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iPad 3G: InUse

I didn't have any problems writing this article, as my goal was to convey some simple and pleasant observations that came into my mind while using this excellent device, which doesn't happen very often as of lately. As you may have noticed, the site can't boast of many "in use" materials these days, all due to the lengthy summer vacations. Among the earlier articles I would like to point out the one about the Motorola Milestone written by Alexey Ikonnikov. It is a good and useful article that will be read for years until the actual device disappears from the market completely. My iPhone 3Gs InUse, where I answered some questions about buying the device and how it is different from the 3G version, etc, enjoyed positive reception, too. As far as the iPad 3G is concerned, there is hardly any sense to spend much time on the software or jailbreaking issues. I will try to go over the most popular titles, and speaking of the latterЕ You know, having spent a good deal of money on the device itself, I can afford throwing in a little extra cash for some software. Personally I have no problems with that. I hope, my motivation is clear to you. I'm just setting an example (my iPhone 3Gs is virgin either) but do not insist that you do the same. If you don't have an iTunes account or time to figure out how to purchase additional software, then I find it strange that you have an iPad in the first place.

Contents:

  1. What is Different
  2. Software
  3. Internet as It Is
  4. Accessories
  5. Conclusion

What is Different

There is an article about the regular iPad Wi-Fi on our website. Right now, I would probably like to change it a little bit, but will let it stay as it is. Speaking of exterior differences, the iPad 3G features a SIM card slot and a plastic patch on the top. Obviously, the display gets dirty easily and although the oleophobic layer helps clean it, it rarely stays so for a long time.

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Software

I would be glad to have some more programs on my iPad 3G, but there are hardly any other options available. Of course, I have Angry Birds and Call of Duty, iBooks, iDisk and Asphalt 5 installed, but it is mostly the browser, e-mail and book reading functionalities that I tend to use. Occasionally, I play games but it is not priority one for me. Anyway, I would like to create some sort of an iPad Beginner's Guide by going through the list of software I use:

  • Angry Birds, an extremely popular game about destroying wooden and glass castles using birds. You should definitely see some gameplay video.
  • Call of Duty Zombies HD, a shooter ala CoD, very dynamic and interesting Ц I still can't get enough of it.
  • Medieval HD - destroying castles using various aids Ц from simple arrows to swordsmen and knights. It is effectively one of the best games of its kind for the iPhone and iPad.
  • Touch Hockey Ц hockey, interesting and simple.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Ц should be played despite all the "cons" (i.e. occasional crashes, impractical controls). It is interesting, funny, looks nice and, after all, you should know what all the fuss is about.
  • Slice it! It is a funny game where you will have to draw or cut stuff or do some other things to some lovely music to advance through the levels. It makes a good exercise for the brain, is quite interesting and even useful at that.
  • Friendly Facebook Browser - unlike the iPhone, there is no official client for the iPad and thus the position needs to be filled in somehow. The program is very good and has been selected by trial and error. Actually, you can take a look at the screenshots below. The bookmarks are at the top of the screen, viewing photographs is a breeze, albeit the user pictures are somewhat blurred a bit. The standard keyboard is supported, and the event browser is handy Ц in a word, only good things can be said about the program.
  • Twitter - it is better to use this program from the actual developers of the social network than the sluggish Twitterrific. The interface is nice and simple, the work is stable, and the feed list can be scrolled down for update, which I like very much.
  • Office HD is an alternative to iWork recommend by my experienced friends, which I am using for text input since there is some problem with installing the official program if your account is registered in Russia. The high-definition office (ha-ha) works in conjunction with the inbuilt email client. As you can see, documents can be opened in Office HD, edited and saved to some folder. The program is very handy and I like it very much. Some users have complaints about how it works with documents that have a lot of hyperlinks, though. Well, I can't really say anything about that; my tasks are fairly simple and Office HD works for me just fine. This is even more so because of its price, which is eight reasonable bucks (as opposed to, say, USD 17 that you would have to spend on Documents To Go)
  • - Nearly forgotЕ Don't waste your money on erotic junk in AppStore. There is only rubbish and nonsense (hoax) there, don't fall for it. The advice is true both for the iPad and iPhone.
  • Internet Radio Box, the best radio for the iPhone and iPad. It rocks, believe me.
  • Korg iElectribe, my favorite program, although I am still learning to use itЕ Should I really bother? It is for toying with electronic music. Oh, yes. They say it mimics Korg audio devices. It's hard to write about it, I think I will make a video for you instead. Or even better, I will write a full-fledged review to share my experience, as soon as I get in touch with Dembovsky. The toy (okay, it's not a toy) costs USD 17. In general, you can even use it to throw in a small party, especially if the majority of your visitors are on good terms with tasty alcoholic beverages.

