apps / reviews / tablet / 26/11/2014

A week with the iPad Air 2

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My week of using the iPad Air 2 exclusively has come to an end. After I published my blog post the morning the challenge began on 18 November, I did not touch my laptop.

This was the longest time I was in a zone with internet access and didn’t switch it on.

When I set up the tablet, I set it up as brand new device, as opposed to carrying over what was on my previous iPad. The reason for this was that it’s not like a phone where you need all content copied across. You can just as easily download apps as needed.

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The most important apps for me as a journalist were word processing, sharing multimedia content, browsing and social media. So the apps I used were MS Word, Excel, Dropbox, Tweetbot (R36.99), Instagram (iPhone app), Facebook, Facebook Pages, Chrome and IM+ Pro. I’ve always been a fan of Microsoft Office and use Office for Mac on my laptop so was thrilled with the fairly newly introduced Word and Excel apps. They are free to use and edit – you don’t necessarily need an Office365 account, but I have one, and saved all my work on OneDrive. I managed to get my monthly invoices done on Excel too.

I made use of the default Mail app which handles multiple accounts well. The new iOS 8 features for Mail make it the best option – like minimising your new compose window so you can look through your mailbox. Another favourite is swiping either way to flag, archive, trash or mark as unread.

On the entertainment side, I downloaded Zinio & MySubs+ for my magazines, which look amazing on the 9.7″ screen; Air Video HD (R36.99) for copying videos from a machine with the app installed too; and games such as Plants vs Zombies 2, Hearthstone, and Catan HD. Other apps I made use of were Camera+, PicFrame (R11.99), Skitch, Zomato, and WordPress. I attempted writing a blog post on WordPress but failed because of the formatting required for my blog (like images and different sizes, layout), which I just couldn’t do on the app.

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The battery life I got out of doing my daily tasks was just under 8 hours, which for me was great. By this time on my laptop, I would have already charged it once, if not more.  I was constantly switching between apps of course, which brings me to my next point that the iPad really could do with split-screen multitasking. Eventually – to be more productive, I didn’t log into Gtalk. Using the iPad Air 2 for a week taught me that I can actually get 70% of my daily tasks done on it. Sure, I will be a bit slower than normal because it’s not a laptop environment but for the most part, it’s doable. I worked at coffee shops for a couple of days and felt super productive – mostly because I chose the ones with fast WiFi ;). Also, the iPad has generally been my favourite travel gadget – I load it with TV series and buy magazines before I head off.

For those who were curious about this – I did end up taking pictures in public with the iPad but I also used my phone for pics, especially in the evenings by the time the iPad battery was depleted and I had to be elsewhere. The iPad also has the same camera capabilities as the iPhone, like taking pano shots, square images, HD videos and creating slo mo and time lapse videos natively. The slo mo on the iPad is 120fps (the iPhone 6 is 240 – which is amazing). Here’s an example of what a 120fps video looks like, which I shot with a plasma lamp as the subject:

The feature that stood out for me was Touch ID and being able to unlock the device with my fingerprint. Ever since I was introduced to this on the iPhone 5S, it became like second nature to me. The sensors work extremely well and I found that there wasn’t a case of it not reading my print – it reads from any angle (360 degrees). It can also be used when downloading apps instead of putting in your password.

The #EverythingIn1 challenge taught me that I don’t have to be so dependent on my laptop – I can get away with working on the iPad for several hours in the day.

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Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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  • Mark Patterson

    I thought you would get to be about 70% efficient. Well done. I am away 8-10 December on a business trip and very tempted to just take the iPad.

    • I think you should take it! I took my iPad only on a day trip to CT once.