As we are all pretty much aware–if we dare admit it to ourselves–the Apple iPad is an overpriced toy that, while maintaining some practical purpose, has very little (if any) edge on, say…a laptop or Netbook. Perhaps future generations of the iPad–or when companies like Google, Android, Amazon, etc get their “pad” products out–will be a virtual must-own for many consumers. As the market changes, as does the technology, and once we see a major flux in the social necessity for a notebook-size-touch-screen device, we’ll likely see more nay-sayers like myself rushing out to own one.
Like I said, there are some practical applications for the iPad that often go overlooked, and–for the purpose of this discussion–we’re going to take a look at several uses that may increase productivity in the workplace while substantially decreasing your office’s carbon footprint (that is, of course, if you don’t count the endless quantity of iPads bound to show up in a landfill or lining the streets of a small Chinese village).
There already exists a program called WritePad, which is essentially a note-taking app similar to any computer software that you would get for free. This one will cost you about $9.99.
On the other hand, there’s SoundPaper, a much cooler application (in both practicality and title). SoundPaper (Now SoundNote) is a note-taking application, yes, but it also records audio for personal notes or recording meetings. Not only does this allow you to play back key moments you may have missed, but also allows you to tap a certain portion of your notes to jump right to the recorded audio concerning that topic. Pretty neat.
The key to a “green” office is using less and less throw-away materials. After all, even if you recycle, the carbon footprint is fairly significant. Rather than setting up messy fax machines and an interconnected IT department, a free iPad program called BoxNet or DropBox allows for easy file sharing and transfers across multiple computers and devices–all within a virtual cloud of information.
It’s common knowledge by now that printing virtually anything has become a thing of the past. In any office or home, the only elements that tend to be physically printed out are things that need to be printed out. Otherwise, it’s much faster and easier to use your computer or portable device for all of your reading and viewing pleasure. If you’re on the go, an app called Instapaper may be of use (if you find you’re printing articles and emails to read later). InstaPaper allows the user to bookmark virtually anything with text to read at a later date without the stress of having to remember who the e-mail was from, which website you visited, or why you found that latest Marmaduke strip so hilarious.
The iPad (or any e-reader) practically eliminates the need for printed works. Certainly, a few books or magazines lying around will do you no harm, and some people prefer the physical element of having pages to leaf through in this overwhelmingly technological existence. But if you’re on the go, carrying around reference materials can make you feel like you’re living in the Dark Ages.
The iPad has a plethora of fine applications and reading material to choose from depending on your interests or career. For example, if you need to keep up with The Wall Street Journal, it’s free. That’s right. Free–on the iPad. If you need computer text books, medical encyclopedias, catalogs, or tutorials to get you through your busy schedule as a Computer Engineering Fashion Marketing Doctor on the go, hey–there’s an app for that.
Apple wants the iPad to be your friend and personal assistant (for a price). The Control4 app–if your office or home is set up with Control4–will allow you to automate every electric element using the iPad. Forgot to turn off your work PC or the office lights? No worries, iPad‘s got you covered.
So there you have it. If you spent the money on one of these futuristic toys, you have every opportunity to make the best of it and use it to its fullest potential. And there’s no time to start like the present–because we all know that the clock is ticking on when Apple, Google, Android, or whoever, will render the piece of technology on which you just blew your entire savings obsolete. Anyone not liking their used apple ipad and ready to move on to a different device? The BlueDot will offer top dollar for your used devices.