Enjoying the Process


Yes, I’m posting this even after Mohler’s twarning earlier today.

The iPad walks into the wild on Saturday. I’ve done a great poor job of telling myself that I don’t want one since Jobs introduced the “magical” device a couple months ago. As they arrive in hands and as more reviews go online, all the Apple-gadget-new toy-parts within me spark.

A similar process occurred with the iPhone. I was convinced the first generation iPhone would be glitchy. No way would it work like the demo videos. Then I visited my local Apple Store a week after it debuted. After playing with it for only a few minutes, I was sold. I waited at least three hours, until later that afternoon to purchase one. I’ll look back on three years of iPhone use this July, this past year with the smooth and speedy 3GS model.

Here’s what I envision as my possible usage for the iPad:

  • Bible reading. I like my ESVSB, but it is a monster. I already own a copy of the Olive Tree ESVSB app for my iPhone, along with the Greek and Hebrew texts. Even if Olive Tree doesn’t produce an iPad native app which they are, tweaking font sizes is all that’s necessary for split screen amazingness. There is also the free ESV Bible HD for iPad.
  • (Classic) book reading. I love books, and by “books” I mean book-books. Most of the books I read are non-fiction books about the Bible/theology. I underline and write notes in margins and, when I read through books with a group, need quick access for browsing. I doubt the iPad will ever replace that. However, we’re currently homeschooling, and the curriculum we’ve chosen includes the classic works of Western civilization that, even though I was assigned to read, I didn’t. I’m leaning toward teaching that part of English, and the iPad might be a great solution for that type of material.
  • Keynote presentations. I hardly take my laptop with me when I travel; my iPhone keeps me connected. The only reason my Air travels is for teaching at retreats with Keynote slides. The iPad has Keynote and supports external displays. If it works as demoed, I’m in.
  • Laptop replacement. I could see eventually purchasing the keyboard dock and using that at home for basic Internet and email. I do most of my work in .txt files, many of which are synced through Simplenote. If Dropbox enabled text editing, wow. UPDATE [12:21PM April 3]: Now I could get even more Things done.

Here’s what I envision as my possible problem with the iPad:

  • I might distract myself to death.

Lack of multi-tasking, no camera, etc., don’t bother me. Wasting time bothers me, and it’s not difficult. I wrote about my Internet distractibility at the beginning of the year, and the iPad looks to be an Internet consuming device par excellence. If I were to purchase one, I’d need to demonstrate great discipline to avoid oodles of time-wasting goodies only a finger swipe away.

It may appear from the above that my reasons to buy one outweigh the reason to not to, but stewardship of attention concerns me most. So for the time being, or at least until my next visit to the Apple Store, I’ll stick with myPad, a trusty, non-distractable friend for first draft productivity and push my favorite fountain pens around physical pages.