OMG I love my iPad so much. I got the bottom-of-the-line version a couple of weeks ago, and it is just so fun. Why didn’t Microsoft ever try to make Windows a joy to use as Apple did for their products? I finally understand why Apple computer users have been so loyal over the years.

One of my favorite apps is Flipboard. It has made browsing blogs, Twitter and Facebook a breeze. I have been more prevalent on your blogs these days because of Flipboard. It presents the most recent blog (or twitter, or facebook) articles in a magazine-like format, and I just touch the articles that catch my eye. Google Reader no more!

I also experimented with some mind-mapping software, and none of them were free-form enough for my purposes. So I went to the computer and downloaded Freemind on my laptop, an open-source application, and even it wasn’t what I wanted. So I went back to my old Wiki, TiddlyWiki, and I guess I’ll stick with that for my storybuilding needs.

I also downloaded the Dragon Dictation app, where Nuance software gives you a very nice dictation app in the hopes of selling you the 100 dollar Dragon Naturally Speaking. I am VERY tempted …

Pages is promising but it doesn’t have track changes. A big drawback, but it WAS ten dollars as opposed to one hundred and twenty. I plan to use it to finish reading my long-suffering critique partner’s manuscript, and hopefully find a way to write notes at the same time.

My daughter and I are having fun with the Treasure Seeker puzzle games. We are on the first game. I can see buying up and playing the other games in the series.

The native apps are where the iPad shines. The email, calendar and contacts apps are very elegant and make even browsing email fun. The new iMessage app is fun, but not very useful because of a dearth of people I have to chat with. Same goes for FaceTime. (I know my sisters have iPhones, but none seem to be using these apps.) An annoyance was the newsstand, which you couldn’t even tuck away in a folder–except I found a semi-hack to do that, so now I don’t have to look at it. The Safari browser is a bit of a letdown because it doesn’t seem as easy as the version I have on my iPod Touch (??), and the resolution of the built-in camera is not quite up to the standards of the iPad’s own screen resolution.

But on the whole, I have few complaints, and lot of phrase.

So I’m finding that the IPad works well for some thing, but not very well for others. One thing it’s great for is social networking, but it’s not so great for writing blog posts. You can pull the keyboard apart so you can easily thumb-type while holding the ipad, but you can’t pull the keyboard apart at some nice midrange to allow you to more comfortably touch-type.

Will it help me be more productive? Absolutely! Will it help me goof off? Absolutely! Will I read books on it? Probably not. (Too heavy. My Nook is much better for book reading.) Should you get one? I don’t know. Steve Jobs has died and he was a big reason apple made such great products–he was a brilliant designer. I remember being wowed by the NeXt computer — which was also his brainchild — years and years ago. Do they have another designer as brilliant? I don’t know, but I suspect something will be missing from future Apple products–a part of his designer voice, for lack of a better word. Android tablets aren’t even in the same league. That’s why I waited until a bit of a windfall put an iPad in my price range.

(Actually, I think I did just give you a good reason to go out and buy one–it might be the last great Apple product.)

Bottom line–I love it. If you’re looking for a tablet, you might want to hold out for one of these rather than getting a cheaper Android tablet. The difference is worth it.