Sunday, 27 March 2011

Got a Shiny New iPad 2? Read this!

Alright then!  So chances are you picked up a new toy over the weekend.  And if you are like me it was an iPad 2.  I was fortunate enough to get my Ipad 2 on March 11th at the Walden Galleria in the US of Eh!  I’ve had mine now for a little over 2 weeks and I’m hoping to give you a little inside information about this magnificent piece of technology if you just picked yours up on the Canadian launch date.  (March 25th

So unboxing the iPad 2 is like most Apple products, in where you can almost hear the music in the background (you know which one) and your heart is going about a million beats per minute.  It is very hard to describe opening a package from Apple, to the naked eye it seems very simple enough, plastic wrap around a box.   But those that have experienced it know it’s a very different story. 

The first thing you will encounter with your new iPad 2 is fingerprints.  After touching it of course! To be more accurate, finger smudges!  After spending all that money you want your shiny new toy to be as clean as possible, but you will soon come to realization even holding your iPad 2 will create finger smudges!  I found my self for the first few days, at the end of every night, cleaning the screen.  I have decided that unless someone breaks into my home for the sole purpose of taking a picture of a dirty screen, that it is better to go to a weekly maintenance.  Microfiber cloths and the cloths that you use to clean eye wear have been really effective in bringing back that day 1 shine!  I am sure that as time goes by there will be many products catering specifically to the cleaning of the iPad 2, but realistically you can do just as well without them. (and their premium!)

Now, if you bought an iPad 2, chances are you also picked up a smart cover.  I find that the white iPad 2 goes great with the black cover (leather optional) and the black one goes well with the gray Smart Cover.  Of course everyone will have their own opinion, but I saw many people selecting the same colour options at both the launches I was at in Buffalo and in Mississauga.  What you may not know is that the Smart Cover is also doubles as a screen cleaner.  I have found that at best it creates solid smudge lines where it folds (so three lines) but the rest of the screen is at best only marginally cleaner.  Another thing to be weary about is the bottom hinges on the Smart Cover, on surfaces such as my desk I have begun to notice very clear scratch lines from moving my iPad 2 back and forth while using the Smart Cover in viewing mode.  Placing a piece of paper or a cloth underneath solves the problem, but for obvious reasons it is not the most pleasing to look at. 

            I am sure everyone downloaded apps, synced their collections from iTunes and overall had a blast playing with their iPad 2 the minute they got home.  I would recommend installing `Find My iPhone` and registering using the instructions provided.  Just in case your iPad 2 is lost or stolen, this just may be your only recourse in getting it back.  The ability to wipe your device remotely and even locking it is possible (also works with iPhone 4 and 4th Generation iPod touches).  In my opinion if your iPad 2 is ever leaving your hands (right now does that even seem possible?!), this truly is a must have app and the best part is that it is free! 

Another app that I will recommend is Air Video, this may be a bit a bit more advanced for novice users, but I think it is worth mentioning!  For those who are new to the Apple world, the learning curve using iTunes with a PC may be steep.  Trying to understand how to place your videos on to your iPad 2 can potentially drive you insane.  Not enough to do anything crazy like throw your iPad 2 across the room, but close enough.  At a certain point you will come to the realization that your videos need to be in the format that Apple recognizes.  All of a sudden your huge collection of movies and T.V shows on your PC seem worthless until you do some more research and realize that you can covert your videos and think fantastic.  You convert your first favourite episode of Supernatural (you know the one where, never mind…) and sit there and watch it take forever to convert and do the math and realize that by the time you convert your whole library, the Ipad 3 will be out!  Here is where Air Video comes in, along with your wireless router you install a file on your PC from their website and download the app on your iPad 2.  After selecting what file to play, you just click `play with live conversion` and your off watching your favourite T.V shows on your iPad 2 at home!  As an added bonus it works with the Apple T.V for Air Play as well!   The app is available free with some limited features, and is available to buy for 2.99 on the App store!

There are a few more things that you will learn as you go along and I am sure there are tons of websites and blogs and forums you will be going through in order to get the most out of your shiny new toy.  So what are you waiting for? Go and do it already!!!

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