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I did a quick YouTube video for a friend of mind, demonstrating the InCase cover for the iPad. I thought I'd share it here.

In the video I mistakenly called it the "EnCase", rather than the "InCase" -- sorry about that.  It's a very cool cover, and I highly recommend it.

Availalbe at Apple retail stores, and elsewhere, and on the web at Goincase.com.

 
 
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I went to the Apple store in Manhattan Beach this afternoon to buy a case for my iPad and, while there, saw a demo of the free Netflix app.  Came home, set up a free trial account, and immediately watched a movie streamed flawlessly to my iPad.

Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Whew!  Still trying to recover. Powerful message.
 
 
 
 
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Even as Apple sold in excess of one million iPads in a month, a remarkable feat, I resisted buying one mainly because I didn't think there was any productivity gain in doing so. But my longtime friend, Greg Wagoner (a fellow extreme Apple aficionado), said something that made me reconsider; he asked me if I'd ever bought anything just for the fun of it, and not just because it provided a productivity gain.

A short time later, iPad-specific versions of productivity applications such as Evernote® and Dropbox® -- programs I use extensively on my iMac, Mac Air laptop, and iPhone -- showed up in the Apps Store. And, then, the eagerly-anticipated iPad 3G version was released. All of a sudden the iPad looked a lot more appealing to me.

Thanks to Greg's prodding (once telling me that it was not a matter of "if", rather "when" I would be buying one), along with the release of productivity tools and the 3G version, I took the plunge yesterday and bought an iPad 3G.

It's now clear to me why so many people are buying the iPad. Although it's not yet a huge productivity tool, it is nonetheless a device that is life-changing.  In my humble opinion, the main reason is that the iPad is for 'real people' -- not just geeks or gadget hounds. It's technology that's intuitive and simple to use; you just use your finger and touch the screen to navigate.  It lets anyone easily be part of the digital revolution.

In less than 24 hours I've found more and more ways to harness its productivity features, while enjoying just a few of its life-changing and fun ways to interact with our digital, mobile world.

Many thanks to Greg Wagoner for his prodding and encouragement. I'm loving my new iPad!

 
 
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Apple's new iPad was launched on Saturday, April 3rd, and since then -- based on analytics -- within two days, iPad-users began using the device while checking my blog.

One particular reader has surfed from their iPad during at least five visits, spending an average of a minute and a half each time.

I appreciate this particular iPad-user's occasional visits, and hope that they'll continue reading as my audience slowly grows.

 
 
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Yesterday, since the crowds have died down, I decided to go back to the Apple store in Manhattan Beach to play around with an iPad again -- just to see if I'd missed anything since my initial visit the day of the launch, when I could find no compelling reason to buy an iPad.

This time, I was able to sit and play with the iPad for as long as I wanted, and I was there for about an hour. Much of that time was spent on distractions while surfing the web. In addition to surfing the web, I played with every program and App that was installed on the iPad.

There's no doubt that the screen is beautiful and the processor speedy. But, again, I found no compelling reason to buy one. There's just no productivity gain to be had by using an iPad; instead, there is significant productivity loss for various reasons. Given all the kids that were hanging around the iPad station who were playing games and watching movies, and the fact that at least three people came up who, like me, were exploring the iPad as a possible replacement for their Mac Air laptop or for a better experience beyond their touchscreen iPhone and were disappointed, it seems like the iPad is truly a revolutionary device in the sense that you can now more easily play movies, stream television shows and movies, play games, and other similar activities on a device easily held in your hands -- but, beyond that, for various reasons it's use as a serious productivity tool has a long way to go. 

Then, coincidentally, this morning I read a blog post listing 15 reasons why the iPad may just be a better choice over a netbook. The post felt to me like someone trying to convince themselves that they'd made a wise decision to part with their money when they bought their new iPad. Of the 15 reasons, only four had to do with actual programs on the device (E-Reader, comics, gaming, and use as a "photo frame".)

