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i and Ms. iPad – a touch and tell tale

Have you heard about the iPad?

Are you wondering if it’s worth it?  Or, is the iPad for iDIOTS and people who don’t know the value of a dollar?

Here’s my story.  But, let me warn you… I’m not normal.  I should tell you that before you go any further.

To my credit, I did wait until the end of the day before slobbering my order.

I tried to tell myself that I didn’t “need” it.

Lust was excused as natural, logic prevailed. Whoosh went my $729 + tax.  I pre-ordered mine evening one.  It’s the 3G/32 Gig model.

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My wife was annoyed….something about “stupid is as stupid does”, and  some other  stuff.  You might agree, I don’t know.

Supreme Vulcan-Logic went like this…

  1. “I have (imagined or real?) tech-cred to consider.  How can I be in-the-now and a legit-player, if I’m watching from the sidelines? Obviously a “Need” not a “Want.”
  2. “How can I answer questions about what it is, how it works or is it worth it,  if I have no experience. Easily mission critical, not a “Nice, but not necessary.”  Definitely necessary, critical in fact.
  3. “Imagine the possibilities!  There’s not a guru (I’m no guru, I’m using the word for effect and for the people who believe there is such a thing) alive who doesn’t scream, reinventing yourself is more important than oxygen or fire or Crown Royal.  How can you reinvent yourself and save the world if you not willing to embrace change, stretch your comfort zone, get out of the box and or generally  sashay cliche’ your very own renewal, regeneration and personal salvation.  Most definitely a “can’t live without it”, not a pinhead (see photo), narcissistic, knee-jerk, shiny object, impulse purchase.”
  4. “$700 is serious.  The cost of not knowing the in’s and out’s, pro’s and con’s is seriouser.  Better to invest in knowledge, experience and the possible future than sit idle and speculate (see 2. above).”
  5. “Etc.”

I know I don’t need to convince you or justify myself, I’m just sharing the sober realities I wrestle with before I purchase a piece of the future or invest in the magical. You know?

Patiently waiting

Like I said, I pre-ordered day one.  When the wifi model dropped, I ignored it.  I didn’t even test one, or visit the Apple store.  The first time I caressed one was 7 minutes and 23 seconds after the Fed/EX woman delivered it.  Not to worry.   I undressed un-boxed and introduced myself behind closed doors.   Lot’s of WOW and Oooh-La-La ensued.

I’m familiar with the iPhone and figured I could play my way around the iPad, no problem, and I am.  But, in case I needed direction, Steve included a printed size-of-a-business-card User’s manual.

You’ll find the iPad pretty straight forward.  Mate the iPad to iTunes, sync, unplug, switch-on and Boom-Goes-The-Dynamite.

My iPad experience, in random order…

It’s a fact, Apple has already sold 1,000,000+ of these sexy beauties in the US.  I’ve  only glimpsed 4 or 7 exhibitionists in the wild.  I have to tell you, I’m sorta embarrassed to whip mine out in public.  I fear “what a douche bag” lash back and iPad envy.  In this case, like most, size does matter.  I’m rock’n a two handed,  9 1/2″  iPad and people are squinting over their 4″ iPhones.  Thankfully, I’ve experienced zero scorn (except from my wife Robyn).  Mostly, amusement, smiles and a request, ” Can I play with it?”  Which is cool with me.

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I hear the apple case is crap, so I ordered a DODO Case, which looks like an artsy Mole Skin on the outside and flame red linning on the inside….super cool and stealthy.  Except the red part when it’s open.

Choosing, downloading and updating iPad apps is easier using the iPad, iPad Apps App, than selecting them in iTunes.  (This creates a river of money for Apple.  Don’t you wish you’d bet the farm when Apple stock was at $180.  I do and I didn’t. Crap.  The iPad is awesome anyway.)

Favorite Apps and Random Impressions:

