Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm Too Sexy For An . . . iPad?

Thanks to a very generous friend of CPYU, now I've got a dilemma. While making a point about the speed of technological advances, I mentioned publicly during a seminar that the iPad 2 is out and I don't even have an iPad 1. A couple of days later I get an email from this friend who was at the seminar announcing a donation to our ministry that is to go towards the purchase of two. . . count them. . . TWO! . . . iPads for use at CPYU. Wow!

Since we never had the funds for an iPad, I never took the time to research them or to look at how to best utilize one here at CPYU. After all, why feed info to a covetous nature?!? But now that the money's there, it's time to get to work. So I start to research. Apple versus Android. iPad versus Galaxy. Oh man. . . this is getting complex.

At this point, I know my "Jobite" friends are going to come at me full steam ahead. "Why are you even taking the time to ask the question?", they'll tell me. (Go ahead. . . post your comments!). I know I'm setting myself up here as most of my friends in the youth ministry world have volunteered. . .no, paid! . . . to be spokespersons for Apple. Why in the world would I ever even consider anything but an iPad? Sounds a little bit like iDolatry to me.

Some might say I'm asking all the wrong questions in preparation to make a decision. Which platform meshes better with a PC? . . . after all, that's what we run here at CPYU. Which device has the most versatility? Which device can we best employ for our research, presentation, and travel purposes? Which one is less likely to break when - not if - I drop it? I've got lots of questions.

So, the other day a young computer wizard comes in to our office to talk about some other tech issues with Chris Wagner. I walk through the room and notice he's clicking away on an iPad. He obviously knows scads more than I do about technology so I ask him if he would be willing to stick around when he was done so that I could ask him a question. The question? . . . "Why should I get one of those (as I point to said iPad) as opposed to. . . let's say. . . a Samsung Galaxy?"

He responded by thinking out loud and offering an objective comparison of the two devices. Then he smiled and giggled a little a bit. That was before he said something like this. . . "If you walk into a Starbucks holding this (as he pointed to said iPad), more people are going to notice." In other words, my "sexy cool" factor would increase exponentially. . . which in my case really doesn't matter that much at all. . . since 10 times zero is still. . . well. . . you get the point.

The fact of the matter is that I'm way beyond worrying about amping up the sex appeal and cool factors. . . at least I hope I am. If I'm not, I should be. Which got me thinking again about the constant battle our culture throws us into over pursuing style rather than pursuing substance. It's happening big time in the church. It's happening big time in youth ministry. It's happening in our very lives. And, we wear sometimes pursue and choose brands/technology not based on what it will do for us, but on what it will do for us in the eyes of others. Make sense? Come on. . . we all do this at some level.

A few years ago my buddy Jay Delp said something that opened my eyes to this stuff. We were standing on a Denver street outside our hotel at the National Youth Workers Convention. Jay had his ever-present video camera hoisted onto his shoulder as he walked towards us. "Hey Jay," I said. "We've got some money to buy a nice high-quality video camera at CPYU. Why would I need that big thing you've got as compared to the smaller camera we're looking at?" After hearing about the camera we were considering, Jay simply said, "They're almost identical. Cameramen, however, think this one will make you look more important when you walk into the room."

OK. . . so this is not intended to be an indictment of the iPad and those who use them. Not at all. It is intended, however, to be an indictment of our lust for style at the expense of substance. . . no matter what brand we choose to adopt as our own in any aspect of our lives.

Still. . . I have a decision to make. iPad or Galaxy? How about a little help here. . .

And while you're thinking, this commercial captures a little bit of what I'm talking about.


drpoulette said...

For me it's about durability. If you're not going to give into the "I've gotta have the next iPad the minute it comes out (which it doesn't sound like you will), at least the current one will last a long, long time. I've been using an original iPhone for a long time now, and it still is running just fine. I'm no expert in how the Samsung Galaxy will work in a few years, but I'm pretty sure the iPad will work for a while. Just my 2 cents. (I have an ipad 1).

Matthew said...

First of all let me say that I do not own a tablet of any form yet, but it is one of the possessions I desire!

Also, as a BlackBerry user people expect me to side with the Playbook.

Yet I must admit that my top choice for a tablet is... the iPad.

Why? It's simple.

I want to play Angry Birds.

Pastor Jeff Hay said...

I too was considering an android device over iPad. At the end of the day consumer reports recommended iPad. It's a little pricey and I'm always trying to get the best bang for my buck, so I went with the 32 gb. Just found out that sea gate makes a portable external hard drive that streams wirelessly to the iPad! Of course you could also stream to android enabled devices. It's a tough choice but I'm definitely happy with the functionality of my iPad 2. May I also recommend setting aside some $$$ for related accessories and apps. You will definitely want to get at least one of the two cables allowing you to hook up to projection system. A physical keyboard and case are also pretty important. I just purchased the zagg by Logitech case/keyboard and am loving it! Make sure you get the one for your correct model iPad: either 1 or 2. My father in law accidentally bought the wrong one. Check out docs 2 go for word, ppt, and excel editing. 2 screens when your are presenting something, and telepromt+ for when you are speaking or shooting video. Hope that helps for when you make the decision to go with the iPad!

Robby Ballmeyer said...

I recently posted on my blog about my use for the iPad in ministry ( I currently use a 1st gen iPad and really have no desire for the iPad2 at this point. I don't really drink the apple koolaide like so many. Beside if all your using the thing for is to check facebook the debate is a mute point.

I preach/teach every weekend from the iPad and the user friendly nature of the device as well as the durability (my two year old dropped it the other day) allows me to use it worry free.

For me though the difference comes in the amount of apps that are available for one device over the other. I recently found the app iAnnotate in the app store and to my knowledge no other market offers an app quite like it (Someone correct me).

The app allows you to annotate PDFs on the go and even share, email, and print the new documents which helps a lot when making last minute additions.

I've taken the iPad with me to a couple of conferences and have taken countless pages of notes on it using the Pages app and the Paperdesk app. I haven't once had an issue with it the iPad itself (Sometimes the apps are another issue).

I say iPad all the way.

Jeff said...

I agree with this guy...

"So I guess my bottom-line advice is this: at price parity, the iPad 2 is a better bet for the average user, since it’s a more stable, near-perfect device with a rich assortment of apps for nearly every possible function you’d like to perform on your tablet. Therefore, unless you’ve got a grudge against Apple for some reason, or are enamored with the idea of having a more configurable tablet, there’s not a lot of justification to go with the less mature, less established device at the same price."

Unless you are looking for configurability (and honestly that doesn't sound like you), go with the iPad. (and I say that as someone who is borderline anti-Apple)

Jeff Dempsey said...

I don't own any tablet (or even a smart phone), but acquired a MacBook Pro last summer. It's my only experience with Apple and I love it. Best computer I have owned by far. I expect that the iPad experience would be as satisfactory, but if you are going to check out any Android tablets in comparison, you should look at the Asus Eee Transformer Prime. It has an aluminum chasis and a gorilla glass screen. It is more expensive, but much better than the Playbook and the Galaxy Tab. At the very least, it should enter your consideration, but I think you'd be happy with that or the iPad.

J.T. Humston said...

I shopped both iPad and Galaxy Tab. I decided on the Tab because I can hold it in one hand like a phone (fingers wrapped around it) and use the notes I've typed out in sermon prep while speaking. You can also type on it with the "double thumb peck" style, whereas I see most Mac'ers with the hip hold "one finger peck" style when standing. It (Tab) also slides neatly into wide back pockets or the small of the back for impromtu stow.