iPad: What For?

People buy gadgets for all kinds of different reasons. Indeed, there are as many reasons as users. Here are my excuses reasons for getting an iPad (which I do not have yet).

1. I want a really portable solution for carrying around Bibles and books. “Around” means, basically, around the house, as well as the church or classroom settings. I’ve used notebooks and iPods, but they are either too large or too small. I thought the iPod touch would be a great deal, and it is in many ways, but I personally find it a bit unworkable for my purposes, due to its rather limited screen real estate.

For the last few weeks I’ve been doing my Bible reading off a study Bible that weighs around 1.4 Kg (nothing unusual for study Bibles). I keep it in the sitting room and also take it to church, and as much as I like the feel of a book in my hands, my wrists start to hurt after a short while, the font size appears to be increasingly smaller as time goes by, and I have to keep moving around in search of a better lighting angle. Besides, I need a ball pen and a notepad to jot things down (I know, I know…). I’m hoping the iPad, which is less than half that weight, allows font typeface and size changes, has its own light and (as far as Bible programs go) is capable of attaching notes to the text, will greatly enhance my current experience. All of it with the form factor of a study Bible and the added bonus of having dozens and dozens of other Bibles and reference books readily accessible without increasing its weight one bit!

2. I want to spend more time in the house’s common area, with the rest of my family.  The iPad looks eminently suited for this. The idea of sitting comfortably on a couch while doing what I need to do, rather than spending more hours in my study is quite appealing. Even if I have to occasionally wear earbuds, it is much better to be together. And more fun!

3. I’m tired of using a mouse. Again, I relish the thought of doing things with my fingers and taking breaks from clicking away. There is something about interacting with a device with my hands that I find more relaxing and natural than other methods.

4. Since the iPad seems to be a true entertainment hub, it should become an alternative way to listen to music and podcasts, and watch films, streaming videos and photos.

I guess what I’m looking for is something of a balance between productivity, study and relaxation. Will the iPad fit the bill? Well, I’ll soon find out. Will I discover new excuses, er… reasons I did not anticipate? Probably. Monday is the day…


BSR News Update

I apologize for the rather long blogging hiatus. My professional work load is such right now that I do not foresee any noticeable changes in the coming months. I’m simply too busy and have to meet various deadlines. As I’m sure you will understand, that takes priority over any other activities on the side (including BSR). So, don’t count on any new major review anytime soon, although I may be able to blog occasionally. I’ll also try to tweet about what’s new as time permits.

Fortunately, there are some fine people whom you can turn to for news and updates on Bible software programs. Mark’s blog is always worth checking, and Kevin Purcell keeps abreast of the latest developments.

These are exciting times for Bible software, despite the current economic crisis. The recent launch of the iPad has opened up yet another study platform that looks very promising. I plan on getting one myself (it’s not available yet here in Europe), and hope to share my experience with you in due course. Perhaps I will even end up posting some mini-reviews or videos. Who knows?

I’m sorry I haven’t got better news for you at this point. My efforts to have other people join BSR and share the amount of work a site like this entails have not been successful. I’m not giving up just yet, but expect to see me more off than on, at least during what’s left of 2010.

Take care!