Lately I’ve noticed that there’s a new trend in the way I’ve been using my iPad 2 or, rather, the way I haven’t been using it. That’s just it: I haven’t been using it. I’ve owned my iPad for about two years now and I go through the highs and lows. The highs are when I use it a lot for reading articles, playing games, organizing my life, maybe even watching a movie, and so on. The lows are when I’ll occasionally pick it up to do any one of those activities here and there.
Something tells me this “low” I’m in right now isn’t going away. The sad fact of the matter is even three years after its release, as useful as it can be, almost anything I can think of doing on my iPad I can just as easily do on my MacBook. Hell, in some cases it’s easier. That’s especially true since OS X Mountain Lion came out with Reminders, Notes, and Messages apps, all of which were once exclusive to iOS and therefore required me to use either my iPhone or iPad to access them.
As of now, on the weekends my iPad acts mainly as a paperweight. It rests on top a flat neoprene sleeve on my desk. I give credit where credit is deserved, so it’s important to mention that I do actually use the thing. Being a student, I bring it to my classes every day. I use Evernote to take notes, iStudiez Pro to keep track of assignments and exams, Penultimate for sketches and diagrams, and Apple’s own Messages app to chat with friends while the professor assume I’m taking notes. Obviously a few other apps get thrown in the mix now and then, but those are the main ones. The minute I get back home from classes, the iPad takes a nap on my desk again until the next day.
The iPad has mainly become a travel companion, but that’s it. It’s a fantastic travel companion though. My laptop I bring almost nowhere because even though it’s a MacBook Air, it’s not nearly as portable as the iPad is. The problem is if I didn’t have an iPad, something tells me I’d be able to get along just fine bringing my laptop everywhere. It’d be a bit more of a hassle, but life would go on. If I didn’t have classes during the week, I’m not sure if I’d use my iPad at all.
I do want to eventually buy an iPad mini as an upgrade to my current iPad some time this year. I’m waiting for a refresh. Since I quite enjoy the iPad strictly as a travel computer, the iPad mini might just be perfect for me. Plus, I’d get to save some green.
But unfortunately what this boils down to is that the iPad as years have passed and sales have grown is still not something people need. A lot of people who want one don’t even know why they want one. The iPad is very special in that it’s one of the rare devices in which people figure out why they wanted it after they bought it.
Despite the iPad losing a substantial amount of its magic in my eyes over the past couple of years, it’s still a good device to have. It remains a luxury, however, and I think it’s going to be a while before it becomes an absolute necessary. I could be alone on that opinion, but I think I can probably represent the voice of anyone already in possession of a portable, yet fully functional laptop.
Then again, perhaps sometimes a little bit of luxury is a necessity.