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New iPad is a dream to use — in short, I made it

This seems fitting: I’m blogging this entry on my new, third-generation iPad.

I am a first-time buyer, and I have to say I’m really excited to have made the plunge. I have wanted an iPad since its second iteration; when the first iPad was released, I really had no need for it. I wasn’t an executive and couldn’t justify making such a profound purchase on a device that, compared to my MacBook, could do so little.

Now, as a student heavily involved with electronic publishing, I knew getting an iPad was essential to my work. I remember when I attended the eBook Architects’ workshop last September, about 90% of those who attended had iPads, regardless of whether they were personal devices or on loan from their jobs. I knew I had to get one soon. (And in jest, Matthew Diener started a hashtag: #buyirisanipad.)

I kept my eye on rumor announcements and decided to wait. I would have been happy with the iPad 2, but I knew I would have kicked myself for not waiting to to get the new iPad.

Using this thing is a joy. Typing is easier than I thought it would be. Dictation is pretty sweet; I’m very surprised at how intuitive the iPad is in recognizing my voice and freezing sentences. (I just dictated that previous sentence; I meant to say “phrasing,” not freezing. As you can see, there are hiccups, but I’m going to blame my congestion.)

Of course, the resolution is absolutely fantastic. After first turning it on, I couldn’t believe how smooth the default app icons looked. The colors are rich and beautiful. I’m so happy I waited.

The only downside for me is having to repurchase apps I own for the iPhone when they’re specifically designed for the iPad. I know I can do the zoom thing, but the Retina Display is so clear and crisp that the fuzziness from the compromising distracts me more than anything. Other than that, charging the iPad takes a while, so I think my regimen will involve overnight reboots.

I even got the 4G LTE capable iPad, so I’m testing how I like using AT&T’s network here. It’s so freaking fast, sometimes faster than my connection at home. I might just have to get used to shelling $30 every month, because it’s nice.

In short, I’m pretty content with the iPad and do not regret this purchase. I can’t wait to start tinkering with ebooks and explore fixed-width layout more, and even (finally) work with iBooks Author.

Did you get a new iPad? What are your thoughts on the device?


Tools of Change: There’s An App for That!

How crazy is it that Tools of Change is next week?! I can’t wait to hear the many amazing panelists at the conference, as well as get my hands on some awesome devices during the Digital Petting Zoo (which I’ll be volunteering at, hurray!). So imagine my surprise when Kat Meyer tweeted about a newly released app for conference goers, available on the iPhone, iPad and soon Android.

As soon as I opened it up, I knew I was in for a treat. The thought of an app escaped me when I began to think about my upcoming schedule at TOC; I’ve used an app for my trip to New York Comic Con last year, and I had some mixed experiences. Overall, the main reason I use apps like these is to have my personalized schedule close at hand so that I don’t need to fuddle through printed maps and handouts.

For TOC, I need not worry with this app. Everything – keynote location, times, and event descriptions – is located within one clean interface.

My personalized schedule, displayed on the TOC App.

For more screencaps, click the link below!

Read the rest of this entry

A Late-Night Post

Happy 2012! I know I’m late. Really late. But I had a hankering for writing a blog post, so here’s a quick one:

  • I recently wrote a blog post for Appazoogle, a really neat opinion site on digital publishing and current developments in the ePub world – it was started by a class at Emerson College, my soon-to-be alma mater. In the post, I talked about iBooks Author. I had fun with it.
  • My thesis is (essentially) finished. I will someday update the Master’s Project page with more details. My defense was successful; I’ll take a moment to say, again, many thank-yous to my reader Benjamin Florin and my adviser John Rodzvilla. All I have left to do is fix my Kindle file (curse you, Mobi!) and figure out what to charge for the e-book. I’m probably going to go with Smashwords for distribution.
  • I began my internship at O’Reilly Media(!!!) this semester, where I work with a bunch of amazing people in Cambridge. It’s really bizarre to go in and do what you love (i.e. QAing ebooks) for eight hours. Whenever I see it’s 5 p.m. (or in one particular case involving Subversion, 6:30) I ask myself, “Where did the time go?” I love the work I’m doing and having a blast.
  • And speaking of O’Reilly: Next month I’ll be attending Tools of Change in New York City. As you can imagine, I am ridiculously excited to go and learn about the latest trends and developments in digital publishing and beyond.
  • As you may know, along with Colleen Cunningham (@BookDesignGirl), I coordinated the first-ever #eprdctn meetup in Boston (#eprdctnBOS), where folks involved in ebook production got together and had a drink. We had a fabulous time, and I hope to do it again soon, so stay tuned for news on that!

That’s all I can think of right now, but as you can see, 2012 is set to be really exciting. Hopefully I can keep up!