Monday, November 05, 2012

Moving on up

Two weeks ago Apple held one of their famous big ol' press events, at which they announced several new products including an iPad mini and updates to their current computers like the iMac, Mac mini, and Macbook.  They also updated their flagship iPad to its fourth generation which meant a faster processor, better screen, and better wireless connectivity.  This flurry of new products also meant that some of their former devices were bound for the bargain bin, such as the third generation iPad which was released to an eager tech-hungry public only a scant seven months ago in March.  That's not to say that the third generation iPad is somehow an unworthy technical device--far from it, in fact, with its zippy A5X chip and retina display which, when it launched, was a revolution in the tablet industry.
Almost immediately after the fourth generation iPad was announced, Apple started selling the former king of the tablet hill for the super-bargain price (as far as these things go, anyway) of $379. I already have an iPad, but saw this as a good opportunity for some people I know whom I thought would be able to make use of such a device.  One of these individuals is my mom, who has been doing mobile computing on an aging Windows Vista laptop for the past few years.  It works, but it's somewhat unwieldy and the battery life...well, let's just say my mom keeps her power cord close at hand at all times.  So I emailed my mom to let her know about the iPad 3, thinking she might be interested in possibly upgrading.  Much to my pleasant surprise, she was all in and ordered one that very same day.
One is an iPad 3. One is an iPad 4. Can you spot the difference?
It arrived a few days later, and as luck would have it the delivery man was a former neighbor who works for FedEx. Small world, eh? Soon my mom was busying herself with realtime video chatting, messaging, email, and internet surfing from a device about 20% the size of her laptop without worrying about battery power.  She seemed to be thoroughly enjoying her iPad, so much so that we offered the same information to my wife's mother who followed suit and bought one too.  In the space of a week both our mothers upgraded their technology by leaps and bounds, and we were thrilled to be along for the ride!

It has been about a week since they got their iPads, and in that time it has been so much fun helping them get acclimated to the various features and nuances of their new tablets.  We are making liberal use of Apple's Messages app, which allows us to send videos of our son to grandma and grandpa free of charge--and they are in turn sending videos right back to us.  My wife's mother was so enamored of her iPad she gave it a name, Padi, and was thoroughly delighted to discover things like the Siri search feature and the built-in dictation too.

There have been a few hiccups along the way, but we are thrilled with how this transition has gone and looking forward to helping our parents become certified techno-geeks :)

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