How the iPad Simplified Our Lives & 12 Devices It Has Replaced

Can you believe the iPad has only been out 2 years this month?

Yet, the iPad has changed computing forever.

The companies still in denial of that… well, they won’t be here much longer.

It is also amazing how much the iPad has changed our lives in such a short time.

It has simplified our work, our play, and even the devices we use.

Oh iPad, What Have You Done?

The iPad created a new niche, somewhere between the phone and the laptop/desktop. Along the way, it changed the way we work and play.

There has never been a single convergence product that has replaced so many other devices. Many people do not need another computer besides the iPad.

Yet, the reason I believe the iPad has been so successful is its simplicity.

“The secret behind the iPad’s success is not how much it does… but rather, how simply it does it.”

The iPad is all about making our lives easier:

  • One Device – Gone are the days of carrying many devices. Remember, when you had to carry a computer, a camera, a video camera, and more? You don’t have to wear the Batman utility belt anymore. You don’t have to carry multiple devices.
  • Complex Tasks Made Simple – The iPad has simplified many previously complicated tasks. For example, you can now simply swipe your finger to perform complex photo edits.
  • Productivity Anywhere – You can now take your tasks and information with you anywhere. This makes it possible to be productive in many places and situations previously not possible.
  • Connectivity Where You Want It – With the new LTE connection, the iPad has Internet speed previously only seen on WiFi and landline connections. Now you can be connected wherever you want to be. (Note: I said where you “want” to be. I still think it is a choice. Technology is only a leash if you let it be.)

The iPad’s main theme is simplification. And that is what has made it such a powerful and successful device.

iPad, What Are You?

When the iPad first came out, people had trouble describing it. Was it just a large iPhone or iPod Touch? Others questioned what people would use it for.

As it turns out… we would use it for many, many things.

Some people may balk at the iPad’s price point. However, when you look at just how many devices the iPad replaces, it puts things in perspective. (Case in point, I was able to justify the cost of upgrading my iPad solely on the feature of the new Wifi hotspot.)

Here are just some of the devices that the iPad has replaced in my life..

  1. Email - The iPad has replaced all my other machines for email. It is perhaps the best email experience out there. Instant on. Large screen for reading. And there is just something magical about “touching” your email. Some might complain about the keyboard, but I find that it keeps responses short and effective.
  2. Scanner – With the iPad’s new camera, it is like having a portable scanner in your bag. Why go find the scanner when you can scan those papers wherever you are? I use Scanner Pro for iPad.
  3. Camera – The iPad is not my primary camera. (That is my iPhone.) However, with the newly improved camera, the iPad is a worthy photo device. For mobile workers it is a great tool, and for those not-so-mobile workers you can get a great shot of that white board.
  4. iPod – It is ironic to say that the iPad has replaced the iPod, but it has. Apple even replaced the iPod icon with a Music icon. I can access and control all my music via my iPad whether it is on Spotify, Sonos, or even iTunes.
  5. eBook Reader – I am a big fan of reading eBooks. In fact, a while back, I stopped buying hard copy books entirely. With the high-resolution screen on the new iPad, I don’t need a separate Kindle device. (BTW, I do use the Kindle app over iBooks.)
  6. Dayplanner – As I have written previously, my iPad replaced my Dayplanner. From calendar to contacts to todos, my iPad has an app that keeps me on top of my work and life. Notes are the one area that I still use paper for and I still have a trusty Moleskine.
  7. Gaming Device – No one saw this coming a while back. (How could they not?) But, the iPad has all but replaced all other gaming platforms in our household. I do not play that many games, so when I do, the iPad is handy. And my 9-year-old son quickly discovered the math between a $50 Wii game and a $0.99 iPad game. The answer was easy.
  8. Mobile Hotspot – Many people are not aware of this one. However, the LTE connection on the new iPad makes the best personal WiFi hotspot out there. There is no need for a separate device. You can connect your other devices to the Internet via WiFi on your iPad. (Note: You have to get the Verizon iPad for this, AT&T doesn’t support this feature.)
  9. USB Drive – I don’t carry USB drives anymore. Instead, I can access all my files via my iPad. Yet, this one is a bit of a misnomer, because I don’t store many files on my iPad, rather I access them via the cloud. The Dropbox app is a must have for the iPad.
  10. Video Camera – Remember camcorders? Yeah, neither do I. Our digital devices now capture video with ease. The iPad shoots HD video and you can even edit it right on the device with iMovie.
  11. Video Phone – Webcams? Who needs them? And gone is the trouble of setting up a video call. With one touch, you can FaceTime (or Skype) from your iPad.
  12. Laptop – Has my iPad replaced my laptop? Almost. I would say the only thing I use my laptop (and desktop) for are writing articles and books. I am sure that others still have various content creation software that they rely on with their laptops. But, from portability to battery life to apps… the iPad is giving laptops a run for their money.

iPad, Where Are You Going?

