Jumping the iPad Ship (BB Playbook)

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Its a momentous time, I am going to attempt to jump the iPad ship. What does that mean? Well I recently purchased a BlackBerry Playbook (32 GIG) for about $200 off eBay. (Yes, I may have been able to get it cheaper but its not a horrible price…)

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Why are you buying a playbook??!! …some might ask. Several reasons, which I’ll gladly outline:

  • First is I”m a techie, love my gadgets and Playbook is a new gadget to try out 😉
  • Along the same lines as above, I love tinkering and tweaking. Apple devices are the most locked down, least customizable OS’s in most ways so for those who like to tweak themes, add widgets, generally style their device, an Apple product is not the first thing you think of when it comes to customizations. Their stuff generally just works, and the likely reason is that they limit this stuff…
  • Multi tasking. The playbook is actually the ONLY true multi tasking tablet. Thats right, the android devices apparently do something similar to apple in pausing apps when you switch between them. Does this cause a problem? Yes, here is example. Search for cnn in the browser, then switch apps to mail for example if you’re looking to write an email or something and intend on copying some quotes from the page or whatever. As you go back to the browser, it needs to reload the page since it was paused when you switched, so every time you go back, I think even in between tabs in safari on iPad it has to reload the page. And the tabs load one at a time, you can’t load up 4 tabs and have them all loading / downloading stuff, its one at a time. And for work such as with website design in WordPress or something can cause issues. I did do some FTPing and browser stuff today (yesterday as I post this) with little issue but I know and have experienced issues with that before. On the playbook you can have FTP ftping, a browser loading content or playing youtube and have word documents open and being edited all at the same time. Apple heralded the iPad experience as simplifying and destressifying your life by really limiting stuff you can do at the same time. However for business use, ie when you really want to get something done, it makes for a pain. There are so many times I come across when I’m in an app and I need a picture for example so I need to scoot out of that app and into another, then try to figure out  how to the sharing will work, does copy paste work?  So real multi tasking when you want to do ‘real work’ is an asset and more frequently I’m doing real work on my tablet (responding to clients, tweaking websites, researching stuff..)
  • File system – the playbook has a true file system. I have a ton of client files, folders and such for sure, but they all reside on my macbook. If I need to access any of that, I’ve got to be on my mac book. My wifes biggest complaint about moving to a tablet full time is ‘where do I put all my documents?’ . Most people like to manage their folder structure, name things the way they want, and have files accessible apart from having to be in a specific application to access them. iOS requires you be in a specific app to use specific file types and moving files from one app to another usually requires other work arounds or hitting the ‘share’ button which may mean uploading to dropbox first, or exporting to another format and mailing it to yourself :P. Its all work around stuff. So when my wife wants to do some real work like document editing, its just easiest on the laptop to get things done in a timely manner.
  • The playbook is really a micro computer. You can even get a keyboard case that has a trackpad on it so that a mouse cursor shows up on screen!  I’m not one to hold out with outdated technology or methods of input, if there is something better I’ll switch to it. However touch screens haven’t proven to be more efficient yet for most things then a mouse and keyboard are so the ability to have a mouse means that the Playbook is open to some real work. can’t wait to try that out.

What is my end game? Not necessarily to replace my macbook (though my longer term plan is to get rid of the macbook and move to more of an actual desktop, in this case an iMac). Rather its to allow me to get a larger percentage of my ‘real’ work done on the go, from my tablet. See right now my ipad is basically a browser and email client. I don’t game on it, i don’t write documents on it, I don’t use it for much more than that. One example is making a movie, its great on the ipad, fast relative to my macbook; (and this should be part of my multitasking section) but you can’t do a single thing while its processing the video :S So even if it takes only 20 minutes to render a vid, you have to set the ipad down and … go get a coffee, or two or three :S  … Thats really annoying. I want it to render in the background and get started on another task, or even just allow me to go read my RSS feeds while I’m waiting. The playbook does this.

Now, I don’t expect the playbook to do 14 tasks at once and not cause performance issues, even my 4 year old macbook has troubles with more than one large task 😛  But I think you should be able to have 3 things processing or open at once. Mail, rendering a video, and the browser. Thats not too much to ask.

So, the playbook is on the move, in the mail. Should be at our place next week just in time for when we arrive home from vacation. I’ll be doing a full review of the OS I’m sure. Maybe even an unboxing even though its a 2 year old product or so 😛

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