(This one’s just for fun…)
When iPad was introduced, nearly every blog and media outlet had an article about it. Some were sceptical, some critical, some more analytical, and some prophetic. Six months into using an iPad, and a couple years for the iPhone, I wanted to share how these devices have impacted my ministry and life. Just as I benefit from the ideas of others in these areas, perhaps these ideas will prove helpful to you. Here’s why the iPad and iPhone have been worth the investment:
1. Reading, Reading, and More Reading—if you buy books, an iPad (or a Kindle) would eventually pay for itself. Before iPad, I had no intention of turning to digital books. Since the iPad, my first thought is, “Can I purchase this book for Kindle software?” Most of the time the answer is “yes” and books cost a lot less digitally.
Reading on the iPad is a great experience, therefore I find myself doing a lot more of it. There’s a lot of great reading material for the Kindle, and a lot of it is free. One final thought—Amazon has made Kindle software for multiple devices which means your library is truly portable.
2. No More Leather Planner—for years my primary organizational tool was a leather binder—it had a tab for every area of ministry, major events, teaching outlines, prayer lists, and a calendar. Thanks to Evernote, everything in that binder has been moved into a digital format where it can be accessed from iPad, iPhone, and computer.
3. More Ubiquitous Information—the volume of information instantly accessible from these devices actually presents a new way of thinking. It involves some retraining for your brain. Actually working the possibilities into the flow of daily life requires practice, discovery, and idea-sharing with others.
For instance, two weeks ago I was at Matt Chappell’s wedding and the family needed a “Just Married” sign for his car. Rather than grope through a yellow pages or ask the front desk, iPhone provided a quick solution. I opened the map application, typed in “party supply” and a red pin popped up within walking distance of my location. Two seconds later I was on the phone with the clerk, and five minutes later I was checking out with a “Just Married” sign.
Here’s another use case—during family vacation we visited Gettysburg, York, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We repeatedly turned to the iPad or iPhone, looking up historical sites and cities in wikipedia. We also saved several hours by being able to view traffic. This type of instant access to information is truly a game-changer in the flow of life.
4. A Better Work Environment than a Phone—for years I’ve wished I could make iPhone bigger when trying to answer emails and text messages, or when trying to read something. I’ve longed for a bigger solution for portable work and reading, and the solution has exceeded my expectations.
5. A More Portable and Simple Work Environment than a Computer—it’s hard to describe or define exactly where the space is between your phone and your computer—but when you begin using the iPad, you find it. I think it’s different with every person, but it’s there. For me it’s turned out to be about ease of use and speed. The phone is about extreme portability. The iPad is about reading, interacting with information, and light work. The computer is about the heavy lifting and extended work.
6. A Huge Battery Life—this is one of the best features of the iPad—you just can’t kill the battery. (With iPhone I’m constantly aware of battery drain.) The only downside is that iPad makes every other device in your life seem to have ridiculously short battery life!
7. Connectivity Everywhere—with the development of cloud computing and services like MobileMe, Dropbox, Evernote, Gmail, Outlook, Google Docs, and a host of others; more and more of our digital lives are stored online and we expect to be able to access them from any device, anywhere, anytime. iPad just takes great advantage of these types of services and brings them to you in a very interactive and fluid way.
8. Presentations in Teaching and Preaching—I didn’t expect this one to be on the list, but doing a keynote presentation from iPad is really awesome. The ease and simplicity makes it irresistible.
9. A Bit of Entertainment as Well—It would be wrong not to admit that using these devices is just plain fun. Whether it’s reading Winnie the Pooh to Haylee, playing “Memory Cards” with our family, or teaching Dana how to play solitaire, we’ve had a good time.
Not long ago, I was being “poked at” by a good friend for liking Apple products and having to “have the newest thing.” He said, “Look at your face, you just find a lot of pleasure in this stuff.” He was actually amused with me. In all seriousness, I said, “It’s really not about mere pleasure. I’m just very pleased with how profoundly these technologies have impacted my life on every level of personal productivity and information management.” That’s the simple truth.
To wrap up this post, here are the apps that I use the most. They are pretty much the same on iPad and iPhone (with a few exceptions):
Built In—Calendar, Email, Contacts, Safari, iPod,
Downloaded Apps—Amazon Kindle, Evernote, iDisk or DropBox, Things, Keynote, Olive Tree Bible Reader, Logos Bible Library, Early Edition or Feedler (RSS Readers), Quick Office, Twitter, USA Today, Fluent News, Wikipanion, Dragon Dictation
iPhone Only—VLingo, Banking, Flight Tracker, Dictionary, Amazon, Ebay, Yelp, Byline, HandiBible, Around Me
Now it’s your turn… comment below and share an idea, an app, or a perspective that might benefit others who are trying to implement good ideas for God’s glory.