I install new software on two occasions: either I have nothing to do and start searching or I am looking for something in particular. Some things may be recommended by friends or mentioned in the news. Hence you are free to share your software experience with other readers on the forum. Just like I did. It will be of great help. My personal list isn't expensive; you can easily check that it is below USD 50. Does it pay off to jailbreak the iPad? You need to find your own answer to that question.

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Internet as It Is

Now I would like to tell you how I use the iPad 3G in my everyday life. Before I even start, I need to emphasize that it is not at all similar to the iPad Wi-Fi, which is good only when there is a hotspot nearby. And that is not always true. There is no sense comparing the device to the iPhone either Ц because of the display diagonal, the user experience is going to be closer to that with a netbook or laptop than with a phone. It is also more convenient to work with email. Having configured all my accounts and enabled Push on the iPad, all I have to do is to take the device out to read new messages every once in a while, which is very handy. Unlike the iPhone, you have no problems with incoming calls Ц to put it simple, nobody will ever call you at the iPad. However, there turned out to be another problem there. Sometimes, the modem or connectivity program simply freezes, so that you have to switch to the flight mode for a few seconds. Think of it as of some sort of rebooting. It works nearly all the time.

Yet the most important thing is that, unlike a laptop, the iPad makes a very good choice for a cafe or restaurant. First of all, you don't attract that much attention. If your device is in a case, some may even confuse it with a book in a cover or some folder. In the second place, you can press a single button Ц and the iPad is immediately ready. In the third place, it will take you only a few seconds to check if there is Wi-Fi available nearby, and if not Ц just a few sighs to switch to 3G/EDGE.

Of course, you will never be able to download torrent files on the iPad, watch very hi-res movies and do other things that powerful laptops are capable of. But do you need that? That is the main question.

Using this device, I can check my favorite websites, update Twitter and Facebook news feeds, receive e-mail and reply to important messages, and do all that with comfort. It is just like a phone, only much handier.

People often ask me, which iPad to buy Ц the regular one or 3G. It is interesting to observe different motivations. For example, if you are planning to use the device for gaming most of the time, with the browser and e-mail being of little importance, then you are very unlikely to miss the "phone" features. On the other hand, never say never. Today you are playing games and watching TV shows (reading books), but tomorrow you may need a device which can stay online almost anywhere.

Hence the choice between the iPad Wi-Fi and iPad 3G is an easy one. Certainly, it is better to take the latter. It is more expensive, but as the owner of both devices I can say that it is worth the difference.

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Accessories

There exist a lot of interesting and original accessories for the iPad, and we have reviewed many of them:

iPad Camera Connection Kit review

Seven Cases: Made for iPad

As far as the original Apple stuff is concerned, I like the case: although it is a fingerprint magnet, it is inexpensive and functional. Another important thing is the camera adapter, which I am intended to buy. The keyboard dock is horrible. Being quite large, it is not very handy to carry around, and I don't find it useful anyway. A wireless keyboard, either from Apple or some other manufacturer, is a much better option. However, you should consider one only if you are planning to work with documents a lot, which we will talk about later.

As you know, there are no headphones in the device bundle and you are free to choose any model out there. Personally I use the Apple balanced armature headphones with microphone and remote control. It is so nice to read a book while listening to the music somewhere in the evening.

So, let's say you just bought an iPad and are very happy about that Ц what else may you need? In my opinion, you should think about a case. Even though the aluminum back won't scratch easily, it is better to protect the case (also works as a disguise). Another important thing is a mains charger, as it is very boring and tiresome to charge the iPad over USB. It is better to buy the original charger.

Anything else, believe you me, should only be bought if really necessary. If you get a feeling that you are working with documents a lot, then buy a keyboard. Don't buy anything just in case!

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Conclusion

On the whole, I am very satisfied with the device. And will be even more so when all iPad owners get a new firmware with multitasking and other features, which I really miss, every now and again - and alas, in vain Ц pressing the button below the screen twice. At the moment, the iPad serves as a laptop replacement for me. It is much handier: works longer, weighs less, has 3G connectivity, programs start and close immediately, and there is no need to reboot or shut it down Ц the sleep mode works flawlessly. As far as the storage memory is concerned, the 32 GB model should be a reasonable choice. I am using only 28 GB out of 64 GB and can hardly think of anything else to have on my iPad.

Of course, it may seem like the device will blossom if coupled with the iPhone, but in fact it is not so. It is much better to use a simple phone for calls and maybe music instead. And use the iPad for everything else.

Well, nearly for everything else.

P.S. I would highly appreciate your help with the software. If you use anything that I forgot to mention, write about it on the forum, please. Thank you very much my dear reader.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

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Related links

iPad Camera Connection Kit review

Office in a pocket

Sergei Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal
Translated by Olexandr Nikolaychuk (meiam@inbox.com)

Published — 27 September 2010

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com

 

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