I currently own two tablets: an iPad (third generation) and a Nexus 7. For a while, I thought that tablets seemed like a complete gimmick and did not even vaguely consider purchasing one. Since then, I have had time to think about what I want from my different devices and, most importantly, have been overpowered by the shiny devices.
When deciding to purchase the iPad, the main item that convinced me was the presence of a lot of extremely well-made aviation apps. Many of the apps for aviation (most notably Foreflight) are available only for iOS so that helped make the decision a lot easier. In addition to these apps, the iPad did bring with it a slightly added status boost and looked cool. Thinking that I could use the device for note taking as well as for aviation, I decided to buy one in October.
Since I bought the iPad, I have used it for a variety of tasks, none of which actually had to do with flying (one exception here, but ignoring it). The two main uses I have had for the iPad are reading the New York Times and using iAnnotate. The New York Times is an outstanding source of news and being able to simply grab the iPad from my nightstand and start looking at todays news the moment I wake up is very nice for me. iAnnotate is also extremely useful and has made reading pdf documents a much less painful experience as well as improving my productivity whenever I need to do so. In addition to the apps, I love the navigation that Apple built into the device (the multi-finger dragging). In spite of these great apps and the couple nice UI features, I can definitely say that the iPad was not worth its cost to me. In general, the iPad has been an excellent gadget to amuse myself with, and one that has helped me be slightly more productive. I cannot, however, say that it was worth its cost.
A few months later, becoming jealous of the Nexus 7 that was to be my mother’s Christmas present, I decided to purchase one of these tablets for myself. Primarily, I really liked the simple Google UI, Google Now, and the smaller size. Of these three, I still love the UI and Google Now, but the size has not actually affected the way I use it. Coming from a phone with motoblur, the fact that everything was simple and worked the way I would expect was refreshing. Regarding Google Now, the first time I turned the device on was as I was about to leave for the airport and it immediately pulled up my flight information along with directions to the airport and travel time. That was enough to sell me on it being useful and cool and was the main reason I became sold upon the device. Since then, I have found a lot of other cool features in Google Now, but it has become kind of useless with a tablet that does not have a constant internet connection. As far as value goes, I use the Nexus a lot less than I do the iPad, however, it also cost a lot less. If I no longer had the iPad, I think I could switch to using most of my common apps on the Nexus and still be satisfied. At $200, it is definitely worth it to get a Nexus 7 if you do not already have one, however, there is not enough of a bonus to purchase one if you already own one.
Using these two devices, I have learned a lot about how I use technology and what I expect of it. Tablets are never going to be able to fill the role of a primary device for me, however, they are a fun amusement and I am often glad I have at least one of mine. Owning two is a bit excessive for me, however, I am happy enough with each individually that I cannot imagine giving either up.
On a side note, I have had time to think about what apps I use the most while writing this and will be making a post soon about those.