Since I no longer read comic books or play computer games, those two are irrelevant to me. As far as using an expensive iPad as a photo frame, that doesn't appeal to me either. With respect to the iPad being an excellent E-reader, that's probably one of its strongest points, and one that does appeal to me.

The other points the poster listed were relative to hardware quality, touchscreen technology, excellent battery life, portability, and even a point that was described simply as "the indescribable".

Even after the new iPhone/iPad operating system comes out, hopefully in June, which will allow for multitasking, the iPad will still be of marginal appeal to those hoping for a true productivity tool. Multitasking is a big step forward, but as long as typing remains as cumbersome as it is now, and cut, copy and paste remain as complicated as they are now, and there is no ability to use Google docs, among other things, the iPAD will continue to lack productivity. It's ability to read HTML 5 websites is impressive, but the lack of being able to play flash videos is a hindrance in surfing the web.

At this point, I continue to rely on my iPhone to be my E-Reader, iPod, telephone, web browser, productivity tool, and all around amazing device with unparalleled portability and size for such a powerful computer. The iPad sits in a netherworld between the iPhone and the Mac Air laptop -- it truly is just a "bigger iPhone/iPod Touch", too big and heavy to be very useful on the go (try to hold it in one hand without support for very long). It seems perfect, however, for watching a movie or playing games while laying in bed or curled up on your couch -- neither of which I ever do.

I'm confident, however, that as other tablet devices enter the market, and competition heats up, these devices will become more sophisticated to the point that they may indeed become a replacement for a laptop, with genuine productivity tools included.  That would appeal to me!

As TannerVision said in the recent post titled "Calling the iPad a 'productivity tool' is like calling the iPod a musical instrument"; " if you want a really good Kindle replacement that does a whole bunch more stuff, buy an iPad. Just don't fool yourself into thinking that it's going to make you more productive."

 
 
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The countdown to the much anticipated launch of Apple's new iPad is now in hyper mode!

In less than 72 hours you'll be able to go to any Apple retail store in the United States, and most Best Buy outlets, and purchase the new iPad.

It's going to be very exciting to see how, or if, the iPad changes the way we access the web, watch television shows, movies or streaming video, read books magazines, newspapers or, in general, conduct our day-to-day lives by using the hundreds of thousands of apps or other software yet to be seen for the iPad.

Good luck to those of you heading out to buy an iPad this weekend. Congratulations to those of you who ordered online, in advance of this weekend's launch.  Your iPad should be delivered by UPS by this weekend.

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Although Apple CEO Steve Jobs has announced that he will reveal Apple's next " revolutionary new product" next week on April 7th (rumored to be  be iAd, a mobile advertising platform), this week's huge news is that the new Apple iPad will be released this Saturday, April 3rd, in all 221 US Apple retail stores and at most Best Buy locations, beginning at 9 AM.  (WiFi version only, with 3G version coming a few weeks later)

This truly revolutionary device will allow for Apple to enhance many of their iPhone and iPod applications for a much richer user experience on the iPad. Quoting Steve Jobs: "iPad connects users with their apps and content in a far more intimate and fun way than ever before, we can't wait for users to get their hands and fingers on it this weekend."

Everyone buying a new iPad in an Apple retail store will receive a free personal setup service, which includes assistance from Apple staff with setting up e-mail accounts on the device, loading applications, and other tasks. Apple stores will also begin hosting iPad workshops this Saturday, so customers can more quickie begin to get more out of their devices.

This afternoon, Apple posted a series of guided tours for the iPad in its efforts to gear up for the device's US launch, which cover basic features such as Safari, Mail, Photos, and iPod, all of which should be familiar in at least basic concept to those of you who are iPhone or iPod touch users.

Among the iPad's unique offerings is the exciting new iBookstore for eBook content, which is described in their guided tours.

The Apple website is prominently featuring its new guided tour section, here, offering users a wonderful perspective on what they can expect from Apple's long anticipated tablet device even before they get their hands on one.

Have fun!