Thoughts on iPads

I personally will highly recommend iPad for medical professionals. Before I go on any further, I am a Windows user. I have been one for years and still am a Windows user. They still got awesome games!

I believe a tablet has its place as an “adjunct” to your main PC/notebook, rather than replacing your laptop on the go.

I was in the market for a device where I can use to mainly read my materials on the go. I stumbled upon iPad 1 at the Apple store, and I realised it suited my need for that device on the go, long battery life and a simple UI.

Reliability of iOS on iPad : I love customisation of course, but there are things in my daily life I think I prefer to keep it simple so that it can work reliably. I have jailbroken my iPad before, but I realised I just need it to work when I want to. Less customisations will result in less crashes and easier troubleshootings.

App store : At the time of my purchase, there were two applications I was looking for. A note taking app and a pdf reader app, which I can “sync” the materials with my laptop. I stumbled Evernote on the web and had to try a few pdf apps before settling on GoodReader. Both these apps remain my most frequently apps to these days. There are other excellent and frequently updated medical apps as well.

One of my biggest buy is an interactive Harrison’s Principle of Internal Medicine which cost me about AUD200, approx RM 600+ roughly the same price for the hardcover anyway. Besides that, if you are a radiologist, you will notice that many imaging companies have or are still developing apps for access to radiological images on the go.

Long battery life – it used to be a big selling point for tablet over laptops but less so now considering you have other tablets on the market. However, iPads have always been a leader in device endurance. A 9-10 hours use for those on the go. Of coz, much less if you are going to use for gamings(which I don’t do often)

Apple is here to stay – Being such a big company with almost infinite resources,I know that the device will last me over at least the next 2-3 years. We have probably seen some bad examples by other manufacturers such as the WebOS, or even Samsung nowadays. P.S. I also own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 as well, which annoys me a little because of the lack of official software updates (not saying they are better) despite it being a mid 2012 purchase.

Do not expect it to perform like a PC : A tablet, if I may quote the late Steve Jobs, is to be used to consume medias. I think he captured it very well. I never expect my tablets to perform like my laptop/PC when it comes to “creating medias” e.g. word processing, powerpoint presentation, writing articles, rendering movies. Not to say the iPad can’t, it’s just not very good at it, reserving its use to only urgent matters. I do still add bits and pieces of my notes on my Evernote.

Regardless of electronic devices you are going to use, it will only frustrate you if you do not learn how to be “digitally organised.” You must practice diligence in updating your medias on your PC as well as organise them in a systematic order. No device can do that for your automatically. You have to learn how to tag the articles so it can be easily recalled from your digital archives if need be in the future.

On the iPad purchase for medical professionals, I will highly recommend a 3G iPad 2. It’s a great value in today’s market. It’s lighter than the Retina iPad (maybe that’s why they still selling iPad 2) Unless you have cash to spare and plan to play a lot of high end and expensive games on the device, I would not recommend the Retina iPad. An iPad mini will be a good choice as well, if not for the fact that it’s quite overpriced at the moment. The idea of having a tablet with in your hands on the go is a very attractive proposition. However, from my personal experience, during work, if you have the time to read on an iPad, you would have the time to sit down with a cup of coffee and place the iPad on the table to slowly read through it. That’s why I don’t think the iPad mini represents so much of a value, unless you think the weight is a big issue (which I think it’s sometimes because I often read in my bed lying down, that’s why I got a mini as well:)

I might write another post about recommended apps in iPads in the future.