After close to 10 months with a 3G-WiFi iPad, I am finally “returning” my BlackBerry (through my employer) in favour of using my own iPad as my sole communication tool.
The advantages of the iPad:
- screensize: larger screensize with the ability to “expand” text using the 2-finger swipe/stretch technique (this is a huge factor for older people like me with dwindling eyesite)
- browsing: fully functional browsing on the Internet, including the ability to do meaningful Westlaw, Lexis and CanLII searching (among other legal research databases)
- email: a great email client, allowing the ability to have both personal Gmail and work email in the same email reader
- entertainment: there is no comparison with the choice of games and the movie/music/entertainment options on the iPad compared to a BlackBerry
The disadvantages of the iPad:
- size: the larger size makes it awkward at cocktail parties because it is slightly too large to fit inside a suitjacket pocket
- not a telephone: no incoming phone call ability (unless I am logged into Skype) and no real SMS text option
I can live with the disadvantages since I rarely used the BlackBerry to get incoming calls and I was not a heavy texter. The Skype app seems to work well when I am on the road (and for people who buy the next generation iPad which is rumoured to have a webcam, there is the possiblity of video-Skyping with an iPad). In any event, I am online most of the time and email is a fairly instantaneous form of communication for me.
On other iPad news, I finally “tested” the Dragon Dictation app. However, to my surprise, there was no real training required. I actually had a hard time making the software make a spelling or grammatical error. When setting it up, it gave the option of scanning my Outlook addresses to learn people’s names. This was a nice feature since when dictating some of the complicated names in my address book, it didn’t make a single mistake by providing an incorrect phonetically similar name.
A final note on water damage to BlackBerrys: in an ultimate irony, on the weekend before I decided to hand my BlackBerry back to my employer, it inadvertently went through a load of laundry in my washing machine. Not good. Although I took it apart to dry out, I suspect it may not survive. Since telling other people about this mishap, I have been told that placing a slightly water-damaged unit in a bowl of uncooked rice will help dry it out. Not sure that would of worked in my situation, but I thought I would mention that tip in case is saves someone else in a similar situation.