Sunday, March 06, 2011

iDevices

It's a good thing that I got that iPod Touch a few weeks ago. It's my first iDevice ever, and I've immersed myself in learning to work it.

This practice has stood me in good stead for the past two days. Last night, Mark, JFM, John R, and I went to the Verizon store to see about getting John an iPad. The wireless internet connection that the store had set up for its iPads was malfunctioning. Because I know how to select a wireless connection on the iPod touch, I was able to navigate to the settings of the demo iPads to pick another working connection. As it was called "vzw ipad connection", or at least "vzw ipad..." something, I figured it belonged to the Verizon store and it would be OK to connect to it. And sure enough, both iPads connected without difficulty even though the hotspot was password protected, which means that someone, somewhere had already entered the password into the demo devices.

John was pleased enough with the iPad demonstration to buy one, so fast-forward to tonight after the iPad and its accompanying MiFi access point both had the time to charge fully. They asked me to set them up, which was when I discovered to my great displeasure that you HAVE to connect the iPad to a computer running iTunes in order to activate it. What. The. BLEEP. What if a person who buys an iPad doesn't OWN a freaking computer? Fortunately, we did have a computer available in order to do this, though I had to actually download and install iTunes on the computer in order to activate the iPad.

I don't begrudge Apple their insistence that their iDevices need iTunes to work, when they are connected to a computer. But I very much begrudge them their insistence that the iPad couldn't be activated unless it was hooked up to a computer running iTunes. The iPad should have been able to be activated all by itself, as a standalone device. PERIOD.

Yes, BTW, I know that the iPad 2 was just announced a couple days ago, and will become available on March 11. But John was willing to forego the newer model because he only plans to use his device for email, surfing the internet, and reading ebooks. Verizon said they'd make up the price differential, if the old model's price gets dropped by Apple when the new devices hit the market, so at least he'll be paying the fair market value for the original model when all is said and done.

I do have to say, iPads are really nice devices. I've got equipment that would fill the role of the iPad, at the moment, so I'm not as concerned about getting one (or any tablet) just now. But it was nice to get some hands-on experience on one so I can know what I want to do farther down the road, when my current gear is no longer able to do what I need it to do.

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