Why I Recommended an Apple iPad to My Friend

Why I Recommended an Apple iPad to My FriendWhen I decided on this title, I could already hear people telling each other that it is just another article by an ‘Apple fan boy.’ In actually, however, that is as far from the truth as one could get. Those who know me are aware that I have been a Microsoft MVP for the past eight years and am a die-hard PC person. In fact, I have written numerous articles about Windows and PCs in general. However, In December 2011, shortly after I got my Amazon Kindle Fire, I couldn’t help but declare my enthusiasm for this device. As my knowledge of what the Amazon Kindle Fire could do increased, I started writing articles about it, including ways to add specific applications. In these articles I recommended better ways to take advantage of its features as well as how to add the Ice Cream Sandwich theme. So given my track record, one could easily conclude that my recommendations for a tablet would be the Fire or possibly the new Microsoft Surface that is scheduled for release in the near future.

With that being said, a good friend and neighbor came over to our house Tuesday and wanted to know if I would be available to go with him to look at tablet computers on Wednesday morning. Of course, asking a geek if he wants to look at new computer toys is like asking a duck if he wants to go swimming. In this situation, I knew the man was especially price conscious, so I wasn’t surprised that, when I mentioned pricing for a tablet could run from a low of $200 to a high of $900, he immediately went toward the lower price.

While this came as no surprise, and may also be of a major concern to those reading this article, there are also some other things that we need to know about the person who is about to venture into the tablet world:

  • How well and how often does the person use a standard desktop or laptop computer?
  • Do they struggle with simple computer tasks that we geeks see as child’s play?
  • Are they creative on a computer, or do they treat a computer as an entertainment device?

These comments are not intended to be derogatory, but rather to serve as a guide for those of us who are asked to advise others in selecting a tablet that will best suit their needs. In the case of my friend, he spends the majority of his PC time surfing the Internet and reading news articles. So, in his case, an Amazon Kindle Fire would work fine. However, I also know that a device such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, which limits users to the Silk browser, doesn’t always render pages accurately. Case in point: Last week, while using the Silk browser to view the Verizon website, I became quite annoyed when the browser would not render the information correctly — thus preventing me from reading its contents. That meant that I had to find another means to access the information. To accomplish this, I copied the URL and then opened the URL in my Dolphin browser. It worked perfectly and the website rendered correctly. However, how could I explain to my novice friend how to copy over the Dolphin browser .apk file from an Android phone to an Amazon Kindle Fire? In our case, I determined that it would just be easier to have him purchase a device that I know uses a browser that will render any website correctly.

These were the thoughts on my mind as my friend and I entered into Best Buy and took a stroll through the computer section of the store. I chose Best Buy not because I am a huge fan, but rather because it usually has all of the latest toys available for public consumption on display. The store, as usual, was well stocked, and we were able to try some of the Android powered tablet computers from Asus, Samsung, and others in 7″, 9″, and 10″ models. I found the Android OS easy to use and navigate, but my friend, not being as electronically intuitive, asked numerous questions about how to open and close applications. However, as we proceeded through the various displays of different Android tablets, he started to get the rhythm and attacked the systems with vigor. It was a revelation to me how quickly he emerged as a tablet convert once he became more and more attuned to the new devices and how they functioned.

Our last stop was at an Apple iPad display, which was conveniently located at the end of an aisle. On one side of the display was featured the newest Apple iPad, while on the other side was displayed the Apple iPad 2 (both versions in their black or white cases). My friend and I liked the looks of the white case, but more important (as well as very evident) was the way he took to the iPad’s simple-to-use iOS. The meshing of the operating system and hardware is what makes Apple’s iPad basically flawless. Yes, I said basically flawless since, like all electronic devices, there will be occasional hang ups, but for the most part, these tablets are error free.

So, what did we decide? Well, after contemplating all of the available choices and my friend’s reaction to them, I found myself recommending that he buy the Apple iPad 2 for $399.

Does that mean I’m going to throw away my Amazon Kindle Fire and buy a brand new Apple iPad? No way. I like my Fire and if anything, I may purchase its next iteration if Amazon offers it in a 10″ model. Why is that? That’s simple. As an Amazon Prime member I am able to access a limited library where I can get free videos and movies, as well as a free application every day. This is in addition to its free lending library of books that is also offered to Prime members.

However, in my friend’s particular case, the Apple iPad 2 that he purchased meets his needs and he is currently enjoying his new toy. Being a homebody, one of the things he is happiest about is its portability that allows him to sit in his favorite chair, watch TV, and surf the Internet all at the same time.

Comments welcome.

