iPad 2 or iPad, too?
The iPad 2 takes portable computing to a whole new level. The interactive touchscreen gives you effortless control over documents and emails as well as entertainment, and will keep you online whilst on the go.
We take a look at the best features of the iPad, and also consider the improvements when used in conjunction with an iPhone*. After all, a signficant number of iPad sales are made to a customer who already owns another Apple product! And there is plenty to like about the combination of an iPad and an iPhone...
*applies to iPhones running iOS 5 only. iOS 5 is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S
Feature 1: The Web
One of the fundamental reasons why the iPad is popular is because of the ease with which you can browse the web whilst you're on the move. Even when you're using it at home for casual browsing, the internet experience is unrivalled. Just some of the reasons for this include: acres of screen space to browse with, easy touch-typing for online search, and tabulated browsing just like you'd find on your home PC. Because your iPad is always on, you can start searching almost immediately - no waiting, no problem!
If you've already got your favourite i-device snuggled in your pocket, you'll know that the web experience on an iPhone is great. Rest assured that it is even better on an iPad! And what is more, you'll be able to sync your bookmarks from your iPhone to your iPad, making it even easier to browse your favourite sites on your iPad.
Another feature you may want to take advantage of is iOS 5's "Reader". When browsing on your iPhone, you may come across an article that you're interested in, but simply haven't got time to read now. Simply mark the "Reader" button, and voila! The article will be available across all your devices, including your iPad, so you can read it at your leisure later on!
Feature 2: Contacts and Messaging
The iPad 2 allows you to stay in touch on the go, not just by email, but also by via Apple's own communication technologies, iMessage and Facetime. iMessage is a type of instant messaging system that allows you to instantly communicate with other iPhone users, without the need for a text allowance. This is perfect for an iPad, as contracts are not sold with a text allowance. FaceTime is a video calling system that operates over Wi-Fi and allows you to call other iOS 5 users.
As you'd expect, in order to make the most out of these systems, you'll need your contact list so that you can easily stay in touch. Here is where you'll be one step ahead if you already have an iPhone: you can simply merge your contacts to iCloud, and you'll be able to automatically pick them up on your iPad!
All you need to do is enable iCloud on your iPhone, then navigate to Settings and click "Merge contacts". Not only will all your contacts sync automatically, but they are also backed up to iCloud, so you can easily restore them if you accidentally delete an essential number or email address.
Feature 3: Apps
The App Store has a dedicated section for iPad-exclusive apps, optimised for the screen size and functionality of the iPad. Ranging from fun to functional, you'll find exciting 1st person player games, smart solution business apps, and everything in between! Without doubt, apps will enhance your experience of the iPad and give you highly increased functionality - and many are free, so try some out to see how you like them!
For current iPhone users, you'll already have your favourite apps that you've used and loved and are currently on your iPhone. Thanks to the ability to sync your devices, you can have all your favourite apps pushed to your iPad, too! You can even set the sharing settings so that every new app you download is shared to both! One word of warning, though: not all apps in the App Store look equally good on both the iPhone and the iPad.
Feature 4: Music and Video
As an entertainment device, the ipad is excellent. The 10 inch screen means that it is perfectly sized to watch a TV episode or movie whilst you're on a train or plane. The minimum storage capacity is 16GB, so you'll have plenty of space to store your music and media for entertainment on the go.
Anything you've purchased from iTunes will automatically be available for download to all your Apple devices - so if you bought a track on your iPhone, you'll be able to download it to your iPad too. You can even set it up to automatically sync new purchases between your devices, so you can save time and know that the bit of etnertainment you're after is on the device you're using.
If you want to share your music between all your devices easily, you can also buy a subscription that allows you access to all your music wherever you are.
Feature 5: Photos
One advantage of the new iPad vs. the original is that the iPad 2 has cameras. The one on the back enables you to take photos and videos, whilst the one on the front means that you can use FaceTime to video-call your friends. The glorious 10 inch screen means that the iPad is also a great device to showcase pictures and photos. With sumptuous colours in screen's display, photos truly look their best on an iPad.
If you love your photographs, and you've got an iPhone, you'll love the way you can sync your iPhone snaps to your iPad! Your top notch snaps (especially those taken on the iPhone 4S with its fantastic camera) will look even better when seen on a larger screen. Show your latest holiday snaps to your granny, show your mates that new dress you were thinking about buying, or simply show off your pro photography skills. How can you do this? Simply sync your photos up to iCloud, so every snap you take will be pushed directly to your photostream, and accessible via any of your Apple devices.
Photo editing is effortlessly easy on the iPad, with hundreds of apps in the App Store to allow you to fine-tune your snaps and make them look the best that they can be. Whilst you can take some great pictures using the iPhone, you'll prefer the iPad as the place to touch them up. And it is so easy to sync pictures between them - simply click "add picture to photostream" and you'll be able to see your new image on both your iPhone and your iPad.
Feature 6: Notes, Reminders
When you lead a busy life, it is handy to be able to write down that thought or memory the moment you think of it, lest it slip away. So imagine how convenient it is when you can jot this down on either your iPhone, your iPad or your computer, and have them all be synced up together so you'll be able to see the reminder no matter which you're using! For those using iCloud to manage their iPhone and iPad, this is a reality.
The iPad 2 is certainly a great stand-alone product. For keeping online whilst on the go, you can't find better. When you use it in conjunction with an iPhone, you'll find it even easier to get set up and take advantage of the iPad's unique features. It couldnt be simpler to start using the iPad for work and play.