  • Email: Wow.  Fast, easy to read, almost entertaining to use.  It syncs beautifully with Exchange Server and my Gmail account. On the go or anywhere, this is excellent.
  • DropBox is super cool for synching stuff (any file) between my work computer and my notebook computer.  The iPad DropBox app works beautifully.  Everything in my DropBox folder is available on the iPad, my notebook and my desktop.  This is a big deal, all your stuff is available on the iPad, anywhere.
  • GoodReader is a super handy iPad app for viewing various document types, PowerPoint, KeyNote, PDFs, Word Docs, etc.  Even more magical, it has built in connectivity to your DropBox folder.  Very cool stuff.
  • iBook & Kindle apps = Holy Hemmingway.  Simply stunning.  How long before every kid trashes their 50lb back-pack, sack of books and carries the iPad.  If you’re a reader and you balked at the Kindle, you’ll love the iPad.
  • Trulia, Zillow and iPad apps, featuring “Geo Location” are beyond magic.  It’s stunning, period.  Of course our HAR Tempo system is a freaking antique and only works with Explorer.  Honestly, it boggles expectation that our (in Houston anyway) 20,000+ MLS members have to put up with the most lame MLS technology.  Seriously.  It’s SO disappointing.  It’d be great is instead of focusing on not-ready-for-prime-time public agent ratings, we invested our dues in 2010 technology for members.
  • DocuSign is compatible with the iPad.
  • Social Media apps work fine, choose your favorite.  Ummm, there is no Facebook App specifically for the iPad – the iPhone app works well.  With Facebook’s Social Graph and all the Geo-Location features, here now and coming soon, the iPad is your new best friend and strategic tool.
  • iPhone apps work on the iPad.  They’re just smaller.  There is a 2X button in the lower right hand corner, click on it and the iPhone app will fill the screen.  Some of the apps pixelate a bit.  No big deal.
  • Slide Deck presentations aren’t ready for super-simple prime time.  When you transfer/open your slide deck (KeyNote/PowerPoint), you lose some functionality, broken links and some vids don’t work.  There are work arounds and simple presentations work fine and look magnificent.  In any event, believe this, presentations are jaw-dropping on the iPad.
  • Presentations, PDFs and documents look AMAZING.  I don’t care how jaded someone is, a well crafted presentation on the iPad will flat-out amaze.
  • Internet browsing is excellent.  Yes excellent.  Like I said, the screen is big enough to read without squinting.  I haven’t run into any flash issues in general, but strictly for business, Zip Forms requires flash and doesn’t work on the iPad (yet?)
  • FlickStackr portals you to all your stuff.
  • NetFlix – I wasn’t a customer.  Now I am.  With the wifi connection you can stream movies, big enough to see.  Again, the screen is delicious and crisp, it’s beyond magic.  Really.
  • iPad Keyboard – It works fine for light typing.  eMails and short stuff, no problem.  It’s not a breezy as a regular keyboard, but 9X better than the iPhone keypad.  The keys are big enough.  Ladies and females with nails will find it fine ( I asked Dana Snider to test it). I ordered the Bluetooth Keyboard, but haven’t taken it out of the box.
  • Video – My first impression was NFW (No Freaking Way).  I think the exact same thing every time a play a video.
  • RSS – I added a couple different apps, FeedlerPro and Early Edition.  Right now neither one of them is the solution.  They don’t really work well for me because I like to share stuff around when I’m reading.  Neither of these does that in smashing fashion.  But, for old fashioned reading, thumbs up.
  • Google Earth – No iPad specific app yet, but WOW.  The iPhone app works like a charm, just not a razor crisp as it can or will be.
  • Battery Life – Seriously, how long does your notebook or phone battery last?  The iPad runs for hours.  Yeah, hours and hours.
  • Wi-Fi + 3G – Yeah, it cost a little more, $130, but it’s worth it.  I know, ATT sucks, but my 3G connection is pretty quick and works everywhere your phone does.  Driving around neighborhoods, waiting in the picking-up-the-kids school line, the soccer, little league, swim meet, meetings, Barcamps, etc.  No notebook to boot up, press the iPad button and boom, you’re rock’n.  Oh, I almost forgot.  You sign up for 3G service right on the iPad.  Thankfully, no contract required, you pay as you go.


I’m glad I bought it.  It’s excellent for consuming stuff through your eyes and ears.  It comes in uber-handy when I’m on-the-go, don’t want to lug the notebook, and I need battery life.

The iPad is a baby prodigy.  When apps are released for Zipforms and DocuSign and MLS Searches, you won’t be able to live without it.

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For now, if you read lots of stuff and you’re sick of squinting at your phone screen, get it. If you want to swoon someone on your next listing presentation, get one, load it up and make magic.  Serious-seductive-magic. It’s excellent for web surfing, book reading and eMail, period.

I’m betting Robyn will have one before the years out;-)

What about multi-tasking, the iPad doesn’t?   I didn’t understand why people would complain about that.  On the iPhone, who cares?  I didn’t.  On the iPad, you find yourself wanting to use multiple apps, or at least one or two at a time, it’s that cool.  But, it doesn’t have multi-tasking yet.  But wait!  According to rumor control, the new iPhone 4.0 upgrade will include some sort-of multi-tasking, time this fall.

Thanks for reading.  My name is Ken Brand and iEndorse the iPad.


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PS.  If you own an iPad, what do you think?

Ken Brand nor is affiliated with Apple or the iPad.

Written By

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.



  1. Bruce Lemieux

    May 17, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Once your wife observes the joy that the iPad brings to you, she’ll come around and agree that it was worth the money (yeah I know, she won’t – but you can still delude yourself to thing that she will).

    For me, I think I could justify an iPad purchase if I could use it to have buyers/sellers sign contracts via annotating a PDF with a pen (ala a tablet PC). If you try this, I would love to get your feedback. Of course, I appreciate that you may be too busy using the iPad to close business via email, Facebook, Kindle, Netflix, etc. I’m sure there’s lots of business/training videos on Netflix — another great point to share with your wife!