It will be interesting to see where the iPad takes us in the next few years. Who knows, it may not even look like a tablet in the future.

What it has taught us is that we are moving quickly away from our desktop experience. (No one wants to sit at a desk anyway.)

And the software is just catching up. The apps, games, and more are changing even faster than the device itself.

For now, the iPad fills a new niche and at the same time has made many tasks easier.

And for simplifying our lives, we can say, “Thanks.”

Question: What do you use your iPad for? What devices has your iPad replaced?

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  • http://twitter.com/canhoto Ana Isabel Canhoto

    I think you nailed it when you say that it is not ‘how much it does… but rather, how simply it does it.” Great post!
    The main benefit for me is to capture my thoughts easily and conveniently: meeting notes, blog post drafts on the train, etc… I can then e-mail them to myself (if I wish to). It replaced paper notebooks and is much more convenient that carrying a laptop around, getting it started, etc…

    Then, it is keeping up with my e-mail, social network applications, etc…

    And, yes, it is a great gaming device for my children – it saved my (and fellow travellers’) sanity in many plane journeys.

    It would be perfect if I could use it as a platform to deliver my presentations – e.g., for conferences (rather than carrying a USB stick… which I tend to forget and leave behind). Any recommendations?

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Yes! I have started using my iPad for presentations. There is a simply cable that you can get for your iPad that will let you hook up to a projector.
      http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC552ZM/B

      However, if you really want to go “all out,” you can get an Apple TV and project wirelessly via AirPlay. I have been doing this and it has people doing double-takes, especially when I also demo apps and web-based content… all while walking around the room.

  • http://www.productivesuperdad.com/ Timo Kiander

    Craig,

    I’m one step closer to buying one :)

    How much memory do you have in your iPad? Does it matter if I only have 16GB or should I have more?

    Cheers,
    Timo

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I went big with my latest iPad and went for the full 64GB.

      However, this is a personal question. Because if you are not going to be loading lots of music, photos and video… you can probably get by with 16 or 32GB.

      Additionally, there is a move have more and more of your “stuff” on the cloud. Docs in Dropbox. Music via Spotify.

      So, I think most people would be more than happy with the 32GB.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I’m still using my laptop, and my iPhone, but I’m using my iPad more and more. I use it for almost all the things you mention, except for the scanning. I’ll have to take a closer look at the app you’re using, because I’ve been thinking of buying a scanner :)

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

      • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

        Just bought it. It’s awesome :)

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Jens, definitely check out the scanning app. It is slick.

      However, it is definitely for the random scan, not for bulk scanning. If you have larger scanning needs recommend a ScanSnap scanner. :)

      However, for most people’s loose bills, docs, and more… it works great!

  • http://twitter.com/HackTreatment Ric Molin

    Nice article, specially because I can totally relate. I’m the opposite of most guys: I got the iPad before knowing exactly if I needed it and after some months, I started using it more and more. Now I use it every day as a:
    - ebook Reader
    - Magazine reader (apps like GQ are just awesome and take full advantage of the great screen)
    - TV/DVD : with the righ apps (Plex for example) you can stream full HD movies and TV shows with no sweat => perfect during business trips!
    - notebook: When I get an idea, I launch the notepad and perfect (plus, it syncs to my mail client automatically!)

    Cheers!

  • http://twitter.com/Zen_Ken Ken Britz

    Using the iPad as a camera and video recorder is really awkward, especially for any length of time. Unfortunately, not every book is an ebook, and though I’ve bought digital where I can, I can’t always get away from print. You forgot to mention magazines/newspapers. Magazines are hit or miss – often just a large collection of jpegs that are relatively large downloads.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      What’s a newspaper? :P

  • http://hacktreatment.com/ Ric Molin

    Hey Craig, 
    Don’t forget that iPads can also be great video players. I use Avplayer HD and is awesome! It reads every formad, even HD content (.mkv).

    Cheers!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Great point! :)

  • Pingback: How the iPad Simplified Our Lives & 12 Devices It Has Replaced | Time Management Ninja | iPhoneca

  • Ethan Caine

    To simply judge a video game on price is missing the point. A $50 PSVITA or Nintendo 3DS game is far more complex and in depth than a 99cent game from the APP store.