Choosing Sides

If I had to pick, it’d be the iPad. That’s the device that has changed my world more than any other. In the morning I pull the iPad off the charger, I use it all day to answer email, read, follow the news, do work, and then put it back on the charger at night, a full 16 hours later.

When I travel I used to carry all kinds of stuff with me — books, laptop, CD player, DVD player — all to keep me entertained. Now, my iPad does just fine [1]. I load it with movies and off I go. Generally I don’t even bother carrying a laptop with me, unless I know I will need to write code while away. Otherwise my iPad does the trick for me.

I never run out of battery. In fact, I don’t even notice the battery meter anymore. I have been trained that my iPad’s battery will easily last until the next charging cycle.

Most people I know say their iPhone is their most prized device. I use my iPhone, too, but a simpler, smaller device would suit me just as well. For years I carried a PalmPilot and dumb phone, even long after the smartphone category was invented. I never cared much about the phone. And it still annoys me that even a day of light use drains the battery on my iPhone down to nothing. I spend all my time calculating and worrying about running out, which is just plain annoying.

We are all different. Everyone has their own preferences. No matter what your choice, it strikes me that we are living in the golden age of technology products. Maybe there’s an amazing future of voice activated, monitoring devices that can tell me what I need before I need it. But if what we have today is the zenith, I’ll take it.

[1] The other device I love is also a device I carry with me when I travel: a Kindle Paperwhite. All the books I can read, extremely lightweight, a subtle backlight that doesn’t wake up my wife when I can’t sleep and need to read in the middle of the night, and a battery that lasts a month!