generation iPhone, long story), you can use the two devices together very effectively. (The iPad only allows for one app to be open at a time; this is not necessarily a problem since, when you come right down to it, for the most part you can only use one program at a time, but it is sometimes a pain not to be able to see both programs at a time…)
Over the next few weeks, I’ll post some specific reviews of the knitting apps available for the iPad/iPhone and go into a lot more detail about pluses and minuses as I see them.