I recently told a friend that there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who have an iPad and those who want one. His reply added a third category: those who don't know what they are for. This prompted me to describe a typical day with my iPad. I am a 66-year old male retiree, and my iPad is a 16GB Wi-Fi model. I have a wireless network in my apartment, and my iPad follows me around faithfully to a variety of spots for reading, writing, watching television and more. Here is my day, along with my favorite apps.
In the Morning:
I use Alarm Clock HD (free, app2.me/3740) to wake me at a particular time. This app also gives me a peek at the current local weather. If I have specific outdoor plans, and I want a little more detail on the weather, WeatherEye HD (free, app2.me/3741) gives me a much more comprehensive look.
I'm out of bed, and it's time for my first check of e-mail through the built-in Mail app. Sometimes I have some correspondence with people in international locations, and I need to reply before I enjoy my breakfast.
Then I go to the table for a bowl of cereal and my morning news, which comes from several locations. I first check a few overnight sports scores. The ESPN ScoreCentre (free, app2.me/2679) brings me news and results from even obscure sports like tennis (my favorite). I get my international news from a very strong app by The International Herald Tribune (free, app2.me/3742). This app is very well-organized and provides its stories in the customary newspaper sections. My favorite source of news, however, is the Huffington Post (free, app2.me/2998). The app is so visually exciting. I often read it at different times during the day to catch up on current affairs and culture news.
During the Day:
Since I'm retired, my days aren't very well structured. I do have a small business building apps for the iPad, and there is usually some work to be done. I use PhotoShop on my laptop to do some of the work, but the rest involves either communicating via e-mail or web browsing on my iPad using Safari and Mail.
I like to listen to music while I work, and I usually plug my iPad into my amplifier when I have a serious work session ahead. I use my own playlists from iTunes through the iPod app, or those from the CBC Radio app (free, app2.me/3743). My absolute favorite music app is TuneIn Radio ($0.99, app2.me/2996), and it is the best 99 cents you can spend on an app! It has the greatest selection of Internet radio stations in the friendliest format anywhere.
My work often involves writing, and good reference apps are essential. I use Dictionary.com (free, app2.me/204), Wikipanion (free, app2.me/2483), and Terminology (2.99, app2.me/3519). Most banks have their own apps to help you handle your finances, and local errands can be accomplished with a combination of Maps and Yellow Pages (free, app2.me/3744).
As the day progresses, I check my e-mail on a regular basis, and the iPad is never far from me. Although I don't use any of the major social networking apps, I do use Twitter (free, app2.me/102) as a news feed. I don't tweet, but I follow quite a few tweeters who interest me. I often have a short nap after lunch and there is a super timer app, Giant Timer (free, app2.me/3745) that lets me know when I have had my 20 minutes.
I read quite a lot and I use the local library heavily. Most libraries, including mine, have apps for reserving and renewing books online. The reference apps above are very handy when I come across a new word. There are plenty of apps for purchasing e-books and magazine subscriptions, and they have abundant selections. I used an excellent magazine app, Zinio (free, app2.me/2402), when I was on a four-hour flight last week, and this is how I enjoy my iPhone Life magazine every month.
In the Evening:
At dinner time the iPad is at home in the kitchen. I don't cook much, but there are plenty of websites that are anxious to help, and there are hundreds of recipe apps.
There are also free special event apps that are superb. They are designed for short-term use around a specific event such as the Academy Awards or a golf tournament. Because they are built for a specific purpose, they give the users everything they need to enjoy the event and often include live, streaming video. You can delete them once the event is over.
I don't download many videos or movies, but I do like to watch one or two hours of TV in the evenings. There is a TV guide app, What's On (free, app2.me/3746), that is much more comprehensive and easier to use than anything on the television or in the newspaper. It is easily set for your location and cable provider. It gets two thumbs up from me.
While I'm watching TV, I often see an actor that I recognize from another show or movie. The Internet Movie Database app, IMDb (free, app2.me/2701), is very helpful for identifying characters. I am also not a computer gamer, but all of my grandchildren have loaded up their favorites on my iPad. For the occasional diversion, I like Sudoku (free, app2.me/2485), Word Warp (free, app2.me/3747) and Paper Toss (free, app2.me/2751).
One more app I should mention is Apple's word processing app, Pages ($9.99, app2.me/2412). I wrote this article with it on my iPad. So there it is. I use 20 to 25 apps in a typical day that suit my lifestyle. With over 400,000 apps in the App Store, chances are good that you'll find apps to suit your lifestyle as well.
I hope that you are enjoying your iPad as much as I am.A day in the life of a retiree and his iPadJuly-August 2011People24