27 May 2010

Me & My iPad: A No-Love Story (So Far)

So I've had my iPad for nearly a month now. Each day I carry it to the office in the morning, where it usually sits in my duffel bag for eight hours. Each night, I carry it home. I recharge it. I might get in a quick bout of Angry Birds before bed, or check on my crops--usually rotten crops with the sad face floating above them--in We Rule.

This has not turned out to be the love story I hoped it might be.

It's not the iPad's fault. It does everything it promised it would do. It lights up. It looks pretty. It responds to my touches/caresses.

Yet I don't feel compelled to use it on a regular basis, and I don't know why that is. After four weeks, it has not become my go-to place for connection and information. (My laptop and iPhone still get all the attention around here.)

In fact, I spend more time using my Xbox 360 than I do using the iPad. Here's a list of the things in my home that I spend more time using than the iPad:

1. Laptop.
2. iPhone.
3. Xbox 360.
4. PlayStation 3.
5. Philips Sonic Care toothbrush.
6. Wii.
7. PSPgo.
8. Sears Microwave.
9. Cat 1.
10. DSi.

(Sorry, Cat 2, you did not qualify.)

Make no mistake, I have seen some truly great things on the iPad. But will this machine ever becomes an organic part of my life? I'm growing increasingly skeptical. I downloaded the Amazon Kindle App a few weeks ago and bought Michael Lewis's Moneyball, to see if I could stomach reading a book on the iPad. I read a few chapters--chapters which I no longer recall the sum and substance of for some reason--then completely forgot about it.

That seems to be happening on an ever increasing basis for me: I continually forget that the iPad is there, that it's even an entertainment/communication option at all. Sure, it can do cool shit. But for the most part it does cool shit that my iPhone and laptop were already doing (and doing well).

There's also the expense of the thing, and the whole fragility factor. I've dropped my iPhone a hundred times, and not winced, because at the end of the day, it's my phone. (I've been dropping cellphone for 10 years.) Yet whenever I handle the iPad, I feel like I need to scrub my hands and arms like a surgeon first, and maybe put on a freshly pressed shirt. There's a formality inherent in using the iPad that I don't like. Last week, my girlfriend was using it WHILE EATING POPCORN. (This sight nearly made me stroke out.)

Man, I don't know.

Until it can really show me something--and I still hold out hope that it will--and until it feels like a more integral part of my daily existence, the iPad is in danger of becoming by far the most expensive item in my junk drawer/electronics graveyard.