Monday, October 4, 2010

iPads in Northwest Alaska


When I am busy on my “Don’t bother me it’s Tuesday night” night at home watching Glee and Raising Hope and commercials come on and just ruin the flow of the show, I get irritated. Very irritated. Especially watching all those Apple commercials!

The iPad, the iPhone, the iPod, the Mac vs PC. Funny how being billionaires can allow you to hire great graphic designers who know exactly what commercials you need so your husband, who’s been begging for a new phone, like, FOREVER, will buy one. Great commercials, now just get back to Glee, please!

Dead set on NOT getting an iPad, or new iPhone, I finally was able to “play” with one. CHANGE MY WORLD why don’t you!? We are an apple family. Everyone in our little family has an iTouch, (yes, even the 7 year old) we have a Mac computer, and a MacBook Air for travel. We have two iPhones (Yes, they work even 30 miles above the Arctic Circle) and one more on the way (Koy’s b-day present). When the iPad came out, my husband was on a mission. A mission to change my mind.

He didn’t. But the actual iPad itself did.

Recently, we had a board meeting at work. During the comments a board member sang praises to the iPad, and I finally took off my metal armor and played with it. I say “played with it” because come on, there is SO MUCH you can do with one. Aside from the one-app-at-a-time issue, I could access my email, access my work computer files, actually WORK on a document during the board meeting, and have it printed and ready to give to the Board before the meeting was even OVER. I could type on a semi-full keyboard and look at other documents without grabbing a microscope, or lugging around my laptop.

The iPad supports Microsoft Exchange and standard IMAP4 and POP3 email accounts. So my forwarded jokes of the day could be read during a hiatus of the meeting. More features include the ability to bookmark frequently used websites to the home screen. Hello Facebook! They are instant shortcuts to happytown.

And the Apps? Gosh-Allmighty, there is a GLEE APP for your iPad! That alone would justify me purchasing one just to sing along with them! Can you imagine? Singing Journey on your flight from Kotzebue to Anchorage…or from your flight from Ambler to Kotzebue?! I can. I am right now.

Work related though, can you justify getting an iPad to do everyday things? Because we travel so much here (Village-Village travel and Out of region travel as well) bringing your laptop with you is cumbersome and difficult at times. The iPad is sleek, slim and has the body I’ve always dreamed of. Shiny and new! But is it enough to buy one for work?


With the calendaring app, you can link your calendar, your bosses, coworkers, etc simply from an email they’ve sent saying they’ll be OOTO. With a portable printer/scanner, your boss can be in Fairbanks, receive a document, scan it over to you on his iPad, send it to you in Kotzebue, where you can do what you need to it with your Adobe Professional program, send it back to him in Fairbanks and he can print it off within minutes. MINUTES!

But if you’re into saving the trees, which we should all be into, because we don’t even HAVE trees in Kotzebue, you can scan pages and pages of documents for your employees or the people in the grant-writing class you’re teaching, send them off to them, and providing they have an iPad, they can browse them on the screen. No more PAPER PRODUCTS!

The cool factor will also be in play. When everyone pulls out their flip screen laptops and blocks the view of the people behind them, you can whip out your cool little iPad, use it comfortably in your lap without fear of blocking the presenter from the person who got the seat behind you. And with 10 hours of battery life, you won’t clamor for the corner seat in the classroom so you can plug in your laptop. You’ll be sitting pretty in the middle of the room.

Gone are the days of lugging around both your large, heavy laptop AND that three inch binder full of material you got from that class you’re taking. Pull out your iPad, scan the documents, and RECYCLE that paper. Then when your co-workers who don’t have an iPad are at the airport, you can smile and wave with your two large Moose’s Tooth Pizzas and itty bitty iPad, while they lug around the class materials and a laptop.

Better yet, two months later, when you need access to the class materials, you don’t have to figure out where you put that binder just grab the document off your iPad and flip through the pages. Easy Peasy, one, two threesy! And when that grant is funded, you can thank your iPad by buying another app.

Now, how does one justify getting an iPad when you have an iPhone and a MacBook? (or three iPhones and two MacBooks in our case) It seems ridiculous to think that you need ANOTHER apple gadget. But, accessing data online is much more efficient with the iPad. Paying your Alaska Airlines credit card is much easier when your iPhone isn’t getting any bars because it’s stormy out and your laptop ran out of batteries hours ago when the power went out. There are several scenarios that I can come up with, but the bottom line is that it makes work more efficient. And by “work” I mean your employer’s work and your own work.

Consider this. You take your iPad to work-work with you, and it gets done what it needs to get done. Then you take your iPad to home-work with you and you can pay your bills online, access 30-minute recipes where you don’t have to print it out, you just prop up your iPad on the counter and away you go making the best Spaghetti Carbonara your kids have EVER had. Then when your 14 year old has a science problem with the Periodical Table of Elements, he can access the Elements App you purchased for that and he can look up the exact element, including full color photos and write his report. When your husband wants to check what’s on sale at, he can do that in an instant, from the couch, drinking a beer. And when your 7 year old is “bored” even though her room is a mess, she can play educational games on your iPad. Either that or practice her piano lessons that she began taking on Thursday.

Are we getting one? Definitely. Thank goodness for the Alaska Dividends that come out on Thursday! Oh, and the NANA Dividend's that come out November 12th! It's great to be an Alaskan AND a NANA Shareholder!


gpc said...

I've only played a little and have struggled between the 4th gen iPod or the iPad, not that it matters since I can't afford either right now. I love the pocket size of the iPod but good golly, the iPad is a real working machine. I want it already, but you've made it sound even more reasonable! All I need now is a job . . .

jen said...

Please can you tell me which of the Elements apps you use? It sounds FAB!

Finnskimo said...

its called THE ELEMENTS! :)