iPad, the Wife's Perspective

(Authored by Amy Goffin)

Advertising Works! There is no other way to begin this post. I sell TV advertising and my husband and I continue to have fun debates over TV ad effectiveness versus online advertising ROI. This is a case study of why advertising and product integration works.

A few weeks ago Brett and I stumbled into the Apple store in our neighborhood. Not because we were looking to buy anything, but mostly because it was raining, we needed to kill some time and it was a cool new store that I have not been in. As we were walking out Brett said, " i think i want to put myself on the wait list of the iPad." Since I am not an early adopter (Brett had to sell me on the iPod when we first started dating and a big part of the sell was him agreeing to manage my music which he still does today) my response was - "Why don't you let some people get it first and see how it works." Second response was "Can't you leave something out there that I could buy you as a gift?" (knowing he is a tough person to buy for! - it was out of love, I promise). That was the end of that. We left the store and didn't speak about it again.

Last Wednesday we watched our new favorite show, Modern Family. The episode centered around the husband wanting the iPad the day it came out the the wife, wanting to be a good wife, trying to get it for him. We laughed, and that was the end of the discussion...until Friday evening.

Brett mentioned the iPad was coming our the next morning (I had no clue) and that many friends had asked him that day if he was getting it. As I went to sleep that night I mentioned that we should go in the morning, but we made no specific plan. I was up  before Brett and I called the Apple store in our neighborhood to see if they were opening early, nope - normal hours. I went back to sleep and when i saw the clock said 8:45am I jumped out of bed and went to the living room and suggested we go to the Apple store and get it. The Modern Family episode really helped me to understand the mind of an "Early Adopter" and realizing my husband is one of these people, that getting the iPad on the day it was available would be exciting to him - and that got me excited. Brett wasn't as excited as I was at first -  anticipating a crowd, long line and it being overall annoying. It was a beautiful morning so I suggested it would be a nice walk and if it was crazy we would leave. As Brett described in his post, while there was a line, it was an interesting experience. And that was what it became for me: an experience. As I said, I am not an early adopter, so being one of the first to experience the iPad was not a goal for me but, I am a shopper...and once we decided to go for it I wanted to be part of the iPad experience. There were camera crews filming people and as we left the store there were 4 store employees who cheered for you - how exciting! It felt like we were part of technology history. And that is the same way I felt the first time I used it...

As I started exploring I wanted to see if I could do the same 3 things I do online, email, photos and shop - they all work...I already won my first ebay auction using the iPad! Testing the book feature really was incredible. It is light and I would be so happy to have this with me on a plane or on vacation instead of a few books making my bag heavy. I think my only issue is that a new form of technology is another thing to that gets in the way of normal communication. It could be very easy for an entire family to sit on the couch, TV on, iPads in hand - and never have a conversation with one another. That part I do not like.

As an advertising gal, I can't wait to see how iAd does in the marketplace. Just another evolution in the business and the chatter is that the application for advertising will be a good one. But for now, I am impressed and can admit that product placement (paid for or not) and advertising worked on me!!

iPad Review

I've now owned my iPad for almost a full week.  As many of you know - I'd like to think of myself as a "standard consumer" early adopter.  The "regular consumer" descriptor speaks to the point that although I may work for a tech company -- I'm not really a "techie" ... I don't speak in tech jargon nor do I get excited about things like processing speed, etc.  I just like cool gadgets that make my everyday life activities more convenient.

Anyway ... Onto the specific task at hand ... So I bought an iPad....

At 9 AM Saturday morning, Amy, Alexa and I went to the Apple Store 6 blocks from our apartment and waited on a line for 15 minutes or so.  It wasn't bad at all, in fact, it was actually really interesting.  While waiting on the line, we were accompanied by friendly Mac employees who offered us water, as well as being greeted by people from Starbucks giving away coffee and food (as well as other folks giving away fruit drinks, etc).  When we got into the store - it felt like there were as many employees as customers jammed into the place.  When we got set-up with our 1:1 sales person, I was on the fence as to which memory size I should buy - and when I told the sales rep what I was planning on using it for (web browsing on my couch), he told me that the less expensive model was more than fine (I wasn't hard sold on the more expensive versions - which was nice).  Amy's coolest take-away from the experience was the check-out process.  I gave my credit card to the sales person helping me, he swiped my card on a hand-held device and a receipt was emailed to me.  Easy breezy.  (Click here to read Amy's perspective)

Anyway - onto the actual product review.  I'd be lying if I said my first impression was a good one.  After charging the iPad, when I turned it on I was greeted with a prompt that instructed me to connect to iTunes.  I did this and then my iMac told me that I needed to update my verison of iTunes (which I did).  I was then prompted that my Operating System (Mac OS 10.4x wasn't compatible with the iPad).  This wouldn't have been the worst news in the world if I solely wasn't able to sync my iPad with my iTunes... but ... I couldn't do ANYTHING with it.  I couldn't play with my new toy!! I was so annoyed.   So the next day, I went to the Mac store and they connected my iPad with a computer there and I was all set (until I turned it off when it happened again).  UGH!   Luckily my work computer is compatible...  So in terms of "easy compliance with my existing hardware" - I gotta give the iPad an F.  Apple took the arrogant assumption that the only people they wanted to have a seamless first experience with was those people who had everything latest and greatest from them... It seems as if I want to avoid this I need to update my OS (which I'm in the process of doing - but need to back everything up, etc),

That's the bad news....

The good news is that once I got the product to actually work -- it was EXACTLY what I was hoping it was:  A bigger, sleeker iTouch/iPhone that is perfect for couch web browsing at home (with my access to my wireless connection).  That's all an iPad is: an iTouch with a screen that is about 6 times the size, which enables a far more enjoyable web browsing experience.  The product is extremely light and does not over-heat like a laptop or netbook.  In my first go-round, the battery life has been extremely impressive.  I've used it for a few hours every night this week and have yet to have to charge it up since my first initial charge...

The book reading feature looks amazing.  Perfect for reading in bed because you don't have to turn on the lights if your significant other is trying to sleep.
I'm sure the applications will only get better - and like they did for the iPhone -- the applications will be the real value of the device in the long-term - especially given the sizable real estate expansion of the device. In particular, I couldn't get over how cool the ABC viewing app was.  It made it so easy to watch shows - and the video quality was fantastic!   

I'm sure a solution will be figured out over time - but one downside was Flash being excluded.   It is definitely a drawback as I've been unable to view Youtube vidoes on the device yet because of this.

I'm still getting used to some of the strange lay-outs (like how email inbox appears, etc), but no major lay-out complaints.....

So, all in all, if you are in the market for a laptop to be used at home primarily for web browsing -- I highly recommend the iPad.  If you are somewhat experience with the iTouch/iPhone experience you will have no problem getting accustomed to the iPad.  It's definitely an affordable price and I definitely see myself getting my money's worth in no time.

That's it for now.   I'll try and update this post as I encounter good and bad things with the product....