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by CLF

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • http://twitter.com/AlexFerreiraG Alex Ferreira G

    I’ve been called an apple fanboy before, but the only reason I have a macbook pro, an ipad, and an iPhone is because they work perfectly for me. When somebody else asks for my opinion on what they should get, I always, like you, try to find their best option. I am glad you wrote this because it is proof to many people that most geeks go for what works better for them, not for branding.

  • Mark Brown

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m a .Net Developer. My phone is Android. I had the original iPhone 2G and then followed that by the iPhone 3G. My tech couldn’t be more varied, yet I will always stick to be “a pc”. Yet, I understand individual’s needs and requirements when it comes to tech. If a user has a vast iTunes library along with an iPad and/or an iPhone. It makes sense to recommend the iPad as they will already be using iTunes and will most likely have purchased music, apps etc from the store already. However, if the user has a google account and isn’t really tied to any platform I would probably recommend they go for the new Nexus 7. It’s affordable, good size and Jelly Bean is lovely. Especially now with the introduction to Google Now!

    So, it’s all down to the users needs and what their current tech/understanding is.

    You aren’t being a fanboy per se, you are understanding their needs and finding the right product that will suit them. It will most likely be completely different for the next person, or more importantly yourself :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-RM-Turner/584038630 Alex R.M. Turner

    I use Netflix on my iPad, which is good for movies and TV, but the Amazon lending library sounds very tempting as I am a prime member. I had not got a Fire because I was concerned it wouldn’t be much different than my iPad for my usage. I was tempted by the e-ink screens on the touch as the iPad is terrible in bright sunlight, how does the Fire do in sunlight, would it be worth having both?

  • tommyalmond

    I’m not an Apple Fanboy, I don’t currently own an Apple product but I’m getting an iPhone in October with the release of the new iPhone, and I can totally see myself buying into the ecosystem.

    I’m a PC user, I have a PC and an Ultrabook – but I know buying into this ecosystem full well I’m going to end up buying an Apple TV and more than likely an iPad – because these devices to me will always be more about consumption than creation, no matter what applications they create. Does that make me any less technical on a PC? No, ofcourse not. I have a PC I can play with and change, why should I feel the need to be able to do that to all my devices? I want my mobile devices to “just work”. This is why I hate it when Android Fanboys play down iOS. I don’t care, at all, what Android can do out of the box.

    Each to their own ofcourse, but yeah – I think first time buyers and people who care about productivity rather than being able to change things should go for an iPad. Technology is getting more advanced all the time whilst allowing the user to do LESS to achieve these goals and I think they should take advantage of that.

    Bless you, Steve Jobs for your wonderful creations. Hah!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=824180359 Brian Sharp

    The Kindle Fire is NOT limited to the Silk browser. You can get the Maxathon browser for free right from the Kindle Fire App store on the device itself and it renders pages better than Silk does.

    • Ron Schenone

      Hi Brian, thanks for the clarification. I completely forgot about Maxathon. I did try Maxathon and as you stated, it did function better than Silk. My favorite on the Kindle Fire is Dolphin HD.

  • Jason

    Good article and no it does not make you sound like a fanboy. I use my iPad for a tablet but I’m also the guy in my work and family that people come to when it’s time to get a tablet. I think the most important thing to remember is when giving advice to understand what your family and friends needs are. It’s too easy to just recommend whatever tablet you use. My parents have kindle fires, I’ve gone out to help several coworkers and they’ve purchased iPads, acer iconia tabs, kindle fires, ASUS transformer primes and so on thanks to my advice and all of them are happy with their choices. That’s the important thing, that it be THEIR choice and not yours. I’ve forced my opinions before and it never works out well. The best thing to do is stand by and answer questions for them if they need it. They will be much happier about it and your friendships will never be strained for it. Don’t be a fanboy, just be a friend

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.rein Charles Rein

    I have been looking for a while and Like the process to help me decide. I agree that the Apple is probably my choice for ease of use but learned why I probably want the Kindle, just because I want a light book.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tbanaski Tom Banaski

    I am an IT Tech and also a control freak. For that reason alone, I will always and forever use a PC; I can swap out components with one trip to Fry’s, and make that PC do whatever I can imagine (for the most part). My friends and family know that I do not, as a rule, support anything Apple; parts are proprietary and I can’t do anything for an Apple product like I can with a PC.
    That said, I recognize the brilliant design of the iPod, salivate over the iPhone, and am sold on the iPad–it was my first and only choice for my 79 yr old father when he wanted web access. I don’t have to maintain an antivirus solution for it, and the interface is intuitive for even a non-PC guy to get it. He has embraced the device like nothing else I have ever given him, and for that reason alone I will always recommend the iPad as a first choice. I don’t believe in being a fanboy for any one product, but rather review the merits of anything to see if it happens to fill the need better than something else. That said, I also recognize superior design when I see it–and for me, Apple is ahead of the pack when it comes to the iPod, iPad and iPhone.