Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nook & iPad: A Story of Slow Learning

On November 20, 2010, I posted a blog piece titled “iPad, Nook, Kindle, or Wait some More.”  It was a very popular.  It is the eighth most popular posting with 175 reads and 7 comments.  I was a little surprised at how popular that piece became.

In January of this year, I bought a Nook.  I did it on a whim, it was not a lot of money, and I was curious to play with at least one of these devices.   I was a bit disappointed at first because, as many people told me, it is more of a reader and not a very functional tablet.  I can check and respond to emails but it is slow.  

Next, I downloaded all my Havard Business Review pdf articles to the device.  I did this so I could read and refer to them easily especially when writing and needing to reference them.   This was also a bit disappointing because I had to keep resizing the screen and scrolling every which way in order to be to read the documents.  I could read the articles but it was a little tedious.  

Then in May, we were in Washington DC and my wife’s Uncle John gave me a book to read.  He said it was a gripping thriller.  The book was Memorial Day by Vince Flynn.   I took the book not sure when I was going to find the time to actually read it.  I actually  began reading it on the airplane and Uncle John was right.  It was a great, fast, page turner of a read.  I liked the main character/hero Mitch Rapp and enjoyed the book in the same way I enjoyed reading Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum.   I finished the book in a day.

I liked the book so much I wanted to read another right away.  So, i took the Nook and searched for Vince Flynn.  I was surprised to see what a franchise Vince Flynn had created with Mitch Rapp.  There are eleven books in the series.  Memorial Day was like the fifth in the series.  I was glad there was plenty more of these stories.  Without much thought, I decided to read the first book in the series.  With just a bit more thought, I figured why not buy it on the Nook and use the reading device to read the book.  With two taps of the screen, $9.99 was sucked out of my bank accountant, and the book was downloaded.  It was all remarkably fast and easy.

I began reading the book and found out it was a very nice experience on the Nook.  The e-book, unlike the HBR pdfs. was formatted for devices such as the Nook and the Kindle.  As a result, there was no need to scroll every which way.  I read.  With a flick of the finger, I turned the page.  It was very good and I could read with or without reading glasses.  I finished that book and ordered and subsequently read the next two books in the series.  

When I bought the Nook, I was afraid I would miss the feel of the book and the physical turning of the page.  As it turns out, that was a silly concern.

Eight months after the blog posting on the subject and six months after getting a Nook, I bought an iPad..  

I over analysed the decision and talked to many people before finally doing it.  I over analyse almost every similar kind of purchase.  I am not the first kid on the block that has to the latest and greatest electronic toy.  I wait until I am sure the gizmo is a hit well before I buy it.  Case in point, I never bought the first iPad.  I waited until the iPad2 was a verified hit.  

What finally made me pull the trigger?  There were two factors.

First, several people that I admire for their business acumen and general computer skills rave about the iPad.  These folks have stopped carry their laptops around.  They exclusively use their iPads.  They stop carrying notebooks and pens, they exclusively use their iPads.  I certainly understood that the iPad was a seriously cool toy.  But, the way people, like my business partner Ara Surenian,  raved about the value of the iPad for business really got my attention.  The two most ardent proponents do not even have the iPad2.  They have the original and are in no real hurry to replace it.

It got my attention but still did not convince me to get the iPad.

I was still hesitating because I believe I do a lot of typing for my personal and work blogs.  I was worried that I might not enjoy typing on the iPad.  While Apple offered a Bluetooth keyoard, I did not think I could use it easily everywhere that I like to type e.g. from my easy chair in from of the TV.   The devices were not integrated and thus I would have to juggle two devices which is quite easy on a table but not so easy one’s lap.  Recently., I became aware of a several new iPad cases that had integrated keyboards that were pretty cool.  This clinched the decision to make a purchase.

So, I went to the Apple store at Northbrook Mall.  I was amazed how busy the place was.  I took a phone call, as I was walking into the mall.  There was a sitting area in the common areas of the mall near the Apple Store.  So, I sat and finished my phone call.  I was looking at several stores and a noticeably higher volume of folks were going into and out of the Apple store.  They were not leaving empty handed.  They left with iPads and every other product offered in the store.  It was impressive.

I have had the iPad for one day.  I have already spent about $100 on apps and probably will buy many more.  It is easy and convenient to use.  It is as intuitive to use as everyone says. And, I am saying this knowing that I have not even scratched the surface of what I can do with this marvelous device.  

I am typing this piece on the new device.  I am really counting on an uptick in productivity and organization.  But, I am acutely aware that technology is but facilitator in this regard.  The motivation and drive for productivity and organization is most definitely intrinsic.

Is there an app for that?

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