I spent yesterday morning in New York talking with Ooma and I decided to take only my iPad to the meeting. Normally you know me as the buy who lugs a bag full of gadgets, chargers and batteries everywhere I go. My Dell laptop has that extra battery attached to the bottom and if I had to I could get nine hours of life out of it. Moreover I have probably logged as many miles on the wheels of my laptop case as I have on American Airlines. But don't feel too sorry for me as I keep most of my trips to the US and Canada - I feel sympathy for the people who have to fly regularly from New York to Asia. But getting back to the iPad - it was quite liberating to get to a meeting and not have to worry about a case - or have to wheel it through rain, mud, snow, etc.
The best software for note taking on the iPad is the Apple Pages software and for $9.99 it is obviously priced attractively. Interestingly when the meeting started I opened up the word processor and found that there was no menu which I could use to open a new document. After a while I gave up and decided to use the document I was in - I could always cut and paste later.
I spent more time on the train back trying to figure out what I did wrong. I was gesturing like a lunatic... A swipe here, there and everywhere. I even resorted to drawing large letters on the screen like "E" for edit and "M" for menu. I was pretty annoyed but since I have started using Apple devices I have gotten used to the fact that Apple knows what is best for me and I try not to think too much about a better way to do things. This explains why eventually I gave up and decided I was going to let MIS handle it and get back to me.
TMC partner Thomas Howe - the legend f voice mashups and cloud communications was at TMC HQ yesterday and when I got back to the office and came out of the elevator I ran into him. I was showing him the problem I was having and at some point I went to the App Store and saw that Pages had been updated. One of the improvements in fact was support for menus in landscape mode. Duh! All I had to do is turn this thing to get it to work right!
Other improvements include better exporting to Microsoft Word and improved dealing with text wrapping and scrolling after a movie insertion.
So what I thought was going to be an entry focusing on how difficult Pages was to use turned into a thank you to Apple for reminding me that no matter what problems we have in life, sometimes the simplest way to solve them is by looking at a challenge with fresh perspective.