500 days of iPad ownership

After nearly 500 days of iPad ownership, how am I using my iPad today?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Does the shine wear off the iPad after a few months of use?

Technology writer Dan Frommer shares his story about 500 days of iPad ownership. Since I've had my iPad for over 470 days I thought it would be interesting to see how Frommer's experiences match up with my iPad usage.

Frommer's kicks off with a comment that I find interesting:

"After almost a year and a half with the iPad, I now consider my usage at 'normal everyday' levels."

Basically, he's using it less than he was when he first got it (here's a link to his thoughts on the iPad after 100 days), but more than he did a year ago when he went through a phase of feeling bored with the iPad (here are his thoughts on the iPad after 300 days). I can't say that I went through a 'bored' state mostly because for me the iPad quickly became a part of my daily workflow.

"Specifically, I use the iPad for about 30 to 60 minutes per day, almost entirely at home."

Once again my usage differs from that of Frommer. I'd say that my average daily iPad usage is about an hour a day, but unlike me, Frommer seems to be using his iPad more as a content consumption device:

"At home, about 75% of the time I spend on the iPad is in the Safari browser, reading a few aviation websites for fun before I fall asleep every night."

I'd say that the largest chunk of my iPad time is spent in the Safari browser, but it's not 75%. I access Facebook and Twitter via my iPad, handle a LOT of email, organize my day using Pocket Informant, do a lot of writing in IA Writer and much, much more. This 'iPad is a content consumption tool' is a stupid, worn-out trope in my opinion. How do I know? Because I've created a lot of content on the iPad!

"I have a lot of apps - dozens - but I generally don't use them often, or for very much time."

I have dozens of apps too, and I'm getting to the point where I need a clearout (especially of Twitter and IM clients). It is hard to find the 'best' app and this does lead to a build-up of detritus.

"Of the apps I use frequently, I mostly check Twitter and the App Store, and watch a few minutes of TV using the Time Warner Cable app."

"I spent the month of July watching NBC's Tour de France live streaming TV coverage on the iPad for a few hours a day, and it was great."

"I have downloaded a few magazine apps (Bloomberg Businessweek, New York, Esquire) but barely use them."

All content consumption. Interesting. If your iPad is purely a content consumption device (like a TV or a radio and so on) then it's not surprising that how much it is being used diminishes because there's only so much time you can devote to content consumption.

"I haven't read an e-book in months, and haven't finished one in about a year."

I prefer to read on my Kindle, but I will read on the iPad ... the screen isn't as bad as people (and Amazon) make it out to be, and what you lose in terms of glare you gain in terms of easy zooming. I do a lot of reading, both professionally and for pleasure

"I haven't played an iPad game in months. It's too heavy to hold up for very long, which makes many games tedious. Are there even any great iPad games?"

My staple games are Angry Birds (3 stars on all the levels, baby!), Angry Birds Seasons (again, full house of stars!), and Zombie Gunship.

"I also use the iPad on longer trips."

Same here, but I still take my laptop and iPhone (and Kindle usually).

"I got rid of my iPad 3G data plan."

Still on mine, but I probably don't make as much use of it as I should.

"I am excited for iOS 5 and the iPad 3."

More iOS5 than iPad 3 personally.

"I still think the iPad is the future of computing."

The iPad is computing in the now ... computing of the future will be different to computing in the now.

"I think the biggest thing that's still missing is great third-party iPad software."

Ummm ... have you actually looked in the App Store? Seriously!

I think everyone is different and that how people use a device will vary. Also, how people use the iPad, and how little or much they find it to be useful in their day, will decide whether they upgrade. What's going to be interesting to watch with the iPad is what happens in a few years down the line ... will people be upgrading their owl hardware? Judging by how many people I know who traded in their iPad for an iPad 2 (I didn't, I'm still on the first-gen model), people are finding them useful enough to justify the cost of upgrading.

BTW, this piece was written on my iPad ... just to make a point! Take that all you people who think the iPad is all about consumption! :)

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