Over the past few weeks, we've heard many people say, "The iPad is cool, but what would I do with it?" This new series aims to answer that question. We'll examine one user case per post, from couch surfer to mobile professional, and describe just how that person uses his or her iPad.
As a professional blogger, there are 5 things I need to do my job:
- A comfortable, reliable keyboard
- A text editor
- RSS feeds
- Web access
- A reference tool for compiling research
The iPad's software keyboard is more usable that I expected. It's forced me to develop a hybrid typing method that's part hunt-and-peck and part touch typing. Years ago, I learned to keep my fingers in the home position, lightly touching the keys. On the iPad, "lightly touching" means "pressing," so now I hover just above the keys.
The landscape keyboard is just a bit smaller than a standard keyboard, so I can't keep my hands in the true home position. However, knowing each key's location without having to look is tremendously helpful. With a bit of practice, my muscle memory has adapted to the smaller keyboard. The real key, as with the iPhone, is to be fearless and type. The iPad will correct the vast majority of your mistakes.
That being said, I don't want to write more than a few hundred words with it. Even with the above accommodations, I still make more errors than I do with a physical keyboard. Therefore, Apple's Bluetooth keyboard is essential. It's a breeze to set up, fits squarely in a bag and is barely wider than the iPad itself. With the iPad docked and the keyboard in place, I'm ready to write.