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iPad not quite what it was

October 30, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
t’s a dilemma, I tell ‘ya.

My iPad (1), which I purchased so proudly for myself back in late 2010, has turned into pretty much a paper weight.

It’s in perfect condition, because other than taking it out of its cases twice a year to admire/clean it, it’s been wrapped by an OtterBox or the original Apple iPad suede-like case.

But Apple has moved on, and it’s not updated the iOS for the last two updates. When it became the computer equivalent of a crash-test dummy a few months back, shutting down at will, I did a factory reset, only to discover that I cannot get the AP app downloaded and updated because the AP updated to the latest iOS version and my old version of the app was now part of history’s dustbin.

Little by little, app by app, what was the coolest tool in the box has become a frustrating, swear-word inducing, virtually worthless for everything but watching Netflix toy. Even e-mail checking is getting hard because, if anyone sends a link in an e-mail that I click on, bango-bingo, back to a temporary black screen followed by a blink back to the home screen.

It’s as if there is an invisible Steve Jobs standing in there intoning the mantra, “You muuusst geeeeet the laaaaaatest iPaaaaad, duuuude.”

Sorry, Steve-o, but there are alternatives now, far cheaper ones.

And I’m not looking for a fashion icon or a status symbol, nor do I care about open-source programming, the ability to root or customize or the good vs. evil, Apple vs. Google vs. Windows struggle.

I just want to be able to turn on the device, play a game or check my e-mail or browse the web or update my blog or check Facebook or tweet during a game in peace, without crashes, hangups and glitches. My iPad used to do that for me, but again, it’s not the only alternative now.

I rule out Windows only because every experience with a Windows computer is an awful one going back to the mid-1990s.

And that brings me down to Android vs. Apple.

I have all that Apple AppStore stuff from the past couple of years, but I switched to an Android phone 10 months ago. The phone quite happily does everything I need it to, including serve as a car radio via a Bluetooth sun-visor clip-on module with an FM signal output. It didn’t cost me a limb or a vital organ to buy.

As I look at the tablets, the iPad is very, very nice. But is it $300 more in price nice? I can do a trade in and get a decent Android name-brand tablet for less than half the price of an iPad mini. Although I really do like the 10-inch-plus screens, I’m finding so long as the screen is 5 inches or greater, I’m still able to read it OK. And that was a reason for switching to the bigger-screened non-Apple phone.

And when cost is factored in, it should be a no-brainer.

Except I remember how proud of that iPad I was. It was the first time I had an up-to-date electronic device that was the envy of onlookers and a conversation piece. I had it personalized with “I earned this” on the back. It was the first purchase I made in years with cash instead of a credit card, loan, or begging relatives for food and sustenance.

And to do that again, I just don’t feel like spending hundreds when somewhat more than a single hundred would do.

I’m thinking I’m about ready to bid the iPad farewell.

 
 

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