I’m not sure if I consider myself a gadget geek, but I do try and keep up with technology. After all, I espouse the joy of hand-made and community, but do so via social media. Consequently, I felt it was necessary to take one for the team (ahem) and be an early adopter of the iPad, and share my thoughts on how the iPad will affect the world of crafters and crafiting.
First of all, let me say that I’m an iPhone user. In the six months I’ve had it in my pocket, it’s literally changed my life. I now work from…well, everywhere, I get my news sent to me, I pick it up and surf at the drop of a hat, and I post to my blog anytime I feel like it with my WordPress app. And don’t get me started on Twitter!
So here I am with this iPad- same design as the iPhone, but BIGGER. And heavier. (But I’ll talk about that later.) And just as cool and fabulous as my phone. But why would crafters want and/or need one?
You will and do, and let me tell you why.
#1 : The iPad isÂ great for web surfing & blog reading. And it’s more portable than your computer. I thought about it the other day, and I get most of my craft content from the web these days. I still wander into a bookstore now and then, but when I want ideas, tips, or how-tos, I go to my favorite blogs & crafty websites like CraftCritique. I’ve loved being able to access the ‘net via my phone, but the screen is tiny. This sheer size of the iPad makes it SO easy to read, and it’s in full color, too! (Take THAT, Kindle!) Also, the screen & clarity of picture is gorgeous…and not alot of resizing, like on my phone.
Now, I know many of you will just say, “Well, OK Jenny, that’s well and good, but I have a computer for that.” Yes, yes you do. But the iPad is super-portable and the battery life is fabulous. I can take my iPad up to my studio to follow a step-by-step tutorial, tuck it under my arm and move outside onto the porch to skim some blogs, and then tuck it into my purse and head to the coffee shop. All you need isÂ wi-fi access.
#2: The iPad isÂ amazing for watching “how-to” videos & streaming content. I love watching how-to videos, but my computer is downstairs and my studio is upstairs. And trying to lug my laptop and cord up there is a pain. Enter my iPad! I can prop it up on a cookbook stand (taken from my kitchen, where it languished unused) and watch the videos while I’m practicing my new technique. The YouTube videos I’ve watched (and TV and movies, for that matter) have streamed beautifully, and that bright and crisp screen makes viewing a pleasure. And just by changing the position from portrait to landscape, I’ve got full-screen big picture. Yay! And of course, it’s fully integrated with iTunes, so you can use it for listening to your favorite crafty pod-casts & webcasts, too.
(The one MAJOR down-side is that it won’t accept Flash-based videos, but all of You-Tube is fair game. And between you and me, I think that will have to change.)
#3: Apps, apps, apps. Ok, well maybe not yet- there’s only one specialty app for crafts developed for the iPad as of now- but I figure that Apps are the new next-best-thing for crafters. (On my iPhone I have 7 craft apps so far.) It’ll be like having magazines created just for you. This space is wide open for tutorials and handy guides in across the entire crafting field! And considering the nominal cost of iPad apps- $4.99 to $9.99- that weighs inÂ cheaper than most print magazines- we’ll have a plethora of inexpensive, useful applications that we can take to guild meetings, craft fairs, even the craft store!
Here’s a crafter’s dream scenario, that isn’t too far from reality. Imagine having an app that let’s you design your quilt on your iPad, which also calculates your yardage. Then you’ll be able to use an app like “iLocate:Crafts” or “AroundMe” to find just the right shop for the specialized material you want. -You’llÂ take yourÂ the iPad with you on your trip- first to use for driving directions, then toÂ download a coupon code, and lastly to the shop to get your material & show off your awesome design! Of course, while your there, you’ll check into Foursquare or Whirrl,Â post to your blog, and share your excursion with your Facebook and Twitter friends. All from your iPad.
First the web, then smart phones, now the iPad…the next generation of crafter’s tools!
NEXT UP: My review of the only iPad craft app on the market…come back tomorrow…