November 12, 2012

So I got an iPad

I've had my new iPad for a week. I got the latest, full-sized version and I'm glad I did. I was torn for a while, thinking the iPad Mini was cute -- but I went with size. It was a good decision.

It's way nicer than I expected. It's fast, competent and the screen looks gorgeous. To christen it, I bought "Solaris", my favorite movie. Now when the lights go out I'll have a great movie to watch. It looks so good on screen, I can't believe it. Remember when you first saw a plasma TV at the electronics store and the images looked almost liquid, they were so perfect? That's how movies look on the iPad.

As for Siri, she has her uses. I mentioned the other day that she's great with sports. You ask the start time of a game, and the answer is immediate. Ask for stats on the players or team, and there they are. Siri likes sports. She's also good for setting alarms and calendar events and working with native apps. It's fun to say, "email Carmine" and see an email pop up with the address written in. Then Siri asks "What's the subject?" I respond and there it is. Then she says "What's the message?" and I dictate it. This works flawlessly. Once when I said "thank you", Siri replied "don't mention it" in the cutest voice. There was something about the inflection that made me laugh. She says other things in response to thank you but I liked that one best.

Overall, the dictation function -- in other words, dictating without Siri -- is the best. I can't believe how accurately it transcribes what I say. There are hardly any errors unless I dictate an odd, unfamiliar name. This is a wonderful tool to have. Speaking of which, the Google app updated the other day and told me I could dictate with its (Google's) dictation engine. Uh-huh. I tried and it got it everything wrong. I switched to IOS dictation, said the same words, and it got it perfectly. It's a great dictation engine.

The NY Times app is fab. It's better than the paper version because, for one thing, you can click on photos and see them full-screen and rendered beautifully. Very cool.

I don't have a bad word to say about the new iPad. Get one. On the other hand, I read an article that said Apple is about to come out with a new, widescreen iPad in early 2013. In other words, my iPad is about to be outclassed. I don't care. It's like that old song said: love the one you're with. And I do.

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