    • Ken Brand

      May 17, 2010 at 9:45 am

      Brian, hope springs eternal. Good news, DocuSign works on the iPad. But, Zipforms doesn’t, so you’d have to scan your contract to PDF and then send it out for electronic sigs.

      Cheers Brian.

  2. Lori

    May 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I could totally justify an iPad purchase….if I could get it on Verizon. The device is already hot, but imagine how sexy it will be if it (ahem) works! 😉

    As a photographer, I would love to have a portable slideshow of my work along with mobile-and-better-than-a-phone access to my website.

    • Ken Brand

      May 17, 2010 at 9:48 am

      Lori, Yeah, ATT is ATT. I will say that in the few cases when wifi was not available, the 3G kicked in nicely. Don’t get get me wrong, I’m no fan of ATT&T, but at least you don’t have to sign a 2 year contract for iPad 3G service, you can pay monthly of buy it as you need it.

      Pictures and video on the iPad are simply AMAZING.

      Cheers Lori

  3. Irina Netchaev

    May 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Ken, very entertaining… I’ve been trying to justify ordering an iPad and I think you might have swayed me to go ahead and deal with the scorn or everyone around me. 🙂

    Lori, my understanding is that iPads can work with a MIFI (sort of like a personal little wifi gadget) with a Verizon plan – runs about $60 a month for 5Gigs. Dustin Luther showed it to me. It’s a teeny little gadget that you turn on, iPad finds it via wifi and off you go surfing. Obviously not as easy as having it auto available via ATT, but an alternate solution.

    • Ken Brand

      May 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      Irina – Pull the trigger. If you remotely like it, after you have one you’ll love it. Let me know if you join the Tribe:-)

  4. teresa boardman

    May 17, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I have one and I love it. I am using it for two things, giving clients information as I work with them and entertainment. So far I love it for reading and research and social networks and yes movies. I have not yet figured out how to produce anything with it other than drawings and a to do list.

  5. Ken Brand

    May 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Teresa, My experience too. Other than email, and status updates, I don’t think it’s best suited for creating stuff. Presentations imported to the iPad are completely and totally amazing. I imagine that your photo collection looks like a bajillion bucks on the iPad.


  6. An Bui, DocuSign Social Media

    May 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for the mention & the link sharing how DocuSign works on the iPad! If you’ve created & saved templates from your forms in zipForms from your PC / laptop, you’ll be able to access them via your DocuSign account on the iPad. (note – templates are a DocuSign Standard feature)

    You can get mifi w/ verizon service or sprint. I forget what sprint calls their mifi device, but it works the same way. Getting mifi will enable you to practice network choice 🙂

  7. amasters

    May 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    One of my concerns, which was subsequently alleviated had to do with how long the battery would hold a charge when using it to read an ebook. as you may or may not know, Amazon’s Kindle makes use of something called “electronic ink”. With electronic ink, once a page loads there is no further consumption of battery. Whereas the ipad continues to consume the battery charge so long as the display is lit. But given the ipad’s ability to hold a charge for up to 8 hours i don’t think it’s a big concern.

  8. Sandy Krueger

    May 19, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    great post. I have had my Ipad for two weeks and can’t put it down. it has replaced my laptop for travel and note taking in meetings.

    I run a Realtor MLS and will be encouraging my members to investigate how to incoorate it into there business

  9. Clayton Bownds

    May 23, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Plus one here for iPad love.

    I have leveraged the iPhone’s M$ Exchange interface for some time now to work from the road and it has become integral to my daily existence at the j.o.b. When iPad was announced, I was intrigued by the possibilities, but sadly, I was not an early adopter (read: foolishly did not pre-order). I purchased an iPad for Georgia thinking it would contribute to her productivity at GGP, but the HAR Tempo challenge you mentioned above were something I could not have foreseen. I’ve since jumped in with both feet and am asymptotically approaching fanboi status. I love this sexy little superwhamplodyne masterpiece of gadgetry. I might even love it enough one day to start using those little ASCII emotes in blog responses like <3 <3 <3. Awe man, too late.

    Some wish list items from me in no particular order:
    functional printing support (this is likely coming real-soon-now™)
    some flavor of removable storage (USB3.0 perhaps?)
    screen-side cam for video conference (ala Skype)

    I almost said Flash support, but that is a dead horse badly beaten. I have no particular bias for or against Flash, but as it is such a widely used wrapper, it makes semi-pro surfers like myself weary from cyclic page incompatibility. I'm derailing here, but the HTML5 train needs to roll out of the station so iProducts can be rid of the why-no-Flash threads for good. (Jobs does a mini-state of the union here:

    Anyway, congrats on your iPad w/3G-ness! Hope you had a great weekend.


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