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Some Technology I Use

I started this blog when I got the new iPad Air from IBM, because it was so puzzling why IBM handed it out.

November 9, 2014

(I realize that folks may be asking, "Why the iPad," so I wrote an explaination)

Tomorrow I should receive my new Apple iPad Air (according to Fedex's tracking system its loaded on the truck in Shelby awaiting delivery tomorrow). My employer is providing it. I'm not a fan of Apple products. I would have purchased a Samsung tablet if I were purchasing a tablet my self (my phone is a Samsung Galaxy, S III).

However, since I'm getting this this new technology, I'm wanting to make the most of it.

Here are the things that I've thought I would use it for:

  • e-Sword Bible software (I think it is going to be really great for Bible study and teaching Sunday School)
  • Google Maps (GPS - I've been using this on my phone and it is great)
  • Chart plotter for my boat
  • Note taking in meetings (I need to find a good word processing app)
  • Podcasting. The app I have on my phone for this really is not easy to use.

Here are some I'm wondering about:

  • Can I text with this device. It would be easier than using my phone, although I pretty much always have my phone, and I won't always have the iPad.
  • Something to do chalk talks via a Web conference. That could be very handy.
  • Genealogy app - Looks like RootsMagic has a free app. I use RootsMagic on my PC.

I'll update this soon with my experiences.

November 12, 2014

It arrives!

Here's the box it arrived in. Yes, I'm kind of excited to have a new toy. I guess I've never really grown up.

Here's what's in the box. You can see the reflection of me taking the photo with my new Nikon camera (another new toy I suppose)

Set up and ready to go!

I've had the iPad for several days now. I've gotten some apps installed and I upgraded to iOS 8.1 yesterday. Here's what I'm liking (in no particular order):

  • iBooks - More free books and I love that it automatically changes from black on white to white on black when it is in the dark. Very nice for reading in bed.
  • Google Maps navigation.. I already liked Google Maps navigation on my phone, but the iPad with the much larger screen and much longer battery life makes this great for navigation. The only problem is where to put the thing in the car.
  • e-Sword (sort of). I've used e-Sword on my PC for years and it is great. To be able to make it mobile, is even better. But.. it works a little different. You can't view multiple windows at one time. On my PC I could see the text, my notes and the Strongs dictionary all at the same time. On the iPad, I have to switch to different tabs to see them, only one at a time. That was a big disappointment.
  • Doing IBM e-mail on a mobile device with a real keyboard! I can work with my IBM e-mail on my phone, which is fine for viewing, but not so great for typing extensive responses, which I sometime need to do. But the iPad has a real keyboard so I can type away. The keyboard is compact so a little challenging, but if I get in the right position in front of the keyboard, I can go pretty much like normal.
  • I have Spotify and Pandora on both. I have them on my phone and it is handy to take that around the house listening to music. But the iPad's longer battery makes this even better. However, the speakers on the iPad aren't as good as the one on the phone. I suppose Apple expects you to use a headset or ear buds.
  • Podcasts. I'm not sure if this is an Apple app or something else. It works fine.

What I don't particularly like:

  • Safari.. it seems slow and not very easy to use. Maybe I'll look for Google Chrome or Firefox
  • Youtube. I don't like the interface on the phone (Android) or on iPad. Not easy to use. Why not make it easy like it is in the browser?

Things I need to investigate:

  • Is there a way to do a "ping"
  • A good way to take notes on the iPad and then get them into my "library" of notes on my PC.

November 21, 2014

I've been using the iPad for a little over a week now. I like using it as a GPS. Google Maps is great for navigation, I just wish it showed my speed and it would be great if you could do POI searches along the route. But I really like having he large screen and that it runs on the battery for hours. I don't have to mess with plugging it in.

I think I mentioned before that I like having my Bible software on it, but I don't like the UI as well as on the PC.

I'm seeing some integration being done that I like and that worries me at the same time. For example I noticed the other day that the hotel that I was driving to was already showing up on Google Maps with the dates of my stay. Wow! How did that happen? The only think I can think of is that I sent my itinerary to my gmail account and Google sniffed through my mail and saw that I was staying at the Holiday Inn Express and put that on Google Maps for me. I like the integration, but what does it tell you that Google is doing with your e-mail?

Then this morning I noticed that the high and low temps for the day are now showing up on my Lotus Notes calendar. I guess that I installed a weather app that posts those on my calendar on the iPad and that is hooked up with the Lotus Notes calendar, and viola! I haven't decided if I like that or not.

September 7, 2018

For a couple of months now, the battery has been going bad. At this point, when the battery gets to 87%, the iPad shuts down. IBM Support says it's out of warranty (no surprise there) and there is no budget anymore for iPads so they won't pay to have it fixed or replaced.

I'll just say that this has been my experience with Apple devices in general - not very reliable.

I really use it very little for IBM purposes. I always thought it was a little silly for IBM to have given me one in the first place.

The problem is, I very much like using my Bible app on the iPad. It's really nice to be able to look at commentaries, and different translations, etc. all on this one portable device.

So maybe I have to break down and buy my own. I would get an Android tablet except that e-Sword is only available for iOS and Windows. Not Android. Life is so complicated ;-)

September 2019

iOS 13.0 came out this past Thursday. It doesn't support the iPad Air. So my iPad is now an outcast from Apple. Oh well.

November 2020

November 9, 2020 - Last week, IBM removed all of it's software from my iPad. It's no longer permitted or able to connect to the IBM network. So in almost exactly six years, it became obsolete from IBM's point of view. I'm still using it for Bible study and for Facebook and Youtube.

New iPhone 12 Pro Max is ordered. This just became available for ordering. I'm not sure its even shipping yet. This is the top of the line, latest and greatest iPhone. I'm not a huge iPhone or Apple fan, but I get this for about half price through IBM, and so I thought I'd snag it before I retire.