The future is definitely here, and the computer that you are probably reading this on – will be at a Vide Grenier in no time at all.
Most ‘domestic’ users of PCs or Laptops spend time emailing or on t’internet. Some write using word documents, some keep household and small business accounts on Excel spread sheets.
Unless you build web sites and move hefty files around there is a better solution.
The tablet. And for the sake of argument I’ll call it the i-pad because that one is becoming the ‘industry standard’. Where Apple leads – all follow.
An i-pad is light. It fits into a handbag. When you open it – it is immediately on. None of this waiting for it to boot-up and play “I’m nearly on now” tunes. You can browse the web, you can pick up and send e-mails. You can carry all you digital music on it and, like an i-pod or a phone, it can store and play your music library. You can store your digital photographs. You can turn it into a photo frame and play sequential pictures.
In France it works on WiFi. Because almost all of us have or can pick it up through France Telecom Orange that is no problem. And there are WiFi spots when we travel, in hotels, bars and coffee shops. So if you have WiFi think i-pad.
The key board is a touch pad and part of the touch screen. Touch screen on an Apple is brilliant, you can enlarge things just by two finger ‘un-squeezing’, make smaller by conversely ‘squeezing’. It will all come clear.
Software (on PCs this is eye-wateringly expensive). On an i-pad it is a fiver. Max. There are thousands of ‘Aps’ (applications) that you download wirelessly from Apple i-tunes (from which you can also buy music). Some of these are admittedly mindless games – but they are all categorised.
There are Word Documents, Excel Documents, PowerPoint – so you will have your own office software. There are ‘printer’ Aps so you can print wirelessly. There are children’s educational Aps. There are drawing Aps so you can become David Hockney and paint digitally. You can download Map ApMaps, SatNav Aps, Find-your-car-in-a-City Aps. There are all there. And for a few Euros. And the best part . . . they get updated regularly. And they’re updated for free, no charge for upgrading the software. One payment and that’s it.
Admittedly you will need your steam-driven desk-top or lap-top to get started and use for back up. All you do is open an account at Apple i-tunes and it does the rest. The ‘account’ is so that you can purchase Aps easily, and is perfectly secure so no worries here.
If you are worried about missing a conventional key-board they are available as accessories and you’ll find lots on Amazon.com. The picture shows a 25 Euro wireless one, as light as a feather that doubles as a cover, and looks totally Apple.
Our 84 year old mother played with ours last month. She is hooked and is getting one so she can Skype us whilst in an armchair or in bed at night . . Oh dear, what new pleasures have we unleashed.
This is written on an i-pad at 7.30am in the garden, and it is sunny. I have the future in-front of me.