iPads have many applications

I'm happy to report my wife and I are now a two iPad family. Her iPad just doesn't happen to work.

You can use an iPad for nearly anything, well actually, we learned (the hard way) they're not much of a drink coaster.

We went through serious withdrawal symptoms before we replaced our drowned iPad. I knew when they first came out I would like it, I just didn't realize how attached I would become.

My wife uses the iPad to listen to talk radio wherever she's at in the house or on the patio. Even in a motel room. She's also a big fan of using it as an e-book reader. Sometimes she does both at the same time. If a cloud comes up she can quickly check the weather radar. Oh, and she also does her grocery list on the little screen.

I like the device for Facebook, being able to store tons of music and all my digital photos. If we're at a family gathering these days we generally have the iPad and I can quickly give folks a slideshow. I also like my Bible app. Going back to my bound Bible last week was a little like going back to black and white television after you're used to color.

I've written stories and columns on my iPad though I had to buy a Bluetooth keyboard to make that a reasonable substitute. I still prefer to write on my iMac computer.

One of the updated capabilities of the new third generation iPad we bought is a pretty good voice recognition device built into the onscreen keyboard. It's pretty accurate if the dog's not barking and the wife's not asking a question in the background. Maybe I'll soon be dictating my column to iPad.

Another new feature we didn't have on the first iPad are the built in cameras. While I felt a little geeky testing it out I am guessing it will become pretty common to see people holding the little tablets up at their kids' ballgames and graduations. The photos are pretty good and the video is great.

Some of the strange and cool things I've seen them used for lately include a guy I saw viewing the solar eclipse through the thing, another person who has a night sky app that allows him to identify heavenly bodies by laying in the back yard with his iPad and a local musician that played a concert using his iPad in place of sheet music.

On the Internet you can watch video of a guy running a working iPad through a blender, you can see a cat playing a piano app and a dog playing air hockey on his master's iPad.

I'm thinking we've just scratched the surface with this handy little device. It's like the Swiss Army knife of electronics I tell you.

Karl Terry, a former publisher of the Quay County Sun, writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

karlterry@yucca.net

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