May 20th, 2012

Loved

iPad

Picked up an iPad 2 as a promotion gift a couple of weeks ago, and I am in love. I honestly figured I'd use it as a way to chat and surf the web while playing console games, that way I could avoid a laptop. Since the living room isn't anywhere close to done I was really just taking advantage of a killer sale at Microcenter - 16 gig Wifi model for $350. I also picked up the Apple case for it, although I'm starting to wish I'd chosen a different one. The master stroke was picking up a wired Apple keyboard - my iMac came with a bluetooth version that really isn't all that important for a desktop, so I tossed the wired one on it and bonded the bluetooth one to the iPad.

What I hadn't really considered was the wide variety of truly amazing software for Apple's tablet thats available. I've probably spent over $60 so far, picking up some music apps that are simply unbelievable. Three stand out: Sunrizer, Reactable, and Sunvox. I'm still trying to figure Sunvox out - it's very complicated - but it's essentially a modular synth hooked up to an old school tracker interface. With Sunvox I can compose entire high quality tracks anywhere! Sunrizer is the opposite - it's just an amazing synthesizer. I can futz around on just the iPad, but it's also made me decide to pick up a MIDI interface that will allow me to toss the iPad into my studio - once it's been rebuilt. Reactable is honestly more of a gimmick, but it still allows for freestyle performances based on a moderate sized palette of sounds and samples.

There's more mundane stuff of course, such as loading it full of PDF scans of countless RPG rulebooks, some apps that make it very useful while actually playing table top games, and since I snagged VLC a while back before Apple removed it from the App Store I can load up any video file I have. (Currently it's packed full of old Looney Tunes cartoons.) Interestingly enough I haven't picked up any games for it - and probably won't ever get many - because my iPhone games work and I've got other things to do with it.

The iPad was originally a guilty purchase because I thought I was picking one up just to have it, but I've ended up carrying it around with me and actually using it almost everywhere I go.
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