Apple iPad 2 – what’s it actually good for and why are Time Magazine such idiots?

I was a pretty early adopter of Apple’s iPad in April of 2010 and I picked up an AT&T one in the USA when it first came out. That one was stolen from me in September but I remember clearly how useful I thought it was. Looking back on it, I’m not actually sure that I remember why.

And so I bought an iPad 2 last month in time for SAP’s SAPPHIRE conference, thinking that it would be the perfect tool to carry around the huge conference floor and I could avoid carrying a laptop.

It’s true in the context of a conference that the iPad is a pretty good tool. It’s lightweight and great to look at schedules, book meetings and record some material. Friend and SAP Mentor Martin Gillet snapped me at the conference:

John Appleby

But a month on and I’ve found that the iPad is just something that adds weight to my bag. Most of the time my iPhone is enough to keep me with information, and if I need to write something then the iPad is just too cumbersome. Instead, I pull out my MacBook Air and pen detailed documents, project plans or blogs on that.

iPad as a news machine

I went on a tourist trip with some friends this weekend to another city and picked up a copy of Time Magazine at the train station. It struck me how much of a waste it was in this day and age to be buying paper when we have such a great format as the iPad to read it on.

So when I got home I went to look into what publications were available on the iPad and what their digital subscription price models were.

Both the Economist and the Wall Street Journal have great plans. For the Economist it’s $30 a quarter for full digital rights to the magazine and it reads so well on the iPad. The WSJ is $3.99 a week for full digital rights and it reads as well as a newspaper with the added benefits of being able to move around content much more quickly.

In both cases the real benefit is that you don’t have to mess around picking up magazines, carrying them around etc. This is a much easier way to consume content, especially for someone like me that travels a lot – and I don’t begrudge the price.

What of Time Magazine?

Time Magazine only allows in-app purchases of $5 an edition. Sorry but that’s just plain insulting. They have none of the print, production and distribution costs of the magazine and they want the same price? Are they kidding me?

What’s even more retarded is that for US subscribers they offer $30 a year for 56 editions, for the print edition. And if you buy the print edition, you get inclusive access to the digital version. So, I subscribed a friend in the USA to Time Magazine, and I’ll have the digital rights.

But seriously, Time: if you don’t want to go out of business in this time of the decline of traditional print media, stop insulting your customers and sort out your price structure.

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3 Responses to Apple iPad 2 – what’s it actually good for and why are Time Magazine such idiots?

  1. Jamie Oswald says:

    I’ve been Thinking of doing a blog like this myself. Not having a MacBook Air, I really dread having to pull my laptop out unless I know I’m gonna work for over an hour, so the iPad definitely fills a need for me. I did get the apple keyboard and love it for creating any non-formatted content (emails, etc.) but I do find it incredible difficult for things like blogging. At Sapphire, for instance, I would basically write my blog in an email to myself throughout the day, then go back to my room and my laptop to format and publish. I also agree the iPhone can often provide similar functionality, but without being able to pair the Bluetooth keyboard and without the extra real estate to consume any sort of non-text specific app (Explorer and Roambi are completely different on the iPad and iPhone), I still need the iPad. I’m writing this commen on my iPhone, fwiw.

  2. John Appleby says:

    I think the problem is though with the keyboard idea, that by the time you’ve added the iPad (600g), keyboard (300g), charger and a video cable – you may as well have brought the Air with you.

    I do recognise thought hat if you don’t have an Air, the iPad probably fills a much better gap. I just wish it was better for content producers.

    And for those people who buy the next generation Air which should come this month, combined with OS X Lion – the iPad probably becomes an even less appealing proposition.

  3. Robert Whittaker says:

    What you really need is a better input method than qwerty which is good for traditional keyboards but not up to touch screen devices. There are attempts already out their 8pen, dasher, the HTC Flyer’ss pen and my favourite Messagease (Which I use on my phone).

    Once these have caught up the tablet will be a viable option.

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