Recently I bought the new iPad (or iPad 3). Partially as a treat to myself for getting things done ahead of time at Uni this year, and partly because I've wanted one for ages.

First off, the screen is awesome. Vibrant colours and a super high pixel count make apps and videos pop. The camera is great, although I don't really know what circumstances I'll actually use it for. Video calls have been good, audio is clear and the experience is great. However as Chris pointed out ( there are some things with it that are illogical. Though, as you can see in my comment there, it's adequate for me.

Throughout University I've been using a laptop as a means of working, social networking, reading, keeping up to date with news, and watching on demand TV. Despite it being a laptop however, I find it a little restrictive in its mobility. It's hassle for me to unplug it (even with magsafe) and take it downstairs to watch something on the sofa. It also gets a bit repetitive using the same machine for almost everything I do involving a screen (other than Xbox). The iPad has changed how I use the internet.

Social Networks

I'm a big fan of social networking. I use it quite regularly, perhaps too much. For me it's a great means of catching up with how people are and organising things with them like going to the pub. The apps available on the iPad are honestly some of the best apps I've used. Now that my two main apps have been updated to the 'Retina' display the images are far sharper and the experience is made better through this. I've used a variety of different devices with notification systems; Windows Phone 7 with Live tiles, BlackBerry with it's BlackBerry style stuff, and now iOS.

The notification customisation on iOS is great. It reminds me of the BlackBerry in that respect. They're quick to happen, quite often beating a browser Facebook chat for notifications - impressive. Being able to see a large majority of updates in one place is great. But there are a few issues that may be changeable in the future. I mostly think of my chats on Facebook to be private. Much like my text messages. However, the Facebook application seems to publicly display these notifications on the lock screen. Though thanks to the lock no-one but me can respond, the messages can still be read. But that's barely an annoyance, because generally where I use it most (the house) I'm around people that I trust. The internet doesn't sleep, and almost sadly it's expectant of prompt responses, unlike past times where it would be through email life seems to have changed to instant - more on that for another post.

By flicking through Facebook or Twitter the experience changes. On my Lumia it's great. The People hub on Windows Phone is one of my favourite things. Being able to see a summary of everything up to date in one place is great and saves me a lot of procrastination time. On a computer it's a little more laborious but almost a richer experience than that on a mobile phone. But it's almost less interactive. Keyboard and mouse interaction seems to be old hat, though I'm still a fan of the Mac's touchpad and multi-touch gestures. The iPad, or I guess any slate/tablet device is a mid-way device. Not quite a phone, not quite a laptop, but still as useable and convenient as both, for me. There's something about flicking across to pull up a menu that just isn't quite repeated on Windows Phone or on a computer.


I spend a lot of time browsing the web. Looking at news, articles, pictures, and videos as well as to chat to people I know. A trackpad and Apple's 'Natural Scroll' are a normal means of navigating. But through the use of a touch screen device in your hand, like a mobile phone or tablet the experience changes. Tapping a picture to zoom, and using swiping gestures to navigate around a page is great. Especially with the modern web development techniques out there designed to take advantage of these capabilities. Being able to zoom in to focus on the article text rather than seeing the whole site really means you can narrow down and read what interests you. By far the most satisfying aspect of this is being able to do this in the palm of your hand, meaning it could be on a bus, train, or sofa. Meaning I can relax with a story online, or watch a video and get involved in discussions without sitting at a desk. I can do some research on papers and areas of interest too with a refreshed experience.


I never really saw a clear difference in viewing multimedia on these devices. Normally I'll sit down and watch TV or a film. But that'll be restricted to where the TV or computer is. It's effort to unplug and move a TV, and even a laptop at times - especially if I have a mouse, network cable and other things plugged in. But with a phone or tablet it's easy to unplug it if it's charging, or just pick it up and take it to where you want to be. Having it in your lap makes it effortless to pause, change volume and watch. As well as being convenient to have wherever you want it. It can add a social element to watching programmes too. Just chatting to a friend watching the same thing, or engaging with the masses following a trend. In addition well as being a great sharp screen.

It's certainly changing how I use and view things on the web. What about you? Do you have a tablet device? Want one, or against getting one? Feel free to sound off.