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The new iPad

It took me months to decide to splurge on a new iPad. In the end, I decided that I could justify the cost by the amazingly many things I can do with it:

— My old iPad 1 was my favorite reading device. The new high-resolution display is extremely easy on the eyes. It’s a fantastic reading device. The Kindle app has been updated to take advantage of the high-resolution display.

— My GPS device is five years old and was ready to replace. The iPad has a GPS chip. With an app like MotionX, the iPad serves as a GPS turn-by-turn navigation device. This must really be cutting into the sales of companies like Garmin.

— I have longed wanted an HD video camera. I’ve had no video camera at all for years. The iPad has two cameras. The forward-facing camera on the back can shoot high-definition video. The iPad also is a very good camera for snapshot quality photos.

— It’s an email device, including when you’re traveling. I have the Verizon 4G iPad.

— It’s a web browser.

— It’s the best device I’ve ever seen for video phone calls. It’s easy to switch between the two cameras on a video call, so the person you’re talking with can see your face, or, switch cameras and point it at other things. Using the Facetime app, I had a video call with a friend in California yesterday. He showed me what his cats were doing, I showed him what Lily was doing, and I walked around outside and showed him what’s blooming at the abbey. I am now sold on video phone calls.

— Using apps such as Apple’s GarageBand or MusicStudio, I can connect the iPad to my Rodgers organ with a MIDI interface and connect the audio output from the iPad to the organ’s amplifiers. Then the iPad can add orchestral voices, and other synthesized or digitally sampled acoustic sounds, to the organ. I’ve worked up a number of arrangements for string orchestra and organ.

In short, the new iPad does a lot of cool stuff to help justify its cost.

I haven’t even tried out the iPad’s new speech-to-text dictation feature. I’ve had the iPad for only two days, and it takes some time to try out all the iPad’s capabilities.

As many reviewers have said, the iPad’s high-definition Retina screen is stunning. Once you’ve seen it, there is no going back. In a few years, probably almost all device and computer monitors will have these displays. Individual pixels are now too small to be visible. You see only a smooth image and perfectly formed text. I’ve realized that I’ll consider replacing my iMac desktop Mac when Retina displays become available for iMacs.

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