It has been 6 months since the iPad become my living companion and I confess I spend lots of time with it that it has infiltrate my life. The iPad has made my dependency on my PC and notebook infrequent and only for applications that the iPad don't have. Since I access my emails, blogs and read digital news daily, the iPad provide the perfect gateway. And almost instantaneous! To a point that it has become an addictive gadget and toy. It has become a challenge to my weak eyes to squint through the tiny fonts which in some applications can be spread larger or smaller by swiping your fingers.
The home wifi is certainly a boon to my freedom and the addition of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Android smartphone over a month ago complements the iPad (mine is a non-3G model) by providing 3G Internet tethering capability, extremely useful when my broadband service is down, which has happened twice since the Galaxy became by no. 2 companion that threatens to displace the iPad as I learn to discover its usefulness more and more.
Lately the iPad had become a tool for my grand daughter Grace. She is 3 years 8 months and is starting to write numbers and alphabets. She show mild interest using the traditional method of paper and pencil but the handwriting application tools on my iPad has transformed her interest in learning. And she is absolutely attracted to the Angry Bird game that I downloaded. Plus the reading books and mathematics apps that I discovered through the Apple Store have made her an iPad fan and user. And little Andrew, her year plus brother is discovering this exciting toy and will soon fight for his right to play as well.
About the Galaxy Ace. I've always described it as a baby iPhone wannabe which sells for half the price. The iPhone is a smaller version of the iPad with the ability to make calls. However I feel that having both the iPad and iPhone is like having a bigger and smaller version of the same product. Also being an ardent Samsung mobile phone user for the past 6 years my loyalty is with this brand-name which I believe is snapping at the tail of the iPhone judging by its popularity. I got mine at RM999 and found it worth every sen. Only that in the first week or so I was dismayed by the short battery life. I had set my wifi, 3G and GPS on active modes that they drain the battery like a leaky pipe. Now I've learned how to conserve the battery life to last 2 days or more depending on usage.
The attraction of the Galaxy Ace is the extensive library of apps in its Market (Android's equivalence to Apple Store) both free and paid. As long as there is Internet connection, and it home it's is my default wifi, I can surf the Market and choose the apps I like. The feature of Galaxy Ace that auto-detect any available wifi (free and secured) made it a very convenient tool. As I get out of my house into my workplace and public space, turning on my wifi detection start the phone scanning for available services which are stored for future auto connections. This morning I was in a nearby mall and discovered no less than 10 wireless connections, some of which are free. The Galaxy Ace also becomes a GPS navigator which for its size is not very practical but handy when the need arises. There are many other productivity apps I downloaded, all free, that make using my Galaxy Ace a breeze. Since it gets email notifications when in the vicinity of a wifi zone I am never away from realtime email communication from my office and my friends. Before I get my Galaxy Ace, I thought my iPad will be my traveling companion. But now it has been relegated to second spot, and only earn priority when a larger screen becomes important. But when I need to journalise an event while on the move, the iPad will come into its own.
It is my belief that the iPad and iPhone will face serious challenges from the Android OS based devices and the coming year will see exciting developments that will free us from many over-priced products as well as enable us to move about under the shroud of a interconnected wifi service that are offered free of charge. This I am experiencing as I take my Galaxy Ace to public places. I was amazed to discover the school next to my church provides free wifi service! And the state government has started setting up Seremban where I live to be a wireless city, at least in the city centre. Truly we are living in a new era that communicates invisibly.