While at the Apple store, I would have to justify things for customers. Should I get this or that? Big or Small? What kind of iPad one should get, was always the hardest one to chew through with a client. The iPad comes in six versions and offering someone a choice of more than three makes their eyes gloss over like they’re at a glaucoma convention. Customers would ask what the difference between all 6 iPads were and I would show them the price grid – to which they didn’t want to see the explanation, they wanted to hear it with interesting metaphors as their guide.
There are two types of iPads: With and without 3G connectivity, or iPads that don’t talk as much and iPads that will never shut up. Both types of iPads have WiFi so in case there isn’t any free, open connections, the 3G iPads will effortlessly switch over from WiFi to the cell phone network and start working on downloading your favorite Segway crashes video. If you purchase the 3G version, it means you will rarely not be connected to the internet. Such freedom comes with a price but thankfully the three major cell phone carriers are doing their iPad data plans month by month, and not under contract. You can also manually revise your data plan via the iPad, instead of communicating with the carrier directly. Easy!
After that, they split the iPads into memory sizes: 16G, 32G and 64G. My last month at the store saw me selling a lot more 64G versions (both with and without 3G) to business types who primarily were using them for remote access to emails, PDFs (reading,reating and receiving) and generally keeping connected. I rarely sold an iPad to someone who just wanted to use it for “travel only” which is something SharkBoy says he admits he will use his for when he gets one, but I suspect after playing with it (and tweeting with it) he may drop his small screen iPhone for it in a flash.
If you’re going to use it for fun, family or just kicking back, I would suggest the 16G or 32G sizes. If you’re using it for business, go big. How much you’ll be using it on the road should decide whether or not to get the 3G version.
Will there be a hardware upgrade? It stands to reason that Apple will upgrade their highly successful iPads to something more robust, especially now that RIM has blown away the nerds with their new PlayBook yesterday. When they will do this is anyone’s guess. Most likely in April, a year after they first introduced it, much like they did for the iPhone. If they add a camera, Retina Display, boost the RAM etc, is anyone’s guess. I would say it’s safe to buy one now and get at least a few months of enjoyment out of it, then sell it to a student in the future.
iPad App of the Day: Spirit HD
I seem to get a lot of playtime out of the more deceptively simple games, like Flight Control or Osmosis. In this game you are a little winged ghost championed to surround your enemy with a ghosty plasma field – doing so makes them fall into… nothing. The trick is that for every movement of your finger, the ghost cursor moves .5 times further and faster than your slide, so getting from one part of the screen to the other is a bit tricky. I like how the graphics throw back to The Tempest video game but with less stress. The gameplay speaks to the hidden OCD child in me: CLEAN ALL THE THINGS off the screen!